Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Brantley Named Finalist For Baseball Writers' Association Of America's 2014 AL MVP Award

i've been waiting for this announcement since before the season even ended. this evening, on November 4, it was revealed that the Baseball Writers' Association of America named Michael Brantley as one of three finalists for the 2014 American League Most Valuable Player Award! this MVP nod is the first of his career! he's nominated along with Mike Trout of the Angels and Victor Martinez of the Tigers. congratulations!

photo courtesy of @Indians twitter

if you're unsure how MVP candidates are chosen, let me provide a brief explanation. two writers from each American League city vote for AL MVP, totaling 30 votes overall. there are 10 spots on the MVP ballot and the finalists are the players who finished in the top 3. all players, including designated hitters and pitchers, may be chosen for most valuable player. writers of the BBWAA submit their picks before the postseason begins.

each spot on the ballot equals a certain number of points. a 1st place MVP vote is worth 14 points. the rest of the ballot spots are worth 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points from 2nd place down to 10th. BBWAA's secretary/treasurer, Jack O'Connell, tallies the votes before the finalists are revealed in November. the full results will be posted on the BBWAA website after the winner is announced.

as a general rule of thumb, writers define the MVP in terms of 1. the value a player has to his team, offensively and defensively, 2. the number of games he played, and 3. the player's general character, disposition, loyalty, and effort.

Michael certainly put up MVP type stats this year. to refresh everyone's memory, here are some of his tremendous #s:
.327 batting average
.385 OBP
.506 SLG
.890 OPS
200 hits
45 doubles
20 home runs
97 RBI
94 runs scored
52 walks
23 stolen bases
56 strikeouts
309 total bases
12 outfield assists
7.0 WAR
156 games

everything minus the walks and strikeouts was a career high for him this season. Michael also led the American League with his .376 BA with RISP, .346 BA with runners on base, and .337 BA against right-handed pitchers.

now let's look at the other 2 finalists' numbers:

Mike Trout: 173 hits, 39 doubles, 36 HR, 111 RBI, 115 R*, 83 BB, 16 SB, 184 SO**, 338 TB*, 7.9 WAR, 157 games, .287 BA/.377 OBP/.561 SLG/.939 OPS

Victor Martinez: 188 hits, 38 doubles, 32 HR, 103 RBI, 87 R, 70 BB, 3 SB, 42 SO, 317 TB, 5.3 WAR, 151 games, .335 BA/.409 OBP/.565 SLG/.974 OPS*
*MLB lead
**AL high

Michael's up against some tough competition and it would be a huge surprise if he won. the MVP frontrunner is Mike Trout, especially since he lost out on the award the previous 2 years. however, Michael just being a candidate for an AL most valuable player award is outstanding. to be recognized as a potential league MVP, that really is a hell of an honor. i am so freakin' proud of Michael! [insert happy tears here lol]

no Tribe player has been named MVP since 1953 when Al Rosen won the award. before him, Lou Boudreau won it in 1948 and George Burns was MVP in 1926. and that's it. only those 3 players have won MVP in the history of the Indians.

if Cleveland fans had their way, Michael would be the 4th. during Michael's final game of the season on September 27, fans started "M-V-P!" chants every time he came to the plate. when the media told Michael about this after the game, he was humbled and appreciative. "that's a remarkable feeling. i want to thank the fans for that. it's not something you hear very often. it's not something that's just thrown around. my hat's off to them. i can't thank them enough."

the winner will be announced on November 13 at 6 pm EST on MLB Network and you can count on me to write a follow up blog with all the details. congrats again, Michael! you're definitely my MVP! =D

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