As the All-star break draws near the baseball pundits are starting to announce, proclaim and reason as to who they feel are the most deserving “first half” award winners.  As I love to read about baseball I am always scouring the net for anything related to the game.  As I have read more and more pieces about who should be the AL MVP I am stunned to see that it is not the slam dunk answer it should be.

Here are the two most widely mentioned candidates:

A 348 405 583 989 16 8.1 18.4 .422 4.4
B 331 467 687 1154 28 19.8 18.1 .481 6.1


On what planet would anybody even give minor consideration that Player A (Red Sox Adrian Gonzalez) can even sniff the jock of Player B (Blue Jays Jose Bautista) let alone give the asinine opinion that Adrian Gonzalez is the more “valuable” player than the best hitter in baseball?  Don’t give me the helps his team win more games, or the Red Sox have the better record and Jose Bautista while a great hitter hasn’t helped the Jays more in the win-loss column.

Jose Bautista is so far superior to almost any hitter in baseball none of those things matter, for this season.  When there is a needed “tie-breaker” because the players are neck and neck in terms of statistical analysis than fine, I will begrudgingly accept the old and tired win-loss debate.  But for the first half of 2011 how can any knowledgeable baseball writer even think of not saying Jose Bautista is the game’s best?

To further illustrate my point let’s compare Adrian Gonzalez to another player:

Ad.Gonz 348 405 583 989 16 8.1 18.4 .422 4.4
B 275 395 569 964 17 16.0 22.0 .414


Player B has pretty solid stats right across the board and is neck and neck with Adrian Gonzalez in most categories.  Player B is the ZIPS rest of season projections (courtesy of Fangraphs) for Jose Bautista.  Now a caveat, when a player like Bautista who has scorched the baseball world in the first 79 games of the season the ZIPS projections will be that much more conservative for the rest of the season stats.  If I had to vote for MVP, of course I would give it to Adrian Gonzalez with this comparison yet it goes to show just how talented Jose Bautista is.

Maybe Jose Bautista has just been luckier, Adrian Gonzalez has a .389 BABIP while Jose Bautista has a .322.  Jose Bautista does have a higher HR/FB this year (26.7) but it isn’t that far off last seasons (21.7).  Jose Bautista has played RF and 3B and has the highest WAR in baseball as well as the MLB lead in HRs, BB%, ISO, OBP, SLG%, wOBA and in some cases by a wide margin.

To quote Anderson Cooper it is high time we started “Keeping them honest” when it comes to misinformed and highly impartial baseball writing and opinion.  This year (for one half of a baseball season) the race for the AL MVP is not even close, it is Jose Bautista, all day every day.

#Beastmode – follow me on twitter.

  1. Kevin says:

    You can’t try to have a discussion about who’s a better hitter, and expect to be taken seriously if you don’t even mention RBI’s.

    • tdotsports1 says:

      RBIs. Excuse me while I laugh hysterically. RBIs were relevant in what, 1985? How do RBIs (which are completely reliant on your teammates) have anything to do with this debate?

      Someone else help me on this?!

    • mordecofeKG says:

      Yeah, you can’t be expected to be taken seriously if you mention RBIs in a discussion fo who’s a better hitter.

  2. Kevin says:

    To win baseball games, you have to score runs. To score runs, someone has to drive them in. Unless, of course, you just want to steal every base until you get home. So, no RBI’s=no wins. I don’t see how they’re not relevant. Oh, maybe because they don’t help your case?

    • tdotsports1 says:

      Again I repeat, RBIs have a direct correlation to something a player cannot control, his teammates consistently getting ON-BASE in front of him so he can drive them in. Bautista has 58 RBIs and Gonzalez has 75 so Gonzalez must be way more clutch in RBI situations right? Let’s have a look. Gonzalez with RISP is slashing 374/448/523 (971 OPS) while Bautista is slashing 226/510/468 (978 OPS) so he actually has a HIGHER OPS. Again, how does this make Gonzalez a more worthy candidate?

      The Red Sox have a superior lineup, score more runs and have MORE runners in scoring position than the Jays do, how does this make Gonzalez a superior hitter? If Gonzalez and Bautista switched rosters suddenly Bautista would have 80+ RBIs but pitchers don’t give him anything to hit in clutch situations. How does this make Gonzalez a superior hitter?

      I rest my case.

      • uoduckfan33 says:

        This should clear some things up.

        Gonzalez has come to the plate with 295 total baserunners, 150 of which were in scoring position. Bautista has come to the plate with 235 total baserunners, 117 of which were in scoring position.

        Gonzalez “lost” 12 runners in scoring position by intentional walk. Bautista “lost” 17 RISP by intentional walk. As in, lost the opportunity to drive them in for being too good.

        Gonzo leads Bautista by just 12 RBI. Bautista leads Gonzo in everything else but average. If you want to bring average into this conversation, I might cyber shoot you.

        C’mon, Kevin. Pull your head out of your ass, please.

      • tdotsports1 says:

        As always you are a trusted voice of reason UO!

  3. uoduckfan33 says:

    This was written February. Dave Cameron may not have seen this kind of surge coming, but at the time I think he was one of the few who thought Bautista could be even more productive this season.

    P.S. Jose Bautista is hands down the best hitter in baseball right now, and the league-wide MVP.

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