September is around the corner, which means that the pennant races are heating up and the regular season is already coming to it's end.
As we get later into the season, it becomes more clear who the favorite is to win the baseball awards at the end of the year. Right now, I'm discussing who's the favorite to win the American League Most Valuable Player.
There are plenty of candidates this year. Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter, Zack Grenkie, and Justin Morneau.
But the player who I think is the real AL MVP, plays for the Minnesota Twins, but it isn't Morneau. It's his teammate, Joe Mauer. As the season is coming to it's end, baseball fans and the media give their prediction to who is the AL MVP. A majority them felt that Teixeira and Morneau where the favorites, and even on this site, some writers thought the award should go to Teixeira.
In this article, I'm going to give you a couple of reasons why Joe Mauer should win the AL MVP over every other candidates in the American League.
My first reason is simple. He has put up great numbers from a position where it's not expected.
All of you who think that Teixeira and Morneau should win it, should consider this. There are more quality hitting first basemen then quality hitting catchers. Look at the list of first basemen. Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis, Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, Kendry Morales, Justin Morneau, Ryan Howard, the list goes on and on.
Now look at the list of quality hitting catchers. Of course you have Mauer, Victor Martinez and McCann also, but other then that, there's no really great hitting catcher.
The number of quality hitting first basemen out number the amount of quality hitting catchers greatly. Mark Teixeira and Justin Morneau are putting up great numbers from a position where that is expected, where Mauer puts up great numbers from a position that isn't expected to contribute offensively.
He's hitting over .360, with more than 20 home-runs and around the 80 RBI mark. You do the math.
My second reason involves defense. Sure, Teixeira and Morneau are good defensive first basemen, but when it comes to it which is the the harder position to play? Your answer is clearly catcher.
It's known that first base is the easiest position to play and it is. Catcher is a much more demanding position than any other position on the field. Catchers have to call a game, block pitches, throw out base runners, and be the leader for his team on the field.
When it comes to the tougher position, Mauer plays the toughest one on the field and he's known to be one of the best in the business.
My final reason involves value. The name of the award is call the Most VALUABLE Player.
Who do you think is more valuable to his team out of the three candidates? (Mauer, Teixeira, Morneau) Like I mentioned before, Mauer plays a tougher position and puts up numbers from that position that isn't expected to contribute.
Morneau and Teixeira have put up great number, but it's from a position where the most offense is expected. I have read several articles and comments on how an MVP is suppose to have both great numbers and carry his team into the postseason.
This isn't the definition of Most Valuable Player. If it was, why did Pujols win the MVP last year? His team finished in 4th place and missed the playoffs. If he put up the same numbers for the Washington Nationals, does that mean he shouldn't win the MVP?
My point is the award is based on who's more valuable to his team, and Mauer is more valuable to his team than Morneau and Teixeira. You have to consider that he plays a tougher position(and he's one of the better fielding catchers) and puts up great numbers were nobody would expect much from.
I think that Mauer is really the AL MVP up to this point. When was the last time you saw a catcher, who is known for his great defense, put up such great offensive numbers? Not to many. He can actually be as good as Johnny Bench, but it's still to early to compare the two.
Still, I think that this years AL MVP should go to Joe Mauer if he can keep up his numbers. We'll just have to wait until the end to have a more clearer picture to who's the favorite to win the award, but up to this point, I think Joe Mauer has to be the favorite.