David Ortiz has won World Series’, All Star game's, Home Run Derby’s - but there is always talk about the one thing Big Papi has not achieved in his Hall of Fame career, American League MVP. Many people would argue that because he is the Designated Hitter, he shouldn’t even be considered for the award. However folks, we are witnessing history which throws that argument out the door.
Four months into his final season, David Ortiz’s numbers are devastating, and if not in the Red Sox lineup, the team would not be battling for the top spot in the American League East.
Last week Ortiz slammed his 23rd and 24th home runs of the year with mammoth shots that make baseball experts question why he is retiring. The Red Sox are tops in the majors in several offensive categories: 1,000 hits (1st); 231 doubles (1st); 1,640 total bases (1st) and; .291/.356/.476/.833 (1st) in majors. Take away Ortiz’s individual numbers and they wouldn't be close. And players like Hanley Ramirez would have nowhere near the numbers produced.
To date, Ortiz’s numbers are staggering. He has a .330 batting average with 24 HR’s and 81 RBI’s. He is looking at the last year of his career over 40 dingers and 135 RBI’s for the season. If you look at the OBP/SLG/OPS they translate to .420/664/1.084, which is tops in the majors by a wide margin. This begs you to question whether it makes sense for Ortiz to retire when he is still posting monstrous numbers. But there is little doubt that Ortiz is making a strong case to be the American league MVP for 2016.
There are other players who are having very successful years and deserve serious consideration for the AL MVP as well. Teammates Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, and Jackie Bradley Jr. all have had outstanding years, but they feed off the talents of Ortiz. Teams continually strategize how to get around Ortiz, yet with still have limited success. Josh Donaldson Edwin Encarnacion, and Mike Trout again are frontrunners to win the award, but once again, the numbers do not reflect the arrow pointing towards them. Chris Sale, who is on a mediocre White Sox team, may very well win the Cy Young award, but may also garner some consideration to MVP because look where the team would be without him. However the arrow keeps pointing to the 40 year old Ortiz.
The purists will still argue that since he does not play the field, he should not be in the conversation for the award. There are examples to disagree with this assertion. Thirty years ago, in 1986 when Roger Clemens won both the Cy Young and American League MVP, arguments raged because you only saw Clemens once every five days. The results were clear; Clemens was the Most Valuable Player to his team and the American League. There are no set rules that states the Most Valuable Player must be on the field every day. Big Papi is simply is the Most Valuable Player out there and It’s time we make a Designated Hitter the MVP.Joe Messineo 8/01/2016 05:41:00 PM Tweet