Well, it is now the All-Star break and you know what that means, time to dish out some awards for our New York Yankees. On the season, we sit at a comfortable 52-33 which not only has us in first in the AL East, but gives us the best record in the MLB so far. We have a huge collection of talent on our team. Everything from the offense to the bullpen has been clicking and I see no reason as to why it will die down in the second-half of the season. Here at Yanks Go Yard, we voted on who we think is deserving of certain awards and here are the results of that voting:
Best Offensive Player: Robinson Cano
It’s no surprise that Cano won this award unanimously. Cano’s power has been absolutely tremendous ever since his debut and 2012 only adds to his fantastic career. On the season, Cano is batting .313 with 20 home runs, 51 RBIs, 57 runs scored and an on base percentage of .374. Even with runners on, Cano is batting .292 with 39 RBIs. Batting with runners on is a category that the Yankees have struggled with, unless it’s been the long ball, but Cano seems to be unfazed by it. Cano’s production is something that never waivers which makes him all the more valuable.
Best Defensive Player: Mark Teixeira
The best thing about Tex is that defensively, he’s one of the greatest in the game at his position. Tex is a four-time Gold Glove Winner and adds to the Yankees’ entire Gold Glove infield. On the season, Tex has only committed one error at first, and even then, it was one that had to be reviewed. The error happened when a ball was hit off of first base and Tex was thrown off by the direction of the ball. He has a.999 fielding percentage inside 690 innings played with 698 total chances.
Best Starter: CC Sabathia
This vote was very close between Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda. Ever since his debut, Sabathia has earned himself the unofficial title of being a workhorse. His efforts out on the mound are clearly evident of that. Sabathia is a Cy Young Award winner and a six-time All-Star. This season, Sabathia is 9-3 with an ERA of 3.45 and 105 strikeouts inside of 107 innings pitched. Sabathia does one of two things (or both usually), he either goes long into a game, as he averages somewhere around seven innings or at a minimum keeps his team in the game. Sabathia has done both throughout his career in New York. He’s even thrown a complete game this season and has easily been the Yankees’ most consistent starter since we acquired him.
Best Reliever: Rafael Soriano
So it turns out 2010 wasn’t a fluke for Soriano and thank goodness for that. With the season-ending injury to Mariano Rivera, the Yankees’ constant role of the closer was in full panic mode. Joe Girardi tested out David Robertson for the role, but soon Robertson would land on the 15-day disabled list. With how rocky Soriano’s 2011 season was, a lot of Yankees fans held their breath as Soriano was announced the closer. Much to our surprise, Soriano has pitched well in the closer role and has seemed to become more comfortable in each outing. On the year, Soriano has picked up 20 saves with a 1.60 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 36 appearances. He’s also only blown one save the entire season. Soriano is definitely looking like the pitcher that Brian Cashman had his eye on and spent $35 million for.
Best Clutch Hitter: Raul Ibanez
This vote was also a tad close, but the voting process decided that Ibanez stood above the rest. The one clutch hitter the Yankees always fell back on was Jorge Posada, but sadly, he’s no longer in baseball. Now, who do the Yankees have to turn to? Well, from what he’s shown us, Ibanez is that guy. With Brett Gardner still out, Ibanez has taken over left field (with Andruw Jones stepping in at times) and has done a pretty decent job. On the season, Ibanez is batting .240 with 11 home runs and 36 RBIs. With runners in scoring position, Ibanez is batting .234 with 25 RBIs. While the average may not be that pretty, Ibanez is a pretty clutch hitter with runners on and is even batting .273 when he is used as a pinch hitter.
Best Clutch Pitcher: Boone Logan
With so many guys doing well not only in the rotation, but in the bullpen, we at Yanks Go Yard stood divided on this issue also. However, Logan was our answer and this award came well deserved. Logan is the second left handed pitcher in the bullpen. Don’t let Logan’s 3.77 ERA fool you. Yes, lately he’s been getting into some jams, but overall, his 2012 has been solid. He currently has 11 holds on the season inside of 43 appearances. He’s also picked up a save and has not blown a save as well. Logan adds a lot to the bullpen being left-handed and Girardi goes to him more often than not.
Best Performer Overall: Cano
Well, what else is there to say? Cano offensively packs a punch that is unmatched and his defense is so smooth. His offense was mentioned earlier, but there’s a lot more to him, especially defensively. On the year, Cano has only committed four errors inside of 725 total chances and holds a fielding percentage of .989. His defense really is stellar and he just adds so much to the team on both sides of the ball. Cano’s WAR for 2012 sits at 4.2 currently, which is higher than any other Yankee this season. Cano’s name always seems to be mentioned come September for the AL MVP and clearly we know why.
Well, these are our awards for the Yankees for the first half. Were these choices the same as yours or did they differ? Make sure to check out our awards at the end of the season to see if our list for the first-half changes at all.