Cullen: Three-quarter MLB awards

Scott Cullen
8/21/2013 4:34:48 PM
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Just past the three-quarter mark of the 2013 MLB season, Scott Cullen digs into the numbers to make his picks for awards to this point of the season, along with Gold Gloves, All-Surprise and All-Disappointing teams:

Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Detroit (40 HR, 120 RBI, .359 AVG, 1.133 OPS)

Runners Up:
Mike Trout, LF, L.A. Angels (21 HR, 78 RBI, 28 SB, .333 AVG, 1.004 OPS)
Chris Davis, 1B, Baltimore (45 HR, 115 RBI, .306 AVG, 1.071 OPS)

Cabrera has put up numbers that would be sensational for a full season and, despite his fielding and base-running issues, his bat puts him in position to go back-to-back. Trout, who was runner-up last year, may not get as much consideration, since the Angels have been terrible, but Trout continues to be great and easily could win under different circumstances. Davis has been mashing, and has rebounded from a July slump but, even so, he has a tall order to overtake Cabrera. Adrian Beltre, Evan Longoria and Robinson Cano have been very good, but they're not at the level of the top three.

Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati (18 HR, 58 RBI, .314 AVG, .931 OPS)

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona (31 HR, 100 RBI, 13 SB, .297 AVG, .945 OPS)
Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pittsburgh (17 HR, 71 RBI, 26 SB, .316 AVG, .901 OPS)

This race has been wide open all year, though this trio of candidates may be settling in. Votto hasn't put up big counting numbers, but he gets on base like no one else (.432 OBP leads the NL). Goldschmidt has the power numbers to draw attention, is a good defender and the Diamondbacks are at least contending for a playoff spot, so no argument if he turns out to be the winner. McCutchen started the season slowly, but has been gaining steam with strong play since the beginning of July. He does play a more demanding position than the other two finalists and if the Pirates are a playoff team, it could be hard to keep McCutchen from the winner's circle.

Max Scherzer, Detroit (18-1, 2.82 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 185 K, 172 1/3 IP)

Runners Up:
Felix Hernandez, Seattle (12-6, 2.62 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 182 K, 178 2/3 IP)
Yu Darvish, Texas (12-5, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 214 K, 161 IP)

Record isn't the measure of a pitcher, so it's merely good fortune that Scherzer also happens to have an 18-1 record, but strong strikeout numbers and the fewest baserunners per inning in the AL earn him the nod. Felix Hernandez had closed the gap, possibly overtaking Scherzer, before allowing 11 earned runs over his last three starts. That Yu Darvish puts up such great numbers despite pitching in Texas is a credit to him and warrants inclusion in this discussion, ahead of Chris Sale and Hiroki Kuroda.

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles (12-7, 1.80 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 182 K, 190 1/3 IP)

Matt Harvey, N.Y. Mets (9-4, 2.25 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 187 K, 171 1/3 IP)
Adam Wainwright, St. Louis (14-7, 2.66 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 173 K, 189 2/3 IP)

Kershaw has been ridiculously dominant, so much so that even Harvey, who has been sensational, isn't going to catch him. Wainwright has slipped lately, opening room for Jose Fernandez, Madison Bumgarner or Patrick Corbin to overtake him by season's end.

Leonys Martin, CF, Texas (6 HR, 31 RBI, 27 SB, .276 AVG, .724 OPS)

Runners Up:
Jose Iglesias, SS/3B, Boston (2 HR, 23 RBI, .321 AVG, .765 OPS)
Dan Straily, LHP, Oakland (6-7, 4.21 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 92 K, 113 IP)

The American League rookie class has been mediocre all year, but there is hope for late surges from call-ups Nick Franklin, Chris Archer and Wil Myers so that one of them could overtake Martin or Iglesias at the top..

Jose Fernandez, RHP, Miami (9-5, 2.41 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 157 K, 145 2/3 IP)

Yasiel Puig, RF, Los Angeles (12 HR, 28 RBI, 7 SB, .352 AVG, .979 OPS)
Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP, Los Angeles (12-4, 2.95 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 126 K, 155 2/3 IP)

The thin AL crop only looks worse when contrasted with the outstanding National League rookie class. Fernandez has been the best pitcher in baseball for more than a month, Puig has exploded onto the scene and Ryu's season-long consistency places him ahead of Cardinals pitcher Shelby Miller.

C - Russell Martin, Pittsburgh
Runners-up: Yadier Molina, St. Louis; A.J. Ellis, Los Angeles

Molina is an all-time great and could easily win again, but Martin has been outstanding in his return to the National League. Miguel Montero, Welington Castillo and Salvador Perez are all having strong seasons behind the plate too..

1B - Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
Runners-up: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona; Yonder Alonso, San Diego

Youth is served, with Rizzo just ahead of Goldschmidt, while Alonso, Eric Hosmer and Brandon Belt are all above average around the bag.

2B - Brian Dozier, Minnesota
Runners-up: Dustin Pedroia, Boston; Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati

Dozier, a former shortstop, has proven to be more than competent with the glove on the other side of second base while veterans Pedroia and Phillips are near the top in Ultimate Zone Rating. Teh A's Eric Sogard and Cubs' Darwin Barney are also viable candidates.

3B - Nolan Arenado, Colorado
Runners-up: Manny Machado, Baltimore; Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay

Arenado and Machado have been amazing, ranking at the top in Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating. Longoria is also at the top tier, while Chase Headley and Juan Uribe have been very good, but not quite at the level Arenado, Machado and Longoria.

SS - Andrelton Simmons, Atlanta
Runners-up: Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado; Pedro Florimon, Minnesota

It's a one-horse race as Simmons is likely the best fielder in all of baseball. Tulowitzki and Florimon are very good, among the mortals, while Yunel Escobar, Clint Barmes and Pete Kozma have had strong seasons with the glove.

LF - Starling Marte, Pittsburgh
Runners-up: Andy Dirks, Detroit, Alex Gordon, Kansas City

Marte's range puts him at the head of the class, a position that used to be held by Carl Crawford, who has been good when healthy this year. Andy Dirks is lesser-known, but a strong fielder and Alex Gordon is consistently above average. Yoenis Cespedes and Nate McLouth are among other left fielders playing well this season.

CF - Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee
Runners-up: Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City; A.J. Pollock, Arizona

Gomez is a sensational fielder, who effectively blocked Cain from regular duty in Milwaukee, but Cain has shown this season that he's an elite defensive outfielder too. Pollock made the most of his opportunity when Adam Eaton was injured, earning him the nod ahead of Jacoby Ellsbury and Andrew McCutchen.

RF - Shane Victorino, Boston
Runners-up: Gerardo Parra, Arizona; Josh Reddick, Oakland

Victorino, a former centre fielder, has the best range at the position, Parra leads in Defensive Runs Saved and Reddick is near the top in both categories. This trio comes in just ahead of Jay Bruce and Ichiro Suzuki.

(I realize there are Gold Gloves awarded in both leagues.  I'm just trying to recognize the best fielders at each position.)

C - Jason Castro, Houston (14 HR, 46 RBI, .270 AVG, .799 OPS)
1B -Chris Davis, Baltimore (45 HR, 115 RBI, .306 AVG, 1.071 OPS)
2B - Matt Carpenter, St. Louis (9 HR, 62 RBI, .312 AVG, .859 OPS)
SS - Jean Segura, Milwaukee (12 HR, 44 RBI, 37 SB, .308 AVG, .795 OPS)
3B - Josh Donaldson, Oakland (18 HR, 71 RBI, .297 AVG, .859 OPS)
LF - Starling Marte, Pittsburgh (11 HR, 33 RBI, 35 SB, .282 AVG, .786 OPS)
CF - Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee (18 HR, 55 RBI, 30 SB, .288 AVG, .858 OPS)
RF - Michael Cuddyer, Colorado (17 HR, 66 RBI, .324 AVG, .925 OPS)
SP - Patrick Corbin, Arizona (13-3, 2.45 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 150 K, 172 1/3 IP)
SP - Matt Harvey, N.Y. Mets (9-4, 2.25 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 187 K, 171 1/3 IP)
SP - Jose Fernandez, Miami (9-5, 2.41 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 157 K, 145 2/3 IP)
SP - Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh (14-5, 2.53 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 126 K, 121 IP)
SP - Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle (11-6, 2.95 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 146 K, 171 IP)
RP - Edward Mujica, St. Louis (32 SV, 1.65 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 41 K, 54 2/3 IP)

C - Miguel Montero, Arizona (9 HR, 34 RBI, .228 AVG, .661 OPS)
1B - Albert Pujols, L.A. Angels (17 HR, 64 RBI, .258 AVG, .767 OPS)
2B - Danny Espinosa, Washington (3 HR, 12 RBI, .158 AVG, .465 OPS)
SS - Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs (7 HR, 32 RBI, .240 AVG, .615 OPS)
3B - Chase Headley, San Diego (8 HR, 35 RBI, .237 AVG, .695 OPS)
LF - Melky Cabrera, Toronto (3 HR, 30 RBI, .279 AVG, .682 OPS)
CF - B.J. Upton, Atlanta (8 HR, 21 RBI, 11 SB, .186 AVG, .567 OPS)
RF - Josh Hamilton, L.A. Angels (19 Hr, 60 RBI, .228 AVG, .703 OPS)
SP - Ian Kennedy, San Diego (4-9, 5.12 ERA, 1.41 WHIP)
SP - Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee (9-9, 4.68 ERA, 1.45 WHIP)
SP - Josh Johnson, Toronto (2-8, 6.20 ERA, 1.66 WHIP)
SP - CC Sabathia, N.Y. Yankees (11-10, 4.83 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)
SP - Jonathon Niese, N.Y. Mets (5-6, 4.25 ERA, 1.56 WHIP)
RP - John Axford, Milwaukee (0 SV, 4.26 ERA, 1.58 WHIP)

Scott Cullen can be reached at and followed on Twitter at For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

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