Handing out some hardware

It is hard to believe we have reached the halfway point of the MLB season already. With every division still up for grabs it certainly looks like the second half of the year will be an entertaining one.

2014 has been an unusual season to this point with nobody really showing the desire to win their division and most of the league hovering around the .500 mark, including the defending World Champion Boston Red Sox.

Though team success has been scarce this year, there are several individuals making names for themselves going into the All-Star break.

When it comes to pitching, the Oakland Althetics have been the dominant American League force thanks to the resurrection of 30-year old starting pitcher Scott Kazmir. Kazmir, who has amassed an 11-3 record with a 2.38 ERA for the best team in baseball, has earned my mid-season AL Cy Young Award.

When it comes to AL rookies, New York’s Masahiro Tanaka and Chicago’s Jose Abreu have seperated themselves from the rest of the rookie class.

Tanaka gets the thumbs-up for AL Rookie of the Halfway point; all Tanaka has done is anchor am injury-plagued rotation and keep the Yankees in the AL East race with a 12-4 record and a 2.51 ERA.

The AL East snags its second award in the midseason AL co-MVPs. Both Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz and Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion have proven indespensible to their respective teams hitting 29 and 28 long balls respectively and helping their teams camp out atop the AL East at the halfway mark.

Moving to the NL, the Dodgers stake claim to the mid-season Cy Young award with two pitchers. Zach Greinke and Clayton Kershaw both have pitched like aces for the Dodgers, who erased a nine-game San Francisco divison lead earlier in the season.

Kershaw wins the midseason honor only because of the no-hitter he pitched on June 19 which is more significant than anything Greinke has done so far in 2014. Not to mention Kershaw’s impressive scoreless streak.

Looking at the midseason NL Rookie of the Halfway race, Cincinnati Reds sensation Billy Hamilton has literally stolen the show. Not only is Hamilton batting .280 in the pitching-rich NL Central, but his 38 stolen bases are good for second in the majors.

Speaking of one-man races, the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton is without a doubt the recipient of the midseason NL MVP. Stanton has single-handedly kept the Marlins in the thick of the NL East race and is leading in two of the three Triple Crown hitting categories.

Do I expect every one of these selections to remain the same and pan out at the end of the season? No… if the White Sox Abreu or Houston’s Jose Altuve continue their hot rookie years I could easily see Tanaka losing out to one of them for AL ROY especially seeing as he was just placed on the disabled list.

The only real lock on this list comes at the NL ROY where Billy Hamilton will win the award running away (ha…ha…ha).

Contact Joe Albright at jalbright@newsandsentinel.com