This 2013 season is shaping up to be a pretty anti-climactic finish around Major League Baseball, at least in most cases. In the National League, the playoff teams are all but decided, it’s just a matter of seeding. This is also the case for several individual accolades all over the league, including the American League Most Valuable Player award.
The AL MVP won’t even include the Miguel Cabrera vs. Mike Trout debate. The award is Cabrera’s to lose, despite several candidates that you could make a case for. One player that you could very easily make a case for is Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre.
Coming off of an impressive second season with the Rangers in 2012, Beltre is having one of the best campaigns of his career this year. In fact, many of his figures this season represent the best numbers he’s put up since that brilliant 2004 year when he was still a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Beltre has hit .326 this season, and has gotten on base at a .381 clip. He’s fourth in the American League in batting average and ninth in on-base percentage. His wOBA, which is up at .394, and his wRC+ is at 146, each of which represents a career best since that 2004 season.
The power has still been there as well. His 28 home runs he’s currently sitting on may not help him eclipse the 36 he hit last year, but he’s still sixth in the American League. He’s second in the American League in hits, behind only Cabrera. The thing about Beltre is that he doesn’t strike out, with only 59 for the year. He’s fifth in offensive WAR in the league.
The bottom line is that Adrian Beltre absolutely deserves some love as an American League MVP candidate. He’s a top three candidate, and while he is likely a long shot to take home the hardware, he should at least garner more attention than he has as a candidate for the most valuable player award.