A "celebrity guest" post today while I'm out of town. Despite the uncanny resemblance, I can assure you that Matt Stairs has not joined our ranks. No, instead, today's post comes to you from one of the foremost Jimmy Rollins experts on the planet (perhaps the only one): Jeff Bennett (no, not the former Braves pitcher either). He enjoys painting his head like a baseball, screaming at anyone who swings at the first pitch, and long walks through the CBP parking lot. Most importantly, ladies... he's single!
Being a sports fan you always want your favorite team to win any award they possibly can. For the Phillies this year it would be nice for them to win the World Series, Halladay or Lee win the NL Cy Young and Worley to win the ROY. But what about the NL MVP???? Does Shane Victorino have a shot?
Victorino’s numbers are pretty impressive this year. According to Baseball-Reference.com Victorino is batting 0.308 with 21 doubles, 14 triples, 15 home runs, 53 RBIs, 79 runs, and 17 stolen bases this year. He has a shot of having career highs in most of these categories. But how does he stand up to the other league leaders in the NL?
Well first let’s compare Victorino with last year’s NL MVP Joey Votto. This year Votto is batting 0.323, with 29 doubles, 26 home runs, and 87 RBIs, while leading the NL with an OBP of 0.438. These numbers are defiantly good but what is hurting Votto this year is the fact that the Reds are 13.5 games out of first place and 12.5 games out in the Wild Card. Yes Pujols won MVP in 2008 while the Cardinals didn’t make the post season and Howard won MVP in 2006 while the Phillies didn’t make it either. But both of those teams were still had a chance up until the last week or so of those seasons. So I’m going to say Joey Votto will not win NL MVP even though he is having a very good season at the dish.
Same could be said about LA Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp. The Dodgers are 19 games out of first place and 16 out in the Wild Card. Kemp is batting 0.319 with 26 doubles, 100 RBIs, 35 stolen bases, and leads the NL with 31 home runs. He is right up there with the league leaders in OBP, SLG, and OPS.
Let’s take a look at Prince Fielder. He is batting 0.295, with 30 doubles, 29 home runs, and leads the NL with 102 RBIs. These are some great numbers to have but Fielder isn’t even the best player on his own team this year. Enter Ryan Braun. This year Braun is batting 0.334 with 35 doubles, 25 home runs, 88 RBIs, and 30 stolen bases. He leads the NL with 92 runs, 0.593 SLG%, and 0.999 OPS. The Brewers are up 10.5 games in the Central and look to lock up a postseason bid soon.
I’m a huge fan of the Phillies and would love to see Victorino or another Phillies player win the NL MVP. But the numbers don’t lie Victorino is going to have to have a huge September to keep his name in the MVP discussion. Without a doubt this year with the numerous amounts of injuries to the Phillies and not taking anything away from the great pitching, but Shane Victorino is defiantly the Phillies MVP of 2011.