Nelson Cruz MVP chatter is picking up again. Cruz was signed by the Seattle Mariners during the MLB offseason, and has quickly become the post important component of the offense. A report from MLB on Saturday (August 8) shows just how hot he has been at the plate. His home run trot around the bases has become a familiar and welcome sight for Mariners fans. Though the team hasn’t reached the preseason expectations set for it, Nelson Cruz has played much better than even the most optimistic MLB analysts had thought he could.
In his current 17-game hitting streak, Cruz has gone 32-for-76 for a.421 batting average. That includes 11 home runs and 15 RBIs, and it has helped raise his average on the season to.323 so far. The RBI totals could have been much higher if the Mariners had been able to get more people on base in front of him. Still, hitting 11 home runs over just 17 games is a pace that has only been matched by a few people in MLB history.
Looking at his season stats, the Nelson Cruz MVP talk isn’t far-fetched. In addition to his.323 batting average, Cruz has a.988 OPS, 32 home runs, 68 RBIs, 60 runs scored, and 135 hits on the season. Those are much better stats than the free agent was expected to post in the 2015 MLB season, especially with half his games coming at Safeco Field. The stadium has been notoriously harsh on power hitters, so it was thought that his average and power numbers would take a hit.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Cruz was voted in as one of the starters for the recent All-Star game in Cincinnati. He became the first designated hitter since Edgar Martinez to achieve that feat. Now he will try to become just the third player in Mariners history to win an MVP award. The two previous winners were Ken Griffey Jr. and Ichiro Suzuki (in his rookie season).
It might just be a two-horse race in the American League now, with Mike Trout the chief competition to Cruz taking home some hardware. It’s possible that both teams could miss the postseason, putting a difficult choice in front of the award voters. Typically, a playoff caliber team will give a player an advantage in the voting, meaning the success of either franchise in September could play into the voting.
If Nelson Cruz wins the MVP award and the Seattle Mariners finish around last place in the AL West, he would become the first player since Andre Dawson of the Chicago Cubs to do it. With the numbers he has put up this season, why shouldn’t he be in the running?
[Image Source: Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images]