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Cleveland Indians First Half Player Awards

The All-Star Break is a time to reflect on the first half of the season and look ahead to the three months of baseball that still remain. In that spirit, 17 Indians writers representing seven different sites took the time to offer their thoughts on the state of the Tribe, the ups and downs of the first half, and what’s still to come in the second.

In celebration of the All-Star Game, we continue the results festivities today with our first-half player awards: best hitter, best fielder, best pitcher, biggest breakout star, biggest disappointment, and MVP.

And we start off with a close one. Jason Kipnis barely edges out Shin-Soo Choo for the best bat honors, though neither is able to earn a majority.

Opinion isn’t split so much on this one as Casey Kotchman runs away with the voting. Interesting that UZR actually has him as a below-average fielder in 2012; we seem to be of the opinion that the sabermetric defensive stats don’t do Kotchman justice. Also noteworthy is that Asdrubal Cabrera, who the fans named the best fielder in baseball last year, got only one of 17 votes.

For all the talk about the Tribe’s bullpen struggles, we sure aren’t worried about the back end. Throw in the unlisted vote—I wasn’t sure how to classify The Cleveland Fan‘s Ed Carroll‘s three-way split vote between Joe Smith, Vinnie Pestano, and Chris Perez—and 14 of 17 say the team’s heretofore best arm is in the bullpen.

A commanding lead for Kipnis here, especially considering Carroll’s note on his ballot that he picked Michael Brantley only because he thought Kipnis “broke out” last year. To Brantley’s credit, he got more support here than he did anywhere else.

Carlos Santana‘s unfortunate mandate here makes this the biggest blowout in this round of voting, though I imagine the results would have been very different a few weeks ago before Santana’s slump exacerbated and Ubaldo Jimenez started to rebound. Also, we really must not have had high hopes for Grady Sizemore if after missing the entire first half he can rank as so much less disappointing than a catcher who’s put up respectable numbers for his position.

Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for:

And Kipnis comes out on top, followed by Choo, Cabrera, and a single vote for Brantley (WaitingForNextYear‘s Craig Lyndall, who was also his lone supporter for best hitter). Looks about right to me.

So how did we do?

Who is Cleveland's first-half MVP?

  • Jason Kipnis (70%, 45 Votes)
  • Shin-Soo Choo (17%, 11 Votes)
  • Someone else (9%, 6 Votes)
  • Asdrubal Cabrera (4%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 64

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Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera Casey Kotchman Chris Perez Grady Sizemore Jason Kipnis Joe Smith Michael Brantley Shin Soo Choo Ubaldo Jimenez Vinnie Pestano

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