Since the baseball season is in it's home stretch everyone starts talking about awards. C.C. Sabathia is looking like a front runner in the A.L. Cy Young race. The interesting race to follow this season will be the 2010 A.L. MVP. There are four hitters who can make a claim to the prestigious award: Josh Hamilton, Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Beltre and Robinson Cano. Joe Mauer has the average and OBP to be in the running but I booted him out due to his small power numbers this year, like his .487 slugging %.
Before I go into detail check out the stats yourself:
When you take a look at the stats you think Hamilton should win due to the large lead he has in the Batting Average category. Then you look at Cabrera's power numbers in awe and think he should lock it up due to his Homers, RBIs, OBP, and SLG while still keeping a high average. Miggy, playing for Detroit will deter him from winning this award I guarantee it.
Even though Hamilton and Miggy are leading Cano in almost every common statistical category he is still my pick for MVP and here are my reasons why.
First of all WAR. WAR stands for Wins Above Replacement which is a statistic that presents the number of wins that the player added compared to what a replacement player (think a AAA or AA player) would add. This stat shows Cano's value to the in hitting, fielding and base-running expressed in wins.
- 8+ MVP
- 5+ AllStar
- 2+ Starter
- 0-2 Reserve
- > 0 Replacement Level
Though Cano isn't leading the league in any common statistics such as Average but he is leading the league in WAR by a good margin. The MVP award is about your individual performance benefiting your team and adding 6 and 1/2 wins to the Yankees really jumps out.
Fun Fact: Cano has hit 23 of his 25 home runs in games that Yankees have won. Cano is batting .311 with RISP as well.
MVP stands for most valuable player not most valuable hitter. Defense is usually discounted when the MVP award is talked about. From the three players in the running as you should already know from watching baseball— Cano is the best defender of the group.
Some quick UZRs:
- Cano 3.2
- Hamilton 4.6 in LF, 1.2 in CF (way less games in CF)
- Cabrera -5.4
Playing on the best team in baseball helps Cano's MVP bid. In a season where the Yankees two best hitters (A-Rod and Teixeria) started off cold, Cano, picked up the slack. He is the reason the Yanks have the best record in baseball. If Cano reverted to another 2008 like season the Yankees would be struggling with Boston right now for the Wild Card.
Cabrera and Hamilton are both playing positions where most of the elite hitters in the game play, Outfield and 1st base. Cano is a second baseman. Think about some other second basemen in the league, the only one that can compare to Cano's hitting prowess in baseball is Utley and then Kinsler. You can make the argument for Pedroia but you have to be above 6.0 ft to be considered (and he is hurt this year so stop crying).
You don't believe me? Here your chart:
I hope the bold text on the main points helped people who like to skim but now I've got you, go back and read the whole thing!
Anyway it seems pretty simple to me that Cano should be this year's MVP but hell if Dustin Pedroia can win it anyone can.
Charlie writes for The Chuck Knoblog