In the American League, there seem to be so many possible MVP candidates. Josh Hamilton, Carlos Quentin, and Kevin Youkilis seem to be the headliners, while Franky Rodriquez has drawn a little consideration for his save-record chase.
But the most surprising player on the list is Boston's Dustin Pedroia. For some reason, the second baseman has drawn MVP consideration and I can't understand why.
Don't get me wrong. The guy is a solid player. He knows how to get on base, can run a little bit, and has a little bit of power. But that's it. A good player to have on your team, but not an MVP, not by any stretch.
His .328 batting average is great, but 17 home runs is a little weak for an MVP and his 17 stolen bases don't make him a stud on the basepaths either. He only has 78 RBI, and while this can be attributed to his spot in the batting order, it's still a pretty low number.
Meanwhile, his own teammate, Kevin Youkilis, has hit .313, which is also extremely impressive. Except Youkilis also has power to complement that stat, unlike Pedroia. Jew-kilis has a robust 25 homers and 100 RBI, and while these numbers may not be off-the-charts, they're much better than Pedroia's. It's really hard to justify giving an MVP award to a guy whose teammate has had a better season.
Sure, people will point to Pedroia's "clutch" stats. But what of it? Derek Jeter was clutch two years ago and his stats were better than Pedroia's: .343, 14 HR, 97 RBI, and 34 stolen bases. A better average, similar power, more RBI (from the same lineup slot), and twice as many steals. He helped carry a team to a division title that year, while Pedroia's Red Sox appear headed for the wild card.
But Jeter finished second to Justin Morneau that year, simply because Morneau had better power numbers. Well, guess what. Hamilton's power numbers are MUCH better than Pedroia's. So are Quentin's, despite his recent season-ending injury. And, as mentioned prior, so are Youkilis'. The man doesn't have the best stats on his own team, let alone the league, so how could he be the MVP?
Pedroia's a very good baseball player and he has a bright career ahead of him. But MVP? Seriously? Not a chance, at least not this year.
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