As the calendar flips to September, who leads the AL MVP power rankings?
The AL MVP race is down to two. Let’s be honest, it’s between New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge and Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani. Everyone else is playing for third place.
Judge leads the American League in so many meaningful categories, and there may be those who believe the free agent to-be is a slam dunk to win the award. But Ohtani’s two-way prowess in unmatched by any other player who’s ever set foot on a major league field. That has to count for something.
Also, can we throw out the nonsense of team success? Sure, if you’re looking for a tiebreaker, perhaps that’s something you can use to tip the scales. But the Most Valuable Player Award should have little-to-nothing to do with whether or not your team wins or loses.
5. AL MVP Power Rankings: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
Were it not for Mike Trout missing so many games due to injury, the three-time MVP may be in pursuit of a fourth trophy. But, Trout has only appeared in 89 games so far this season.
Trout will still get plenty of love from the voters, and if he has a good showing during the month of September, he could find himself higher on this list. Despite missing so many games, Trout is still 5th in home runs (28) and has an OPS+ of 170.
4. AL MVP Power Rankings: Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Guardians
Jose Ramirez is having another typical Jose Ramirez-type of season. J-Ram is among the Top 10 in the league in several meaningful categories including home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage, and OPS.
Ramirez is a four-time All-Star and finished in the Top 3 for the AL MVP vote on three separate occasions. If Ramirez continues to dominate during September, he may make a fourth time.
3. AL MVP Power Rankings: Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros
It’s hard to rank a designated hitter among the best players in baseball, but what Yordan Alvarez has done in 2022 is certainly worthy of consideration. Alvarez is tied for 10th in batting average, behind only Aaron Judge in both slugging and OPS, and leads the league in on-base percentage.
Alvarez is also second in the American League in home runs (31) and has kept his strikeout-rate below 20%, which is relatively unheard of for a power hitter such as him.
2. AL MVP Power Rankings: Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
What Shohei Ohtani is doing this season is nothing short of remarkable. While Ohtani’s numbers at the plate have dipped ever so slightly from 2021 to 2022, what he’s doing on the mound has been impressive.
Ohtani has an .882 OPS and a 2.67 ERA with a 34.0% strikeout-rate. Ohtani has already blown past the 156 punch outs he doled out a year ago and could surpass 200 Ks in 2022. For a player to have 30-plus home runs and 200-plus strikeouts in one season is utterly ridiculous.
1. AL MVP Power Rankings: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
Aaron Judge better keep his foot on the gas or Shohei Ohtani is going to pass him during the final month of the season. Again, I don’t buy into the notion of team success, so the fact that the Yankees are on their way to the postseason and the Angels will be watching the playoffs from home is irrelevant.
Judge’s performance this season has been spectacular, and were it not for the fact that Ohtani has been dominant on the mound and at the plate, he’d be a unanimous winner of the AL MVP.
As it is, Judge probably needs to smash 10 more home runs between now and the end of the season in order to leave no doubt in the minds of the voters. Having 60 homers next to his name might be enough to push him over the edge, and if Judge surpasses Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 home runs, he’ll take home the trophy without question.