I know it’s crazy to discuss MVP candidates after one month of action, but do not be alarmed. If these players stay healthy, they will be receiving votes at the end of the season. Here are my early MVP picks after one month of baseball.
Early MVP Pick #1 | Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels
If I did not list Mike Trout first, I would be sinning. Mike Trout had the worst season of his career in 2020, and he still finished 5th in the MVP race.
Trout is the best ballplayer of all time, and there is no debating this fact. He has won three MVP awards, and he has finished in second place on four separate occasions. Trout is currently mauling the baseball.
I have never used the term mauling to describe a hitter. I usually save the word for football writing, but Trout deserves the honor. He is batting .420 with a league-leading OBP of .524.
I can confidently say that MLB officials are not moving the mound back because of Mike Trout.
Early MVP Pick #2 | Shohei Ohtani, DH/SP, Los Angeles Angels
Shohei Ohtani is the most outstanding athlete since Babe Ruth. Obviously, the Great Bambino liked his liquor and cigars, and his figure did not resemble a supreme athlete. However, Babe Ruth was a phenomenal hitting and pitching hybrid.
Ohtani is the first player to excel at both facets of the game since Ruth. The allure of Ohtani puts him into the MVP conversation because of his monopolistic play.
His 2021 stats support his early MVP consideration. He is batting .284 with seven home runs. On the mound, Ohtani is 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA, and he has struck out 23 batters in 13.2 innings of work.
Early MVP Pick #1 | Jacob deGrom, SP, New York Mets
Pitchers have their own MVP in the form of the Cy Young Award, but they still are eligible for the overall prize. It’s sporadic to see a pitcher win the MVP trophy. In the 21st Century, it has only been done twice by Justin Verlander (2011) and Clayton Kershaw (2014).
For a pitcher to win MVP, they must be unhittable. Jacob deGrom has fit the qualification after one month of competition. He has averaged seven innings per start (5), and he has struck out 59 batters.
deGOAT is also leading the league in ERA with a 0.51. Unfortunately, the Mets’ lack of run support has put a blemish on his record, but deGrom was sensational throughout April.
Early MVP Pick #2 | Ronald Acuna Jr., OF, Atlanta Braves
The Braves seem to be finding their offensive rhythm, but it was nonexistent for the majority of the month. Well, let me fix this statement. Everyone on the Braves struggled at some point except for Ronald Acuna Jr.
Acuna Jr. is one of the players in the league that can fill a stadium because of their reputation. After one month, he is leading the National League in runs (24), homers (8), slugging (.718), OPS (1.159), and total bases (61).
He is also batting .341 with a .441 on-base percentage, so he has been a difficult out. The Mets have not faced the Braves yet, but you should get the popcorn ready for deGrom vs. Acuna Jr. because it’s going to be a great battle.
Tanner Kern is a writer for Knup Sports and the Sports 2.0 Network. He is the host of Between the Lines, the official show of Baseball Spotlight, and the main contributor for the website. Connect with Tanner on IG @tannerkern and Twitter @tannerkern_.