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Derek Jeter
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You are in the category : General

Thursday September, 14 2006.
American League MVP Race
By mvyb, 12:29

So much buzz is floating around the majors about the AL Most Valuable Player award... Some believe Big Papi still deserves it, while other are on the Jeter-for-MVP bandwagon.... so I decided to compare the stats of the AL MVP award front-runners. ( I'm leaving Johann Santana out of it since, being a pitcher, he'll be snubbed.)

Front-runners for the MVP Award:

Jermaine Dye, Chicago White Sox
Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins
Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox

Let's compare some POWER numbers:

Home Runs
Ortiz: 48
Dye: 41
Morneau: 33
Jeter: 13
Mauer: 11

Ortiz: 127
Morneau: 120
Dye: 112
Jeter: 92
Mauer: 78

Slugging Percentage:
Dye: .637
Ortiz: .628
Morneau: .583
Mauer: .505
Jeter: .492

Ok, so far we see that the big sluggers have been.... slugging. But that's not what the award is all about. Remembers, it's Most Valuable Player. Not- most valuable run-producer or most valuable slugger.

Some SWINGING numbers:

Ortiz: 97
Mauer: 74
Jeter: 66
Dye: 52
Morneau: 47

Mauer: 44
Morneau: 81
Jeter: 91
Ortiz: 105
Dye: 107

Ok, pretty simple so far... The sluggers usually are walked more ( though, as you can see Mauer and Jeter have had a lot of good at-bats) and whiff more.

Now, a few ON-BASE numbers:

On-Base Percentage:
Mauer: .433
Jeter: .423
Ortiz: .401
Dye: .388
Morneau: .379

Runs Scored:
Jeter: 104
Ortiz: 103
Morneau: 85
Mauer: 78

Jeter: 36
Morneau: 33
Mauer: 32
Dye: 26
Ortiz: 26

Stolen Bases:
Jeter: 30
Mauer: 8
Ortiz: 1

These are some very revealing stats. Getting on base isn't all there is to it. Mauer leads all the candidates in OBP, yet he has scored the fewest runs. But, look at Jeter's production. Getting on, moving up, and eventually scoring. He's the fastest and the best base-runner among the bunch.

A few HITTING numbers:

Jeter: 192
Morneau: 168
Mauer: 162
Dye: 158
Ortiz: 145

Batting Average:
Mauer: .348
Jeter: .346
Morneau: .324
Dye: .322
Ortiz: .285 ( pretty low)

BA at Home:
Jeter: .358
Morneau: .338
Mauer: .330
Dye: .320
Ortiz: .286

BA on the Road:
Mauer: .363
Jeter: .336
Dye: .324
Morneau: .310
Ortiz: .285

Now, for some SITUATIONAL HITTING stats:

Bases Empty ( rally needed) BA:
Jeter: .322
Morneau: .318
Mauer: .315
Dye: .297
Ortiz: .277

BA with RISP:
Jeter: .396
Mauer: .382
Dye: .353
Morneau: .333
Ortiz: .293

Bases Loaded BA:
Jeter: .455
Morneau: .412
Ortiz: .333
Mauer: .333
Dye: .000 ( 0-4)

BA Late in Close Games:
Jeter: .320
Ortiz: .313
Mauer: .311
Morneau: .307
Dye: .306

My own opinion on DEFENSE:

Jeter: 2-time Gold Glove winner at SS
Dye: Gold Glove winning outfielder ( 6 years ago)
Mauer: pretty decent catcher
Morneau: average firstbaseman
Ortiz: designated hitter

And now, I present the top 5 AL Players of 2006:

5. Joe Mauer

Joe Mauer could be the first catcher to win the batting title in the history of baseball. Mauer has very patient at-bats, waits for the right pitch, and hits it well.

Why he doesn't win the MVP award: Even though he has a high batting average, Mauer isn't even in the top 10 "hit-collectors" in the American League. Mauer also lacks power, speed, and a run-producing bat. Even though he has the highest on-base-percentage of all the candidates, Joe Mauer has only scored 78 runs ( fewest among the candidates).

4. Justin Morneau

Justin Morneau became the first Minnesota Twins player in over a decade to hit over 30 homers. Morneau is also second in the league with 120 runs-batted-in.

Why he doesn't win the MVP award: Morneau is a bit too aggressive this year. He has the lowest OBP among the candidates, walks the least, and often chases pitches. ( He has seen 400 fewer pitches then Jeter and Ortiz.) But the biggest fact is that he isn't as important to his team, as other are to their's. He is only a small PART of the Twins' success this year.... sharing the spotlight with Santana, Nathan, Mauer, and Cuddyer.

3. David Ortiz

A few months ago, I would have told you- "David Ortiz is the MVP of the American League for sure!"

Ortiz leads the league in homers and RBIs. He has scored a ton of runs and hits the ball with amazing power every time he comes up. Ortiz works the pitchers he faces, and chooses the pitch he wants to hit. "Big Papi" has power in all directions, and really led his team during the first half of the season.

Why he doesn't win the MVP: While Derek Jeter and Jermaine Dye carried their teams through injuries and pitching troubles, Ortiz has kinda gone down with the ship, so to speak. As Boston's troubles started, Ortiz did not pick them up. Now, I know the collapse isn't entirely his fault, but he has done little to help. Instead, Ortiz complains about his teammates and the league. Not what the league's most valuable player does.

( Some might argue that he isn't even the MVP of his team! [ Schilling, Papelbon, Manny, and Varitek are the other noms] )

Besides this point, Ortiz doesn't hit very well. Of our candidates, he has the lowest Batting Average, fewest hits, worst speed, and gives his team no defensive help whatsoever.

And he bats a lowly .293 with runners in scoring position.

2. Jermaine Dye

If not for Dye, the White Sox aren't even in a wildcard race. Chicago's pitching has been so dismal, that Dye had to really carry this team on his back all year. Dye has 41 homers, 112 RBIs, 158 hits, and 93 runs scored. Woah!

Why he doesn't win the MVP: The only reason for Dye's not winning the MVP award will be the White Sox not making the playoffs. If they do, he will stand a good chance of winning. If he doesn't, then the shortstop from New York has it all wrapped up.

Jermaine Dye does have some noticeable flaws though. He rarely walks, and he has K'd more then any other of our candidates. He struggles sometimes late in games, and he has very little speed.

But I guess those are minor issues.

1. Derek Jeter

The guy who does it all. The most valuable PLAYER.

During the summer, the Yankees had innumerable injuries. Cano, Matsui, and Sheffield were on the DL. A-Rod couldn't hit to save his life. Giambi was on and off. The Yankees trotted out minor league lineups ( with guys like Terrence Long, Aaron Guiel, Miguel Cairo, Nick Green, Sal Fasano, Kelly Stinnet, and Kevin Thompson) But through it all, Jeter remained consistent. He was the Captain of the team, encouraging the rookies and supporting the struggling veterans. Jeter was always on base, making things happen. Whether he dropped down a bunt, walked and stole a couple bases, or homered into the opposite field upper-deck, Derek Jeter did it all. Jeter always worked the pitchers, always hit well with runners on ( especially with two outs and late in the game) and ran the bases wisely( 30+ SBs).

Jeter did it all. That's why he should win the American League MVP award.


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