The Seattle Mariners have reached the unofficial halfway point of the 2019 season. And while the downs may have outnumbered the ups, there are still players who should be recognized.
The Seattle Mariners are not a good team this year, their record is a clear indicator of that. But there are actually some quality players up and down the roster. While we take a few days off from watching the team as a whole, we should continue to look at each player individually.
So without further ado, let’s hand out some totally mediocre and ultimately unimportant awards. Today, we will hand out 3 of these awards, crowning an MVP, a Cy Young, and Unsung Hero.
MVP- Daniel Vogelbach
It may seem obvious that the teams only All-Star is also the team MVP, but it isn’t as cut and dry here. Domingo Santana wrapped up a first-half that saw him record more than 100 hits with 18 home runs and 63 RBI. The defense has been a disaster this season, but those numbers will get you into the conversation any year.
Omar Narvaez is also a solid choice. The young catcher has already posted a career-high in home runs without sacrificing any of the OBP skill that made him valuable in the first place. He has also improved his defense while trying to manage 32 different arms who have thrown a pitch for the Mariners this season.
But at the end of the day, Vogelbach’s 21 home runs, 61 walks, and nearly .900 OPS was too much to ignore. Vogelbach was finally given a chance for consistent PAs this year, and thus far, has shown that he can be a productive big leaguer and is on pace for a 3.5-4.0 fWAR season.
Vogelbach edges out other players on both fWAR and bWAR scale, and as such, earns the MVP of the first half.
Cy Young Award- Marco Gonzales
Guys, Marco Gonzales had a really good first half. It may not seem like it by looking at his overall numbers, but he has basically been the same the pitcher as he was in 2018. The 4.24 ERA in 20 starts may seem unspectacular, but let’s assume that ERA is actually a reliable stat at all and take a closer look.
During back to back starts, Gonzales surrendered 16 runs in 8.2 innings to the Cubs and Angels. Each start was a disaster and led many to begin to wonder if Gonzales could actually repeat his 2018 numbers. Well, in his other 18 starts, Gonzales has posted a 3.23 ERA and his WHIP drops from 1.35 to 1.27.
Look, if Marco is the Cy Young of the staff in 2021, you’re probably in trouble. But Gonzales is a solid #3 or #4 starter and at 27-years-old, he can still get a little better. Mike Leake gives Marco a run for his money, but Marco has just been a little bit more consistent.
Unsung Hero: Tommy Milone
There are have been a few pleasant surprises, but none as consistent and important as Tommy Milone. In a season with numerous pitching injuries and issues, Milone has done nothing but stabilize the back end of the rotation and given his team a chance to win nearly every time out.
His 3.56 ERA, 4.14 FIP, and 0.6 fWAR in just 9 games are all impressive for a minor league free agent signing that received very little fanfare. Milone has also done a decent job of missing bats, posting a surprising 8.25 K/9, which is a career-high.
Milone has been so good, that there is even a chance the Mariners could flip him this month in trade, something that seemed unthinkable when he was called up. He has been everything Jerry Dipoto and Scott Servais could have hoped for and more.
Milone has done everything possible to keep his rotation spot if he isn’t dealt and has been a stabilizing force in the middle of the rotation. Milone has been a Godsend for Seattle and as such, is our Unsung Hero Award winner.
There we have it, 3 awards for 3 players who are having good years in the middle of a difficult 2019. But 2 of these players are likely to be around for the long haul, and Seattle fans have to like that. The future is bright in Seattle, and fans should see even more of the picture in the second half of 2019.