Ebs’ First-Half MLB Awards: Aaron Judge, Clayton Kershaw, Starling Marte, Scooter Gennett

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WILKES-BARRE, PA – We’re officially at the halfway point of the MLB season.

Well, actually, we’re a little bit past that, but that’s OK. Moving on…..

With the All-Star Break starting Monday, I figured out it would be a good idea to give out some awards. Also, instead of handing out the award to the top player and the best rep from the opposing league.

Here we go. Enjoy!

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: NEW YORK YANKEES OUTFIELDER AARON JUDGE

This was pretty easy. Aaron Judge is in the top-7 in batting average, home runs and RBIs. He’s the only player to do so, and leads the league in homers.

While I think there will be some regression in the second half, I fully expect Judge to get to 45, if not 50, home runs and 100-plus RBIs this season. The power hasn’t been the surprise. The batting average has. I’m shocked.

Just gotta hope teams don’t catch on.

National League: Cincinnati Reds 1B Joey Votto

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: NEW YORK YANKEES OF AARON JUDGE

Well, if he’s going to win the MVP as a rookie, he’ll win Rookie of the Year too. It’s pretty cut and dry.

Judge leads all rookies in the Triple Crown categories.

National League: Los Angeles Dodgers OF/1B Cody Bellinger

CY YOUNG: LOS ANGELES DODGERS LHP CLAYTON KERSHAW

I could have easily went with Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer or Chris Sale for Cy Young. All three have extremely valid cases.

What it came down to was their records. Say what you want about wins and losses and if they truly show how good a pitcher is, but Kershaw has a 14-2 record, which is more wins than both Scherzer and Sale and half the losses.

That was the difference.

American League: Boston Red Sox LHP Chris Sale

MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER: PITTSBURGH PIRATES OF STARLING MARTE

I could have easily went with New York Yankees (ace?) Masahiro Tanaka here, but while the veteran has had a wildly up-and-down season, at least he’s playing.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are seven games back of the first-place Milwaukee Brewers at the break, and that’s without arguably their best player in Starling Marte. The outfielder would have made a difference had he been in the lineup the last three months. If I was a Pirates fan I’d be furious.

Marte’s a legitimate 15-homer, 40-steal, 80-run guy. That is so valuable in baseball and so rare.

The Pirates are lucky the division lead is still in reach, because Milwaukee is a ticking time bomb. They commit way too many errors and it’ll eventually come back to bite them.

American League: New York Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka

BEST PERFORMANCE: CINCINNATI REDS UTILITY SCOOTER GENNETT

A month ago Scooter Gennett did something rarer than a perfect game. He hit four hone runs in one night. His 5-for-5, 4-homer, 10-RBI performance will go down in the record books for sure.

One of the rarest feats accomplished (17th player ever) by one of the most unlikeliest ball players (was released by the Brewers in March).

Come back tomorrow for Ben Whitney and please follow us on Twitter at @ByDJEberle, @MeetTheMatts & @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.

One Final Shot: I’m projecting an All-Yankee Home Run Derby Final on Monday. Aaron Judge will take the title, defeating El Gary Sanchez.

Yup, the reigning champ Giancarlo Stanton will go down in the first round.

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About the Author ()

DJ Eberle: The youngest of our team, DJ is also the largest. Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native used OT for Western New England University - until he graduated in May of 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he's a regular on Rugby Wrap Up - his dad played rugby with The Matts. His cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. As for baseball and basketball, it's the Yanks and Atlanta Hawks. Follow him on Twitter: @ByDJEberle.

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