With the MLB season halfway complete and the All-Star break right around the corner, it is time to hand out the midseason awards and recognize teams and players who are over-achieving or under-achieving what was expected from them at the beginning of the season.
MVP: Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
Hamilton has been on fire the whole season and could also be a threat to win the triple crown of baseball. He leads the league with 27 home runs and 75 runs batted in while also in the top 10 in batting average, with .313. While his stats speak for his individual achievements, he also has his team in first place of the west division going into the break.
Cy Young: Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Weaver has been one of the few bright spots for the Angels organization this season. Even though the team has faltered slightly for the first half of the season, Weaver has been a gem with 10 wins and only one loss to his record. He leads the league with a 1.96 ERA and threw a no-hitter earlier this year. If that’s not enough, his team is on the up slope and is bound to make a late run for the postseason.
Rookie of the Year: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Surprisingly enough, the Angels have two award winners on their team, even with an under-achieving record. Trout is designated as a rookie but had some playing time at the end of last season. His .343 batting average is tops in the league and is an outstanding number for rookies. He also has 34 runs batted in and 11 home runs for a very productive first half.
Comeback Player of the Year: Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox
After a miserable 2011 season with a .159 batting average and only 11 home runs, Dunn has picked up his pace once again. This season he has 25 home runs and 60 runs batted in already, which crushes his 2011 marks. While he is also having an All-Star season, his team is in first place of their division and riding high into the break.
Disapointing Position Player: Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels- After making the big move from St. Louis to Los Angeles and from the National League to the American League, the Machine hasn’t been his well-oiled self. His .268 batting average is by far a career low and his 13 home runs show his diminishing pop that he had with the Cardinals. The Angels looked to make the big signing in the offseason, but so far that decision is not working out.
Disappointing Pitcher: Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox
Beckett just has not provided the wins and clutch pitching for his team when they need him most. His 4.43 ERA is relatively high, but the most shocking statistic is his seven losses already this season. If the Red Sox want to catch the Yankees and make the postseason after blowing last season, Beckett is going to need to step up and give them the star pitching they expect out of him.
Over-achieving Team: Chicago White Sox
Going into the break, the White Sox are 10 games over .500 and leading the central division by three games over Cleveland. This increase in wins may be linked to the comebacks of Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko as offensive juggernauts and the firing of their longtime controversial manager Ozzie Guillen. Whatever the case may be, this team is red hot going into the break and I don’t expect them to slow down anytime soon.
Under-achieving Team: Detroit Tigers
After picking up Prince Fielder in the offseason and returning MVPs Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera, you would think that the Tigers were destined to win their division easily, trounce through the playoffs, and be set to hold the World Series Trophy in their hands for the first time in 28 years, right? Wrong.
The Tigers are barely above .500 going into the break and are very inconsistent. If they want to make the postseason, this team is going to need some big numbers from the guys named as well as possibly an unlikely hero.