To me, it seems like the first third of baseball's season went unusually fast. Maybe it's different for us Chicagoans because we had playoff hockey and basketball to distract us for a while. Don't you wish it could work that way every year? Instead of having thousands of Cubs fans ready to jump off the ledge after a poor Ted Lilly start in May, we got to suspend those baseball anxieties for a little bit longer.
Still, here we are, 1/3 of the way through the MLB season. We thought this would be as good a time as any to throw out some awards and recap the season so far.
Follow along, after the jump...
LF Carl Crawford - Rays
.325, 5 HR, 29 RBI, 45 R, 35 SB
Runner up: 1B Justin Morneau - Twins
Seventh in average, fifth in runs, first, by a mile, in steals. We expect our fantasy MVP's to finish with more than 15 home runs (that's what Crawford is on pace for), but is other stats are what sets him apart. Steals is the big one. At this pace, Crawford will finish the year with 105 steals. One hundred and five! That's insane, anyway you look at it.
1B Albert Pujols - Cardinals
.317, 19 HR, 53 RBI, 47 R, 8 SB
Runner up: LF Raul Ibanez - Phillies
He was taken behind Hanley Ramirez - who's having a fine season himself - in most fantasy leagues, but no one in either league has been better this season than Pujols. He leads the world in OPS, and in the NL ranks third in homers, third in RBI, 12th in average, second in runs, and even added eight steals just for good measure. The man is machine, and in this post-A-Rod/steroids world, he's clearly the best player in baseball. Crawford may fall off some the rest of the way through the season. Barring injury, it won't happen to Pujols.
Zack Greinke - Royals
94.1 IP, 1.72 ERA, 97 K, 0.99 WHIP, 8 Wins
Runner up: Roy Halladay - Blue Jays
Starters can only affect four categories in standard 5x5 leagues, and Greinke has dominated all of them. In the AL, he's the top dog in ERA and WHIP, and second in wins and strikeouts. Best of all, he's only 25. If you own Greinke in a keeper league, realize that as long as he can stay emotionally stable, you'll be owning one of the best pitchers in the AL for a very long time. Pitchers generally don't hit their prime until about 28, too. The best is yet to come for Greinke.
Johan Santana - Mets
79 IP, 2.39 ERA, 91 K, 1.13 WHIP, 8 Wins
Runner up: Chad Billingsley - Dodgers
This is a tough award to give out in the NL. So far, no one pitcher has been head and shoulders above the rest. Santana, however, seems to be the most well rounded pitcher in the league. He's tops in wins, fourth in strikeouts, third in ERA, and seventh in WHIP.