Sunday, September 4, 2011

Could the Dodgers have 3 postseason MVPs?

The Dodgers' terrible season (although better of late) could still net the organization some postseason hardware.

Matt Kemp, Scott Van Slyke and Angelo Songco all have legitimate chances at their respective league MVP awards.

National Leauge
Contenders: Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Kemp, Justin Upton

.335/.404/.590, 26 HR, 94 RBI, 31 SB, 6.5 bWAR, 6.0 fWAR
- Braun has taken him game to another level. He's always had a little speed -- averaged roughly 16 stolen bases a season in his first four years -- but he's up to 31 stolen bases this season. He also has a career-high .404 OBP. He's missed 12 games this season, but he's still putting up MVP-caliber numbers.

.297/.408/.552, 31 HR, 107 RBI, 31 2B, 4.4 bWAR, 4.4 fWAR
- Fielder has been just as valuable as Braun has been to the Brewers. He has an impressive 89/89 BB/K ratio and he's putting up a .400-plus OBP four the third consecutive season. He could steal votes away from Braun (and vice versa) come voting time.

.320/.401/.570, 32 HR, 105 RBI, 37 SB, 8.5 bWAR, 6.7 fWAR
- He's is having an extraordinary season for a bad baseball team. He leads the National League in total bases and posted the first 30-30 season for the Dodgers since Raul Mondesi in 1999. He's been one of the best, most consistent players in the league. He leads all four candidates in Baseball-Reference WAR and FanGrapgs WAR. If the Dodgers were anywhere near contention, he'd win the award going away.

.295/.376/.536, 26 HR, 81 RBI, 20 SB, 4.0 bWAR, 6.4 fWAR
- Upton is the weakest of the quartet, but he's been an integral part of the Diamondbacks' success this season. He has an All-Star catcher (Miguel Montero) and a rookie (Paul Goldschmidt) protecting him in the lineup. Montero is a solid player, but not exactly the type of protection Upton needs to thrive. Upton would need a late-season surge to leap frog the other three candidates.

Southern League
Candidates: Goldschmidt, Ernesto Mejia, Alfredo Silverio, Van Slyke

.306/.435/.626, 30 HR, 94 RBI, 82 BB
- This is the same Goldschmidt who is currently protecting Upton in the D-Backs' lineup. Goldschmidt was tearing up the Southern League before his call-up. His 30 home runs is still tied for the league lead. If he played the entire season in Mobile, he'd be Van Slyke's biggest challenge for MVP.

.297/.378/.527, 25 HR, 96 RBI, 36 2B
- Mejia is leading a 59-79 Mississippi Braves' team. He's the only player on the team with more than seven home runs. He's third in the league in home runs, leads in RBI and is third in total bases. He's probably Van Slyke's biggest contender for the award.

.304/.338/.543, 16 HR, 85 RBI, 18 3B
- Van Slyke's teammate is making his own case for SL MVP. His 18 triples lead the league, as well do his 287 total bases. He's also second behind Van Slyke with 42 doubles. He's having a breakout season as a prospect.

Van Slyke
.348/.427/.595, 20 HR, 92 RBI, 45 2B
- Van Slyke has been on fire for the last month-plus. He leads the league in batting average and doubles. His OPS is second in the league and all his slash stats are Top 5. He's been the best player in the league and should walk away with the award handily.

California League
Candidates: Gary Brown, Kole Calhoun, Michael Choice, Josh Rutledge, Songco

.338/.408/.517, 13 HR, 79 RBI, 51SB, 113 R
- The Giants' prospect is second in the league in runs scored and leads the league in triples (13). His on-base percentage is fifth in the league and his 51 stolen bases are third in the league. He also plays on the league's best team (90-48).

.323/.410/.546, 22 HR, 97 RBI, 20 SB
- Calhoun is third in the league in OBP (among qualified players) and is a 20-20 player. His .956 OPS is the best of all players with more than 100 games played.

.287/.378/.541, 29 HR, 79 RBI, 28 2B
- Choice is the youngest of the five candidates and is tied with Songco for the league lead in home runs. His Stockton Ports are 10 games over .500, but 16 games back of the San Jose Giants. He probably won't get much play for the award.

.351/.414/.521, 9 HR, 70 RBI, 90 R
- Rutledge leads the league in batting average and his .935 OPS is third-best in the Cal League. Like Choice with the Ports, his team is eight games over .500, but trail the best team in the league by 17 games.

.314/.366/.583, 29 HR, 113 RBI, 47 2B
- Songco is leading the league in slugging percentage (.583), doubles (47) and total bases (308) and has been on fire for the last month. That, coupled with the Quakes' dominance of the South Division should make him the front-runner. However, the voters will be hard-pressed to look beyond Brown's performance for the Giants.


So, could the Dodger trio all bring home the hardware? Sure. Van Slyke looks to be a lock for the award. Kemp will have a hard battle against Braun and Songco could lose out to two or three of the guys listed above.

In a season that's been so dismal, it's nice to have a ray of hope from three different leagues.

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