The Oakland Athletics Josh Donaldson has emerged as a dark horse candidate for the American League MVP.
MVP stands for "Most Valuable Player," and few have been as valuable to their team this season than Donaldson. He leads Oakland with 94 RBIs and has been their most consistent hitter all season. With him in the batter's box, all the A's do is win.
Donaldson is irreplaceable. Last year, the Oakland A's surged on the energy of Johnny Gomes and emergence of Josh Reddick. Gomes left for the Red Sox in free agency, while Reddick spent most of the year injured or trying to rediscover his swing.
Josh Donaldson plays better against good teams. He has a.993 OPS (on base plus slugging percentage) against teams over.500 and a.818 OPS against teams under.500. Having him in the lineup bodes well for Oakland's playoff chances.
So, where did Josh Donaldson, the MVP candidate, come from? He was acquired by the Oakland A's from the Chicago Cubs as part of the Dan Haren deal in 2010. Like a number of Oakland A's, he was considered a major league talent who couldn't find his major league swing.
Maybe if the Cubs had kept Donaldson, they would wouldn't be in the NL Central cellar again.
Unfortunately, Josh Donaldson will not win the MVP. His major competition is Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera. Anyone who thinks Mike Trout should in the conversation needs to take a long and hard look at the Angels' record.
Miguel Cabrera will likely take the MVP trophy for the second straight season. He's a worthy candidate and the Tigers wouldn't be the same team without him, although they would still win the AL Central.
Without Josh Donaldson in Oakland green and gold, the Texas Rangers would be headed to the playoffs for the fourth straight year.
[image via Wikimedia Commons]