Thursday, February 24, 2011
Early MVP Predictions....
To me, the number one candidate for MVP in the AL this season is Evan Longoria. He is poised to have a big year this year for the Rays. With Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, and Matt Garza gone, Longoria is now the face of the franchise. He needs to put this team on his back and get them back to the playoffs. He had a big start last year to the season but then tailed off. The goal this year will be to stay consistent throughout the season. With the addition of Manny hitting behind him in the lineup and Damon to be a true leadoff hitter, Longoria should have plenty of RBI opportunities. Another big help will be a healthy BJ Upton. If Upton can play well at the top of the lineup, Longoria’s numbers could benefit immensely. Evan showed up in camp with ten extra pounds of muscle. Hopefully this will help with his power numbers and allow him to battle for the Triple Crown. Helping his cause will be the fact that he gets to play in a hitter’s park along with other hitter friendly parks in the AL East. Longoria will definitely have the chance to shine this year, and I think he will rise to the challenge and win the MVP.
In the NL this year, I see the MVP trophy going to a breakout star in Andre Ethier. Ethier has all the talent to have an outstanding year. He hits for doubles, power, and average. Last year he was on his way to putting up MVP numbers until he suffered an injury to his pinky finger. He admitted he came back too early and just never got his sweet swing back. This year he is ready to breakout on a team that is ready to breakout. When the Dodgers get back to the playoffs it will be because of Ethier's season. Ethier absolutely dominates righties, in a righty heavy league, he will feast on them. He is getting better at hitting lefties and maybe this is the year he really gets it. The NL West has a lot of young inexperienced pitching, besides the Giants, and he should be able to take advantage of playing over 50 games against those hurlers. Ethier will also benefit from playing in the spacious Dodger Stadium. The huge alleys will certain help his RBI numbers. Andre should also benefit from some really good hitting protection. Kemp, Loney, and Furcal have been putting up steady numbers the last few years and should continue to get on base in front of Ethier. This is the year Andre Ethier becomes one of the best hitters in the league, and shows he is one of the most difficult matchups in all of baseball.