Examining New York Yankee Curtis Granderson's MVP Candidacy

Raul RodriguezContributor IIIAugust 11, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 10:  Curtis Granderson #14 of the New York Yankees watches his second homerun of the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on August 10, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Curtis Granderson hit two home runs in the New York Yankees win yesterday over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim raising the question: Does Curtis Granderson deserve the AL MVP?

As of right now, I would say that Granderson is definitely in MVP discussions. His main competition is the Red Sox tandem of Adrian Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia as well as Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays. Odds are that one of these players will come out to win the award.

The main blemish on Curtis Granderson's statistics is that he has a current batting average of .275. To be a front runner for the award, Granderson would probably need an average in the .290-.300 range. This will help prove that he is an exceptional all-around player.

Curtis Granderson ranks eighth in the MLB in defense measured by UZR. Although it is not necessarily the greatest rank for defense, it is not a stat that brings Granderson down by a substantial number of votes.

Something that works to Granderson's advantage is that his main competitors—Adrian Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia—are all on the same team. There also seems to be a large divide between groups of people who believe that Adrian Gonzalez or Jacoby Ellsbury deserve the accolade. A split in the votes could help the New York Yankee win MVP.

Jose Bautista is another player that does not get enough attention. He is still leading the league in home runs this season and has been able to hit a .312 average. Bautista is the main reason that the Toronto Blue Jays are above .500 in such a tough AL East division.

Overall, I think Bautista deserves this award for making the greatest difference on a bad team. He even has the highest wins above replacement among the main pack.

This award should honestly be called the AL East MVP because there is close to a zero percent chance that anyone outside the AL East will win the award this season. Asdrubal Cabrera being the only possible exception with a chance of finishing in the top five if he can bring his average from .291 to .300 and increase his home runs from 19 to the 25-30 mark.

Here's what Granderson needs to have in order to receive a substantial number of votes for the AL MVP award:

.290 AVG, 45 HR and 130 RBI

If he could increase from his current .275 AVG, 31 HR and 91 RBI then he has a good chance of winning. 

We'll see what happens, though.