Franmil Reyes has done enough to be considered an AL MVP candidate.
The Cleveland Indians only have a third of the season (6 series/20 games) left to go but Franmil Reyes has done enough already to warrant consideration for AL MVP. It’s not an easy sell, admittedly. For the AL, he’s tied for 17th in RBI’s, 19th in home runs, and ninth for batting average. Not clear cut, dominating numbers. but they’re good and shows he’s a top 20 hitter in the AL.
For those that think this is a big swing, they’ll point to Mike Trout, who’s on his way to probably win his fourth MVP. If the award is solely about production, then you’d be right to assume Trout is the MVP. He’s the best player in baseball, full stop. That’s not a debate to be had. He’s an elite-level athlete with more natural skills than a guy could ask for.
Yet, if the MVP is about the most valuable player to a team that wins, then Reyes is in the rarest of the rare. While he struggled the first part of the season, over the last month Reyes has led a resurgence Tribe offense that has not just propelled the team away from the .500 mark but is now within whisper distance of first place in the AL Central.
Most of the guys in and around him statistically are either on a loaded team or on a team going nowhere, like Trout. Reyes is finally getting some help from Tyler Naquin, Francisco Lindor, and when every so often Jose Ramirez. Beyond that, Reyes has succeeded in hitting behind Carlos Santana most of the year, and no one is afraid to face Santana in 2020; making Reyes’ job even harder. What Reyes has done on his own at times, and with little else to help up until recently is enough to make a case for him.
Sure, he’s probably not going to win but Reyes is the overall best hitter on a playoff-bound team that was hovering around the .500 mark until he started to really perform this season. If you’re a .500 team without a key player in most sports, that’s good enough for said key player to be considered an MVP candidate. Yet, not in baseball.
Realistically, if he does garner some attention, he’ll finish outside of the top five in voting. If he’s even just considered though, that would give 2021 and beyond so much hope for the Indians, who haven’t had a real MVP candidate since Travis Hafner.