If they gave out awards for the first half of the season, here are the awards I would be giving out to Arizona Diamondbacks players. The Dbacks are currently at 44-39 and in second place in the NL West.
MVP: This is a tough one because there are several guys it could go to. Ultimately I am going to give it to Ian Kennedy just because of the overall consistency in performance since day 1. He has had a couple of outings recently where he has struggled more than not, but not struggling to the point of getting blown out or not keeping his team in games. At 8-2 with a 3.01 ERA, I would say as the “ace” of the staff he has done what has been asked of him.
Best Pitcher: Well, Kennedy, again. I seriously considered closer J.J Putz here, but Putz blew 4 saves in June. Kennedy not only is the ERA leader amongst starters, he also leads the team in strikeouts and innings pitched.
Best Hitter: Justin Upton. No one has done more to try to improve his game than Upton. His batting average climbed over .300, which is where the Dbacks and fans envisioned him to be consistently. He has really cut down on strikeouts. Last year he competed with Mark Reynolds for the team lead in that category. This year he has struck out 63 times, which is third highest on the team, however 32 less than team leader Kelly Johnson. Upton has been putting the ball in play more often.
Most Disappointing Performance: Kelly Johnson. Johnson has had the flare for the dramatic at times, but after such a good season in 2010, his avg. has really taken a dump. Hitting .214, striking out 95 times so far this season, not exactly the kind of performance you need from your starting second baseman.
Most Surprising Performance: Gerardo Parra. Parra has been the offense lately. He has brought back the swagger he had early in his rookie campaign of 2009. Parra is hitting .284 and has a gun of an arm in left field. This is a category Ryan Roberts had locked up until June. Roberts has really faltered. His batting avg has dropped to .251. Just about what one would expect.