I may come off as an angry Red Sox fan here, but honestly I don’t care. It’s not a Red Sox thing, it’s not a Boston bias thing, it is a baseball thing. JD Martinez being snubbed from the MVP finalists is an absolute joke.
I can understand Mookie Betts being nominated over him because Mookie was objectively the best player in baseball this year. However, I have a bone to pick with Mike Trout, and ESPECIALLY with Jose Ramirez.
Mike Trout is a very good baseball player, Like one of the best of our generation and a surefire Hall of Famer already at only 27 years old. That being said, he wasn’t substantially better than Martinez in any offensive category except for walks and OBP, where, admittedly, he had Joey Votto-esc numbers. JD had more hits, more doubles, more home runs, more RBI’s, a higher batting average, more total bases, and basically the same OPS as Trout. Sure, Trout had a higher WAR, but that’s because he’s a everyday centerfielder. JD had 6.4 WAR as a DH, which is very good for an everyday position player, let alone DH.
Also, the age old adage of “Value” always comes up when discusses who truly deserves the MVP. It’s well known that Trout plays for a shit team, and always has. This year, when the Angels were projected to contend and actually be good for once, they ended up finishing the year with a losing record and being 23 games out of first place. How “Valuable” is Trout when he is always, in a sense, “Padding his stats” playing in meaningless games? Now, I know it’s not Trout’s fault that his team is consistently terrible, and I don’t want to come off as someone who hates him, But at some point the BBWAA needs to realize that, although Trout is a great player, his numbers don’t matter. I might sound contradictory, but look at someone like Giancarlo Stanton last year. Because Stanton played for a sub .500, he had to hit 59 home runs and drive in 130+ runs, just to get the award, and even still there were people saying that Paul Goldschmidt deserved it more.
My point is that Trout didn’t have a 59 home run season this year, or any year for that matter. He had a Mike Trout Season, which is obviously great, but it isn’t enough to take the place of JD Martinez as one of the MVP Finalists.
Now onto Jose Ramirez. Anyone who voted Jose Ramirez over JD Martinez should have their writer‘s credentials revoked. If you go on Baseball Reference and look at each of their stat lines and legitimately think that Ramirez had the better year, you’re brain dead. Martinez had more hits, runs, home runs, RBI’s, and total bases, on top of having a better Batting average, OBP, SLG %, OPS, and OPS+. The only thing that Jose Ramirez did better than JD Martinez this year was steal bases, as he swiped 34 bags to cap off his 30-30 season. I guess the BBWAA values stolen bases above all else because that literally all J-Ram did better than the man they call Jumbo Dong.
I just don’t get it. Is it really that he is a DH? While researching for this article, I confirmed my suspicions and found that no DH has ever won an MVP, which is asinine. When you look back at all the seasons that guys like Travis Hafner, David Ortiz, and Edgar Martinez have had, and you include JD into that list, it’s insane to think that none of them received the proper recognition.
Maybe there is a bias against the DH, maybe people are simply stupid. All I know is JD Martinez should be a finalist for the 2018 American League Most Valuable Player, and the fact that he isn’t is a crime.
Photo: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports