MLB: The MVPs From Each Team

There are many players in Major League Baseball (MLB) that have had excellent careers, and there are also those with bright futures. One thing that many people ask is who the very best players are. One way to figure that out is to determine who the MVPs (Most Valuable Players) on each team are. This can prove difficult, as all teams have multiple talented players, some of which may have won, had they been on a different team. 

Arizona Diamondbacks’ Best Player: Jean Segura

Jean Segura, the former Milwaukee Brewer, had a great season. Not only did he play in over 94% of Arizona’s games, but he put up the numbers as well. He led the Diamondbacks in at-bats with 637, over fifty more than Paul Goldschmidt, who came in second place in this category. Segura came in second in runs, also after Goldschmidt, with 102. Two categories in which Segura destroyed his teammates in were hits and batting average. He hit safely 203 times, which is thirty-one times more than Goldschmidt and fifty-nine more times than Yasmany Tomás, who came in third place in this statistic. In terms of batting average, Segura had a fantastic year. He hit .319, which is twenty-two average points higher than none other than Paul Goldschmidt. Although pitcher Patrick Corbin did hit .306, technically coming in second place, he only had forty-nine at-bats, and that isn’t big enough to have any real significance or to carry any weight. Segura also led Arizona in stolen bases and doubles. Due to the impact he had on his team, Jean Segura was the Arizona Diamondbacks’ best player in the 2016 season.

Diamondbacks’ Second Baseman Jean Segura (Getty)

Atlanta Braves’ Best Player: Freddie Freeman

Freddie Freeman was the best player on the Atlanta Braves this season. Many people will say that rookie shortstop Dansby Swanson was the Braves’ best player, but Swanson played in only thirty-eight games, which is almost ¼ as many as Freeman’s team leading 158. Freeman appeared in the second-most amount of at-bats on the team after outfielder Nick Markakis. One category in which Freeman dominated the rest of his team was runs. Freeman scored 102 times, which was seventeen times more than centerfielder Ender Inciarte, who came in second in this category. Hits was another category where Freeman did extremely well. He hit safely 178 times, seventeen times more than second-place Markakis. Out of all of these hits, a good amount of them were doubles or triples. He came in first in doubles and second in triples. The 6’5” first baseman also got the most homeruns, runs batted in (RBIs), and walks. Those three categories heavily contribute to a player’s batting average and on-base percentage, both of which Freeman led his team in. Freddie Freeman was a bright spot on a disappointing Braves team, which is why he was the best player on the Atlanta Braves in the 2016 season.

Braves’ First Baseman Freddie Freeman (CBS)

Baltimore Orioles’ Best Player: Manny Machado

Manny Machado was the Baltimore Orioles’ best player this season. This selection is a bit controversial, as the Orioles had a very talented team this season. A lot of people would say that this distinction should go to first baseman Chris Davis or right fielder Mark Trumbo. While both of these players had exceptional power-hitting seasons, Machado played a phenomenal third base and managed to hit for both contact and power. Manny came in tied for third place with Davis in terms of games played, after Trumbo and Jonathan Schoop. Machado came in first in both at-bats and runs scored. He also got the most hits and doubles. Trumbo hit forty-seven home runs, while Davis hit thirty-eight, and Machado hit thirty-seven. Trumbo also had the most RBIs, while Machado had the second most. Because of these two categories, many people would say that the best player for Baltimore this season was Trumbo. Although there is no doubt that Trumbo had a fantastic season, he struck out fifty more times than Machado, and his batting average was almost .04 points lower. In other words, for every thousand at-bats, Machado gets forty more hits. Besides this, Machado played insanely well on defense, while Trumbo and Davis are merely average or below-average fielders. Thanks to his performance on offense and defense, Manny Machado was the best player on the Baltimore Orioles this season.

Orioles’ Third Baseman Manny Machado (Wikipedia)

Boston Red Sox’s Best Player: David Ortiz

Not only was David Ortiz was one of the best players on the Red Sox, he did it at an age never seen before. Although Ortiz didn’t finish in the top three in at-bats or games, he was still very productive. Ortiz led not just the Red Sox in doubles, but the entire league as well. He led the team in home runs, while also setting a record for most home runs in a season by a player forty or older. Big Papi also came in first in RBIs, in the meantime setting a record for forty year olds. Ortiz also came in third on the team in batting average, coming in seventh all-time for a forty year old. He also had a slugging percentage of .620, which not only led the league, but also set the record for forty year olds. He also set a similar record, but for on base percentage. Ortiz didn’t lead the MLB in this category, but he did lead his team. Some people may say that Mookie Betts had a better season. While his season was certainly impressive, he was up against one of the greatest clutch hitters the game has ever seen. David Ortiz had the strongest season on the Boston Red Sox this season; besides this, he had arguably the greatest season ever for a player forty years old or older.

Red Sox’s Designated Hitter David Ortiz (Boston Globe)

Chicago Cubs’ Best Player: Kris Bryant

The claim that Chicago Cubs had a great season was made evident by their World Series win. Third baseman Kris Bryant was the best player on the Cubs this season. Many people might say that first baseman Anthony Rizzo had the best year on the team, but the numbers say that Bryant had a superior year. And as we all know, the numbers never lie. Rizzo and Bryant both played in the exact same number of games: 155. Despite this, Bryant has the advantage when it comes to at-bats and runs. Bryant appeared at the plate 603 times, while Rizzo appeared 583 times. Bryant scored 121 times, and Rizzo scored ninety-four times. Although Rizzo hit more doubles and triples, Bryant had more overall hits. Rizzo, who is well-known for his power, hit five less home runs than Bryant. Despite this, Rizzo managed to have the edge in RBIs. Bryant was also walked more times and he stole more bases than Rizzo. These two players both had the same batting average and on-base percentage, but Bryant had a higher slugging percentage. Although many people on the Chicago Cubs had sensational seasons, Kris Bryant had the best overall season for the team.

Cubs’ Third Baseman Kris Bryant (The Des Moines Register)

Chicago White Sox’s Best Player: José Abreu

First baseman José Abreu was the best player on the Chicago White Sox during the 2016 season. Although there are a handful of statistics in which Abreu wasn’t the team leader, he was still a driving force on this Chicago team. Abreu played in 159 games, which was more than anyone else on the White Sox. Another statistic that Abreu won was at-bats, with only five distancing him from right fielder Adam Eaton. One category in which Abreu did not do too well in was runs scored. He came in fourth in this category, after Eaton, Todd Frazier, and Melky Cabrera. In terms of hits, the Cuban first baseman was back on top. Cabrera came in first for doubles, and Frazier came in first for home runs. It is important to note, however, that Abreu came in second in both of these. Abreu had the most RBIs, but he had the third most walks. His batting average was the second-best on the team of those who had more than three plate appearances. With these same guidelines, he also had the highest slugging percentage on the team. José Abreu was the best player on the White Sox this season, despite the fact that there were numerous areas in which he did not lead his club.

White Sox’s First Baseman José Abreu (ESPN)

Cincinnati Reds’ Best Player: Joey Votto

First baseman Joey Votto Cincinnati Reds’ best player this season. Some people might say that left fielder Adam Duvall was the Reds’ MVP, but Votto outperformed him in most categories. Duvall may have had the most surprising season, but Votto put up the stats worthy of being named the team’s best player. Votto had the second most amount of games played, and Duvall had the third most. This was also true of at-bats. In terms of runs, Votto was the only Reds player to have more than 100, while Duvall came in second in this category. The veteran first baseman had 181 hits, coming in first, while the young outfielder came in fourth with 133. Second baseman Brandon Phillips and Votto both had thirty-four doubles, and Duvall followed soon after with thirty-one. Jay Bruce and Duvall tied for the most triples with six, while Votto came in tied for sixth with two. Duvall hit thirty-three home runs, four more than Votto’s second place twenty-nine. Duvall also had a slight advantage in terms of RBIs, with six more than Votto. The Reds’ first baseman was walked sixty-seven more times than Duvall, and Duvall also struck out forty-four more times than his teammate. Two categories in which Votto had a huge advantage over his veteran teammate were batting average and on-base percentage. Votto hit a team-best .326, and he got on base 43.4% of the time. Duvall on the other hand hit .241 and got on base 29.7% percent of the time, receiving the rankings of 14th and 15th respectively. Joey Votto was the best player on the Cincinnati Reds during the 2016 season.

Reds’ First Baseman Joey Votto (ESPN)

Cleveland Indians’ Best Player: Andrew Miller

Relief pitcher Andrew Miller was the Cleveland Indians’ best player this season. Some people, in response to this, might think: How was he the best player? He spent half of the season on the Yankees. Others might say: He can’t be the best; he’s a not a position player! These statements aren’t valid for a number of reasons. First of all, he let up only fourteen hits in twenty-nine innings. This may initially seem like a lot, but it isn’t when compared to someone like teammate Josh Tomlin. Tomlin allowed more than one hit per inning pitched, with 187 hits given up over 174 innings. Second of all, he gave up only five runs in this span. That means that he gave up a run every 5.8 innings. Now, it’s time for the Tomlin test. Tomlin gave up ninety-seven runs over 174 innings pitched, or one run every 1.8 innings pitched. An interesting note is that only three of Miller’s five allowed runs were earned runs, putting his earned run average (ERA) at 1.55, which was the second-best on the team. During his reign of dominance, Miller hardly walked anyone, walking only two batters over twenty-nine innings, or an average of one batter every 14.5 innings. Tomlin walked twenty batters during the season, or one walk every 8.7 batters. Miller struck out forty-six batters, or 14.3 batters per nine innings. Tomlin struck out 118 batters, which is equivalent to 6.1 strikeouts per nine innings. It is important to realize that Josh Tomlin, although he didn’t put up the same numbers as Miller, is an above-average pitcher, evidenced by his winning record over his career. Lastly, Miller had the best opponents’ batting average on the Indians at .139, and he was tied for the best WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) of 0.55 with Ryan Merritt, who played in less than ⅙ as many games as Miller. Andrew Miller was one of the most dominant pitchers in the league, and, without a doubt, he was the best player on the Indians during this season.

Indians’ Pitcher Andrew Miller (USA Today)

Colorado Rockies’ Best Player: Nolan Arenado

The best player on the Colorado Rockies during the 2016 season wasn’t DJ LeMahieu, Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, or Trevor Story. It was third baseman Nolan Arenado. Story was off to a promising year, but then he unfortunately got injured, which puts him out of contention for being his team’s best. Arenado played in 160 games during this season, the most on the team. CarGo played in 150 games, Blackmon played in 143, and LeMahieu played in 146. Arenado also had the most at-bats, with 618. Gonzalez appeared at the plate 584 times, while LeMahieu appeared 552 times and Blackmon had 578 at-bats. Arenado scored 116 times, the most on the team. Blackmon scored 111 times, the second most; LeMahieu scored 104 times, the third most, and Gonzalez scored eighty-seven times. In terms of hits, it was a different story. LeMahieu led the team with 192; Blackmon came in second with 187; Arenado came in third with 182, and Gonzalez came in fourth with 174. Doubles was another category in which these four players were jumbled around. Gonzalez came in first with forty-two; Arenado and Blackmon tied for second with thirty-five, and LeMahieu came in fourth with thirty-two. Triples followed the same trend. LeMahieu had eight; Arenado had six; Blackmon had five, and Gonzalez had two. Power hitting was the category that Arenado distanced himself from his teammates. Arenado hit forty-one; Blackmon hit twenty-nine; Gonzalez hit twenty-five, and LeMahieu hit eleven. The third baseman also had the advantage in RBIs. Arenado had 133; Gonzalez had an even 100; Blackmon had eighty-two, and LeMahieu had sixty-six. Walks was another category in which Arenado prevailed. Arenado was walked sixty-eight times; LeMahieu was walked sixty-six times; Gonzalez reached first base on balls forty-six times, and Blackmon was walked forty-three times. Strikeouts weren’t something that came all too often to LeMahieu. LeMahieu struck out eighty times; Blackmon struck out 102 times; Arenado recorded 103, and Gonzalez struck out 129 times. Another category that LeMahieu defeated his teammates in was batting average. LeMahieu led his team in this category among those with at least twenty at-bats with an average of .348. Blackmon hit .324; Gonzalez hit .298, and Arenado hit .294. For on-base percentage, the rankings were the same, except Arenado and Gonzalez were switched. The final category of comparison is slugging percentage. Arenado led the Rockies in this category among those with at least fifty at-bats. Arenado’s slugging percentage was .570; Blackmon’s was .522; Gonzalez’s was .505, and LeMahieu’s was .495. Putting all of these categories gets mixed results. Arenado was, some would say, the best of the four because of his display of power that hasn’t been seen from him before. When the glove and the bat of Nolan Arenado are both at their peak, as they were during the 2016 season, he is the best player on the Colorado Rockies.

Rockies’ Third Baseman Nolan Arenado (YouTube)

Detroit Tigers’ Best Player: Miguel Cabrera

After the way he has played every year for the last few years, it is no surprise that first baseman Miguel Cabrera is the best player on the Detroit Tigers. When it comes to attendance, nobody on the Tigers were better than Cabrera. He played in 158 games, the best on the team. Second baseman Ian Kinsler, however, beat Cabrera in at-bats. The second baseman had twenty-three more plate appearances than the first baseman. In terms of runs, leadoff-hitting Kinsler again has the advantage. Kinsler outscored Cabrera 117 to ninety-two. When it comes to hits, however, Miggy is the king. He hit safely 188 times, which is ten more than Kinsler’s 178. The category of doubles didn’t go to either of these players. JD Martinez, the right fielder, hit thirty-five, while Cabrera hit thirty-one, and Kinsler hit twenty-nine. Kinsler came in tied for second for triples with Nick Castellanos, after Cameron Maybin. Cabrera came in tied for tenth in this category, having hit only one. Cabrera, known for his power, led the team in home runs with thirty-eight. Kinsler came in third with twenty-eight, after Justin Upton’s thirty-one. Cabrera has also led the team in RBIs with 108. Upton had eighty-seven; Víctor Martínez had eighty-six, and Kinsler had eighty-three. Cabrera struck out 116 times, and Kinsler struck out 115 times. Cabrera hit .316, the best on the Tigers for anyone with at least five at-bats. Kinsler came in fifth with .288. Cabrera had the advantage in walks, with thirty more than Kinsler. The difference in walks is the reason that Cabrera’s on-base percentage was 0.045 higher than Kinsler’s. Cabrera also got more extra base hits than Kinsler, as Cabrera’s slugging percentage was 0.079 higher than Kinsler’s. Someone might argue that pitcher Justin Verlander had a better season than Cabrera, but what most debunks that theory is the fact that there were plenty of pitchers that pitched better overall than Verlander, but there were few that hit better than Miggy. Miguel Cabrera had the best season out of any one player on the Detroit Tigers during the 2016 season.

Tigers’ First Baseman Miguel Cabrera (CBS)

Houston Astros’ Best Player: José Altuve

Second baseman José Altuve was the best player on the Houston Astros this season. Altuve played in 161 games, the second most on his team. The only person that played in all 162 games for Houston was right fielder George Springer. Springer also had the most at-bats on the Astros with 644, which is four more than Altuve. Number two hitter Springer also scored more than Altuve. The second baseman scored 108 times, while the right fielder scored 116 times. Springer was, however, no competition in the category of hitting safely. Springer had 168 hits, and Altuve had 216. Altuve also had the most doubles on the team with forty-two. Altuve and Springer both had five triples, the most on the team. Catcher Evan Gattis hit thirty-two home runs, better than any other Astro this season, while Springer hit twenty-nine, and Altuve hit twenty-four. The 5’5” second baseman tied for the most RBIs on the team with shortstop Carlos Correa. Correa and Altuve both knocked in ninety-six RBIs, while Springer had eighty-two. One big strength that Altuve has is putting the ball in play. He struck out only seventy times, while while Springer struck out a team-high 178 times. Also, Altuve had a high batting average. He hit .338, the best on the time by 0.064 points. Because of this, it is no surprise that Altuve had the best on-base percentage of anyone on the Astros. José is someone known around the league for his quickness. He stole thirty bases, which was seventeen more than Carlos Gómez and Correa, who tied for second. One statistic that was a bit surprising was Altuve’s slugging percentage. He isn’t someone that is known for his ability to hit the ball far, but he still managed to lead his team in this category with a .531 slugging percentage. José Altuve was the best player on the Houston Astros during the 2016 season, and he was one of the best in the league.

Astros’ Second Baseman José Altuve (MLB)

Kansas City Royals’ Best Player: Eric Hosmer

First baseman Eric Hosmer was the best player on the Kansas City Royals this season. First of all, Hosmer played in 158 games, the second-best on the team. Only Alcides Escobar played in more games with 162. This was also true of at-bats, with Escobar getting thirty-two more plate appearances than Hosmer’s 605. Hosmer did, however, score the most on the team. He had eighty runs, which was fifteen more than designated hitter Kendrys Morales, who had the second most. Escobar, on the other hand, got more hits than Hosmer. Hosmer hit safely 161 times, while Escobar led the team with 166. Doubles was a different story. Third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert and catcher Salvador Pérez both hit twenty-eight doubles, which was good enough to lead the team. Right fielder Paulo Orlando, Hosmer, Morales, and Escobar all hit twenty-four. The category of triples was led by center fielder Jarrod Dyson. Escobar came in second, and Hosmer came in tied for eighth. In terms of home runs, neither Escobar nor Hosmer led Kansas City. Morales hit thirty; Hosmer hit twenty-five, and Escobar hit seven. Hosmer was the only Royals player that had over 100 RBIs with 104. Meanwhile, Escobar hit fifty-five. The first baseman was also walked the most on the team, and Escobar was walked the sixth most. Hosmer was walked fifty-seven times, while Escobar was walked twenty-seven times. Hosmer did, however, strike out thirty-six more times than Escobar. Consistently getting hits was something that these two players struggled with. Orlando hit .302, the best on the team for anyone with more than fifty at-bats. Hosmer hit .266, and Escobar hit .261. Hosmer had a slugging percentage of .433, which was the third-best for any Royals player that played in at least sixty games. Only Morales and Pérez had higher numbers in this category. Although he didn’t lead his team in a ton of categories, Eric Hosmer was the best player on Kansas City Royals during the 2016 season.

Royals’ First Baseman Eric Hosmer (Pinterest)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Best Player: Mike Trout

Centerfielder Mike Trout was the best player on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the 2016 season. Some people may argue that designated hitter Albert Pujols performed better than Trout, but most of the stats say otherwise. Trout played in 159 games, which was the most on the team. Pujols played in 152, finishing after only Trout and right fielder Kole Calhoun. Calhoun had 594 plate appearances; Pujols had 593 at-bats, and Trout had only 549. This can largely be attributed to the fact that Trout was walked significantly more than both Pujols and Calhoun, and walks don’t count as at-bats. Trout, although he had less opportunities to hit than Pujols and Calhoun, still managed to score the most. The Angels’ centerfielder scored 123 times; Calhoun scored ninety-one times, and Pujols scored only seventy-one times. Trout also hit safely more often than his teammates, recording 173 hits over the duration of the season. Calhoun had 161 hits, while Pujols recorded 159. The category of doubles went to the right fielder. He hit thirty-five; Trout hit thirty-two, and Pujols hit nineteen. Calhoun and Trout both led the team in triples, as they both hit five. Pujols, on the other hand, hit zero. Although he didn’t hit any triples, Pujols did record quite a few home runs. He hit thirty-one; Trout hit twenty-nine, and Calhoun hit eighteen. The order was the same for RBIs, with Pujols hitting 119, Trout hitting an even hundred, and Calhoun hitting in seventy-five runs. Trout did, however, strike out the most. Trout whiffed 137 times; Calhoun struck out 118 times, and Pujols struck out only seventy-five times. Despite this, Trout still recorded the most stolen bases on the team, stealing five times as many times as Calhoun and Pujols put together. The twenty-five year old centerfielder led the Angels in batting average, excluding batters that appeared at the plate less than five times. Trout hit .315; Calhoun hit .271, and Pujols hit .268. Trout also led the team in terms of power. His slugging percentage was .550; Pujols’ was .457, and Calhoun’s was .438. Due to the fact that he led his team in numerous categories, Mike Trout was the best player on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the 2016 season.

Angels’ Centerfielder Mike Trout (Seattle Times)

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Best Player: Clayton Kershaw

Pitcher Clayton Kershaw was the best player on the Los Angeles Dodgers this season. Many people will say that Corey Seager or Kenley Jansen was the best player, but Seager didn’t put up good enough stats the second half, and it is hard to say that someone that records three outs in an entire game is a team’s best player. Although he missed a fair amount of games due to injury, Kershaw’s dominance was resumed right when he was activated. The southpaw was 12-4, which doesn’t accurately convey how well he pitched. His ERA was 1.69, a number practically unheard of, especially for a starting pitcher. One stat that might go under the radar is innings pitched. Kershaw played in five less games than fellow starter Scott Kazmir, but Kershaw threw 12.2 more innings than Kazmir. This demonstrates Kershaw’s ability to pitch deep into games, a true sign of dominance. Kershaw also let up only twenty-eight earned runs. Kazmir, on the other hand, let up sixty-nine earned runs. Despite missing games because of injury, Kershaw still struck out the second most batters on the team. He struck out 172 batters, giving him an average of 9.17 strikeouts per nine innings. Opponents hit only .184, and his WHIP was 0.72. Throughout the season, Clayton Kershaw proved time and time again that he was and is the best player on the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Dodgers’ Pitcher Clayton Kershaw (LA Times)

Miami Marlins’ Best Player: José Fernández

The best player on the Miami Marlins was José Fernández. He stumped batters with a devastating slider on the field, but that pitch wasn’t nearly as devastating as his death. Fernández was having an excellent year, including an All-Star Game nomination, when he was involved in a boating accident. The people of the United States and Cuba were able to share a common ground: grievance. His death, though tragic, isn’t why he was the best player on the team. Neither were just the statistics. Although the numbers never lie, the numbers also never tell the full story. How will someone fifty or one hundred years from now realize not just the high level of skill, but of the high level of passion and heart demonstrated by José Fernández? That is something that can’t be found in the history books, but what can be found there are the numbers that begin to paint a picture of the utter dominance of Fernández. Even though his season was unfortunately cut short, he still managed to lead the Marlins in wins by a win-margin of seven. Fernández’s ERA of 2.86 was the best on the team of anyone that pitched at least one hundred innings. Besides this, Fernández did not give away baserunners. He only walked fifty-five batters, while fellow starting pitcher Tom Koehler walked eighty-three batters. Possibly the most impressive stat of Fernandez’s was strikeouts. He struck out 253 batters, the most on the team by over one hundred. José Fernández was the best player for Miami Marlins, both on and off the field.

Marlins’ Pitcher José Fernández (USA Today)

Milwaukee Brewers’ Best Player: Jonathan Villar

Jonathan Villar, not Ryan Braun or Chris Carter, was the best player on the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2016 season. Many people will immediately and instinctively look at the home run totals, in which first baseman Carter and left fielder Braun outscored Villar. This, however, doesn’t tell the full story. In terms of games played, Carter won. He played in 160; Villar played in 156, and Braun played in 135. Despite this, Villar did manage to have the most at-bats. He appeared at the plate 589 times; Carter appeared 549 times, and Braun appeared 511 times. Also, Villar scored the most for the Brewers. He crossed the plate ninety-two times; Carter scored eighty-four times, and Braun scored eighty times. Besides this, Villar outhit his teammates. He hit safely 168 times; Braun had 156 hits, and Carter had 122 hits. Doubles was more of the same. Villar hit thirty-eight two baggers; Carter hit twenty-seven, and Braun hit twenty-three. The left fielder and the shortstop both had three triples, while Carter only hit one. In terms of home runs, Villar was unable to match his power hitting teammates. Carter hit forty-one home runs; Braun hit thirty, while Villar hit nineteen. This was also true of RBIs. The 6’4” first baseman knocked in ninety-four runs; Braun had ninety-one RBIs, and Villar had sixty-three. Walks were a category that Villar managed to win. He was walked seventy-nine times; Carter was walked seventy-six times, and Braun was walked forty-six times. Villar’s large amount of walks contributed to his high on-base percentage. Villar’s OBP was .369; Braun’s was .365, and Carter’s was .321. Batting average was one of the few categories that Braun won. He hit .305; Villar hit .285, and .222. Villar’s best statistic was stolen bases. He stole an MLB-best sixty-two times; Braun stole sixteen times, and Carter stole three times. Shortstop Jonathan Villar was the best player on the Milwaukee Brewers this season.

Brewers’ Shortstop Jonathan Villar (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Minnesota Twins’ Best Player: Brian Dozier

Second baseman Brian Dozier was the best Minnesota Twins player this season. Dozier in the past, as well as second basemen in general, aren’t considered power hitting threats. Dozier proved those stereotypes wrong this season and put the past behind him. First of all, he led his team in games played by a huge margin. Dozier played in 155 games, while first baseman Joe Mauer came in second place with 134 games. A gap of twenty-one games shows his durability, toughness, and willingness to play. With that knowledge in mind, it is no surprise that he led the Twins in at-bats by over one hundred. Dozier also scored the most for Minnesota. He scored 104 times, while second place Mauer scored only sixty-eight times. Dozier also had the most hits. He hit safely 165 times, while second place Mauer did this only 129 times. His achievements don’t end there. He hit thirty-five doubles, while catcher Kurt Suzuki hit twenty-four doubles, and Mauer hit twenty-two. One of the few categories in which Dozier didn’t finish in first was triples. Dozier hit five, and only centerfielder Byron Buxton’s six topped that. Home runs was the category that many would say was the most surprising for Dozier. He hit forty-two home runs, the most from any one season of his career. Designated hitter Miguel Sanó hit twenty-five, and Mauer came in tied for seventh with eleven home runs. Dozier also had a lot of RBIs this season. He was the cause of ninety-nine Twins crossing the plate, while second place Sanó had sixty-six RBIs. Dozier did, however, strike out more than often, which was in large part due to his power surge. Sanó struck out a team worst 178 times, and Dozier struck out 138 times. Thanks to this, Dozier’s average suffered. He hit .268, which was fifth-best on the team for someone with at least 200 at-bats. Brian Dozier had what was probably the season of his life, and he also had the best season of anyone on the Minnesota Twins during the 2016 season.

Twins’ Second Baseman Brian Dozier (ESPN)

New York Mets’ Best Player: Asdrúbal Cabrera

Shortstop Asdrúbal Cabrera was the best player on the New York Mets this season. Many people might say that left fielder Yoenis Céspedes or right fielder Curtis Granderson was the Mets’ best player, but Cabrera outperformed them in various categories. Granderson played in 150 games; Cabrera played in 141, and Céspedes played in 132. Granderson had 545 at-bats; Cabrera had 521, and Céspedes had 479. In terms of runs, Granderson led again. The right fielder scored eighty-eight times; Céspedes scored seventy-two times, and Cabrera scored sixty-five times. Hits was the category in which Cabrera picked up the slack. He hit safely 146 times; Céspedes had 134 hits, and Granderson had 129. The Venezuelan shortstop also had the most doubles on the team. He had thirty such hits; Céspedes had twenty-five, and Granderson had twenty-four. Granderson did, however, lead the team in three-base hits. He had five triples, while Céspedes and Cabrera each only hit one. The left fielder, well-known for his rifle of an arm and huge power at the plate, led the team in home runs. He hit thirty-one; Granderson hit thirty, and Cabrera hit twenty-three. Due to this, it is no surprise that Céspedes led the team in RBIs. He had eighty-six RBIs; Cabrera had sixty-two, and Granderson had fifty-nine. One of Granderson’s greatest weaknesses is his inability to consistently make contact. He struck out a team-high 130 times. While Cabrera and Céspedes both struck out quite a bit, it wasn’t nearly as often as Granderson. Céspedes struck out 108 times, and Cabrera struck out 103 times. This statistic contributed to their generally low batting averages. Cabrera and Céspedes both hit .280, tied for second-best on the team, and second baseman Neil Walker led the team with an average of .282. These numbers are relatively low for a team leader. Granderson had a low average of .237. With an average that low, he is essentially out of the competition. One important statistic is fielding percentage. This shows how often a player does not make an error. Cabrera had a fielding percentage of .986. This means that only on 1.4% of balls hit to him does he make an error. Céspedes had a lower fielding percentage of .981. In other words, he made an error on 1.9% of the balls hit to him. Due to his excellent fielding and relative productivity at the plate, Asdrúbal Cabrera was the best player on the New York Mets during the 2016 season.

Mets’ Shortstop Asdrúbal Cabrera (NY Post)

New York Yankees’ Best Player: Gary Sánchez

The best player on the New York Yankees this season was rookie catcher Gary Sánchez. Many people would instantly say that it couldn’t be Sánchez because he only played in fifty-three games. Well, in that time, Sánchez was able to achieve something that has never before been achieved. Obviously, as he was called up in the final third of the season, he didn’t lead his team in games played or at-bats. He played in fifty-three games and had 201 at-bats, putting him at fourteenth and eleventh in those respective categories. Despite this, he still managed to come in ninth in runs scored. He also finished tenth in hits. These two stats show that, even though he didn’t play as much as a handful of other players, he was still able to be one of the most productive players on the Yankees. The next few statistics can attest to that. Sánchez came in tenth in doubles, and all of the people ahead of him, except for one, played in twice as many games as he did. Probably the most impressive stat of Sanchez’s was the number of home runs that he hit. Over the fifty-three games that he played, Sánchez was surprisingly able to come in tied for third in home runs on the team. Shortstop Didi Gregorius, who, like Sánchez, hit twenty home runs, played in one hundred more games than Sánchez. This shows just how good and mature of a hitter he was. Also, his raw power helped him set an MLB record. He hit nineteen home runs over the first forty-five games of his career, which topped Wally Berger’s previous record of nineteen. Besides hitting the ball over the wall, Sánchez showcased his ability to hit runners in. He had forty-two RBIs, which was enough for eighth on the team. Sánchez’s .299 average was the second-best on the team for anyone that played in at least fifty games. Sánchez also made his case for a bright future on the defensive side. His fielding percentage was .991, which is high for a catcher. He also has an incredible arm. According to MLB.com, some of Sánchez’s throws to nail potential base-stealers have been at around 87 miles per hour, which is faster than some MLB pitchers. Although he played in only fifty-three games, Gary Sánchez was the best player on the New York Yankees during the 2016 season.

Yankees’ Catcher Gary Sánchez (NY Daily News)

Oakland Athletics’ Best Player: Khris Davis

Left fielder Khris Davis was the best player on the Oakland Athletics this season. The A’s as a whole did not play very well, with subpar pitching and an okay offense. Davis, however, was a bright spot on a dismal roster. In terms of games played, his 150 were the third most on the team. Despite this, Davis picked up some ground when it came to at-bats. He came in second place, finishing 555 plate appearances. The left fielder improved even more in the category of runs. He scored eighty-five times, which was thirteen more times than shortstop Marcus Semien, who came in second place. Davis also had the most hits. He had 137, while Semien and third baseman Danny Valencia both had 135. Davis was unable to lead the A’s in doubles. He, along with fellow outfielder Coco Crisp, had the fourth most: twenty-four. Davis, Semien, and center fielder Jake Smolinski all hit two triples over the length of the season. Davis’ best category by far was home runs. He hit forty-two, the most on the team by seventeen. Prior to this season, the most home runs that Davis had hit in a season was twenty-five. In large part due to the amount of home runs he hit, Davis led the team in RBIs. He hit 102 runners in, while Semien, who had the second most in this category, had only seventy-five RBIs. The fact that the second most productive hitter on the team had less than ¾ the amount of RBIs of that of the most productive hitter shows just how dominant Davis was. One major downside of a player hitting for power is that he will probably strike out often. The twenty-nine year old left fielder got out on strikes 166 times. While there are certainly players that struck out more than that, that number is still significantly high. This number was high enough to give Davis a not-so-desirable batting average. He hit .247, which ranked him as eighth out of any player that played in at least fifty games. His on-base percentage was ranked the same as his batting average. Davis did, however, do well in the category of slugging percentage. His was .524, which was tied for the best on the team with third baseman Ryon Healy, who only played in seventy-two games. Khris Davis’ power, among other strong attributes, made him the best player on the Oakland Athletics during the 2016 season.

Athletics’ Left Fielder Khris Davis (Athletics Nation)

Philadelphia Phillies’ Best Player: Odubel Herrera

Centerfielder Odubel Herrera was the best player on the Philadelphia Phillies this season. There are a few categories in which Herrera wasn’t the best performer on the team, but, as a whole, he played better than his teammates. In terms of games played, he came in first, with 159. The only other players on the Phillies that played in at least 155 games were shortstop Freddy Galvis and second baseman César Hernández. When it came to at-bats, Herrera dropped a spot and came in second. He did manage to move up one spot for runs scored. Herrera scored eighty-seven times, while Hernández and third baseman Maikel Franco both scored sixty-seven times, which was good for second place. The centerfielder also had the most hits. He hit safely 167 times, while Hernández had 161 hits. Doubles was not an area of strength for Herrera. He had twenty-one two-base hits, and three other Philadelphia players had more than that. Galvis and catcher Cameron Rupp both had twenty-six doubles, and Franco had twenty-three. One of the few positive qualities of the Phillies is that they hit a ton of triples. As a team they hit thirty-five triples, so it isn’t by any means shocking that Herrera, one of the team’s best players, had his fair share of baseball’s rarest hit. He hit six triples, behind only right fielder Peter Bourjos and Hernández. Although they performed well in terms of triples, the Phillies did not hit very many home runs. The most home runs by a single player was twenty-five, accomplished by Ryan Howard and Franco. With that in mind, Herrera’s fifteen home runs isn’t really as low as it seems. Philadelphia also didn’t score a lot of runs. Not only did no one get 100 RBIs, but no one even got ninety. Herrera had only forty-nine RBIs, but a lot of that can be attributed to the fact that it was almost rare to see a Phillies player get on base this season. One of Herrera’s biggest weaknesses was striking out. He struck out 134 times, the second most on the team. Even though he struck out a lot, he still had a decent batting average of .286, the second-best on the team out of anyone that played in at least fifty games. Although Odubel Herrera didn’t have an amazing season, he was still the best player on the Philadelphia Phillies during the 2016 season.

Phillies’ Centerfielder Odubel Herrera (Rant Sports)

Pittsburgh Pirates’ Best Player: Gregory Polanco

The best player on the Pittsburgh Pirates was right fielder Gregory Polanco. Although he didn’t have the best stats in every single category, he was, by a long shot, the team’s most consistent player. Polanco played in 144 games, the third most on the team. He moved up to second place in the category of at-bats, finishing with 527. The Dominican outfielder also proved his abilities by scoring the second most amount of times on the Pirates. He scored seventy-nine times, and only centerfielder Andrew McCutchen’s eighty-one topped that. Also, he got his fair share of hits. He hit safely 138 times, after second baseman Josh Harrison, left fielder Starling Marte, and McCutchen. Polanco did better in the category of doubles. He reached second base thirty-four times, which tied him with Marte for the most. McCutchen, meanwhile, had only twenty-six. There must be something about playing in Pennsylvania that makes the players hit more triples than most of the other teams. Harrison hit seven, which led the team; Marte had five three-baggers; Polanco had four, and McCutchen had three. Hitting the long ball was one of the few categories in which McCutchen led the Pirates. He hit twenty-four; Polanco hit twenty-two; Marte hit nine, and Harrison hit four. Polanco regained the statistical lead in RBIs. He hit in eighty-six runners; McCutchen had seventy-nine RBIs; Harrison had fifty-nine, and Marte had forty-six. Hardly anyone on the Pirates had a good batting average this season; only two players hit over .300. Marte hit .311; Harrison hit .283; Polanco hit .258, and McCutchen hit .256. Out of these four players, Polanco had the highest slugging percentage. His was .463; Marte’s was .456; McCutchen’s was .430, and Harrison’s was .388. Although his numbers weren’t always spectacular, Gregory Polanco was the best overall player on the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 2016 season.

Pirates’ Right Fielder Gregory Polanco (Indy Star)

San Diego Padres’ Best Player: Wil Myers

Utility player Wil Myers was easily the best player on the San Diego Padres this season. This isn’t too shocking, considering the fact that he played four different positions and he led his team in most offensive categories. Myers played in 157 games, the most on the team by a margin of twenty-six. He also appeared at the plate 178 times more than shortstop Alexei Ramírez, who had the second most. The former Rays player also crossed home plate the most, scoring ninety-nine times. Third baseman Yangervis Solarte, who had the second most amount of runs, only scored fifty-five times. Myers also had the most hits on the Padres, getting 155 base knocks. Solarte also finished second in this category, but he only had 116 hits. Myers also had the most doubles, but this one was significantly closer. He had twenty-nine doubles, while Solarte and centerfielder Jon Jay both hit twenty-six. Triples was one of the rare categories in which Myers didn’t obliterate his teammates. He had four such hits, while second baseman Ryan Schimpf had five. Myers went right back to business in terms of home runs. He finished with twenty-eight home runs, and right fielder Matt Kemp hit twenty-three. Myers slowed down his home run pace, as he had hit nineteen home runs prior to the All-Star break. The All-Star also had the most RBIs on the team. He scored ninety-four runners, while Solarte had only seventy-one RBIs. Because of his ability to hit the ball hard, Myers was walked a great deal. He had sixty-eight bases-on-balls, while centerfielder Travis Jankowski, who came in second in this category, was walked only forty-two times. One of Myers’ weaknesses was striking out. He struck out 160 times, the most on the team by twenty-one. Due to this, his batting average suffered. He hit .259, the fourth best on the team for anyone that played in at least fifty games. Wil Myers was, by far, the best player on the San Diego Padres during the 2016 season.

Padres’ Wil Myers (CaliSports News)

San Francisco Giants’ Best Player: Madison Bumgarner

Pitcher Madison Bumgarner was the best player on the San Francisco Giants this season. The Giants did not have a very good offensive season, and Bumgarner performed well. Some people might say that fellow starting pitcher Johnny Cueto had a better season, and, in some areas, he did. To start off, Cueto had more wins than Bumgarner. MadBum won fifteen games, while Cueto won eighteen. The southpaw did have an advantage over the righty when it came to ERA, beating him by 0.05 points. Bumgarner also started two more games than Cueto and pitched seven more innings, displaying his amount of endurance. Cueto also gave up sixteen more hits than Bumgarner, even though he pitched less. Bumgarner did, however, allow one more earned run than Cueto. One could make the case that a number like this is insignificant in the long run. One of the lefty’s greatest strengths was striking out batters. He struck out 251 batters, while Cueto had a mere 198. Bumgarner struck out an average of about 9.97 batters per nine innings, while Cueto had around 8.11. The Dominican-born pitcher’s opponents hit .238, while hitters facing Bumgarner hit .213. Besides pitching, Bumgarner wasn’t too shabby from a hitting perspective. The lefty from South Carolina hit three home runs over the course of the season, which was the 14th-best on the Giants. There were actual players, who are paid to hit, that hit less home runs than this pitcher. For example, Gregor Blanco hit only one dinger, and he played in 106 games. Bumgarner also had six doubles, which was enough to come in thirteenth on the team. Jarrett Parker, a position player who played in sixty-three games, had only three such hits. Because of his success from both a hitting and a pitching standpoint, Madison Bumgarner was the best player on the San Francisco Giants during the 2016 season.

Giants’ Pitcher Madison Bumgarner (Wikipedia)

Seattle Mariners’ Best Player: Robinson Canó

Second baseman Robinson Canó was the best player on the Seattle Mariners this season. Although designated hitter Nelson Cruz and third baseman Kyle Seager both had superb seasons, Canó had the edge in most statistical categories. First of all, Canó led the Mariners in games played. He played in 161 games, while Seager and Cruz respectively played in 158 and 155 games. Canó also had the most at-bats, and there was a large amount of separation between him and other players in this category. He appeared at the plate 655 times; Seager played in 597, and Cruz played in 589. He also scored the most. Canó scored 107 times; Cruz scored ninety-six times, and Seager crossed home plate eighty-nine times. The former Yankee also hit safely the most. He had 195 base hits; Cruz had 169, and Seager had 166. Seager managed to take the lead when it came to doubles. He had thirty-six two-baggers; Canó had thirty-three, and Cruz had twenty-seven. Triples was a category that was led by left fielder Nori Aoki. He had four; Seager had three; Canó had two, and Cruz had one. Cruz is well-known for his power, and he certainly showcased that this season. He had forty-three home runs; Canó had thirty-nine, and Seager had thirty. In large part due to this, Cruz also led the team in RBIs. He scored 105 runners; Canó had 103 RBIs, and Seager had ninety-nine. With great power comes a great amount of strikeouts. All three of the these players struck out at least 100 times, with Cruz at the top of the list. He struck out 159; Seager struck out 108 times, and Canó struck out an even hundred times. Due to these high numbers, none of these three hit over .300. Canó hit .298; Cruz hit .287, and Seager hit .278. Cruz still managed to have the best slugging percentage on the team out of anyone that played in at least ten games. Cruz’s percentage was .555; Canó’s was .533, and Seager’s was .499. Although Cruz had slightly more power, Canó was more consistent, and he also provides the benefit of being able to play defense. Robinson Canó was the most consistent, and the overall best, player on the Seattle Mariners during the 2016 season.

 

Mariners’ Second Baseman Robinson Canó (MLB)

Saint Louis Cardinals’ Best Player: Yadier Molina

Catcher Yadier Molina was the best player on the Saint Louis Cardinals this season. This one was more difficult to choose than some of the other ones. This is because the Cardinals had some above-average players, such as shortstop Aledmys Díaz or third baseman Matt Carpenter. As a rule of thumb, Molina is generally one the best catchers in MLB and one of the best players on his team. This year, however, the latter was more contended than in past years. Molina played in the second-most games, after right fielder Stephen Piscotty. The right fielder played 153 games; Molina played in 147; Carpenter played in 129, and Díaz played in 111. At-bats were more of the same. Piscotty went to the plate 582 times; Molina had 534 at-bats; Carpenter had 473 at-bats, and Díaz had 404. Piscotty also had the advantage in terms of times scored. He had eighty-six runs; Carpenter had eighty-one; Díaz had seventy-one, and Molina crossed the plate only fifty-six times. Despite not having as many at-bats as some of the other players on the Cardinals, Molina made the most of the few that he got. He had 164 hits; Piscotty had 159; Carpenter had 128, and Díaz hit safely 121 times. This is why Molina had the best batting average on the team. He hit .307; Díaz hit .300; Piscotty hit .273, and Carpenter hit .271. Of Molina’s 164 hits, around one-third of them were for extra bases. He had thirty-eight doubles; Carpenter had thirty-six; Piscotty had thirty-five, and Díaz had twenty-eight. Triples was not an area of strength for the catcher, coming in tied for eighth in this category. Carpenter had six three-base hits; Díaz had three; Piscotty also had three, and Molina had only one. Molina sacrificed power for average, while others sacrificed average for power. Piscotty had twenty-two long balls; Carpenter had twenty-one; Díaz had seventeen, and Molina had eight. The order was the same for RBIs. Piscotty had eighty-five; Carpenter had sixty-eight; Díaz had sixty-five, and Molina scored fifty-eight runners. Striking out was a bigger problem for some of these players than for others. Piscotty struck out 133 times; Carpenter struck out 108 times; Molina struck out sixty-three times, and Díaz struck out sixty times. All of these players had different areas in which they outperformed their teammates. Some people might disagree on the claim that Molina was the best Saint Louis player this season, but they are not correct for one big reason. Piscotty and Carpenter both play positions where those known for their hitting prowess play. This in mind, Molina did better in a handful of categories than either of these players. Due to this, it is safe to say that it is really down to Díaz and Molina. It is important to note that most catchers do not do well at the plate. Most are at the big-league level because of their defense and sometimes their power. Yadi isn’t a typical catcher. He had a fielding percentage of .998 on the season, which is practically unheard of for a catcher. He also hits for contact, which is something that most catchers are unable to do. Compare this to Díaz, who is a good hitter but a subpar fielder. The shortstop committed fourteen more errors than Molina, while playing three hundred fewer innings. Because of his ability to hit and field sensationally well, Yadier Molina was the best player on the Saint Louis Cardinals during the 2016 season.

Cardinals’ Catcher Yadier Molina (Sporting News)

Tampa Bay Rays’ Best Player: Evan Longoria

The best player on the Tampa Bay Rays this season was third baseman Evan Longoria. Some people might be shocked by this and say that first baseman Brad Miller was better. While Miller did have a breakout season, Longoria outdid him in most statistics. Longoria showed off his endurance this year, playing in the most games on the Rays. He played in 160 games, while Miller played in 152. This was the same for at-bats. Longoria had 633 plate appearances, and Miller did this 548 times. The third baseman also scored more than his fellow corner infielder. Longo scored eighty-one times, while Miller scored seventy-three times. Also, Longoria had significantly more base hits than Miller. He hit safely 173 times, and Miller had only 133 hits. Longoria didn’t stop there; he also led Tampa Bay in doubles. He had forty-one, and Miller had twenty-nine. One of the few categories in which Miller led the team was triples. He had six on the year, and Longoria had four. Home runs was the category that Miller was best known for. In the past, he had shown decent promise, but only once had he hit more than ten home runs in a season. In 2016, Miller exceeded expectations, hitting thirty home runs. Despite this, the veteran third baseman still topped his teammate in this category, hitting thirty-six balls over the fence. In large part due to the amount of doubles and home runs that he hit, Longoria also led the team in RBIs. He scored ninety-eight runners, while Miller had only eighty-one RBIs on the season. One area in which both of these player struggled in was striking out. Miller struck out 149 times, and Longoria struck out 144 times. Neither of these players had amazing batting averages, but Miller was still bested by Longoria. Miller hit .243, while Longoria hit .273. Although there were some other solid players on his team, Evan Longoria was the best player on the Tampa Bay Rays during the 2016 season.

Rays’ Third Baseman Evan Longoria (CBS)

Texas Rangers’ Best Player: Adrián Beltré

Third baseman Adrián Beltré was the best player on the Texas Rangers this season. This is a bit controversial, as there were many players on the Rangers this season that likely would have been the best, had they played on a different team. From a big picture sense, though, Beltré played better than everyone else on the Rangers, but he did have some competition. For starters, Beltré did not play the most on his team. He played in 153 games, but centerfielder Ian Desmond played in 156. Desmond also had more at-bats. The centerfielder had 625 plate appearances, and the third baseman had 583. Desmond also scored more than Beltré. He scored 107 times, while “The Captain” crossed home plate eighty-nine times. Desmond held the upper hand in terms of hits. He had a total of 178 on the year, and Beltré had 175. Beltré topped Desmond in the category of doubles. The third baseman had thirty-one such hits, while Desmond had twenty-nine. Beltré, not known for his speed, did not do very well in the category of triples. He had only one, but Desmond had three. What Beltré is most revered for his power, and he displayed that this season. He hit thirty-two home runs, ten more than Desmond. Because of this, the Dominican-born player also had the most RBIs. He had 104, and Desmond had eighty-six. One thing that was highly impressive, and maybe unexpected, was Beltré’s strikeout rate. He only struck out sixty-six times this season. Compare that to Ian Desmond, who struck out 160 times in 2016. Whether negatively or positively, this statistic in particular determined the batting averages of these players. Beltré hit a solid .300, while Desmond hit .285. Also, Beltré outdid Desmond from a defensive perspective. Beltré had a fielding percentage a full point higher than that of Desmond, at .976. Due to his ability to hit for contact and for power, third baseman Adrián Beltré was the best player on the Texas Rangers during the 2016 season.

Rangers’ Third Baseman Adrián Beltré (Yahoo Sports)

Toronto Blue Jays’ Best Player: Josh Donaldson

Third baseman Josh Donaldson was the best player on the Toronto Blue Jays this season. For the only foreign MLB team, it was really between Donaldson and designated hitter Edwin Encarnación. Encarnación was able to play more than the third baseman. He played in 160 games, while Donaldson played in 155. Due to this, the Dominican also had more at-bats. He had 601 plate appearances, and Donaldson had 577. Despite playing less, the 2015 MVP scored more. He had 122 runs, while Encarnación had ninety-nine. In terms of hits, Donaldson again had the advantage. He had 164 on the year, while Encarnación had 158. The former Oakland A was unable to lead his team in two-base hits. He had thirty-two doubles, and Encarnación had thirty-four. Encarnación, not known for his quickness, lost the triples battle. He had none on the season, while Donaldson led the Blue Jays with five. One category in which one does not need speed is home runs, and Encarnación had plenty of those. He had a team-best forty-two on the year, and Donaldson came in second with thirty-seven. Although a difference of five may not seem significant when two players are hitting home runs in the upper-thirties, it can be the difference between making it to the postseason and getting sent home. In large part due to this, Encarnación also led Toronto in RBIs. He had 127, while Donaldson had ninety-nine. Batting average was not a huge area of strength for the Blue Jays. Only one player hit over .300, and that player wasn’t Donaldson or Encarnación. Donaldson did, however, have the advantage over Encarnación in this category. He hit .284, and Encarnación hit .263. In the previous categories, these two players basically balance out. What tips the balance in favor of Donaldson is his glove. He has made a name for himself, thanks to his dazzling web gems. Encarnación may be a better power hitter, but Donaldson was the most consistent hitter and best fielder on the Toronto Blue Jays during the 2016 season.

Blue Jays’ Third Baseman Josh Donaldson (Wikipedia)

Washington Nationals Best Player: Daniel Murphy

No, the best player on the Washington Nationals was not Bryce Harper. It was second baseman Daniel Murphy, the former New York Mets star. For games played, Danny Espinosa led the Nats with 157; Anthony Rendon played in 156; Harper played in 157, and Murphy played in 142. Murphy surged ahead in at-bats, finishing in second with 531. Rendon had 567; Espinosa had 516, and Harper had 506. This was partly because so many teams elected to walk Harper, and the other players usually hit higher up in the lineup than he did. The results were somewhat similar for runs. Rendon scored ninety-one times; Murphy scored eighty-eight times; Harper scored eighty-four times, and Espinosa scored sixty-six times. Hits, a more important stat than games or at-bats, was led by the second baseman. He had 184 hits, the twelfth-best in all of baseball. Rendon had 153; Harper had 123, and Espinosa had 108. Needless to say, this positively impacted Murphy’s batting average to a point where it was the best on the Nationals. He hit .347, behind only DJ LeMahieu for MLB lead. Rendon hit .270; Harper hit .243, and Espinosa hit a meager .209. Doubles was yet another category led by Murphy. He had forty-seven doubles on the season, behind only David Ortiz for the best in the Majors. Rendon had thirty-eight; Harper had twenty-four, and Espinosa had fifteen. One of the more surprising stats is that Harper didn’t lead the Nationals in home runs. He isn’t by any means typically considered the biggest power threat on the Nationals: that distinction often goes to Harper. That wasn’t the case this year, with Harper hitting twenty-four and Murphy going deep twenty-five times. Espinosa also had twenty-four, and Rendon had twenty. Because of this, Washington’s RBI leader was also Murphy. He had 104; Harper had eighty-six; Rendon had one less, with eighty-five, and Espinosa had seventy-two. One of the deal-breakers for all of these players except for Murphy was striking out. Espinosa struck out 174 times, nearly three times as many as Murphy’s fifty-seven. Harper and Rendon both struck out their fair share, both finishing with  117 on the year. Daniel Murphy was very easily the best player on the Washington Nationals in 2016.

Nationals’ Second Baseman Daniel Murphy (MLB)

All of these players significantly benefited their team in one way or another. Some of these players may have not been the most talented on their team, but they were the ones that came ready to play. MVP doesn’t stand for “Most Talented Player;” it is the measure of value that each player has to his team. Each player, one way or another, deserved to be the MVP for his team because of the way in which he played and how well he played.

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