AL MVP Wrap Up

Following up yesterday’s post, I would like to take one last look at the American League MVP.  I’ve already argued that Joe Mauer should win the award, and I now think it likely that he will. Despite my preferences, the reason he will now likely win is because the Twins are still in contention in the last two games of the season, not because his season is recognized as the best. Oh well.
1. Joe Mauer – Will win his third batting title. Leads the league in batting average, OBP, SLG, and OPS, all while playing a solid catcher.
2. Derek Jeter
3. Mark Teixeira – I could easily be talked into flipping these. I give Jeter the upper hand because he is playing a good shortstop this season. I suspect voters will give Teixeira the upper hand because of his power numbers.
4. Miguel Cabrera – Best hitter on what is otherwise a poor team. Fourth in the AL in OPS and has played 157 games to 2nd place Kevin Youkilis’ 134.
5. Zack Greinke – The best pitcher in AL is the nearly the only reason the Royals have won games this year. He leads the AL in wins above replacement, even above Mauer.
6. Kevin Youkilis – Fantastic year, but he has missed a lot due to injuries. He has ended up playing fewer games than Mauer.
7. Alex Rodriguez – 7th in the AL in OPS. Has not been a distraction, and the Yankees are 89-43 since his return in May and only 13-15 before. It helps to be on the same team as #’s 2-3 on my list, but the Yankees have been substantially better with him in the lineup.
8. Kendry Morales – Best player on the team with the AL’s second best record. Only weakness is a mediocre OBP.
9. Ben Zobrist – Easy to forget because of the disappointing Rays season. Has played an excellent 2nd base while maintaining solid hitting numbers all season.
10. Roy Halladay – Consider this consolation for having to put up with the Blue Jays. He has had another excellent and overlooked year. He would have been even more valuable if he had been traded to a team that was actually trying to win.
Least Valuable Player – Alex Rios – Next to last among qualified players in OPS and is third from last in WAR. Too top it off, the Blue Jays let the White Sox take him without receiving any compensation. It was worth it just to get rid of him.

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3 Comments on “AL MVP Wrap Up”

  1. verdun Says:

    Certainly would flip 2 and 3 and also find a place for Sabathia. The big differences for the Yanks this year was the addition of Sabathia and Texeira. Guess I would leave off Halladay, but I do sympathize with your comment about him having to put up with Toronto.

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  3. sportsphd Says:

    My one issue with Teixeira is the overall strength of the first base position at the moment. I put four (Teixeira, Cabrera, Youkilis, and Morales) on my AL ballot and 3 more on the NL (Pujols, Fielder, and Lee.) This is done by leaving out Adrian Gonzalez with the Padres and Carlos Pena, leading the league in home runs with the Rays. While Teixeira is having a good year, it just seems easier to me to find good first basemen than good shortstops.

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