2. Can The Tribe Win A Pennant With Lindor As Its Best Player?
I do not see why not, but I understand the logic here. While Lindor is a five-tool player, he is not going to hit 35 home runs in a season or steal 60 bases. He will be very good at every aspect of his game, while contending for a gold glove, and will be a critical part of the offense.
MVP voters especially want the wow factor with their votes, so it is fair to question whether the Tribe can win the pennant with Lindor as its best position player. But if the Cleveland Indians win the American League pennant, it will not be because of Lindor.
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Instead, it will be because of the pitching staff supporting what should be an improved offense. Lindor might be the best position player, but the best player overall in Cleveland. Right now, that title belongs to starting pitcher Corey Kluber.
The AL Central itself provides a great counterpoint to why it doesn’t matter if the best Tribe position player is Lindor or not. While the Detroit Tigers have had arguably the best position player in baseball in recent years in first baseman Miguel Cabrera, they don’t have a World Series title. Neither do the Washington Nationals with outfielder Bryce Harper or the Los Angeles of Anaheim Angels with outfielder Mike Trout.
However, also in the A.L. Central is the Kansas City Royals, where no one will say left fielder Alex Gordon, first baseman Eric Hosmer, or catcher Salvador Perez are the best position players in the league. Their pitching and defense got them to the World Series and won the title for them — not a single transcendent talent. So yes, the Cleveland Indians can win a pennant with Lindor as their best player.
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