Halos Will Have Three Players in Top 15 of MVP Voting
By Vincent Page
When the MVP talks start heating up this year, obviously Mike Trout will be a name worth mentioning. He is the favorite for the award among fans, analysts, and gamblers alike. However, my bold prediction is that two other Angels join Trout in the Top 15 MVP vote getters.
The first is Andrelton Simmons, which isn’t as bold as it seems. In the past two seasons, Simmons has amassed a total of 13.2 WAR and has been voted 8th and 15th, respectively. And now, Simmons is in line for a career year.
As we know, the defense will be there. For the offense, despite a poor Spring Training, Simmons has improved every season since coming to Anaheim. He has turned into one of the best contact hitters in baseball, rarely striking out and dominating when he gets ahead in a count (.342 batting average).
And of course, we know Simmons will provide enough highlights plays to get the nation’s attention.
As for the third candidate, last year J.D Martinez finished 4th in MVP voting as a designated hitter. The Angels just so happen to have a player who will be restricted to DH this season.
Albert Pujols. No, joking, unfortunately Pujols will be playing the field at some points to accommodate some young pitcher who is trying to hit this year. Who is this Shohei Ohtani guy anyways?
The man of many names. Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani-san. The Japanese Babe Ruth. Future-Top-15-vote-getter-in-the-2019-AL-MVP-voting. Okay, maybe the last one doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as other nicknames, but you get my point.
Do I see Ohtani replicating the .330 batting average and 130 RBI’s Martinez had last year? No, especially after he misses the first month. But for Ohtani to finish as one of the best players in the AL and as a Top 15 MVP candidate, that’s not out of the question.
Full-time DH? Focusing only on hitting? Last year, when Ohtani began hitting after it was confirmed he’d need Tommy John surgery, he went on to slash .320/.395/.653 over the final 47 games. I mean, who’s to say he can’t replicate near those numbers over 120 games this season? That’d put him in the upper echelon of hitters, and squarely in the MVP discussions.