- Adrian Beltre
- Robinson Cano
- Josh Hamilton
- Felix Hernandez
- Cliff Lee
Many seem to be in support of Josh Hamilton as the AL MVP. And I do understand why, but I have my reasons — well, reason — why I chose him 3rd. And it is because of his monster home/road splits. It’s difficult for me to *know* that a player was truly the best, when his numbers in a known hitter friendly park, greatly exceed his road numbers. If one believes, he was the best player, then so be it. I can definitely talk myself into it. But being 122 percentage points better — in terms of wOBA — well, it’s just hard for me to think that Texas didn’t play a large role in his hitting success this year.
As for Beltre being 1? Well, it could go to any of probably 5 or 6 players this year, and I would be content. I saw for my own eyes how great Beltre was. And I kept waiting for him to regress — as I thought he would — and everyone else thought he would. But he didn’t. He played good defense, even after a shaky start out there, error-wise. And he hit A TON. Seeing him really doesn’t impact my voting much, those who have read me in the past know this. Neither does exceeding the production that we all expected. It is all about who the best player is, and Beltre was clearly up there with the rest of them. And if you care about this sort of stuff…He was an awesome player while injury after injury kept mounting up around him, hindering the teams chances on making the playoffs.
Robinson Cano was my MVP nearly all year long. But he tailed off a tad. I still don’t trust the defensive metrics a ton, as they say he was basically average (UZR). One year of UZR is not the be all, end all. He appears to get to a decent amount of balls, turns the double play well. And makes the part look quite easily, actually. Cano has made strides on the defensive side of the ball throughout the early years of his career. But then again, he has made strides offensively as well.
I had to include Felix in there as well. He was the best pitcher in the AL, and yes, a pitcher should be in the discussion for MVP.
Cliff Lee? Look at his K/BB. Yea, incredible. Really, really incredible.
Beltre is my choice, as seen above. But this award is really a toss-up as far as I am concerned.