The 2014 MLB season is halfway over. Players have broken out for career years and some teams have surprised us all. With the season 50% done, these are the major award winners based on the first half.
American League MVP: Victor Martinez
Of all the players on the Detroit Tigers to win a major award Victor Martinez is not the first to come to mind. However after the first half of the season he has been the best player on the team. Martinez has more home runs than reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera and in doing so has forced pitchers to make a tough decision as to which one of the big bats they would rather throw to. Martinez is well on his way to having multiple career highs. This is certainly nice to see after he missed the entire 2012 season due to an injury and many counted him out.
National League MVP: Troy Tulowitzki
Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has managed to maintain his health in 2014 and in doing so earned the first half National League MVP. Tulowitzki has done everything one might expect from a slugger playing in Colorado while continuing to play very good defense. The 2014 Rockies are one of the best offensive teams out there and it all starts with Tulowtizki. He will likely win the batting title and at the pace he’s on will earn his first full season MVP Award.
American League Cy Young: Masahiro Tanaka
The New York Yankees won the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes and things couldn’t be better. Tanaka has fooled even the best hitters on his way to earning the right to call himself the first half American League Cy Young winner. Any question as to whether Tanaka can translate in Major League Baseball or not have been silenced. He’s good now and he will be good for many more years to come.
National League Cy Young: Johnny Cueto
Coming off an injury plagued 2013 season, the Cincinnati Reds are thankful to have Johnny Cueto back and better than ever. In the first half Cueto has been able to go deep in games while keeping runners off the base paths throughout. After his first 17 starts of the season he had a WHIP of 0.828 which is a number more like a dominant closer than a guy pitching multiple innings at a time. As a whole his team may not be doing as well as they would like. They still have Cueto to depend on to break them out of a losing streak.
American League Rookie of the Year: Masahiro Tanaka
What’s there to say about Masahiro Tanaka’s Rookie of the Year campaign that hasn’t already been said about how he will win the American League Cy Young Award? Following in the footsteps of teammate and countryman Ichiro Suzuki, Tanaka has a great shot at winning the Rookie of the Year and another major award in the same campaign.
National League Rookie of the Year: Chris Owings
Contention for the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year is limited with Arizona Diamondbacks’ shortstop Chris Owings at the front of the pack. Although he got off to a slow start Owings now looks more like a player with very good days ahead. His numbers won’t blow anyone away, but certainly he is the best option in a weak rookie class.
More from this contributor:
The Biggest Surprise Players in the First Month of the 2014 MLB Season
The Best Overall Lineups in the 2014 MLB Season
Top MLB Stars Under 25