Aaron Judge leads the AL MVP, is there any argument for Shohei Ohtani to win again?

Isn’t there too many people sleeping on AL MVP Shohei Ohtani? Too many people talking about it? Is the answer somewhere in the middle? Let’s sort it out.

First, all the way to Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is the best bet when it comes to the 2022 American League Most Valuable Player Award. His chase to join the 60 home run club is incredibly fun and frankly the Yankees supporting an offensive cast at this point need to do him a favor.

Judges, who entered the game on Thursday, is .301/.407/.683 (205 OPS+) with 22 doubles, 55 home runs, 118 RBIs, 16 steals, 110 runs scored and 8.6 WARs. He leads the league in WAR, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+ (205 to 176), home runs (55 to 33), runs batted in, RBI (110 to 82) and is within batting average. He also leads in walks, slugging, on-bases, and total on-base percentage.

The Yankees, on the other hand, have the second-best record in the AL and are number one. In just about any other season in baseball history, this would be a blast.

Is it even worth discussing? The answer is yes, probably for two reasons. One is Judge’s historic season, and two is Angels’ two-way star Ohtani.

It seems to me that this can be broken down into three key points.

I’m not on the side of the judges or Ohtani here. I’m trying to paint a picture of the AL MVP debate. Yes, I share my opinions and voice my opinions on other things. It’s not just about voting for Ohtani or voting for the 2022 AL MVP judge.

Rock it!


We’ve heard all the arguments over the years, haven’t we? The ‘value means the best player’ aspect and the ‘how valuable is he if his team sucks’? There is an aspect. side, essentially.

The Angels are 60-77 and have a 28-game lead in the AL West. They are 18 games from the playoff spot. There is a notion in terms of “value” that players like Ohtani are worthless to the Angels. “We finished last with you. We can finish last without you.”

On the flip side, Judge’s Yankees are more likely to make the playoffs, and he’s had a struggling Yankees shoulder for about two months at this point. Play that series against the Rays last weekend. The Yankees scored only three runs. Judge hit his two homers, then Judge hit his double, and on a ground ball he advanced to third before a sack he scored on a fly.

Of course, I’ve been against the idea that a player is only worthwhile if his teammates are good players for years.

This is not basketball. One player can dominate the ball offensively on every possession, then guard the other team’s best player on every defensive possession. There are limits to what one baseball player can do. He can only hit once for each of his nine spots in the lineup, and sometimes he can only hit three times in a game. Usually, it’s his four times a game, and his share of offensive “possessions” is rarely enough to properly move the needle each night for a bad team. In defense, play can only be affected when the ball is hit in a specific spot. For an outfielder like Judge, it can be zero innings during a game. When it comes to pitching, a player still only affects one side of the game, and that’s just once in five games if he’s a starting pitcher.

All this to repeat a mantra we’ve been using here for years. Baseball is an individual sport disguised as a team game. It’s a series of individual battles. A single player cannot actually “carry” a team. Even when the judges “carry” the Yankees, they have lost two of his three games in Tampa Bay, going 25-31 since July 8. 332/.474/.796 after previously hitting .282/.363/.617, it’s hard to see anyone claim this to be the case. Interesting. He was actually a much more valuable player in range when the Yankees were a below-average team than they were when they were winning nearly every game.

There is nuance to all the arguments here, but to me there is a certain naivety or even ignorance in believing that bad team players are probably worthless. Did the judges get more value when he played poorly just because he played poorly?

My point is that the best players are the most valuable. Ignore teammates.

Believe it or not, in a way, it’s actually an advantage for the judges. It has become valuable.

Otani’s personality

The fact that one player can only do so much is true for Ohtani as well. It’s just another level. He does more than any other player. In addition to his starting rotation, he does all that “in the 9 spots he can only hit once.”

In the latter case, he was a very good starting pitcher, cy young watchIgnoring whatever he offers offensively, Ohtani has a case as a top five AL pitcher this season.

He’s 11-8 on bad teams. His earned run average is 2.58, which is his fifth in the AL, and a good 156+ earned run average. His WHIP of him is 1.04 which is 6th. He struck out his 181 hitters, placing him fifth in the league and having the highest percentage (11.98 K/9, 33%) in the league. Workload is probably one of the reasons he’s holding back in his AL Cy Young race. His three starters in the AL have him over 170 and all top 10s over 155.

Still, the reason he doesn’t work as often is because he’s preoccupied with being one of the best power hitters in baseball. For Cy Young it doesn’t matter, but for MVP it’s very important.

At bat, Ohtani is .267/.356/.536 (150 OPS+) with 21 doubles, 6 triples, 33 homers, 86 RBIs, 79 runs scored, and 11 steals. He is 4th in slugging percentage, 5th in OPS, 4th in OPS+, 5th in RBI, 3rd in all-base hits, 3rd in triples, 4th in RBI, 4th in walks, 4th in slugging, and on base. 6th in percentage and judges in home runs.

It is reasonable to conclude that he is the top 5 hitter in the AL. After all, see where he ranks among all of the above.

So you’re looking at the top 5 hitters and the top 5 pitchers. The only other player in history who could make such a claim is Babe Ruth. There wasn’t much crossover between Babe’s full-time pitching and full-time hitting exploitsIf there was, he was playing in a segregated league in a very different game than we’re watching.

Simply put, what Ohtani is doing now is unprecedented. From this perspective, it’s really the best thing an individual has done in baseball.

It’s hard to put numbers on a history like that and try to determine how much “value” he provides.

The closest approximation to comprehensive statistics is WAR. Ohtani overtook the judges on baseball-reference.com from version 8.6 to 7.9. Fangraphs’ version puts Judge at his 9.1 and Ohtani at 7.9. Ohtani is being penalized by Fangraphs for being a DH (there is an argument that DHs don’t contribute to defense, so they give less value to teams), but he’s also a pitcher, so he’s blunted by the fact that he only does DH Shouldn’t it be done? Also, since the Angels have to use a six-man rotation to accommodate Ohtani as a hitter and pitcher, should that dock him a bit?

Again, it’s really hard.

If you talk to MLB players about Ohtani, mostly men, they’ll say he’s the best player in baseball. best everThey know how hard it is to pitch and hit in this league, and Ohtani excels at both. Some players said that before last season, but Ohtani has maintained it for almost two seasons, so it’s almost unanimous. It’s always interesting to see direct reactions. They also give off a kind of glow while shaking their heads in disbelief.

Preparation is part of that, too. They all know that being an elite starting pitcher is a full-time job, and being an elite designated hitter who is also a stellar baserunner is almost a full-time job. I know how much work is required at a high level. A man does both.

How important is it? How important is it?

Again, there are nuances everywhere. It certainly feels like Ohtani gets bonus points here. There’s still a limit to what he can do.It’s still hard to expect one batter and one pitcher to carry an entire baseball team to the playoffs. I can’t wait.

Sure, we can all agree that there should be bonus points, but how many?

Voter/Fan Fatigue

Some people hate to admit it, but sometimes we get bored with things.

Tired of seeing them at CFP every year, except for Alabama fans? When an NBA player wins his MVP back-to-back, even if it was really close, wouldn’t you want to see someone else win it the following year?It’s human nature. That doesn’t just apply to the sports world. When the same TV show wins an Emmy every season, it seems we instinctively start to turn against it.Diversity is the spice of life.

Some players probably lost MVP due to voter fatigue. Albert Pujols? Maybe. Barry Bonds? probably.

Ohtani just won this award last season. He went 77-85 with the Angels (not a playoff contender). He was a respectable All-Star pitcher while winning the Silver Slugger and stealing 26 bases. All talk about values ​​and individual performance and history, the uniqueness of an interactive player and the value he brings to the game… We have been through all this!

No one could convince me that it was real and had nothing to do with this season’s discussion.

Clearly, Judge has had a much bigger year than Vladimir Guerrero Jr. last season, and with the Yankees being the No. 2 seed in the AL and the Blue Jays barely missing out on last year’s playoffs, there’s a difference. That said, it’s a very small difference, and I feel the difference in both votes and public opinion for the judges is huge. I can’t prove it because I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure the AL MVP debate would be much more contested if Ohtani had his first two-way superstar season this year instead of last year.

To me, the utopian version of this poll is simply determining who the best baseball player of 2022 is. just decide. who is the best player?

It seems impossible to get there, but a man can dream.

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