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San Francisco Giants: Who Should Win the Willie Mac Award?

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 24: Hunter Pence #8 of the San Francisco Giants is congratulated by teammates after hitting a two run walk off double against the San Diego Padres during the eleventh inning at AT&T Park on June 24, 2018 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the San Diego Padres 3-2 in 11 innings. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 24: Hunter Pence #8 of the San Francisco Giants is congratulated by teammates after hitting a two run walk off double against the San Diego Padres during the eleventh inning at AT&T Park on June 24, 2018 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the San Diego Padres 3-2 in 11 innings. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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San Francisco Giants
OAKLAND, CA – JULY 20: Dereck Rodriguez #57 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on July 20, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

Dereck Rodriguez

D-Rod has been the MVP of the 2018 season and it’s not particularly close.

He has pitched as well as any pitcher in the National League in the second half of the season, including Jacob deGrom. His 2.30 ERA is second best in the NL among pitchers with at least 100 innings.

He has pitched as well as any rookie pitcher in baseball, including the Dodgers Walker Buehler and the St. Louis Cardinals Jack Flaherty. Buehler and Flaherty are former first-round picks who are living up to the hype. Rodriguez was drafted in the sixth round as an outfielder.

In fact, you can make the case that Rodriguez should win the Rookie of the Year award.

The son of former Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez did not even begin pitching professionally until 2013 and was signed as a minor league free agent by the Giants in the off-season.

Arguably General Manager Bobby Evans best transaction since he took over in 2015, Rodriguez has become a staple of the rotation for years to come.

Rodriguez was called up May 29th and he has been the rock of the rotation ever since. Fourteen of his 19 starts have gone six innings or more. After allowing five runs in 2 2/3 innings in his third major league start, Rodriguez has allowed three or fewer runs in sixteen straight starts.

His 2.8 Wins Above Replacement leads the team and his unique story might be worth even more.

If this award goes to the player who had the best season, it will be an easy choice.

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