Congratulations to Nelson Cruz, the 2014 Most Valuable Oriole.
Cruz enters Sunday’s finale against the Red Sox with a league leading 39 home runs and 105 RBI, he’s slashed .269/.334/.527 in 649 plate appearances, posting a 3.8 WAR (FanGraphs). The one-year, $8 million contract he signed during the offseason is enough of a case to give Dan Duquette the 2014 MVO award, but Cruz is very deserving.
MASNSports.com’s Roch Kubatko writes that Adam Jones finished second and Zach Britton third with Wei-Yin Chen, J.J. Hardy, Nick Markakis, Darren O’Day, Steve Pearce and Chris Tillman all receiving votes.
If I had a ballot, here’s how it would’ve looked:
1. Adam Jones
2. Steve Pearce
3. Darren O’Day
Cruz would be more of a 3A than a 4, but to me, O’Day’s season has been remarkably valuable to the O’s this season.
As for Pearce, he’s second on the club in WAR, 4.8, behind only Jones, and in my mind the O’s wouldn’t be where they are today without him. Perhaps they still win the AL East, but not nearly as comfortably if not for the performance of Pearce.
Jones told Dan Laing on MLB Network Radio that if he had a vote, Pearce would win MVO: