I know these are just two opinions from a couple of random dudes, but wowzers.
First, Gary Fraley of the Dallas Morning News, who has a slide show — annoying, by the way — with his thoughts on MVP candidates. His comment on Mike Trout:
The Angels are charging, but Trout is showing signs of fatigue. He was hitting .275 with an .855 OPS since Aug. 1. Good numbers for a rookie, but not the stuff of an MVP.
Thing is, the MVP is not an award based on August 1 numbers only. It’s for the whole year, and for the whole year Trout still leads the league in hitting, is second in OPS, plays stellar defense at a key position and leads the league in stolen bases. If you’re into WAR, he is lapping the field. Not that you need to be into WAR to appreciate how much better Trout has been than anyone this season. If you’re into that whole “carry your team on your back” thing, look at where the Angels were when they called him up and look at them now.
Heck, even if you want to take Fraley’s bait and look at how the guy has done lately, just look at just the second half of the season. There are hardly any players hitting better than Trout since the break, including Adrian Beltre, who Fraley talks up big. Trout has the same number of homers, a better average, a better OBP and only a slightly lower slugging percentage. Miguel Cabrera has hit better since then, sure, but c’mon, Trout’s season is one of the best all-around years we’ve seen in a long time, and not just for a rookie.
Then we get this from Gordon Wittenmyer of the Sun-Times, commenting on Alfonso Soriano:
The only guy in Monday night’s lineup over the age of 30 has undergone such a complete baseball rebirth at the age of 36, he might have been in the National League MVP conversation if the Cubs had played even as well this year as, say, the Pittsburgh Pirates, or maybe if he’d accepted that trade to the San Francisco Giants.
Soriano is 28th in the NL in OPS. He’s 54th in OBP. He’s 20th in slugging. He’s 7th in homers. Please, pray tell, what the basis is for an Alfonso Soriano MVP case.
I know MVP voting is a democracy and you can choose whoever you want, but you either believe that Trout is no MVP candidate or Soriano is, or you don’t. If you think those things, your baseball analysis is severely wanting. If you don’t, and you’re just throwing that stuff out there because you have a column to write, than you’re being dishonest with your readers. Either way: bad times.