Nelson Cruz Not Among AL MVP Finalists, But Why?


MLB announced the Gold Glove winners, Cy Young candidates, and the three finalists for the Most Valuable Player award on Tuesday. The finalists for the American League MVP award are as follows: OF Mike Trout, OF Michael Brantley, and DH Victor Martinez. Do you notice who isn’t there? The Baltimore Orioles very own Nelson Cruz.

Not being named among the three most valuable players from the American League this year makes no sense. Not only did he lead the league with 40 home runs, he was the spearhead of a Baltimore Orioles team that maintained the second-best record in the majors and were crowned the AL East division champions for the first time since 1997.

Let’s compare some numbers here. Putting Trout ahead of Cruz makes sense, and he will probably end up winning the award, but Brantley and Martinez don’t deserve it more than Cruz. They both had great seasons and I’m not taking anything away from them, but what Nelson Cruz and the Baltimore Orioles accomplished this year cannot be overlooked.

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  • Comparably, Cruz has a large advantage on Brantley. In the home run department, Cruz doubled Brantley’s total 40-20. Cruz also knocked in 11 more RBIs than Brantley and recorded three more walks.

    One stat that Brantey does have a large advantage in is with average, where he hit .327 to Cruz’s .271. And I know that Brantley’s value went beyond his hitting at the plate, but so did Cruz’s.

    Moving on to Victor Martinez, he makes a little more sense to be in front of Cruz. In 151 games, Martinez hit 32 home runs and 103 RBIs, which are both less than Cruz, but his .335 average was far better. And the Detriot Tigers ended up winning their division, which means he had a pretty big impact on the team.

    When you look at players that should be deserving for the MVP award, you have to factor in the performance of the team as a whole. The Cleveland Indians ended the season with an 85-77 record, which isn’t bad, but it doesn’t even compare to the Orioles’ record of 96-66, which was an 11-game improvement from the previous year.

    And although the Detriot Tigers only finished the season six games behind the Orioles, they have been a constantly winning team over the last decade, so nothing magical occurred for them. However with the Orioles, Nelson Cruz came aboard, and he changed the entire team. He had a career year by hitting 108 RBIs and 40 home runs, leading the Orioles to a 96-win season and their first American League Championship Series appearance since 1997.

    How does that not deserve to be one of three finalists for the 2014 MVP?