Guerrero Named MVP

November 24th, 2021 by Kevin

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On an individual player level, 2021 will be remembered as the year of Shohei Ohtani.  The two-way player did what had previously been thought to be impossible:  dominated the league as both a hitter and a pitcher.  He was unanimously selected as the American League Most Valuable Player.  However, in this league, he was not able to accumulate stats for the Moonshiners as both a hitter and a pitcher, making his MVP case not nearly as clear cut, yet still very much in the discussion.  In the end though, he was edged out by his Moonshiners teammate.  After a somewhat disappointing DTBL rookie campaign, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. lived up to the hype and then some this year.  He is the 2021 DTBL Most Valuable Player.  Amazingly, this is now consecutive seasons in which the award has been won by the son of a former DTBL star.  Last year, Fernando Tatis Jr. shared the award with Jose Abreu.  Maybe Bo Bichette or Cavan Biggio will make it three in a row in 2022.

In last year’s abbreviated season, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit nine homers with a .262 average.  Not a terrible season, but not what the Moonshiners were hoping for when they drafted him sixth overall in the loaded 2020 draft.  This season, he put it all together and became the best hitter in the league.  He hit 48 home runs, tied with Salvador Perez for most in the DTBL.  He also led the league in run scored (123), finished third in batting average (.311) and fourth in runs batted in (111).  His 9.50 batting PAR also topped all hitters.  The Moonshiners have been looking for a star hitter to lead their offense for a while.  Now it seems they have at least three such players, with Ohtani and Rafael Devers joining Guerrero.  The Moonshiners easily led the league in batting points thanks to those three.

When sitting down to write this article, the first thing that popped into my mind was whether or not Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and Jr. have become the first father and son to win DTBL MVP awards.  Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer to this right now because I only have complete awards results since 2005.  Senior’s best seasons were before that.  While he had many MVP caliber seasons, I am quite certain he was edged out by others in most of those campaigns, which came during the height of the steroid era.  If we were to retroactively vote on who should have won the award each of those years, I suspect he would fare much better now.  The one year when I think he *might* have won DTBL MVP was 2004.  In the near future, I will try to dig through some data on old computers and hard drives that I still have in my possession to see if I can figure this out.  I may come back and edit this article if I find this information.  In the meantime, while I’m not certain if Vlad Sr. ever won a MVP in this league, I think it is safe to say the Guerreros now have the best peak seasons of any father and son duo in DTBL history.

Not surprisingly, the vote was very close.  Guerrero received six of the nine first place votes and a pair of seconds.  Mysteriously, he was left entirely off one ballot.  Perhaps it was an oversight.  It did not wind up costing him though as he finished with 74 points.  His Moonshiners teammate Shohei Ohtani was the runner-up.  Ohtani had a remarkable season, even when you exclude his pitching prowess.  The Moonshiners made a tough, but ultimately wise decision to use him as a hitter this year.  All he did was slug 46 homers and steal 26 bases, with a 8.9 PAR that only trailed Guerrero by a little more than a half point.  Clearly he would have won the MVP in this league as well if his pitching numbers counted.  He received two first place votes along with five second place tallies.  He was the only player to appear on every MVP ballot, garnering 65 points.  Finishing third was last year’s co-MVP Fernando Tatis Jr.  The Demigods shortstop had another incredible season with 41 home runs and 25 stolen bases.  Injuries were the only thing that prevented him from keeping up with Guerrero and Ohtani.  He received one second and four third place votes for 34 total points.  Not far behind him was Beanballers shortstop Trea Turner.  One of the most underrated players in the game, Turner blew away his career high in homers with 28 and also stole 32 bases.  This is his second straight top 4 MVP finish and he is yet to have a non-elite season in the DTBL.  He received the lone first place vote that didn’t go to Guerrero or Ohtani and finished with 27 points.  Rounding out the top five is yet another son of a former DTBL star and another Beanballers shortstop.  Bo Bichette had nearly identical numbers as Turner, with a few more RBI and runs and a lower batting average.  He finished just two points behind Turner in this vote, with 25.  So that makes three sons of former DTBL sluggers in the top five of this year’s MVP vote.  Tatis, Guerrero and Bichette were drafted first, sixth and eighth respectively in the 2020 Draft, which is already looking like one for the ages.  That first round also featured Lucas Giolito, Pete Alonso and Yordan Alvarez.

Click here to view the full voting results.

That wraps up our 2021 DTBL awards announcements.  Since I was extremely lazy with the blogging this year, I do intend to play some catch-up this winter with some items I neglected to cover earlier in the year, including a season recap detailing the Kings ninth championship campaign.  In the meantime, thank you to everyone for another fun season.  I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

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