By MyFM's Jake Archer - Now that we have gotten through the All Star break and the Red Sox are about to kick off the second half of the season (we're really more than halfway through but the All Star break feels like a good way to mark the mid-point), it's time to take stock of what has gone on around major league baseball. I'm going to hand out some midseason awards, and for the sake of being #accountable, I'll even add in how my preseason picks stack up. Here we go...
First Half AL MVP: Mike Trout (I picked Carlos Correa before the season)
Well, my Correa pick looks pretty bad at this point. The guy hasn't quite taken the leap I thought he would and he didn't even end up making the All Star squad. Oh well. Anyway, Mike Trout is the AL MVP at this point. Before you scream at me for not picking Mookie Betts or JD Martinez, just know that I wanted to. However, JD is basically a DH and that hurts his case. Betts on the other hand, has an extremely strong argument. The thing that hurts him the most is that he's surrouded by talented teammates like JD and he's also spent some time on the DL. As of right now, the numbers are close and I'll give the edge to Mike Trout.
First Half AL CY Young: Justin Verlander (I picked Chris Sale before the season)
Well, my Chris Sale pick is doing well because I came SO close to picking him as the winner right now. He's been better than anyone over the last month and a half or so, but Verlander has done it all year long. It's his award to lose and he's got almost no margin for error with guys like Sale, Luis Severino and even Blake Snell breathing down his neck.
First Half AL ROY: Gleyber Torres (I picked Gleyber Torres before the season)
I'd like to say I was spot on with my pick before the season, but even I didn't know Torres would be this good. The biggest reason the Yankees are where they are is Gleyber, in my opinion. He's carried them at times and when he went down a few weeks ago, they started to falter. He'll be back shortly and although I don't root for him, I love watching him play baseball.
First Half AL Manager of the Year: Alex Cora (I picked Alex Cora before the season)
This is another instance where I made the right pick but can't take credit for knowing just how well they would do. Cora has totally changed the Red Sox and made them into a behemoth. They've never been this good in my lifetime and the pace they've set has them on track to win well over 100 games.
First Half NL MVP: Freddie Freeman (I picked Trea Turner before the season)
Just like with the AL MVP, I picked a young shortstop to make a big leap and it hasn't worked out. Turner has been pretty good but wasn't an All Star and won't sniff the MVP award in all likelihood. On the other hand, Freddie Freeman has been a monster while leading the young Braves to an NL East lead. If you haven't been watching him rake, you need to start paying attention.
First Half NL CY Young: Jacob deGrom (I picked Madison Bumgarner before the season)
Well, MadBum hasn't been bad but he started off spending the first few months on the DL. Unless he goes lights out during the second half and leads the Giants to the postseason, I think he's out of the running. deGrom has been lights out so far, but he's taking brutal losses because the Mets are a dumpster fire. This guy needs an award or something after putting up with all of this, so let's give him the nod here.
First Half NL ROY: Juan Soto (I picked Ronald Acuna Jr. before the season)
Acuna hasn't been bad, but he's had some injuries and some struggles so far. Juan Soto, the 19 year old Nationals phenom, has burst onto the scene out of nowhere to not only take the NL ROY lead, but also give Washington fans hope for a future that may not include Bryce Harper.
First Half NL Manager of the Year: Gabe Kapler (I picked Bruce Bochy before the season)
Make no mistake, if the Giants make the playoffs, Bruce Bochy should be the manager of the year. The thing is, I kinda doubt that's going to be the case and thus far, I think Gabe Kapler has done the best job by guiding his young Phillies team into contention. After a rough start to the season, Kapler has settled in and pushed the right buttons to change the culture in Philadelphia. He's my guy.