Assuming that the season plays out and that the trophy for Most Valuable Player is awarded, then here is a quick look at that current favourites.
Fernando Tatis Jr.
The WAR leader has launched eight homers with 15 runs and 18 RBI. He is arguably the most-watchable player in the game at the moment, with his youthful exuberance, batflips, majestic power and drop-dead good looks.
However, the .400 BABIP and 32% strikeout rate could see him drop down the WAR leaderboard and out of MVP contention.
Tied with Tatis Jr. with eight home runs, Judge is producing long-balls at the most prolific rate of his career. When he is in this form, the 6-foot-7 man-mountain looks like the most supreme athlete on the planet. Every pitch in the zone has the potential to nestle in the empty seats a few seconds later.
Judge will not maintain his homer-in-every-other-game ratio and will need to address his shocking 3% walk-rate otherwise we could witness a slump to take him out of MVP reckoning.
Beckham’s dad has seven homers in 13 games. That’s a better rate than Tatis Jr. or Judge. In fact, it’s a better rate than everyone else in the league. Slashing .333/.383/.741, Trout is, again, single-handedly trying to pull the Angels into the playoff picture.
Trout as MVP will offer legitimacy to this weird and sometimes wonderful season.
Other players whose hot starts are demanding attention include:
Charlie Blackmon: Rockies outfielder is third in WAR, second in runs and tied first (with Judge) in RBI. He leads the league with 221 wRC+, assisted by his astronomic .484 AVG.
Donovan Solano: Why can’t the MVP come from San Francisco? He is hitting above .450 with more WAR than Judge or Trout. Maybe he is the latest superstar to be produced by the Farhan Zaidi misfits-conversion conveyor belt.
Mike Yastrzemski: Last season’s Zaidi reclamation project is proving he is the real deal, sitting second behind Tatis Jr. with 1.4 WAR. As opined by Ash Day, he could be on a contender before too long, boosting his MVP chances.
Two Giants and no Dodgers. Only a shrewd mind could have predicted that preseason. So, who is your money on? Jump onto the Twitter thread to give us your opinions.
Photo courtesy of Michell Leff/Getty Images
Gavin is one of the growing team of writers at Bat Flips and Nerds. Follow him on Twitter @_tramps