With the 2018 All-Star break underway, we’re taking a look at some first-half National League West award winners. Do any San Diego Padres come up on our list?
With the 2018 All-Star festivities behind us and a two-day break before baseball games resume in the National League West, we’re giving out a few first-half awards to highlight some notable performances. These awards focus on the entire NL West division, not just the San Diego Padres.
I brought in some help for this piece, our NL West friends over at Around The Fog Horn (@RoundTheFogHorn on Twitter) and Rox Pile (@RoxPile on Twitter). Make sure you check them out and all of their fantastic work, even if they do cover the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies. Seriously though, give them a follow for some good baseball reading!
To set the stage, here’s a look at the current NL West standings.
The division is open to anyone for the taking, except the Padres, and should come down to an exciting finish over the final week of the season. In fact, all three divisional races in the National League look like they will provide some memorable baseball, come the end of September. Individually speaking, we’ve seen some shockingly good performances and many shockingly bad performances. Let’s go around and give out some awards to highlight these performances.
NL West Most Valuable Player Award
Daniel Sperry (Around The Fog Horn): Colorado Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado
Nolan’s been fantastic this season both at the plate and with the glove. He’s probably been the most consistent star in the West, hasn’t had an injury, and is one of the sole reasons the Rockies are still afloat in the west.
Kevin Henry (Rox Pile): Arizona Diamondbacks 1B Paul Goldschmidt
I’d love to say it’s Nolan Arenado because of his stats, but I also see where the Rockies are in the standings. In my book, I’ll go with Paul Goldschmidt. Arizona’s keeping the Dodgers at bay because of his hot bat. I just watched him smack yet another homer against the Rockies and I certainly wish he was hitting like he was at the start of the season … but he isn’t. Because of that, Arizona has every chance to win the West.
Nick Stevens (Friars On Base)– Colorado Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado
While Arenado still leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many Padres fans, other than Goldschmidt, no one is putting up the offensive numbers Arenado is. He’s hitting the ball harder than ever before and is on pace to put up career-highs in batting average, OBP, OPS, wRC+, WAR, and more statistical categories.
NL West Cy Young Award
Around The Fog Horn– Arizona Diamondbacks Patrick Corbin.
While Ross Stripling has been lights out, he only has 14 starts and nine more appearances out of the pen to help that ERA look so nice and low. Corbin has been a consistent starter every time out and has really fooled a lot of hitters in the West.
Rox Pile- Los Angeles Dodgers Ross Stripling
Maybe a little biased but I would go with Kyle Freeland of the Rockies. Look at what he’s doing at Coors Field. Freeland’s strikeout percentage is up nearly four percent, from 15.6% last season to 19.4% this season. His walk percentage has also seen a decrease from 9.2% to 8.2%. Freeland is also allowing a lower batting average against him, as hitters are batting a lowly .232. His BABIP has also seen a decrease, down to an impressive .265.
Friars On Base- Arizona Diamondbacks Patrick Corbin
A few weeks ago, I think a lot of people believed Corbin was going to fetch the Diamondbacks a pretty haul at the trade deadline, now he could lead this team to an NL West crown. He has one of the best sliders in the game, helping him strike out more than 30% of hitters he’s faced. His 3.24 ERA is respectable but his 2.81 FIP is impressive.