NL Midseason Awards

BY DI STAFF | JUNE 30, 2015 5:00 AM

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MVP: Giancarlo Stanton

Taking fully into consideration that Stanton will miss the next month-and-a-half with a hand injury, he’s still my pick for MVP.

He has 27 home runs — good for tops in the entire league. He is also second in RBIs with 67.

He is just 10 homers away from matching his career-high, and probably will do so despite his missed time. Stanton is a flat-out nightmare for pitchers and is a threat to go deep during any at-bat.

Cy Young: Max Scherzer

While the Nationals have surely been disappointing this season, there are a few highlights that should remain bright for the remainder of the season.

Scherzer’s sparkling 0.78 WHIP stems from his combination of power and control, and it’s not crazy to think he can sustain those rates. Scherzer is retiring 8.5 batters for every one batter he walks and has struck out 130 on the season.

There is no shortage of aces in the NL, and we are not yet through one-half of the season, but the award appears to be Scherzer’s to lose.

Manager of the Year: Bruce Bochy

Bochy has earned the right to be tabbed as a future Hall of Famer, coaching the Giants to three World Series victories in the past five years. Entering this season, he was at the top of the list for Manager of the Year in the NL.

Although the team hasn’t had the success it hoped for in May and June, it will undoubtedly show its full potential after the All-Star break — as it always seems to do.

The team has two key pitchers in rehab assignments and outfielders Hunter Pence and Nori Aoki recently were moved to the DL and likely won’t return until after the break.

But Bochy is the glue that can hold this team together — expect that to be the case as the season moves on.

Rookie of the Year: Joc Pederson

Pederson remains a top contender for NL Rookie of the Year. Through the month of May, he had a .263 batting average and .392 on-base percentage, and he crushed the competition with 12 home runs and 23 RBIs.

Pederson was leading all centerfielders — Mike Trout included — in home runs, OPS (.945), and walks (31). That’s a pretty impressive month of May, considering that at 23 years old, he is the second-youngest major leaguer at his position, only older than Boston’s Mookie Betts.

— Erin Erickson

MVP: Bryce Harper

Harper ranks third in average (.339) and first in both on-base (.465) and slugging percentage (.715) in the National League. At 22 years old, he’s on pace to win his first MVP, and it would be well deserved.

He brings tenacity in all facets of the game, which is why he leads the NL in wins above replacement at 5.3.

A hamstring issue has slowed him down recently, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at a stat sheet. Harper ranks third in the NL in homers with 24 and fourth in RBIs with 58.

Quite simply, this guy’s done it all for the first-place Nationals.

Cy Young: Max Scherzer

No argument here.

Scherzer is having a monstrous season for Washington. He’s been dominant recently, throwing 26 innings, allowing only 6 hits, walking one, and striking out 33 in his last three starts.

That output is nothing short of astonishing, even for someone who has been as successful as Scherzer has in his career.

The man has thrown 130 strikeouts with just 14 walks to begin the season, and his ERA stands at a healthy 1.79.

Manager: Mike Matheny

I happen to be of the belief that usually, Manager of the Year awards should go to whoever coaches the best team.

And there’s no question what the best team in baseball has been this season — the St. Louis Cardinals.

No one even sniffs the Cardinals’ current record of 51-24, and they stand nine games in front in first place in the NL Central. All the success comes after the Cards lost ace Adam Wainwright to a torn Achilles before the season.

No one does this. Oh wait, yeah; the Cardinals do.

Rookie: Kris Bryant

Bryant has cooled off in the past week or two, but he is still off to a promising start to his career in Chicago. The youngster is hitting .273 with 43 RBIs, and he looks as if he could be the heart of the team’s young nucleus for years to come.

— Charlie Green

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