Carlos Delgado: Not Quite MVP

JerseySenior Analyst ISeptember 11, 2008

Carlos Delgado is having a wonderful second half, as is consistent with his career. Since 1993, Delgado has batted 22 points higher after the break, to go along with an OPS increased by 71 points. (His home run and RBI rates are pretty equal in both halves, although he has hit five more triples in 150 fewer second-half games. But that's a pretty pointless stat.)

This year, Delgado's annual upswing has coincided with his team's. As Delgado has improved, so have the Mets. This has thrown some of the MVP attention his way. But while his name should be mentioned as one of the most valuable players, the award should not belong to him.

First of all, the guy batted .248 for the first 93 games of the year. You can't just ignore this stat. It's nice that Delgado has turned it around lately, but 93 games are a huge chunk, and batting at a worse than 1-for-4 rate is awful. It's not as if Delgado was a non-factor in the first half: he was a liability. His poor performance dragged down his team and you can't just shrug that off.

Meanwhile, C.C. Sabathia is getting Cy Young consideration, but likely won't win the award, because he only pitched in the NL for half the year. If that's the case, then why should Delgado win the award for similarly showing up for half the year? And unlike Sabathia, Delgado was actually bad in the first half. Sabathia simply wasn't there; he didn't damage his team the way Delgado did.

Besides, can the Mets' turnaround truly be attributed to Delgado? It's very nice that they seemed to rise at the same time, but didn't something else happen to the Mets this year? You know, something like a change in manager and pitching coach? Jerry Manuel has done a superb job, and the pitching has improved significantly since Rick Peterson's dismissal. You can't pin the strong work of Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez on the shoulders of Carlos Delgado.

Delgado's current mark of 35 homers and 104 RBI certainly impresses, but his .264 batting average does not. His year-long numbers are good, to be sure, but not MVP-worthy.

You know who has better numbers? Delgado's teammate, David Wright who has hit 28 home runs, driven in 109 RBI, and has hit for a much better batting average of .296. Need I also mention Wright's 14 stolen bases, compared to Delgado's solo swipe? How can a man win the MVP award if his own teammate has had a better year?

Look, I don't mean to knock Delgado. The man has really turned his season around (as is typical with him), and he's been a major contributor to his team's success. But his team's poor performance in the first half can also be attributed to him just as easily. He hasn't been good the whole season, and has been awful for most of it. His own teammate has better numbers.

Should Delgado's name be discussed as a candidate? Sure. But should he win? Absolutely not.