Happy off-season 2021/2022 to all you beautiful ballboys, ballgirls, and those who are new; WELCOME! This off-season, we are going to have a lot of fun. I love writing, I think about it daily, and between kids, work, school, the time has been limited. But it's my time to get back into more content and more writing!
Today, we will make a case for A.L. and NL MVP award finalists, who I think deserves to take home the hardware. Before we jump into the post, I want to make a case for Dan-o's seasoning as the best seasoning on the open market. This winter, sign Dan-o's to your spice racks and thank me later. Click here to let them know I sent you.
1: Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
9.1 WAR in one season. Imagine if this team had Mike Trout was healthy and was there for Shohei to put up more than 100RBI's. It was Showtime in L.A. and in every park across a country where he played during the season. The 2021 season was one of the most historical we have ever seen in our lives from an individual player. To recap, the offensive season for Ohtani to put him on a level playing field. In 537AB he recorded 138H, 46HR, 103R, 100RBI, 26SB to go along with a .257/.372/.592 line to total a 158OPS+. Ohtani took home an All-Star appearance where he hit to lead off and started the game on the mound. He won the Silver Slugger award; he led the league in 3B(triples) with 8. What a magnificent season from Ohtani. It's showtime in LAA!
2: Marcus Semien, Toronto Blue Jays
Semien bet on himself and DOMINATED. The 2019 MVP finalist was brilliant at 2B for the Blue Jays and showed why he got the 1-year near $20mil deal. Semien is back in the MVP voting for the 2nd time in 3 seasons. Semien took some extra hardware already with a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award. In 652AB, he recorded 173H, 45HR, 102RBI, 115R, 15SB to go with a 2.65/.334/.538 slash to total a 133OPS+ and 7.3WAR. This off-season, the All-Star 2B/SS will have quite the market if he can go 1/2 with an MVP trophy.
3: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays
What a turnaround we saw for Guerrero over the last two seasons, going from 3B, dropping weight, moving to 1B, going from a below-average/average defender at 1B to an above average. To now A.L. Hank Aaron award winner, MVP finalist, and face of the franchise at 22 years old. To add to the accolades for Vlad Jr., he was an All-Star and won the Silver Slugger award. Vlad Jr. ended the season with a 6.8WAR. In his 604AB, he recorded 168H, 48HR, 123R, 111RBi, 4SB to go with his .311/.401/.601 slash for a total of 169OPS+. He also led the league with 123R, 48HR, .401OBP, .601SLG, 1.002OPS, 169OPS+ and 363TB.
1: Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies
Hank Aaron Award, Silver Slugger Award, N.L. Outstanding player, All-MLB nominee, and now MVP finalist. The 2021 season was his best yet in Philadelphia. Harper ended the season with a 5.9WAR. In 488AB, he had 151H, 35HR, 101R, 84RBI, 13SB to go along with his .309/.429/.615 for a total of 179OPS+. Harper was why the Phillies could come up short of the playoffs and stayed in contention for the A.L. East crown. What a great season it was from Harper. Harper did also lead the N.L. in SLG(.615), OPS(1.044), OPS+(179), and 2B aka doubles(42)
2: Fernando Tatis Jr. San Diego Padres,
El Nino was on and off the field during the 2021 season; he saw his position change to R.F. for the latter half of the season because we all know that Tatis isn't a good enough defense to hold down S.S. daily. We know that Tatis will be here year in and year out of this list, and we are just getting started on this conversation with him. He is finishing the season with a 6.6WAR. In his 478AB, he has 135H, 42HR, 99R, 97RBI, 25SB to go with his .282/.364/.611 to total a 166OPS+. El Nino was also an All-Star and won a Silver Slugger award. And for all of you yelling at your screen that El Nino is an S.S., he's not with his -9DRS and his .940fld%. The OF may be the answer for Tatis as he posted 3DRS, 1.000fld%, in his 151.1inn in R.F. Tatis did lead the N.L. with 42HR.
3: Juan Soto, Washington Nationals
Baby Shark, one of the best hitters in the N.L. If not the best consistently. Soto's career already consists of one World Series ring, and adding an MVP to the trophy case may come this season if not in the years to come. The conversation may end up becoming one that ends up being between Tatis and Soto year in and year out over the next decade, and I will always take Soto! The now 23yo OF earned his first All-Star nod in 2021 and his 2nd Silver Slugger award, and his peers regard him in the business as one of the best hitters in the N.L. and all of the MLB. The numbers back it up with his 7.1WAR. In his 502AB, he recorded 157H, 29HR, 111R, 95RBI, 9SB to go with his .313/.465/.534 slash to earn him a 175OPS+. Soto led the league in B.B. (145), OBP(.465), and IBB(23).
**Insert dramatic drumroll** My A.L. pick for the MVP award goes to Vlad Jr. I mean, he led the league in what feels like every offensive category. There was never a dull moment when Vlad was at the plate, and the best was yet to come. He also helped his team win many games with his bat.
My N.L. pick for the award is Bryce Harper. Harper was the difference in the second half of the season for the Phillies and led them down the stretch. Harper was steady and significant. He won the award to me.
Make sure to tune in tonight for the announcement for the MVP and Cy Young awards. If you missed my pick for the Cy Young award, click here.