Whereas the weather outside may seem to be cooling down, the Toronto Blue Jays are maintaining are maintaining the heat that could potentially see Toronto in their first playoff appearance since 1993. One of the biggest reasons for Toronto’s surge both offensively and defensively is the acquirement of third-baseman and Gold Glover Josh Donaldson. Donaldson is currently in a race for the American League Most Valuable Player, and continues to state his case as to why he should become the first MVP from Toronto since George Bell in 1987.
However, there are two major hurdles that Donaldson will need to overcome in order to capture the honour – and one is a both-sides-of-the-ball juggernaut. His name is Mike Trout, and he is the reigning MVP from the Los Angeles Angels. The other? Forceful hitting machine Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers.
Trout, who is only 24 years old, has dominated the game since his first appearance in 2011. This season, he is close to mirroring his stats from last year, which captured him a Hank Aaron award with his MVP crown. One of the biggest stars of the game, he is inching closer and closer to being the king of the outfield, while being the prince in the batter’s box. Trout is second in the statistical categories of OBP and OPS – he does not lead any major category.
Cabrera is doing damage on the field as well. The 2012 Triple Crown winner is currently leading the league in batting average (.359), On-Base Percentage (.460) and On-Base plus Slugging (1.046).
Donaldson is having a career-year himself, and with all due respect to Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera, Donaldson deserves to have MVP honours this year. Currently, Donaldson leads the league in RBI’s (108), Runs (102) and Total Bases (299). Donaldson is also tied for second in home runs with 36.
So, if all three of these men deserve the title, who should win it? Well, I think we need to factor in one thing: the success of their team. Each player leads in different statistical categories, so they counter each other. The deciding factor? How successful are the Toronto Blue Jays (Donaldson) LA Angels (Trout) and the Detroit Tigers (Cabrera).
Right now, the only team in a playoff spot are Donaldson’s Blue Jays. Detroit is 8 games back of the Wild Card, and Los Angeles is 3 games back of the final Wild Card spot. Toronto has a lead in the AL East, albeit slim, but a lead nonetheless. If it was clear to everyone that a certain individual deserves the title, then sure, give it to them. But, with the success that all three of these men are having this season, we need to look for different parameters.
Donaldson is a huge reason for Toronto’s success this season. Ask any blue-bird fan, and they will agree that Donaldson is the team’s heart this year; their clutch performer. While other Jays have certainly stepped up, and the new additions coming via trade have certainly helped, you cannot deny the success Toronto is having because of Donaldson. Cabrera is a major factor to Detroit’s success as well, except they aren’t having any.
Trout is putting up a worthy performance as well, but if the Angels don’t make the playoffs, MVP honours will most certainly go to Donaldson.
It all boils down to the success of their respective clubs. Sorry Trout and Cabrera, you’re doing well yourselves, but the team’s you play on are not so hot.
With that being said, I think we’re closer and closer every single day to seeing our second MVP in Toronto, and Josh Donaldson should be damn proud of his accomplishments this season.