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Monday, August 10, 2009
Making Aaron Hill's MVP case

Is Aaron Hill playing just about as well this year as Dustin Pedroia did last year? Robert MacLeod argues that they're a lot closer than you probably think: There's no question about it: Hill is enjoying one fine season.

For him.

The comparison to Pedroia doesn't work, though. Not beyond the most basic statistics, anyway. Aside from the home runs, Pedroia did everything better last year than Hill is doing this year.

Last season, Pedroia batted .326; Hill is batting .291.

Pedroia finished last season with a .376 on-base percentage; Hill's sitting, right now, at .329.

Pedroia hit 54 doubles; Hill is going to finish with around 30.

Pedroia stole 20 bases while being caught just once; Hill has four steals this season.

Pedroia won a Gold Glove last year (and might have deserved it); it's actually Hill who's just "pretty decent."

Say what you want about the MVP process, but last year the voters -- in all their inconsistent, subjective, rationalizing glory -- went with the guy who led the American League in Wins Above Replacement.

And this year? As well as he's playing -- and again, there's that little matter of the .329 on-base percentage -- Aaron Hill this year isn't one of the dozen best players in the American League. I can't guarantee that Hill wouldn't draw some MVP support if the Blue Jays were contenders ... but then again, if they were contenders they'd probably have better MVP candidates than him.