>AL MVP RACE
I finally have some time to get to the AL MVP Race, taking a look at who might hoist the Season 1 hardware for the league’s most valuable player. The season is about 40 games in, so I’m a bit late. I’ve had a list of players prepared since I did the NL write-up, and I’ll try not to consider stats so far this season, but anything goes at this point.
Picking potential AL MVPs seems to be much more difficult than in the NL. There is a much longer list of talented, high ratings players who have a great chance to be the MVP. Much of how the stats play out and how the votes fall could come down to factors beyond the ratings. I’ll need to consider some situational factors, more defense ability and maybe even durability in the AL. Unfortunately, I don’t see any of my Mud Sharks factoring that much into the MVP discussion. Despite being a good situation so far this season, there isn’t any one hitter that stands out as a clear cut elite hitter. We’ll see though…here are a few players that I think have the best shot at the award:
Hank Dougherty (Chicago Black Sox) – Despite his horribly low vsR, Hank is a tough guy to overlook. He’s one point shy of having a perfect 300 for vL, power and eye. Add in a 74 for contact and he could have a monster year. I’ve always felt that unbalanced ratings like this often result in inconsistent stats season to season. His on years could be huge. As a Catcher though, he doesn’t do very much.
Evan Fox (Chicago Black Sox) – I like Fox a lot because of his strong vsR and his defense. His other ratings are solid, but not spectacular. With more speed (50) I would like him a lot more. Chicago looks to be off to a great start, but with two potential MVP candidates on the same roster, will that diminish their perceived value? Probably not.
Enrique Silva (Omaha Indians) – Silva was shipped to Omaha in the biggest trade of Rickey Season 1, so far. It was a great pick-up for the Indians. His defense, durability and speed supplement solid hitting ratings across the board. That combination gives Silva a mountain of value already. He can play a skilled position and produce at the plate. With good stats at the end of the season, I would be surprised to see him not nominated. Omaha looks to be a strong title contender this year, as well, which can only help the man from Puerto Plata’s chances at the MVP.
Hiram Condrey (Charlotte Golden Knights) – Condrey has some great hitting ratings, a 69 in power being the lowest major category, the others all rate 8-0 or better. HC is also only 23 years old with 1 pro year of experience. His ratings should, are are, getting better as the season goes on. This guy is going to get even more scary. He’s got some speed (73) high durability and great health. The only thing he lacks is any defense. But, I would take him as my 1B/DH any day….maybe even play him at short if I had to to get him in the game. If he doesn’t win it now, Hiram should have at least a few MVPs before his career is done.
Dwight Fox (Monterrey Southern Lights) – Despite not really knowing which league he plays in, Fox is a menace to opposing AL pitchers. He’s got great hitting numbers and awesome speed. I love the guys with high power, eye and speed. It’s a recipie for many extra base hit and many RBIs. It’s also a recipe for MVP awards. Fox should have enough support to rake in the RBIs and put together a very solid season. He plays an ok RF, as well…maybe average to say it nicely. If he can stay healthy, he should have a great shot come voting time.
Cesar Palacios (Pawtucket Marathon Men) – Pawtucket looks to be stacked in the hitting department. Palacios might not even be the best rated, but surrounded by talent I have a feeling that Palacios could have a moster year, maybe even the best single season World Rickey has ever seen. His splits and eye are great and he has speed. His defense in RF also looks better than a guy like D.Fox, which could end up being a deciding factor, if their season stats are similar. Health may be an issue, although it isn’t that low. I’d like to predict Cesar as a dark horse, but Condrey and D.Fox just have more firepower. I think the award will go to Condrey, handedly.
Other who made the short list: Danny Haynes (Arizona Wildcats); William Franco (Vancouver Giants); Fred Bittle (Richmond Red Birds); Ismael Tavarez (Montgomery Biscuits); Ringo McCormick (Pawtucket Marathon Men).