Without question New York Yankees Curtis Granderson is having an MVP worthy season, but the odds are stacked that he won’t win it.
The one reason being that the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) has not voted an AL player the MVP with a below .300 average since Alex Rodriguez won the honor posting a .298 back in 2003. Before A-rod, it was California Angels Don Baylor who won in 1979 with a .296 average.
That makes me believe that Granderson’s .271 average is just not going to cut it, which is completely insane in my opinion.
Also the fact that Granderson is a Yankee probably doesn’t help his campaign either; and in the end he will not muster enough votes to win an award he rightly has earned.
Granderson is leading all the Majors in runs (126) and RBIs (109). Not to mention he is second overall in home-runs with 38, is fourth in slugging with .575, ninth in OPS (on-base plus slugging) with .948 and tenth in walks drawing 77 so far. Granderson also has 24 steals on the season.
Another stat that I found interesting was that Granderson has clocked 609 at-bats (as of 09/06), which ranks 15th most in baseball, and tied with Texas Rangers Michael Young. Big deal right…but than I saw that Granderson has made pitchers throw a total of 2724, which is the most in the Majors.
Call me crazy but that translates into Granderson making pitchers have to work the hardest when he is at the plate. Sounds pretty MVP-like to me??
So, why batting average is an invalid excuse?
Just because batting average (BA) is the most recognizable hitting statistic, it is not the only way to test a hitter and can be unfairly interpreted.
For example, power hitters habitually strikeout more, which is the reason for their more modest batting averages. Still this is without taking into consideration that these power bats subsidize this by hitting a lot of extra base hits, which are more effective in scoring runs.
So when assessing a power hitter, slugging percentage (SLG) is the superior statistic in determining real value because it factors in the number of bases achieved by each hit, instead of seeing all hits as equal.
After slugging, on base percentage (OBP) is another stat that more accurately measures a hitter’s ability to get on base by incorporating getting hit by a pitch and walks in addition to hits.
Who will win the 2011 AL MVP Award?
If I had to bet my life on it, the AL MVP will be Boston Red Sox’s Adrian Gonzalez.
I am not to saying Gonzalez shouldn’t be in the MVP discussion, but he should not win the award.
Not only Granderson, but also Gonzalez’s teammate Jacoby Ellsbury is more worthwhile of being this years MVP. Ellsbury has 38 steals to Gonzalez’s one, and has more home-runs with 24. Ellsbury also has only struck out 89 times, where Gonzalez has been fanned 105.
The reason Gonzalez will unjustly get the nod over his teammate is because he has a .342 batting average, where Ellsbury is posting a .312.
Obviously if my predictions becomes the truth, than the MVP award voters are without question swayed by what the average baseball fan deems a praiseworthy, as it keeps it simple and in turn fans feel involved.
Only time will tell, but if true this just totally inexcusable and makes baseball appear desperate.
- New York Yankees: I Want My, I Want My, I Want My MVP (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- Curtis Granderson vs. Jacoby Ellsbury: Who’s the Real AL MVP? (bleacherreport.com)
- Hartnett: Weighing Up MVP Credentials Of Yankees’ Slugger Curtis Granderson (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Is Jose Bautista the Front-Runner in the AL MVP race? (bleacherreport.com)
- Adrian Gonzalez Once Again the Favorite for American League MVP Award? (rantsports.com)
- Jacoby Ellsbury a Candidate for AL MVP Award (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)
- More valuable: Ellsbury or Granderson? (boston.com)
- On Baseball: Blue Jays’ Bautista and Yankees’ Granderson Discuss M.V.P. Criteria (nytimes.com)
- August Report Cards (timesunion.com)