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Awards Watch

Awards Watch – MVP (AL)

There’s always debate about what MVP actually is because the term value to hard to define.

Is it the best player with the best numbers? Is it the best player on the best team? A top player on an unexpectedly good team? Given we’re near the halfway point of season, we’re calling the MVP race based on a player being great this season, on a team that’s a top level contender for the title right now.

1. Denon Olsen (516) – With the protection he has in the order, the best stat for Denon might be he only has 3 walks this season. Now that the bat isn’t being taken out of his hands, he’s showing the league just how much damage he can do. He’s hit balls that haven’t landed let, and hit balls and hit balls that were still on the way up as they cleared the fence. Superlatives ignored, he’s top 5 in average, home runs, RBI, and runs scored. Not to mention, he’s given great defense at the hot corner. 516 is sitting pretty at the 2 seed right now, and Denon is one of the biggest reasons for their success.

2. Rafael Liriano (516) – Call them the bash brothers if you want, but Rafael has given 516 amazing depth and versatility needed to win the title. Need a lockdown SS? No problem. Need a pitcher? He’s got you. Need a clutch base hit? No sweat. Third in the league in RBI, and fifth in home runs, Rafael gives Denon the protection he needs, and makes pitchers dread the middle of the order.

3. Nadeem Khan (Ducks) – The Ducks are undefeated, and they have players all over the field. Nadeem does stand out, even if you can’t find him on the leaderboard. He has 15 hits and 16 RBI, meaning he’s doing damage with every hit. Of his 15 hits, 9 of them have been for extra bases. A stabilizing force in the middle of the Ducks order, the only SASL hall of famer has the Ducks comfortably atop the AL standings.

4. Ramy Abdelhamid (Mets) – Leads the league in HR, RBI, and runs. A complete hitter with an average of .700, he could easily contend for the triple crown by season’s end. 61% of his hits have gone for extra bases. The Mets have started slow, but seem to be getting their act together as the weather (hopefully) gets warmer. With Ramy mashing, and his underrated outfield defense, the Mets could make a second half surge and be the team no one wants to face come playoff time.

5. Dex Ortiz (Savages) – It’s odd mentioning the Savages MVP talk without mentioning Hashim. But Dex has come in and made noise from the get go. With a lineup featuring top level players such as Pavy, Charley, and Hashim, Dex has been their best hitter, which is scary for the league. Leading the league in OPS (min 20 at bats) by a decent margin, Dex is an all-field threat that will drive defenses crazy. Despite some blips in the radar, the Savages are currently holding the third seed and by most accounts, haven’t even scratched the surface of what they’re capable of doing. However, Dex has helped the Savages stay strong during their most vulnerable stretch of softball this season.

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