Nobody has surprised more people than Martin Prado
Before the season got underway, I made some bold predictions over at WUOG about how the National League would shake out. Now that we’re at the All-Star Break, lets take a look at just how right (or wrong) I was.
We’ll start with the NL East. You can go back and re-visit my earlier prognosis here.
What I got right:
1. The Atlanta Braves – I picked the Braves to finish second in the division and capture the Wild Card. So far they’ve exceeded that expectation. At the break, the Braves have a 4 game lead on the second-place Mets and own the best record in the National League. I am not totally confident that they can keep up this torrid pace, but I do think that .500 ball in the second half will get them into the playoffs… which is what I predicted.
2. Roy Halladay – Doc has delivered on my prediction of being the best pitcher in the NL East. He’s currently working on a career-best K/BB ratio of 6.74. Halladay is positioning himself well for a run at the NL Cy Young award.
3. Raul Ibanez – I told Phillies fans to be weary of Ibanez returning to Earth after a career year in ’09. Ibanez hasn’t totally hit the tank, but his struggles have been magnified by the fact that producers like Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins have all missed considerable time for the Phillies.
What I got wrong:
1. The New York Mets – I had the Amazin’s penciled in to finish fourth in the division. They currently sit in second place. That’s not to say there isn’t a dropoff in their future, but they’ll be returning Carlos Beltran after the break and they’ll have to find a way to squeeze him in alongside the surprisingly productive Angel Pagan. I still worry about the rotation behind Santana and Pelfrey.
2. Yunel Escobar – The only surprising thing about my pre-season “surprise performer” has been how surprisingly bad he’s been. The glove is there. The arm is there. The bat is not. Escobar heads into the break with 19 RBI, a .238 AVG, .334 OB%, and a .284 SLG%. Worst of all, 0 home runs.
3. Jayson Werth – My division MVP has been good, but not great, for Philadelphia. With all the injuries that the Phillies have had, you’d like to think that he’d step up more.
Mid-season awards: MVP – Martin Prado, RoY – Johnny Venters, Cy Young – Roy Halladay, Surprise: Martin Prado, Disappointment: Yunel Escobar
How the second half will play out: Philly finally gets healthy and gives the Braves a battle down the stretch. Atlanta holds on to win the division, while Philadelphia grabs the wild-card spot. The Mets take a late-season nose-dive while the Marlins hold their own and give the division fits over the final months. The Nationals continue to trudge along in last place.
Order of finish: 1. Atlanta, 2. Philadelphia (WC), 3. New York, 4. Florida, 5. Washington
Division MVP: Martin Prado
Division RoY: Jason Heyward
Division Cy Young: Roy Halladay
Division Surprise: Martin Prado
Division Disappointment: Carlos Beltran