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Friday, May 3, 2013

April's MLB MVP

Wild on Sports
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April's MLB MVP
By Wild on Sports Analyst Justin Davis

I almost woke up this morning and wrote about the NBA Playoffs, but then I realized that the Heat are dominate and everyone else is 2 levels down from there so I decided to write about baseball instead. April was a pretty crazy month with a lot of record setters between hitters and pitchers but who is the months MVP. The names that I believe would be in the mix are Baltimore’s Chris Davis, Bostons Dustin Pedroia, Washington’s Bryce Harper, Atlanta’s Justin Upton, and Boston's Clay Buchholz.

Chris Davis broke out the first 4 games of the season with 4 HR’s, 3 doubles, and 16 RBI’s which gave him a ridiculous jump on all the competition but has since slowed down. Obviously he was not going to keep up with numbers like that but he has stayed good throughout the first month of baseball. Davis leads all of baseball with 28 RBI’s ties for second in baseball with 9 homers, and sits in 3rd in batting averages with a .348. He doesn’t quite have the name to back him up yet but as long as he continues to play well and continue leading Baltimore with a winning record, that could change. I don’t see the Texas native continuing on this pace as he is a career .263 hitter and has never played more than 139 games in a season but I could be wrong. He would finish in 3rd for my Aprils American League MVP.

Finishing second in the American League is Dustin Pedroia. Petey has been very consistent all year hitting and has some pretty good numbers behind him, but also lacks in one very big one. Pedroia is sitting in 4th in the American League in batting average with a healthy .337 to go along with 19 walks and only 16 strikeouts. Anytime you have more walks than strikeouts, you have a solid chance at being a top tier player and those walks help him lead the AL in OBP with a .444. Dustin also is sitting in 3rd in the league with 6 SB’s and has a respectable 33 hits and 16 runs. The problem with Pedroia is the fact that he has no home runs. Not 1. I understand the he is very undersized but that has never stopped him in the past considering in his 6 previous years as a starter he hit 88 bombs. If he can start hitting for power while keeping up in some of the other categories, he can have a solid chance.

My American League MVP, and I guess Cy Young, would have to be big Clay Buchholz. Clay shared the lead in pitching with a 5-0 record in the month of April, and picked up win number 6 yesterday, with is a pretty remarkable stat. Buchholz pitched 37.2 innings during the month and only gave up 5 runs with a ERA of 1.19 with 39 strikeouts. This difference that I saw in Clay and guys like Matt Moore and Yu Darvish who could also be in the mix is that it looked like Clay dominated the opposition. When he pitches it almost seems like he doesn’t throw a bad pitch, that his earned runs have came off of the batters getting a lucky swing with their eyes closed. The other reason is that Clay has pitched at least 7 innings in every start this year while Moore has only gone over 6.2 once this season. Clay isn’t getting in enough innings for a win throwing a lot of pitches and then bouncing out. When he steps on the plate, you can guarantee that he is giving the relief pitchers a break.

In the National League I have Justin Upton finishing just shy of Bryce Harper in the April MVP race. Justin leads all of baseball with and impressive 12 homers, but only has 19 RBI’s and a sub .300 batting average at .298. He is a force every time he steps on the plate and the opposing pitcher has no choice but to throw perfect pitches. Justin has a NL league best 22 runs scored and 28 hits with only 94 plate appearances and has scored stolen 3 bases. Justin has the potential to have astronomical numbers but right now its seeming like its either all of nothing when he comes to the plate with his 12 homers and 30 strikeouts but his numbers are impressive all the same. He also has the fact that he plays for a NL East leading Atlanta Braves to help him out since being on a winning team helps out when it comes to a most valuable player award.

My National League MVP is the 20 year old Bryce Harper. This kid is only in his second season and is already living up to his potential and more. In the month of April he finished second in homers with 9 and lead the NL in batting average with a ridiculous .344. He finished 4th in hits and 10th in runs with only 93 plate appearances but those aren’t even the most impressive numbers. His league leading 1.150 OPS is the most ridiculous stat. His 9 homers, 6 doubles, 1 triple, and .344 BA with 14 walks together is whats helping that slugging number and on base percentage come out to what it is and it is truly remarkable. The other thing that Bryce has that other top guys don’t always have is incredible defense. Hes an outfielder so numbers like errors and assist are hard to gauge but runners are scared to stretch on him. They know that if you try to stretch a single to a double or try to go from second to home, you better have a big lead because his arm is powerful and accurate. Him great defense paired with top 5 numbers in almost every category is what make him Aprils NL MVP.

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