Utley? Berkman? Chipper? Hanley? Pujols?
Nope. It's Ryan Ludwick.
So in a year where Chase Utley, Lance Berkman, and Chipper Jones are putting up monstrous numbers in the National League, for your consideration I give you…
Ludwick should get some serious consideration for his league’s top honor at the end of the year.
A few things to consider:
It's June 13.
There are ~90 games left for teams.
A certain best hitter in the game with a .475 OBP bats near or around Ludwick.
It's June. 13. 90+ games to play.
I'm not saying don't do these "This dude is having an MVP-type season on May 1!" (although it's advisable not to) but can't we wait until post-All-Star break, at the very least?
On June 11th, the day the Cardinals placed all-universe slugger Albert Pujols on the DL with a calf injury; Ludwick hit his team leading 16th home run, good for 6th in the National League.
I smell a "he rose to the occasion, put his team on his muscular back and willed them to victory" moment here.
Now that Pujols is out of the lineup, besides Ludwick, who do pitchers fear, at all, in that batting order? I would venture a bet that he cools off very soon.
His other numbers through June 11th were just as spicy.
Ludwick was 6th in the National League in batting with a .321 average, 2nd in Slugging with a lofty .684 and his On-Base Percentage was a robust .393.
Ludwick's non-spicy, non-MVP teammate's numbers: .347 AVG/.631 SLG/.475 OBP. Oh, and the order is AVG/OBP/SLG - it just makes it hard when you do them out of order.
His 52 runs batted in are good for 4th place.
His 37 extra-base hits are good for 6th place.
And for all you Sabermetric
types out there, his 1.055 OPS is good for 4th place. And he currently has 51 Runs Created, good for 10th in the NL.
Pujols' 1.105 OPS=third. His 69 RC=fourth.
When you consider that this is Ludwick’s first season as a full time player, the numbers become even more impressive.
This is a typo. He meant to type "less" instead of more.
Flukes happen in baseball. A lot, actually. Ever heard of Brady Anderson? And a million other players who hit a lot of homers and then did nothing?
Pujols (and Utley/Berkman/Chipper) have been good for long periods of time, making their numbers much more legit. Would anyone be surprised if Ludwick hit zero homers the rest of the season? Not me.
Add to those numbers this interesting fact: Ludwick is on pace to ground into only 6 double plays for the entire 2008 season. Throw in his solid if not spectacular play in right field and you have not only an All Star in the making but most definitely a legitimate MVP candidate.
New MVP criterion: not GIDP and playing averge-to-below-average defense!
Also, missing comas.
The numbers that Ludwick is putting up are very similar to the numbers his perennial MVP candidate teammate Albert Pujols puts up year in and year out.
Including this year (pre-injury) that are/were greater than or equal to Ludwick's.
And Pujols, from 2001 to 2006, finished no lower than 4th in the NL MVP voting.
Now, I realize that Utley, Berkman and Chipper will all most likely, if they don’t get hurt and continue on their current paces, have as good if not better season than Ludwick. But they were all supposed to have great seasons.
Jerks. Consistently good at baseball assfaces.
Ludwick’s year is like that little film I described earlier. It catches everyone off guard. This may be to his advantage come voting time.
I doubt it.
MVP voter #1: So about this Ludwick kid.
MVP voter#2: Who? Someone I've never heard of/talked to daily/wrote a puff piece about? Must. Not. Vote.
/Hanley Ramirez rant.
The next three to six weeks will really tell the tale. Pujols will be gone for at least 15 games, and maybe twice that. ... But if the Cardinals keep pace, or better still, catch and pass the Cubs in that time span, and Ludwick leads the charge on the field and in the batter’s box, he will have to be taken more than seriously.
He may be the front runner.
Other damning Ludwick stats:
.361 BABIP leading to inflated BA
24 BB/51 K rate
A career .268 average over 800 ABs
However stupid, the Cards not being in first
Pujols being hurt
Cardinals lineup being bad
It being June.