Our editors hand out awards to all 30 MLB clubs at the unofficial halfway point of the 2022 season.Arizona DiamondbacksMVP: Christian WalkerBest Pitcher: Merrill KellyMost Improved: Zach DaviesBest Rookie: Alek ThomasWalker quietly cruising to 22 homers before the All-Star break is pretty impressive, even if he's striking out nearly 20% of the time. On the pitching side, both Kelly and Zac Gallen have been decent, with Kelly edging out his rotation mate with a better ERA and FIP in more innings. In fact, there's a case to be made that the 33-year-old righty has actually been the team's MVP. The brightest spot of the first half, though, has been 22-year-old rookie outfielder Thomas. He's yet to show his full potential at the plate, but racking up seven dingers and four steals over 62 games ain't bad.Atlanta BravesMVP: Austin RileyBest Pitcher: Max FriedMost Improved: Kyle WrightBest Rookie: Michael Harris/Spencer StriderStrider rocketed through the minors to become an invaluable weapon in Atlanta s rotation. The hard-throwing righty has racked up 1.7 fWAR in just 10 starts. His overpowering arsenal has allowed him to register 13.80 K/9 and his transition from the bullpen to the rotation has gone better than anyone could have anticipated. Harris has injected some incredible defense and speed on the base paths, reinforcing the Braves on both sides of the ball.Baltimore OriolesMVP: Ryan MountcastleBest Pitcher: Jorge LopezMost Improved: Jorge MateoBest Rookie: Felix BautistaThe Orioles went from a 110-loss team to a wild-card contender thanks to a big leap from the pitching staff. Baltimore's hurlers accrued the ninth-best fWAR in baseball during the first half, including the third-best mark among relievers. Lopez, the club's lone All-Star, owns a 1.62 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 17 saves, while Bautista possesses a 1.72 ERA with 11 holds. A marked improvement defensively has also helped, as Mateo ranks in the top 10 in defensive runs saved.Boston Red SoxMVP: Rafael DeversBest Pitcher: Michael WachaMost Improved: Christian VazquezBest Rookie: Kutter CrawfordDevers is making a strong case to be an MVP finalist. The star third baseman has amassed the second-most fWAR (4.6) in the majors, the second-most hits (112), and third-best slugging percentage (.601). On the pitching front, Wacha has come out of nowhere to help a rotation that has been missing Chris Sale for almost the entire season. The 31-year-old veteran owns a 2.69 ERA across 13 starts (70 1/3 innings).Chicago CubsMVP: Willson ContrerasBest Pitcher: Scott EffrossMost Improved: David RobertsonBest Rookie: Christopher MorelContreras is almost assuredly in his final days as a Cub, and he's making sure to leave on a high note. He was the easy choice for first-half MVP as their offensive anchor in the midst of a career-best season. Effross, a rookie reliever who rebuilt himself into a sidearming bullpen ace, stood out as the best pitcher on a disappointing staff. The 28-year-old's 43 appearances lead the majors, and his 1.99 FIP is the lowest on his team. Ron Schwane / Getty Images Sport / GettyChicago White SoxMVP: Jose AbreuBest Pitcher: Dylan CeaseMost Improved: Andrew VaughnBest Rookie: Jake BurgerCease might have been the biggest snub at this year's All-Star Game, but MLB's strikeout leader will take home some unofficial hardware here. The 26-year-old has followed up a breakout 2021 campaign with a career year in which he's posted a 2.15 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 12.9 K/9. Cease's emergence as the team's ace has been even more important considering Carlos Rodon's departure and the struggles of Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn.Cincinnati RedsMVP: Brandon Drury Best Pitcher: Luis Castillo Most Improved: Brandon DruryBest Rookie: Alexis DiazDrury's been the surprising star for the lowly Reds. He's one of only two Cincinnati hitters with more than 10 homers and has an OPS above .800 for the first time in his eight-year career. Castillo, the Reds' All-Star representative, is also enjoying a career-best season despite a bit of a late start due to injuries. Diaz has become an important bullpen arm in his rookie season, and is the only Reds reliever striking out more than 10 batters per nine innings.Cleveland GuardiansMVP: Jose RamirezBest Pitcher: Shane BieberMost Improved: Triston McKenzie/Andres GimenezBest Rookie: Oscar GonzalezIt's hard to put into perspective how important Ramirez is for the Guardians. He leads the team in games played, runs, doubles, home runs, RBIs, stolen bases, OBP, slugging, OPS, and fWAR. He's got six more home runs than the next highest player on his club, and 28 more RBIs. His 4.4 fWAR is worth more than the next highest two players (Gimenez, Amed Rosario) combined. Even after signing a five-year, $124-million extension this winter, you could argue he's criminally underpaid in terms of the value he brings.Colorado RockiesMVP: C.J. CronBest Pitcher: Daniel BardMost Improved: Charlie BlackmonBest Rookie: Brian ServenCron bounced around the majors way more than warranted and he's really found a home in Colorado. His 28 homers last year were impressive, but he's on pace to easily cruise past that now, crushing 21 before the break. Even further, his 135 wRC+ would be a career high. Meanwhile, Blackmon has bounced back after disappointing 2020 and 2021 seasons; the veteran outfielder already has more home runs than he hit last year. The pitching has left much to be desired, though, with Daniel Bard almost winning best pitcher by default.Detroit Tigers MVP: Tarik SkubalBest Pitcher: Tarik SkubalMost Improved: Alex LangeBest Rookie: Beau BrieskeSkubal takes home MVP and best pitcher honors due to limited options. He leads the team with 18 starts, a 4.11 ERA, and 102 strikeouts - 48 more than the next highest pitcher. It's been ugly for Detroit on both sides of the ball, but the pitching has definitely been better than the abysmal hitting. Miguel Cabrera leads all qualified hitters with a .670 OPS. Javier Baez leads the team with nine home runs but is slashing .213/.251/.375. The bullpen has been the Tigers' bright spot with Lange, Joe Jimenez, and Gregory Soto deserving honorable mentions. Mary DeCicco / Major League Baseball / GettyHouston AstrosMVP: Yordan AlvarezBest Pitcher: Justin VerlanderMost Improved: Ryne StanekBest Rookie: Jeremy PenaAlvarez is having an MVP-caliber campaign and is one of the most feared hitters in baseball. The 25-year-old leads the majors in OPS and ranks second in the AL in homers and RBIs despite missing more than a week with a sore hand. Houston's slugger is also on pace to break the franchise record for homers (47) set by Jeff Bagwell in 2000.Kansas City RoyalsMVP: Andrew BenintendiBest Pitcher: Scott BarlowMost Improved: Brad KellerBest Rookie: Bobby Witt Jr. Witt had his share of ups and downs through his first 88 games but has shown plenty of flashes as to why he projects to be a future star. He leads the club with 13 homers and 47 RBIs, and sits third in OPS among qualified hitters behind Hunter Dozier and Benintendi.Los Angeles AngelsMVP: Shohei Ohtani Best Pitcher: Shohei Ohtani Most Improved: Taylor WardBest Rookie: Reid DetmersOhtani's narrative last season was that he was doing things baseball had never seen before. Well, the phenom is actually pitching better than he did in 2021, with superior marks in ERA, FIP, WHIP, and K/9. At the plate, he's on pace to produce more RBIs and doubles, and is hitting for a higher average. If Ohtani stays on this trajectory, he would become the first player to win back-to-back MVPs since Miguel Cabrera in 2012 and 2013.Los Angeles DodgersMVP: Freddie FreemanBest Pitcher: Tony GonsolinMost Improved: Tyler Anderson Best Rookie: Ryan PepiotThe rich get richer. The Dodgers were already a team of stars when they added Freeman and now he's been their best player, hitting 13 homers, swiping seven bags, and posting a 159 wRC+. Perhaps most amazing, though, are the contributions from Gonsolin - who has an immaculate 11-0 record with a 2.02 ERA - and Anderson - who has gone from being a journeyman with a 4.62 career ERA to a stalwart in the Dodgers' rotation with a 2.96 ERA.Miami MarlinsMVP: Sandy AlcantaraBest Pitcher: Sandy AlcantaraMost Improved: Jazz Chisholm Jr.Best Rookie: Cody PoteetAlcantara could have a claim to be the first pitcher to win Cy Young and MVP in the same season since 2014. A true throwback, Alcantara is a threat to go the distance each time he takes the ball. The big right-hander leads the league in innings pitched and fWAR, while sitting second in ERA. The Marlins locked up Alcantara to a team-friendly extension before the season. That deal is looking like one that will help Miami for years to come. Milwaukee BrewersMVP: Corbin BurnesBest Pitcher: Corbin BurnesMost Improved: Victor CaratiniBest Rookie: Jason AlexanderPitching continues to rule in Milwaukee. Burnes is making a very good case to repeat as the NL Cy Young winner; the Brewers would simply be lost without him. Caratini, the Brewers' backup catcher, is one of only two hitters on their 40-man roster with an OPS above .800 (minimum 140 plate appearances). That's a career best for the glove-first backstop, making him indispensable on a team desperate for any kind of offense. Milwaukee doesn't have many rookies on its roster, making it difficult to find a standout. Alexander, a 29-year-old journeyman who's finally getting a shot in the majors, is a bit of a default winner here. Brace Hemmelgarn / Getty Images Sport / GettyMinnesota TwinsMVP: Byron BuxtonBest Pitcher: Joe RyanMost Improved: Luis ArraezBest Rookie: Jose MirandaChoosing between Buxton and Arraez wasn't easy, but we'll give Buxton the edge for his power and game-changing defense. The 28-year-old has already established a new career high in homers, and he's played in his most games since 2019. Meanwhile, Arraez is slashing .338/.411/.445 with a team-leading 104 hits and nine more walks than strikeouts. This comes a season after he posted a career-worst .733 OPS.New York MetsMVP: Pete AlonsoBest Pitcher: Edwin DiazMost Improved: David PetersonBest Rookie: Colin Holderman Diaz has righted the ship and is arguably the most dominant reliever in the game. With the Mets having aspirations of winning their first World Series since 1986, Diaz will be expected to shoulder a heavy load down the stretch. He s in position to cash in as a free agent this offseason. The 28-year-old has a staggering 18.08 K/9 and 75 strikeouts in 37 1/3 innings.New York YankeesMVP: Aaron JudgeBest Pitcher: Gerrit ColeMost Improved: Nestor Cortes Best Rookie: Ron MarinaccioJudge has been one of the key driving forces behind a juggernaut Yankees club. The star slugger tied Roger Maris' club-record 33 homers before the All-Star break. New York's rotation was supposed to be a question mark in 2022 but turned into a strength. The emergence of Cortes, who owns a 2.63 ERA with 1.00 WHIP, gives the team a formidable one-two punch with Cole.Oakland AthleticsMVP: Paul BlackburnBest Pitcher: Paul BlackburnMost Improved: Sam MollBest Rookie: A.J. PukBlackburn has been a standout for the rebuilding A's after a rocky journey over the past four seasons, which included surgery to correct a broken forearm. The 28-year-old was named to his first All-Star team after a first half that included a team-leading six wins and 18 starts alongside a 3.62 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.Philadelphia PhilliesMVP: Kyle SchwarberBest Pitcher: Aaron NolaMost Improved: Seranthony DominguezBest Rookie: Darick HallSchwarber has been exactly as advertised in his first season with the Phillies. With Bryce Harper on the shelf for an extended period of time, Schwarber s prodigious power has helped keep the Phillies in the playoff picture. The hulking slugger has taken his turn leading off and is a threat to hit 50-plus homers for the first time in his career.Pittsburgh PiratesMVP: Bryan ReynoldsBest Pitcher: David BednarMost Improved: Jose QuintanaBest Rookie: Jack SuwinskiEven though he's now on the injured list, Reynolds was a no-brainer as the MVP. The 27-year-old has been their best hitter by just about every margin. Bednar, a first-time All-Star, has quietly been one of the best closers in baseball, surrendering just four homers in 43 2/3 innings. Quintana is a Comeback Player of the Year candidate having rediscovered his form after a downright awful 2021. Suwinski's still on the outside of the NL's crowded Rookie of the Year race, but his 14 homers in 250 plate appearances rank second on his team. MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images / MediaNews Group / GettySan Diego PadresMVP: Manny MachadoBest Pitcher: Joe MusgroveMost Improved: Jorge AlfaroBest Rookie: MacKenzie GoreMachado isn't just angling for team MVP honors, he's in the running for the entire NL, helping keep the Tatis-less Padres afloat with an astounding .303/.377/.513 slash line, 15 homers, and seven stolen bases. This is already his most successful campaign by fWAR since joining the Padres four years ago. On the pitching side, Musgrove is pushing for a potential NL Cy Young. The righty was extremely strong in the first half of last year but even better now with a 2.42 ERA in 16 starts.San Francisco GiantsMVP: Joc PedersonBest Pitcher: Carlos RodonMost Improved: Austin SlaterBest Rookie: Luis GonzalezNew recruits Pederson and Rodon lead the way with the former crushing 17 homers and boasting a career-best 135 wRC+ while the latter has continued to show the elite strikeout prowess that made him such a breakout star for the White Sox last year. In fact, only reigning NL Cy Young winner Burnes has a higher strikeout rate in the Senior Circuit. Meanwhile, Slater is now proving that his mind-blowing performance in the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign might not have been an outlier. The 29-year-old outfielder is crushing opponents with a 150 wRC+, buoyed heavily by a .406 OBP (which ranks fourth among hitters with at least 100 plate appearances).Seattle MarinersMVP: Julio RodriguezBest Pitcher: Logan GilbertMost Improved: Erik SwansonBest Rookie: Julio RodriguezRodriguez has been one of baseball's most electric performers, excelling in all aspects of the game. The AL Rookie of the Year front-runner leads first-year players in homers, RBIs, hits, runs, doubles, and steals. He's also playing above-average defense in center field and established himself as a much-watch player following his performance in the Home Run Derby. St. Louis CardinalsMVP: Paul GoldschmidtBest Pitcher: Miles MikolasMost Improved: Miles Mikolas/Ryan HelsleyBest Rookie: Brendan DonovanGoldschmidt is the front-runner in the NL MVP race after turning in a dominant first half. Mikolas' resurgence as an All-Star has been critical to the Cardinals; he's a workhorse, owns a WHIP below one, and is walking very few batters. He also shares the Most Improved honors with Helsley, a first-time All-Star in the bullpen who's gone from average reliever to nearly untouchable - only three earned runs allowed in 39 innings. Donovan's on-base abilities and versatility make him stand out as the best of several very good Cardinals rookies.Tampa Bay RaysMVP: Shane McClanahanBest Pitcher: Shane McClanahanMost Improved: Isaac ParedesBest Rookie: Shane BazMcClanahan is the favorite to win the AL Cy Young thanks to a monster first half, posting a 1.71 ERA with 0.79 WHIP and 147 strikeouts over 18 starts (110 2/3 innings). The Rays also continue to turn water into wine. Paredes went deep 13 times in 51 games after two homers over 57 contests with the Tigers.Texas RangersMVP: Corey SeagerBest Pitcher: Martin PerezMost Improved: Jonah HeimBest Rookie: Brock BurkePerez has been one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season. The southpaw's 2.4 fWAR is already a career high and his 2.68 ERA and 3.13 FIP are far better than his previous career highs. The veteran lefty also leads qualified Rangers starters in wins and innings pitched while giving up a career-low 0.6 HR/9.Toronto Blue JaysMVP: Alejandro KirkBest Pitcher: Alek ManoahMost Improved: Alejandro KirkBest Rookie: Max CastilloKirk and Manoah emerged as the biggest contributors on an underachieving club. The former turned into an All-Star catcher thanks to a .315/.395/.487 slash line with 11 homers over 83 games, while the latter amassed a 2.28 ERA with 0.95 WHIP over 18 starts (114 2/3 innings). The 24-year-old right-hander holds a .760 winning percentage since entering the majors last season.Washington NationalsMVP: Josh BellBest Pitcher: Josiah GrayMost Improved: Carl Edwards Jr.Best Rookie: Joan AdonBell has been more consistent than Juan Soto so far this season and will be a huge trade chip for the Nationals ahead of the deadline. The switch-hitting slugger paces the Nats in fWAR and RBIs while sitting second in wRC+ and home runs. There wasn't much competition in the best rookie department.Copyright © 2022 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.