The MLB season is in full swing. The season is reaching the point where identifying which team is good and which are bad are becoming more prevalent.
The season is more than a quarter way through the year so let’s take a look at the early favorites for the major awards.
American League Comeback Player of the Year: OF – Michael Brantley – Cleveland Indians
Brantley appeared in just 11 games a season ago battling nagging injuries that cost him nearly the entire year. Brantley was unavailable as the Indians were an inning away from the winning the World Series.
Fast forward a year and Brantley looks back to being the player he once was. On the year he is batting .292 with a .362 OBP. He has hit five home runs and driven in 18 runs in 36 games. Brantley is the key to the Indians being a top contender in the American League for the remainder of the season.
National League Comeback Player of the Year: 1B – Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
Zimmerman has appeared in just 271 games in the three prior seasons to this one. Last season Zimmerman played in 115 games hitting a measly .218 with 15 home runs and 46 RBI. Its May 23rd and Zimmerman has produced a .362 average with 13 home runs and 38 RBI in just 42 games. He is on pace to shatter last years totals and is on his way to a career season.
American League Rookie of the Year: OF – Aaron Judge – New York Yankees
No doubt here. Judge is simply using his size and strength to hit baseballs places where no other hitter can reach. Judge is leading baseball with 15 home runs and has driven in 30 runs. Everyone knew his power and that Judge would hit a ton of homers but his .315 average shows he’s progressed mightily as a hitter. Judge has become a highlight machine and Yankees fans should be excited to see what’s in store for the future.
National League Rookie of the Year: OF – Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers
Bellinger has been off to a hot start since the Dodgers recalled him from the minors. In 25 games, Bellinger is hitting .295 with a .362 OBP. Bellinger has alreayd hit 9 home runs and has driven in 24 runs. Nearly an RBI per game. Bellinger has been a spark plug in the Dodgers lineup and should continue to progress as the season goes on.
American League Reliever of the Year: LHP – Andrew Miller – Cleveland Indians
This came down to Miller or Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel. However, Miller is off too another terrific start and has become an unstoppable force out of the bullpen. Miller comes in and you expect a clean inning every night. Miller is 2-0 in 18 appearances having pitched 21 innings. He has recorded 29 strikeouts and has allowed just 15 base runners. Miller has only allowed 1 earned run all year.
National League Reliever of the Year: RHP – Greg Holland – Colorado Rockies
Holland has become a stable force in the Rockies bullpen that has struggled tremendously over the past few seasons. Holland is leading all of baseball with 19 saves and has yet to blow a save. He has a 0.96 ERA in 18 2/3 innings and opposing hitters are just hitting .145 against him. Holland has been a major reason why the Rockies have the best record in the National League.
American League Cy Young: LHP – Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros
Keuchel is on his way to his second Cy Young award following a down season in 2016. Keuchel is 7-0 with a 1.84 ERA. Keuchel ranks third in innings pitched and has the second lowest WHIP among AL starters. He’s had 54 strikeouts in his 9 starts. Keuchel success has led to the Astros 30-15 start which is best in baseball.
National League Cy Young: LHP – Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
Just another dominate regular season start for the games best pitcher. Kershaw is off to a 7-2 start with a 2.15 ERA in 9 starts. He is second in innings pitched and ranks 6th in the strikeouts. Kershaw’s 0.89 WHIP is the best in the National League. Just another year in the life of Kersahw.
American League MVP: OF – Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels
Who else? The best player of this generation is going for his third MVP award. Trout is contending for the triple crown as well. His 3.2 WAR leads all of baseball. Trout is hitting .343 with a .464 OBP with 14 home runs and 34 RBI. Trout has scored 31 runs and added 9 stolen bases as well. Simply put Trout is an believable talent and will likely go down as a top 5 player of all time if he remains healthy.
National League MVP: OF – Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
Harper and Trout will be forever linked as the two continue to have great success so early in their careers. The debate on who you want on your team is an ongoing discussion. For me, it’s Trout but there’s no denying how good Harper has been this year. Harper is hitting for .349 with 13 home runs and 37 RBI. His on base is at .459 and has scored the most runs with 42. Harper is on base for his second MVP and is definitely rebounding after a down year in 2016.