When people think of the Chicago Cubs' possible team MVPs, many names come to mind: Derrek Lee, Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, and even Geovany Soto are all valid candidates for the most valuable Cub.
Amongst these superstar names, it is rare that the name Ryan Theriot is brought up. The quiet leader and role player may not have the star power that these others have, but when it comes down to it, The Riot may be more valuable to the Cubs than anyone.
While Theriot doesn't hit home runs or drive in 100 RBI per year, he has something else going for him that few other Cubs can claim.
Consistent offensive production has been a major team goal (and weakness) for the Cubs, and no one demonstrates consistent play better than the Riot. So far this year, Theriot is hitting .315 with three HR and 13 RBI.
His 13 RBI total is good for third on the team despite the fact that Theriot hits in the number two spot and the number eight spot normally, two of the lowest RBI positions to hit in in the batting order.
On those days when the three, four and five hitters just can't seem to reach base, the Cubs can have faith in Theriot, who constantly finds himself on base, regardless of the performance of the rest of the team.
In the last two days, Theriot has hit a game-winning grand slam, another home run, and has six RBI. In comparison, the hitters in the heart of the order have a total of one RBI in the past two games.
Theriot is a true coach's player: He's scrappy, plays hard every day, and does all of the little things right. Theriot doesn't swing for the fences or worry about his stats.
Rather, he thrives off of bloop singles and hits back up the box and doesn't hesitate to utilize his speed when on base. As demonstrated by his quiet and humble demeanor, Theriot is a team player who always puts his teammates before himself.
Perhaps the Riot said it best himself.
"I feel like I can help by getting on base for the big guys and playing multiple positions and taking pride in my defense. I have embraced the role, and you got to have guys like that on teams that win," said Theriot.
Theriot does have four errors already in the young season, but can usually be counted on for solid defense in addition to his consistency at the plate.
In a season in which the Cubs are struggling to find consistency on offense, it's no surprise that they have won two in a row while being led offensively not by their biggest star, but by their most consistent player.