The Most Valuable Player Award has always widely been voted on for the best player in the league, not the most valuable to their team. If it were the BPA (Best Player Award) Mike Trout would win that each and every year in the American League. In my mind it not the best player award, it’s the MVP, and arguably the most valuable player to their team this season has been Kyle Seager.
My opinion means nothing to the voters who don’t even know me or know I exist but I’m here to say that if the Seattle Mariners make the postseason in 2016, the AL MVP should be Kyle Seager.
Here’s my argument.
Seager is going to finish the 2016 campaign with career highs across the board — he will most likely finish with 30-plus home runs (currently sits at 29), over 100 RBIs (currently at 95), and could come close to 100 runs scored. His average, on-base percentage and slugging should all be career highs as well. He is in line to best his career-high OPS mark of .788 in 2014 by over 100 points. All of this comes after hitting .159 (13-82) in April. He currently sits tied for fifth in the American League with a 6.7 WAR. He will have helped lead the Mariners back to the postseason for the first time in over a decade (15 years to be exact) and he can not only change the game with his bat but also his glove.
Seager ranks in the top 15 in both dWAR(13th) and Defensive Runs Saved(14th). If it weren’t for Manny Machado at third base, he would probably have more than one Gold Glove in his career. I’m not saying that Machado didn’t deserve his Gold Gloves, but the bigger the name and better team you are on, the more votes you are going to rack up for postseason awards.
Some of the names being mentioned in the AL MVP race are understandably Trout and Jose Altuve. Both are having special seasons, but the Los Angeles Angels aren’t making the postseason and the Houston Astros are looking like they aren’t going to make it either. Mookie Betts is one of the few who could make a better case than Seager if we are judging the MVP off of the most valuable to their team. He is having a career year and the Boston Red Sox are in prime position to make a possible deep postseason run. But would the Red Sox be in the postseason or in the thick of the hunt if Betts wasn’t on the team? I would say yes, as they are most years. They have a ton of talent on that team and too much experience not to be. Would the Mariners be where they are today without Seager? No, they would be preparing for next season already.
Again, all of this is a moot point if the M’s don’t make the postseason.
If I was a gambling man, I wouldn’t put any money on Seager to win the MVP even if the M’s do make the postseason, but if nothing else, the voters should reward what has been a special season for the Mariners and Seager with some MVP votes. Finishing fifth or higher in the MVP race shouldn’t be out of the question.
Seager is a team player and couldn’t care less about his individual stats at this point. He just wants to make it to the postseason, but a career season shouldn’t be overlooked.