In a perfect world, the MVP of the season should have gone to Chris Davis of the Orioles. Yes, he did hit under .200 this season through 128 games. Yes he’s earning $23 million a year until 2022. Most importantly, he crushes addies like no one else in the league. And for that, he deserves MVP. For some reason, the league doesn’t vote MVP on addies crushed during the season, but they do vote for the best overall performance of a hitter and let’s take a look at the guys who took home that unimportant award.
National League- Christian Yelich– Milwaukee Brewers
Mr. Yelich in his first season with the Milwaukee takes home the MVP award. Thanks to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, I learned that Yelich is the ninth overall player and second player ever in the National League to ever win an MVP award in their first season with a new team. Pretty impressive and you have to give Yelich credit for his second half of the season which we saw him hit a whopping 25 bombs along with a .367 average. Overall, Yelich produced a league leading .326 average, 36 home runs, 34 doubles, seven triples, 110 RBI’s, 22 stolen bases and a triple slash of .326/.402/.598– equaling an exact 1.000 OPS. Yelich also rode a 7.6 WAR coming in fifth overall in the National League and first for position players. Yelich led the National League in average, slugging, total bases, runs created, adjusted OPS, and a lot of other advanced statistics. It was a well deserving MVP award for a man that help lead the Brewers back to the post season for the first time since 2011.
American League- Mookie Betts- Boston Red Sox
The accolades just keep on coming for the Red Sox after winning the World Series, they now also have the MVP of the American League. Mookie held off four time second place winner Mike Trout by a wide margin garnering 29 first place votes opposed to Trout’s one. Teammate J.D. Martinez was the early favorite for most of the season but ultimately flared out at the end of the season as Betts kept on producing. Betts had a monster first half of the year producing 23 bombs, 18 steals, and a triple slash of .359/.448/.657 which was a lot better than his second half stats, but good enough to ward off Trout. Another tidbit about Betts and Yelich, they are the fourth pair of MVP award winners to garner the batting title and MVP in the same season. Betts led the American League in average, WAR for overall, meaning both hitters and pitchers, slugging percentage, tied for first with runs scored, runs created, extra base hits, and a few other advanced statistics. Betts finished the season with an overall slash of .346/.438/.640– 1.078 OPS, 36 home runs, 80 RBI’s, 129 runs, 180 hits, 47 doubles and 30 steals. Betts also took home the Sliver Slugger award for right fielders as well as a gold glove.
Even though the Rays should have also been awarded a playoff spot and Rookie of the Year (Joey Wendle shoutout), Mookie was well deserving as was Yelich.