Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mid-season Awards: A.L. MVP

In what was intended to be a weekend worth of mid-season picks for major MLB awards, my laziness has stretched to three weeks.

That being said, I'm ready to post my selection for the A.L. MVP as the Cubs and Cardinals play us into this year's All-Star break.

For N.L. MVP, there was no uncertainty. Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols was the obvious choice. The A.L. MVP isn't nearly as obvious.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Tampa Bay Rays

A.L. MVP: Joe Mauer, Twins - Ernie Lombardi (1942) was the last catcher to win a battle before Joe Mauer. Since Lombardi, Mauer has won two batting titles. Despite having his worst game of the season (0-for-5 with four strikeouts) today, Mauer is hitting .373 heading into the All-Star break and leading the A.L. in batting average.

What's different in 2009 for the career .324 hitter is his increase in power. Mauer has hit 15 home runs at the midway point even though he missed the first month of the season. And before this year, his career high was 13 home runs.

Mauer leads the A.L. in OBS (1.090). He and Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist are the only two A.L. players with an OBS of 1.000 or greater heading into Sunday's games.

His 49 runs scored and 49 RBIs put him on pace to surpass 100 of each.

MLB: MAY 10 Mariners at Twins

Runner-up: Justin Morneau, Twins - Morneau has put up strong numbers across the board and you could easily make the case that Mauer and Morneau should swap positions.

At the break, Morneau is batting .311 with 21 home runs and 70 RBI. He's second in the A.L. in RBI and tied for fourth place in home runs.

Mauer and Morneau have a nearly identical AB:HR ratio. Mauer has hit one home run per 16.07 at bats while Morneau has hit one home run per 15.9 at bats.

Honorable Mention: Ichiro Suzuki (Seattle), Jason Bay (Boston), Mark Teixeira (NY Yankees), Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay), Ben Zobrist (Tampa Bay), Torii Hunter (LA Angels)

See Cy Young picks: American League and National League.

1 comment:

  1. My vote would be for Torii Hunter. He has been nasty this year and plays great defense. Mauer was out for too long IMO, to be considered MVP for 1st half. I would say Morneau #2, and then Jason Bay #3.