At the All-Star break, Adrian Gonzalez was clear favorite to win AL MVP. But while he still leads the AL in average (.343) Gonzo is in a power slump with Zero HR in August. Now, it appears another Red Sox player has overtaken him as the front-runner for the Award. As you already know, Jacoby Ellsbury has been an absolute Monster this season, batting .313 with 22 HR 79 RBI and 33 steals. Although he is currently listed as day to day with a back injury, Jacoby looks like he’s going to earn MVP honors just in time for his contract to run out. The Red Sox will have a big decision to make this off-season, because it’s going to take big bucks to bring him back.
Not bad for a guy who was getting crucified last season by the fans and media when he sat out with broken ribs.
As phenomenal as their stats are, I don’t think either one of them is the Most Valuable Player on the Red Sox. The Muddy Chicken Dustin Pedroia has been the driving force behind this team. Earning the new nickname for his Dirt Dog approach to the game, Pedroia has been a brick wall at Second base, a beast at the plate and a mad man on the basepaths. He can bat anywhere from 1st to 4th in the order, and always seems to come up with the clutch play the team needs. Plus he brings that comedic edge to the clubhouse that was so key in the 04 and 07 World Series seasons. His 16 HRs and 65 RBIs may not be enough to win him the MVP vote, but if you look past the stats and into real life the Laser Show / Muddy Chicken just might be the most valuable asset in the Red Sox organization. Nobody does more for the club overall than Pedroia. Nobody.
However the race shakes down, I’d bet the MVP comes from the Red Sox. The (grrr) Yankees’ Curtis Granderson is putting up impressive numbers with 35 HR 98 RBI and 24 steals, but his .281 avg is a little low to be considered MVP worthy. And don’t count Adrian out; Gonzalez could still be a contender if he starts hitting Homers again. If either Gonzo or Jacoby can close out the season on a hot streak, one of them will take it. Although the stats might not be there to support me, I still think Pedroia is the real MVP.