View From the Center: N.L. Awards
Welcome to "View From the Center," where our resident pseudo-expert slash Cincinnati Reds fan Jeff Gentil takes a regular rundown of the topics of interest within baseball's divisional landscape. Last week, unsung heroes. This week, awards.
Now that the mythical first half has ended, it's time to see who has stood out above the rest of the league in some major categories. We will return to team breakdowns next week.
MVP: With all due respect to the reigning MVP Albert Pujols, this award goes to Joey Votto. Pujols is having another outstanding season to no one's surprise, but Votto leads Pujols and the N.L. in homers (tied with Adam Dunn with 22), on-base percentage (.422), slugging percentage (.589), and OPS (1.011). He also has a .314 batting average and 60 RBI. Apologies to: Pujols, David Wright, Adrian Gonzalez.
Cy Young: While wins are an overrated stat, you cannot overlook Ubaldo Jimenez and his sparkling 2.20 ERA in addition to his 15 wins. Throw in the fact that he has just one loss and it's extremely hard to pass up 15-1 on a resume. For good measure we'll toss in his .198 opponents' batting average against Jimenez and you have the makings of one dominant first half. Apologies to: Josh Johnson, Adam Wainwright, Roy Halladay, Mat Latos.
Rookie: An outstanding rookie pool to choose from this year, but there can only be one winner. Jason Heyward has been brilliant, but he's on the disabled list so Jaime Garcia wins by default. Not that he doesn't deserve it because he certainly does. An 8-4 record with the N.L's third-best ERA at 2.17 are very nice stats to throw out in a debate on top rookie honors. Apologies to: Heyward, Mike Leake, Ike Davis.Continued on the next page