Yes, it’s just mid-May, but it’s never too early to start evaluating potential MVP candidates in MLB, both in the American and National League.
The folks at MLB.com took a vote to start determining the frontrunners for the prestigious award in both leagues.
Some of the results could be shocking.
“Wake up, babe. MVP frontrunners list just dropped,” MLB jokingly tweeted on Thursday afternoon.
— MLB (@MLB) May 12, 2022
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels led the voting in the American League.
However, it’s a bit surprising to see Manny Machado, the San Diego Padres’ third baseman, leading the pack in the National League.
Machado Is Playing At A Whole Different Level
Then, when you realize Machado tops the league in Wins Above Replacement (WAR), with 3.0, and is playing some of the best ball of his life, you start to understand the thinking.
The star defender and potent slugger is slashing .383/.460/.625 with seven home runs and 22 RBI so far in 2022, leading the Padres in the absence of Fernando Tatis Jr.
Trout, on the other hand, is a perennial MVP candidate when healthy.
He is showing that the calf injury that sidelined him for most of the 2021 campaign is behind him.
As of Thursday afternoon, he is hitting .337/.462/.726 with nine home runs, 25 runs, and 19 RBI.
He is second in MLB in WAR, with 2.4, behind Machado.
Those are the early favorites to win the MVP in both leagues, but there is still a long way to go.