With the baseball awards already handed out for 2009, we know who was the MVP of the American League and National League. Joe Mauer and Albert Pujols respectively. Both of them put up dominant numbers during the 2009 season and both deserved the awards.But now I have just one more question to ask. Who was the Most Valuable Player in Major League Baseball? Was it the AL MVP Mauer, or the NL MVP, Pujols? First let's analyze each players season. Also take note that the award is based on who was more valuable to their team and not who put up better numbers. Albert Pujols lines looks like this: .327/.443/658. That's BA/OBP/SLG in order and are those are the best stats to look at. Mauer's line wasn't quite the same, but he wasn't too far behind: .365/.444/.587.
Before you automatically give the award to Pujols because of the stats presented, you must also consider both players positions on the field. Pujols plays the easiest position on the field in first-base and Mauer plays arguably the hardest position in Catcher.(Shortstop could be the other) A Catcher's defense is much more valuable than that of a first basemen, even if the first basemen is known to be a exceptional defender. An adequate defensive catcher is more valuable than a solid defensive first basemen. Both Pujols and Mauer are known as the best defensive players at their own positions, but because Mauer plays a much more harder position it makes him a more valuable player to his team than Pujols. Looking at both their numbers offensively, Pujols does have better numbers, but the gap isn't wide enough to offset Mauer's huge defensive advantage. Mauer's numbers are pretty comparable to Pujols anyway, though it's not even or better than his.
Looking around the league,it's also much harder to find a good hitting catcher, while it's easier to find a good hitting first basemen. Catcher isn't a position any club expects to get a lot of offense out of. First base, however, is a position where a club expects to get the most offense. When you look at every teams roster, you'll find much more good hitting first basemen than good hitting Catchers. In fact, it's not even close. How many Catchers in MLB have a OBP over .380, a batting average over .300, and a slugging % over .500? The answer is very few to only one. And how many first basemen put up those numbers? There's about a dozen of them who can put up those numbers. When it's all said and done, I believe Mauer was more valuable to the Twins than Pujols was to the Cardinals. The 2009 MLB MVP is Joe Mauer.