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My American League MVP Vote

By Paul Semendinger, September 28, 2020


As a member of the IBWAA, I have the privilege each year of voting for the various post-season awards. On these pages, over time, I’ll share the players I chose for these awards.

For the American League MVP, it was really a two person race: Jose Abreu or D.J. LeMahieu.

I don’t think a person would be wrong if he or she picked either player, they were both great. Who the better player was is a real toss-up.

D.J. LeMahieu led American League batters in the following categories:

bWAR (2.9)

Batting Average (.364)

On-Base Percentage (.421)

On-Base Plus Slugging (1.011)

He was also second in hits (71), sixth in total bases (115), and third in runs created (50).

His overall batting line of .364/10/27 with a triple slash of .364/.421/.590 is certainly MVP worthy.

But then we look at Jose Abreu. He led the league in the following categories:

Slugging Percentage (.617)

Hits (76)

Total Bases (148)

Runs Batted In (60)

Extra-Base Hits (34)

He was also second in bWar (2.8), home runs (19), and runs created (51). Abreu was also near the top of the leaderboards in the following other categories: Batting Average (.317, 4th), OPS (.987, 5th), At Bats (240, 2nd), Runs (43, 3rd), Runs Created (51, 2nd).

His overall batting line of .317/19/60 with a triple slash of .317/.370/.617 is also MVP worthy.

Both the Yankees (LeMahieu) and the White Sox (Abreu) have made the post season so both players helped their teams reach the playoffs.

So, how does one choose between these players? It’s a very close call.

One stat that could tilt the votes to D.J. LeMahieu is his versatility. He played three positions well (first base, second base, and third base). Jose Abreu is just a first baseman (and a DH).

But, the stat that tilts the award to Jose Abreu in my opinion is the one other area where he was tied for the league lead – games played. Jose Abreu played in 60 games. He appeared in every one of his team’s games. D.J. LeMahieu played in 50 games. To me, in such a close race, that tilts the scales to Abreu.

D.J. LeMahieu had a great year. He is a worthy MVP candidate and if he wins the award, it is something he certainly deserves. That being said, I think the more valuable player in 2020 (if only slightly) was Jose Abreu.

Jose Abreu earned my IBWAA vote for American League Most Valuable Player.

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