While players rest up for the second half of the season, here are one man’s picks for Camp’s award winners at the halfway point of season 7. (Note: I didn’t pick the Rookie of the Year because I didn’t feel like combing through everyone’s teams. Lazy? You bet.)
MVP – Willie Chavez, Austin Chin Music
You can’t ask for any more than what Chavez has provided the Chin Music this season. Chavez is hitting .342 with 37 homeruns, 120 RBIs and a .691 slugging percentage. He’ll get some competition in this category from teammate Dusty Mann who has also posted excellent numbers so far this season. Slumpbusters’ Ray Farley also may have something to say about the outcome here.
Apologies to Dusty Mann (Austin), Bartolo Escuela (Colorado), Raymond Farley (San Francisco)
Cy Young – Sherman Byrne, Louisville Flame Throwers
Byrne has been the cream of the crop in the AL so far this season and has helped lead Louisville’s march towards the playoffs. Byrne boasts a 12-2 record with a 2.61 ERA and 109 strikeouts at the break. His teammate Rick Faulk also hasn’t been too shabby himself and with a strong second half could steal the Cy Young from Byrne.
Apologies to Skeeter Duncan (San Francisco) Rick Faulk (Louisville) and Rafael Osuna (Austin)
Fireman of the Year – Charlie Winston, Colorado Bombers
This race will come down to the wire with plenty of good closers in the AL. I went with Winston who has converted 15 of 18 save opportunities this season with a 2.35 ERA in 38.1 innings pitched, but this race is far from over.
Apologies to Eric Cobb (Rochester), Midre Acevedo (San Francisco), Domingo Diaz (Louisville), Jerry Price (Austin)
MVP – Felipe Abreu, Arizona Thunder Chickens
A .425 batting average. A .553 on base percentage. Both would be single season records and both are the current numbers for Arizona’s superstar catcher Felipe Abreu. He has also notched 102 runs, 98 walks and just two strikeouts at the break. That’s right, two. In 358 at bats. Ridiculous.
Apologies to Howard Lowell (New Orleans) and Charles Perez (Tampa Bay)
Cy Young – Earl Gabriel, Arizona Thunder Chickens
The only one who even comes close to Gabriel here is Tampa Bay’s Matt Adams. The two shared the Cy Young last year but Gabriel has a big edge in the wins and ERA departments to this point in the season. I mean 19 wins at the break? Gabriel shows no signs of slowing down at age 36 and looks like he’ll wrap up his fifth straight Cy Young Award if he stays on pace.
Apologies to Matt Adams (Tampa Bay)
Fireman of the Year – Wiki Beltran, Memphis Blues
There aren’t many shutdown closers in the NL, but Beltran is on the short list. He’s third in the league with 18 saves, but has just one blown save on the season. Of the other closers contending for the award, Toronto’s Neil Simas has four blown saves and Scranton’s Orlando Feliz already has seven. Beltran also has a lower ERA than the two.
Apologies to Neil Simas (Toronto) and Orlando Feliz (Scranton)