Derek Jeter has had an amazing career for the New York Yankees. With that being said there's one award that has eluded him in his career and that is an MVP award, which is funny because he's never really been a MVP type player.
The definition of MVP has gotten lost in today's sports world. Now, it seems like no matter what sport the MVP goes to the most popular player rather than the player that actually deserves the award.
My definition of an MVP for baseball not only puts up big numbers offensively, but doesn't hinder the team defensively. So, far Jeter has had his best season fielding wise, but due to Jeter's lack of range and arm strength he's only considered and average defender.
Offensively Jeter is an excellent hitter. He is just as adept at taking a pitch to the opposite field as he is pulling the ball into left field.
Now, someone would argue that Jeter is a leadoff hitter and therefore his opportunities to drive in runs is limited, but with the Yankees lineup that excuse doesn't really hold true.
In fact the numbers that Jeter has put up this year isn't even remotely close to his best seasons in fact you can make an argument that offensively this year in terms of his career numbers it's not even close to being one of his better seasons.
Defensively though it has he's only made eight errors with a fielding percentage of .985
His numbers on the year is a .330 batting average, 106 runs, 205 hits, 27 doubles, one triple, 17 homers, 65 rbis, 30 stolen bases, a .401 on-base percentage, a .460 slugging percentage, a .861 OPS, and 283 totals bases.
Jeter leads all AL shortstops in hits, home runs, RBIs, stolen bases, batting average, and on-base percentage.
Yet, if you look closer the second closest shortstop in the American League to Jeter is Jason Bartlett of the Tampa Ray who would have far superior numbers to Jeter's if he hadn't missed some time to injury.
Then again the shortstop position has changed from the power sluggers of A-Rod, Tejada, and Nomar. Now it's back to 15-20 guys, but the second base position has come along ways now.
If we're going by numbers as a leadoff hitter and defensive ability then Brian Roberts would be MVP candidate. He may have hit less homeruns than Jeter, he has driven in more runs, has 55 doubles which is 28 more than Jeter has, they have the same amount of triples, scored the same amount of runs, and have the same amount of stolen bases.
Jeter has more hits than Roberts, a better average, and a better on-base percentage.
Now in terms of the media they believe that the race for MVP goes down to Joe Mauer or Jeter, but let's take a look at Mauer's numbers.
The amazing thing is that Mauer has put up the numbers he has while keeping the Twins in striking distance in only 488 at-bats. If he had been healthy just imagine what his numbers would look like and there wouldn't even be a debate in the AL of who was the MVP.
Mauer's numbers so far a .371 batting average, 181 hits, 28 doubles, one triple, 28 home runs, 92 RBIs, an on-base percentage of .445, a .605 slugging percentage, and 1.049 OPS.
In terms of catchers Mauer leads the AL catchers in average, hits, triples, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS.
We have established that Mauer is in the league of his own over catchers in the American league, but where does he rank in terms of the AL as a whole.
He ranks number 20 in runs, sixth in hits, 14th in home runs, 15th in RBIs, first in average, first in on-base percentage, first in slugging, and first in OPS.
If we got back to Jeter and the American League he's third in at-bats with 618, third in runs scored, second in hits, seventh in stolen bases, third in average, fourth in on-base percentage, and 23rd in OPS.
Looking at the numbers with two outs and running in scoring position Mauer has a batting average of .409 with 3 homers and 25 RBIs.
Jeter on the other hand has a .263 average with 2 homers and 19 RBIs.
Defensively Mauer is outstanding behind the plate he's only made three errors this year and has a fielding percentage of .996
Lastly, if the Yankees were to lose Derek Jeter for a period of time there wouldn't be a big problem offensively or defensively in terms of replacing his production, the Yankees may score a few less runs, but it wouldn't break the Yankees.
If the Twins were to lose Mauer right now they'd be in a world of hurt especially since the Twins are without their other power source in Justin Morneau.
There's really not a question of who is going to win the AL MVP it's just a matter until the season is over and Joe Mauer wherever he is at is going to be enjoying the MVP award.