We find ourselves at the halfway point of the 2023 MLB season, and the Miami Marlins are currently not only in second place in the NL East, but 13 games over .500 and holding one of the NL Wild Cards spots. This is a situation that has been nothing short of a dream come true for general manager Kim Ng and company down in Miami.
In honor of the halfway point, it’s time for some team awards:
I mean, come on. I feel like this is quite obvious. Who else could it be outside of Luis Arraez? An offseason acquisition by Miami that was under a level of scrutiny for the seemingly hefty cost it took to acquire him, and he has delivered tenfold on our expectations. Arraez is currently fighting to be the first batter since Ted Williams in 1941 to hit .400 on the season. Not to mention, he’s doing this with a 158 wRC+. In the leadoff spot alone, Arraez is hitting .432 with a .475 OBP. I mean, what more can you ask from a leadoff hitter? To put more emphasis on it, Arraez is at 3.5 bWAR, putting him on pace for a 7 bWAR season, the highest by a Marlin since Giancarlo Stanton’s MVP season, which held a 6.9 bWAR. What Luis Arraez is doing in Miami is unheard of, and has become the most influential and valuable player for the Marlins this season.
Luis Arráez, Home Run and Elite Bat Flip 🔥🔥🔥
His batting average right now is .401! pic.twitter.com/ZjKKu4BGeg
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) June 24, 2023
This was a bit of a tough question. If you asked me at the start of the season, I would’ve said there’s no doubt in my mind it’s Sandy Alcantara. However, after struggles to begin the season, you’re looking elsewhere. With that in mind, especially after his recent stretch, I have to go with Braxton Garrett. Garrett was someone who, after a rough Spring Training, wasn’t even slotted in the rotation. Garrett stepped in due to injuries, and man, did he step in. This season, Braxton is having career bests in ERA (3.53), FIP (3.27), WHIP (1.12), K’s per 9 (10.1), BB per 9 (1.7) and more. Not to mention, Braxton currently leads the entire MLB in BB per 9 and K per BB (6.13). If you erase his singular start against the Braves on May 3rd (4.1 IP, 11 ER), Braxton’s ERA shrinks even lower to 2.44. The former first round pick has come around in a huge way for the Marlins.
Braxton Garrett since 5/8
55.1 IP, 38 H, 15 ER, 10 BB, 70 K's (2.44 ERA) pic.twitter.com/bQJ5MQV1xj
— Louis Addeo-Weiss (@addeo_louis00) June 29, 2023
Rookie of the Year
Okay, just like MVP, this is a runaway train. 20 year old pitcher phenom, Eury Pérez, has taken the league by storm. Eury is a pitcher who wasn’t even expected to pitch in the majors, yet he skipped AAA altogether to come up and absolutely shove. Eury Pérez currently holds a 1.34 ERA with a 0.979 WHIP, in addition to a 2.2 bWAR. Reminder – Eury is just only 20 years old. He’s currently on a 21 inning scoreless streak, including 24 K’s in his last 18 innings. The only downside is Pérez has currently matched his career high in innings pitched (78), so how the Marlins handle the young pitcher for the rest of the season remains to be seen. But for now, there are no words that can describe the talent that Eury has and hopefully his contributions will remain in Miami for a long, long time.
Eury Pérez with a 100 Mph Fastball to finish the inning.
— Andrés Bolívar (@AndreesBolivar) June 25, 2023
Reliever of the Year
This pick brings me so much joy, as he’s been one of my personal favorite relievers prior to his debut last year. With that being said, Andrew Nardi. The Nardi Party. The Nard Dog. Nardi is a power southpaw who has been absolutely clutch in every way this season for Miami. He has stranded 25 inherited runners, which is the most in the NL. He has 3 pitches out of the pen, one of which is a devastating slider thrown 40% of the time, resulting in a 37% Whiff Rate. Nardi also wins the award for best hair and mustache, but that’s for another time. Miami needed Nardi to take the leap from last season, where he held a miserable 9.82 ERA in his first 13 appearances and he has done that and more. With a lockdown closer in AJ Puk also on the team, naming Nardi as the Reliever of the Year is quite the honor.
Andrew Nardi mows down 3 straight righty batters in the 11th to keep this game tied!!! pic.twitter.com/QVroMvasmS
— Fish On First (@FishOnFirst) June 24, 2023