Friday, September 17, 2010

Phillies 2010 Team Awards

Phillies 2010 Team Awards: In my Opinion

MVP: I'm excluding pitchers from this category because they have their own. This is just too tough to call. Co-MVP's: Placido Polanco and Carlos Ruiz.

It's been an up and down season for the Phillies, with injuries and inconsistent play at the plate. But two men stayed rock solid despite a few minor injuries.

Polanco is currently hitting .300, down from the area of .320 where he hit most of the season. But Polanco has been consistent at the plate and in the field. He puts the ball in play, comes up with clutch hit after clutch hit, leads the team in batting average and has made just four errors at third base, none at second. He answered all concerns that the transition from second to third wouldn't be a smooth one by playing a gold glove caliber hot corner.

Ruiz, or choooch as he's affectionately known by the fans, is a rock behind the plate. He handles the pitching staff to perfection, and comes through time and time again by blocking the plate, throwing out runners or blocking that famous Brad Lidge slider in the dirt. But Ruiz, who's flourished at the plate in the post-season the last few seasons, transitioned his consistent bat into a full year. Batting a career high .299, Ruiz has also been one of the team's best clutch hitters. Charlie Manuel gains more confidence in Ruiz at the plate everyday after he used to pinch-hit for Ruiz in key spots.

While Polanco solidifies the top of the order and the infield, Ruiz does the same with the bottom of the order and the pitching staff. The team would not be in first place right now if not for their co-MVP's.

Cy Young: This couldn't be more obvious. Roy Halladay not only unanimously takes the title here, he may win the NL Cy Young as well. Halladay is currently tied with CC Sabathia more most wins in Major League Baseball at 19. He leads the NL in strikeouts. His ERA (2.49) is as low as it's been to close a season since 2005. He's likely to reach 20 wins for just the third time in his career. Halladay has been as dominant as they come on the mound this season, and easily takes the Cy Young award while many would consider him the team MVP as well.

Comeback Player of the Year: Brad Lidge. After a horrendous 2009 campaign which saw him blow 11 saves and post a career high ERA over seven, Lidge is back to form on the mound. He's lowered his ERA to 3.49 and has saved 22 out of 27 situations. After getting off to a slow start this season, Lidge has summoned the demons of his dominant 2008 year. He's saved 12 of his last 13 opportunities while posting a .052 ERA during that stretch. If the Phillies look to make another deep post-season run, Lidge will need to retain the form which earns him the Phillies Comeback Player of the Year.

5 Tool Player: I made this one up, but it goes to the player who best exemplfies all five tools. Shane Victorino has done it all. He's third on the team in home runs (17), fourth in doubles (24), first in triples (10), fourth in RBI (65), sixth in walks (46), first in stolen bases (32), first in fielding percentage (.994), first among outfielders in assists (8) and first among outfielders in putouts (329). He's done it with the bat, his legs, his arm and his glove and that's why Victorino has been best at using all five tools.

Unsung Hero: Wilson Valdez has been called upon much more than anticipated. In a season decimated by injuries for Jimmy Rollins, Valdez has filed in admirably. He's played 48 games at shortstop, 39 at second base and 6 at third. He's made just two errors at short, one at third and none at second. Rollins has impossible shoes to fill in his ability to play shortstop, but Valdez has come just about as close as possible while fielding tremendously in the infield this season. Anything he's done at the plate has just been a bonus, but Valdez is hitting .253 with a career high four home runs (he'd hit one in his career prior to 2010), 31 RBI, 12 doubles and four stolen bases without being caught. He's helped fill the gap left by Rollins' absence and has contributed to this team's success beyond what shows up in the box scores.

Gold Gloves: A number of players could win the NL gold glove, but let's pick the three best: Victorino, Ruiz and Polanco.

Silver Slugger: Ryan Howard is most likely the only silver slugger award winner from the Phillies this season, and even he may not win it. Utley is usually a perennial winner, but at just .274 with 15 home runs, he's not at all likely to repeat his crown.

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