The second half of the season (technically it’s closer to the final 40% or so but the All-Star Break makes a nice clean separation), so the staff of Kings of Kauffman looked back at the performances of the team and came up with some quick awards for the Royals.
The four categories we considered were:
First Half MVP
- Jen Nevius: Greg Holland. He started out slow, but turned into an All-Star.
- Mike Vamosi: Greg Holland. No one has touched him since April.
- Brian Henry: Ervin Santana
- Marcus Meade: David Lough. Lough gets the edge over Ervin Santana and James Shields because he represents two positives: 1) his excellent play since being called up. 2) No more Jeff Francoeur. Lough’s been worth a quite a bit in the WAR department in his short time up. So, I’m giving it to him.
- Jordan McLaughlin: Greg Holland. He has been the most dominant pitcher for the Royals this season. I wouldn’t consider anyone from this offense MVP worthy therefore Holland gets my vote.
- Jeff Parker: James Shields. He’s been as good as advertised. Though he’s struggled of late, he legitimized the front of the rotation.
- Hunter Samuels: James Shields. He has had his share of rough outings, but he still is among the top 10 starters in the American League (by WAR).
- Ethan Evans: Greg Holland. It’s hard to vote for anyone else with Holland being as dominant as he’s been.
- Michael Engel: Alex Gordon. He’s the best overall player and a big offensive force in the first two months. I think there’s an argument for James Shields or Ervin Santana for the innings they’ve thrown (and quality ones, at that), but when Gordon hit the ground against the Indians and was threatened with a possible concussion, it felt like the season would have been lost without him.
- Kevin Scobee: Alex Gordon – toyed with the idea of say Shields because he leads the team in fWAR, but the lead isn’t substantial enough to give it to him over an every day player. Gordon has put together one of the best three-year stretches in club history, and even though his last 3-5 weeks have taken a huge dive from where he was at the start of the year, there’s still a very real possibility he’ll put up another 5-win season. On a roster filled with contact-dependent, no power, all-hype offensive performers, even Gordon’s weaknesses get glossed over because he’s so much better than the rest of his teammates.