Pittsburgh Pirates’ awards at the midway point

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Jun 26, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder

Andrew McCutchen

(22) reacts after scoring the game winning run against the Atlanta Braves during the tenth inning at PNC Park. The Pirates won 3-2 in ten innings. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Most Valuable Player – Andrew McCutchen

Runner-Up – Francisco Cervelli

The face of the franchise, Mr. Andrew McCutchen, is a most-worthy winner of the Pirates’ first half MVP award. If you believe in pitchers receiving the award, you could make a case for Cole or Burnett, but neither has been dominant enough to compare to McCutchen’s overall performance, and neither has the play of any other position player. He’ll be a starting outfielder at the all-star game, and for good reason.

McCutchen could have been a candidate for the least valuable player at the quarter-pole mark after his woeful April. But he’s been one of the best players in all of baseball since that point and has been the most consistent offensive performer for the team this year. He’s currently a point away from batting .300 and is on pace for the most RBIs of his career. He leads the Pirate offense in RBIS, OBP, slugging percentage, OPS, and offensive WAR, and has made his early season struggles and injury concerns evaporate into thin air.

The runner-up for this award was Francisco Cervelli. While he didn’t make the all-star team, he probably deserved to, as he leads the league in defensive runs saved (according to StatCorner) and led the team in batting average for much of the season. The catcher position is so vital to every team, and his work with the second-best pitching staff in baseball, his strong offensive numbers, and his work defensively behind the dish make him a worthy second-place finisher.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are in a good place after 81 games. While the team currently sits 5.5 games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central, the two teams have a pivotal four-game series between them this upcoming weekend. It’ll be exciting to see where Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen finish among the league voting for NL Cy Young and the NL MVP at the end of the year, respectively, and it will be just as intriguing to see if the Pirates try to upgrade over Jeff Locke or add a right-handed bat at first base. In any case, it’s going to be one hell of a second half of the season.

Next: Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 mid-season review