And the Winner Is ...

SI picks baseball's best in the first half
July 03, 2011

AL MVP: ADRIAN GONZALEZ

Red Sox 1B

Remember what everyone thought would happen once Gonzalez (left)got away from San Diego's tepid lineup and capacious ballpark? It's happening. He's batting an MLB-high .361 with a 1.026 OPS and is on pace for a career-high 150 RBIs.

RUNNER-UP: Jose Bautista, Blue Jays RF

AL CY YOUNG: JUSTIN VERLANDER

Tigers RHP

Verlander (10--3, 2.38 ERA, an AL-best 124 Ks) hasn't lost a game since April, but even more important to the first-place Tigers has been the way he's won: He has gone at least eight innings in eight of his last 10 starts.

RUNNER-UP: Jered Weaver, Angels RHP

AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: MICHAEL PINEDA

Mariners RHP

Pineda, 22, entered spring as Seattle's potential fifth starter, but he has been nothing short of its ace. Pineda's 2.45 ERA and 8.84 strikeouts per nine tops a staff that features Felix Hernandez and a resurgent Erik Bedard.

RUNNER-UP: Jeremy Hellickson, Rays RHP

NL MVP: PRINCE FIELDER

Brewers 1B

Even if Albert Pujols were healthy, he might no longer be the best free-agent-to-be first baseman in his own division. Fielder (left) is tied for the NL lead in home runs (21), leads in RBIs (68) and is aiming for both his first .300 season (he's at .305) and first NL Central crown.

RUNNER-UP: Matt Kemp, Dodgers CF

NL CY YOUNG: COLE HAMELS

Phillies LHP

The best No. 4 starter in baseball history has nine wins, one less than teammate Roy Halladay's league-leading total, and has nearly as good an ERA (2.49 to 2.40), but has been significantly less hittable: He's allowed just 86 hits in 112 innings, and his WHIP of 0.96 leads the NL.

RUNNER-UP: Halladay

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: DANNY ESPINOSA

Nationals 2B

Espinosa, 24, leads all rookies—including more heralded prospects such as the Braves' Freddie Freeman—in RBIs (47), home runs (14) and OPS (.788). He's also played a stellar defense for the surprising Nationals.

RUNNER-UP: Craig Kimbrel, Braves closer

PHOTOADAM HUNGER/REUTERS (GONZALEZ) PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (FIELDER)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)