MVP: Don't ignore Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton

September, 19, 2012
There's a debate on (Insider) right now about which player should win the AL MVP, and it centers around two names: Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera.

I get it. Those are the two biggest names and they certainly have to be considered favorites. But is this MVP discussion only reserved for those two guys? What about two players having terrific seasons in helping the Texas Rangers to the best record in the American League?

It seems like Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton aren't getting enough consideration these days. I understand that Trout has taken the league by storm and has a WAR number that is ridiculous. And Cabrera is making a push at the Triple Crown. But Hamilton and Beltre have their own impressive numbers, too.

Hamilton is the only thing standing in Cabrera's way when it comes winning the Triple Crown. Hamilton has a career-high 42 home runs, two more than the Detroit slugger. He's also second to Cabrera in RBIs with 123 (Cabrera's tremendous Monday night helped him build that lead). Where he lacks a bit is average, hitting .287. But he's got a .947 OPS and has once again proven to be a solid defensive player in center fielder.

Beltre, meanwhile, has the fourth-best WAR number in the AL and is hitting .316, the fifth-best mark in the AL. He has hit 33 homers, seventh in the league. But his defense stacks up with anyone in the game. Beltre is second among third baseman in defensive runs saved with 16 and has provided important leadership in the clubhouse.

The other natural question that comes out of this is which of the two is more valuable to the Rangers. We discussed this last week. I give the slight advantage to Beltre, simply because I think his defense at third base has impacted the entire infield and he's still added critical pop with the bat. And don't forget: Having Beltre at cleanup certainly helps protect Hamilton.

The middle part of MVP is "valuable," and both of these guys are invaluable to this Rangers squad. I'm not suggesting either should win the MVP. But both should part of a handful of players in the discussion.
Richard Durrett joined in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?


Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Jon Daniels

Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Jim Bowden

ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.

Galloway & Company: Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ron Washington

Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Fire Wash?

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.


Alex Rios
.318 1 11 9
HRS. Choo 2
RBIA. Rios 11
RE. Andrus 14
OPSS. Choo .932
WM. Perez 4
ERAM. Perez 1.42
SOY. Darvish 29