May 30, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) is greeted by teammates after hitting a three-run home run against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Who is your first half MVP for the Detroit Tigers?
Matt Snyder: It’s between Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera, but I’ll go with Cabrera. This has been his “worst” year of the last five seasons yet he finds himself on pace for more than a 6 WAR final mark. 7 WAR isn’t out of reach either if he has a hot second half.
Chris Hannum: First half MVP is Victor Martinez, this is not much of a shot in the dark.
Michael Emmerich: Ian Kinsler. He does almost everything well and when he hits the Tigers win. I didn’t expect him to be on pace to hit 20 home runs, not at his age and in this ballpark. The only hole in his game is his BB%, which is the worst of his career–by a factor of two. That can be a problem when you’re hitting in front of Cabrera and Martinez. But overall he’s been fantastic. He leads the Tigers in WAR.
Grant Stoye: Honestly? JD Martinez. Yes, Victor has been playing out of his mind, and yes, Cabrera could realistically make yet another run at a Triple Crown, but so far JD has been a reclamation project the likes of which are only seen in Toronto. He’s stepped up where a lot of hitters have occasionally punked out.
Tom Zahari: Victor Martinez, Ian Kinsler, and Miguel Cabrera are my top three, and I will give it to Victor. Martinez is having the best season of his career with 21 HR, 55 RBI and a .328/.391/.599 split. He also has 2 steals this season, a career high. His career bests in each of those categories are 25 HR, 114 RBI, and .330/.391/.505. Hopefully he can get healthy soon so he can continue his tear through the American League.
Blair Tatrault: Victor Martinez. He’s been raking since day one and the only thing that’s stopped him is a sore side. His power numbers are beyond impressive, and he’s provided ample protection for Cabrera.
Matt Pelc: With all apologies to Rick Porcello, Victor Martinez, and Ian Kinsler—all very deserving of this honor, I believe it is J.D. Martinez. Once he got hot, the team really started to break out of its 9-20 doldrums. He has provided something we all feared the lineup would lack: power.
Josh Scramlin: A few names really stick out to me here (Kinser, JD, Vmart, Anibal), but in the end it would have to be Victor Martinez. The man has been good all year long and rarely disappoints when at the plate. And while seeing J.D. Martinez revitalize his career and put up so many extra base hits is great, I think Victor takes the cake at the first half MVP. It’ll be interesting to see how his injury is handled and how much time he loses.
Sam O’Toole: J.D. Martinez. His hot bat, along with the other two mainstays in the middle of the order, pulled the Tigers out of the “Zubaz” slump, helping the team regain the AL Central lead. The 26-year-old has the best slash line on the team (.337/..373/.652) and has been getting some recognition over the past couple of weeks. I don’t expect this to continue, but his bat has carried the Tigers lately.
Josie Parnell: Victor Martinez. But it could be any number of players. The younger Martinez could be considered, as could Kinsler. I pick Victor because of the way he stepped up and came through with timely hits when the Tigers’ superstar was struggling. Plus, he’s Victor Martinez.