Colorado Rockies: Handing out the midseason awards
By JD Jensen
The last 15 games aside, the Colorado Rockies have been one of the best teams in all of baseball. If the Los Angeles Dodgers were not having a historically great year, Colorado could easily be contending for the division championship. Tons of players have stepped up, putting different players into running for different awards. Here is who earns these awards on the Colorado roster:
Most Valuable Player: Nolan Arenado
The MVP award is not just the best player, but also the one who makes the greatest impact on a team. For the Colorado Rockies, Arenado is both. He has had a great year, posting a .301 average including 17 home runs and 70 RBI. Sure, you could argue Charlie Blackmon has better numbers. But those are stats very few players have in today’s league.
Every MVP needs an iconic moment. Russell Westbrook had the game winning shot the same day he broke the triple doubles record. Mike Trout had his robbed home run where his thigh was level with the top of the fence. And Nolan Arenado captured that on Father’s Day this year.
After coming back in the bottom of the 9th against the San Francisco Giants, Arenado capped of a flawless day with a walk off home run to complete his cycle. In a game that felt very similar to Carlos Gonzalez several years back, that moment is already up with some of the best Rockies moments in history. Nolan Arenado, your 2017 Rockies MVP.
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Gold Glove: Nolan Arenado
Many do not need evidence towards him being the Gold Glove. Nolan has been the best defensive player in baseball, and has put up historical numbers. Arenado has won the Gold Glove for third base every year since he was called up in 2013. With a .988 fielding percentage, he has a better percentage by .015 every year. He is on pace to have the best fielding percentage by a third baseman in MLB history. Enough said.
Cy Young/Rookie of the Year: Kyle Freeland
At only 24 years, and in his first major league year, Kyle Freeland has already captured the Rockies best pitcher this year. Did he get some help with Jon Gray out most of the first half? Yes, most definitely. However you slice it, Freeland has been phenomenal by Rockies standards. He has posted a 3.77 ERA with 65 strikeouts. It may not seem too impressive to see only 5.5 strikeouts every 9 innings. Just simply remember Kyle Freeland is not a power pitcher. He pitches to contact, which has worked up to this point.
Need an iconic moment? Kyle Freeland had one just a couple days ago that will go down in Rockies history as one of the best starts ever, with 8.1 innings with one hit and no runs. It was a monster performance that saw him bring a no-hitter into the ninth inning. The best pitcher in Coors Field this year and the best rookie this year: Kyle Freeland.
Silver Slugger: Charlie Blackmon
Charlie Blackmon has put on a phenomenal first half that found him competing in the Home Run Derby this year. He posted a .319 average in the first half. He is on pace to hit 40 home runs by the end of the year, which would be 11 more than any other year in his career. In other words, he has been absolutely insane this year.
Roberto Clemente Award: Charlie Blackmon
A reporter asked Charlie Blackmon at the Home Run Derby if he felt he fit in at such a large venue of MLB superstars. Charlie awkwardly looked around for a little, before looking the reporter in the eyes and muttered, “No.” Another reporter asked why he was getting walked more than before, and if it had to do with him being the leadoff hitter. He simply said, “I guess I’m trying to be a bit more leadoffy” (No, that is not a word).
During his turn at the Home Run Derby, Blackmon took a timeout. A little girl quickly ran out to give him a towel and gatorade. Charlie stopped the girl from leaving after taking the supplies. He proceeded to have a legit conversation with this girl, saying thank you multiple times and explaining to her that he feels he needs to pick it up. He then said thank you once again and went on to hit more home runs. Why wouldn’t Charlie Blackmon get the Roberto Clemente award?
Rolaids Relief Man: Greg Holland
Holland has been a Blake Street Bomber for only half a year, and he’s already up there with the best relievers in Rockies history. With a 1.62 ERA and an MLB-leading 28 saves, Holland could be the Relief Man for all of baseball, much less the Rockies. In fact, Holland isn’t far away from being one of the best seasons as a closer ever, as he is on pace to have one of the highest amount of saves in MLB history.
Next: Re-ranking Colorado's 40-man roster at the All-Star break
Comeback Player of the Year: Greg Holland
You could call Holland the Comeback Player of the year just because of what he has done coming off of Tommy John surgery. You can also compare his stats from 2015 and he gets the award either way. He has half a season to notch four saves and tie his saves number from an entire year. And I think we all know he’ll get more (knock on wood). Comparing his 3.82 from 2015 as well, and Greg Holland once again shines as the Comeback Player of 2017. At the beginning of the year, people wondered if he’d be more or less valuable than Mike Dunn, who also signed in the offseason. The answer to that question is clearer than ever.