Wednesday July 13, 2011 5:01 pm
Adrian Gonzalez versus Jose Bautista for AL MVP
The MLB All-Star Game signals the unofficial end to the first half of the MLB season. With that begins all the end-of-season races, from playoff pushes to individual awards to even the trade deadline. One of the more interesting races to watch is for the American League MVP which, right now, is a two-horse race between the Boston Red Sox’s Adrian Gonzalez and Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista.
As far as major hitters stats go, A-Gone's .354 batting average and 77 RBI lead Joey Bats’ .334 average and 65 RBI. However, Bautista’s .468 on-base percentage eclipses Gonzalez’ .414 number. Likewise, runs batting in are as much a consequence of the batters ahead of you as your own success. Bautista clearly dominates Gonzalez in home runs with 31 to 17 and his .702 slugging percentage isn’t even worth comparing to Gonzalez’ .591 total.
Defensively, Gonzalez is an above-average first baseman who has only committed two errors this season. Bautista spent the first two and a half months of the season in right field where he only committed three errors and was known for having one of the best arms in the league. He has since moved to third base and has continued making an impact with only one error in over 100 innings so far at the hot corner.
Some argue that because Gonzalez plays for a contender, he has an edge. In past years that’s been true, but lately voters have started to come around to the difference between individual awards and team awards. Take a look at some recent Cy Young Award winners to see the evidence. If Bautista continues tearing it up like he did in the first half, he’ll finish marginally behind Gonzalez in a few categories, but blow him away in others. That should be more than enough to clinch an MVP award for the guy who two years ago was an afterthought player on an afterthought team.
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- a-gone, adrian gonzalez, american league mvp, boston red sox, joeybats, jose bautista, major league baseball, mlb, sidefeatured, toronto blue jays
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