As the 2016 MLB Post-Season kicks off tonight with the AL Wild Card game between the Orioles and Blue Jays – there’s plenty of talk about awards and accolades and who’s deserving now that the regular season is over. Sure, October baseball is in the spotlight, but one of the hottest debates this time every year is two-fold. Who was the best player in each league? Who takes home the MVP hardware when the awards are handed out come November 17th? Well, I’m going to tell you…and it might not be the conventional predictions, either. You see in my mind – it’s hard to give the most valuable player award to someone not in the post-season in any sport. Mike Trout would win it every year for an Angels team that well – isn’t very good. Chances are that there are at least a few players worthy of the award in the playoffs, right?
Well, let’s take a look.
- Daniel Murphy – Nationals
- Anthony Rizzo – Cubs
- Kris Bryant – Cubs
- Yoenis Cespedes – Mets
- Corey Seager – Dodgers
Doing more with less is a huge deal. Few will argue that. Daniel Murphy is a guy who did a lot more with less. Hitting 25 home runs is not near the power production from a Rizzo or Bryant but driving in 100+ runs with just 25 bombs and striking out only 57 times in 582 at bats are numbers that absolutely can’t be ignored. Murphy puts the ball in play nearly every time he steps to the plate and his .347 batting average (2nd in NL) and .390 on base % is proof of that. Rizzo and Bryant are mirror images of each other in almost every category which may make giving one of them the award harder. Seager has a very good shot at the NL Rookie of the Year but keep your eye on him. He’ll make the top of this list more than once in his career. Cespedes is a long shot and most likely won’t get much consideration. But he has been a huge part of the Mets success getting back to the post-season this year. He’s in the top-10 in the NL in just about every offensive category.
- Mookie Betts – Red Sox
- David Ortiz – Red Sox
- Manny Machado – Orioles
- Adrian Beltre – Rangers
- Josh Donaldson – Blue Jays
Mookie is the best all-around player on this list, in my humble opinion. Not only is the kid (yes kid – he’s only 23) possibly on his way to a Gold Glove but I truly feel like without him, the Sox are on their couches in October. Call me crazy. Hit 31 HR, 113 RBI (4th in AL), and finish with a very impressive .318/.363/.534 with an OPS of .897 in just your second full season in the league – you’re gonna open some voters eyes. Oh, and just a side note – he also stole 26 bags to pad the resume a bit. “Big Papi” will end his career as the greatest DH to ever play the game. He may just end it with another ring, as well. However, being a one-dimensional player turns me off to being an MVP and if you can’t play the field – that’s what you are. Only way I see him beating out his fellow mate for the hardware is if the voters have a soft spot for the future Hall of Fame slugger in his swan song season. Reigning MVP Donaldson might be higher on this list if the Jays had won the East. Machado put together his best season, offensively, as a pro and could steal the award out from under Betts but it’s not likely – for the same reason I gave for Donaldson to repeat. Beltre and his Rangers are division champs and he did have his best year at the plate since 2012 so he might be the sleeper of this group.
Call me crazy.
I can take it.
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