The unlikeliest of MVP Candidates; Ian Desmond

Neither the National or American league have one player currently running away with the MVP race. There are four, maybe five guys in each league that will likely continue to challenge one another for the award. The Mike Trout’s and Bryce Harper’s of the world are two of the names that will probably end up challenging for the award by seasons end. But with that said, there’s a dude in Texas who is flying completely under the radar that has been as valuable as anyone in the league. His name is Ian Desmond.

Offensively, Desmond has done a little bit of everything thus far in 2016. Here are his American League rankings:

 

If Desmond continues on the pace he’s played at, he’d end the season two hits shy of 200, score 115 runs, hit 43 doubles, 25 home runs, drive in 104 RBI and swipe 29 bags. All that while hitting north of .300, with an OPS near .900. This is all happening just a year after hitting .233 and a lot of people wondering if he’ll ever be an everyday player once again. Desmond has been especially good in the friendly confines in Arlington, as he’s strumming his guitar to a tune of .366 at home.

Where Desmond has made his money this season is when runners have been on base. With nobody on base, Desmond has hit just .252 this season but when at least one person’s on, he’s lighting opposing pitching up, hitting .398. Even more impressive is his .343 average with runners in scoring position. In 70 at-bats with RISP, Desmond has driven in 32 runs. His ability to come up clutch for the Rangers this season has helped them achieve the best record in the AL currently.

When Desmond signed in Texas, he knew Elvis Andrus was their shortstop as he agreed he would move to the outfield. In his seven professional seasons prior to 2016, Desmond had played 7.1 innings in the outfield. He has a .983 fielding percentage in center field which is right on par with the league average and already has five assists from the OF, putting him 11th in the entire league in that category.

When we think about the Texas Rangers, the first names that come to mind are Fielder, Hamels, Beltre and Darvish. All of a sudden, not a single of those aforementioned cornerstone players have been as valuable as Ian Desmond has for the Rangers this year. Don’t be surprised if Desmond is fighting for the award comes years end.

Let’s not forget where the Rangers were 72 games into the season in 2015. With virtually the same construction of the roster, they were 37-35, four games out of first place. 72 games into ’16, the Rangers have the best record in the American league at 46-26. It isn’t only because of Desmond and his fantastic first-half, but it is a very big reason as to why.

Advertisements

Facets Player(s) of the Night: The Bearded One

Pizza rolls, beards, and free throws are this mans calling. James Harden had another monster night as Houston left Phoenix with a big conference victory.

2BEARD

Beard put on a masterful performance with his second straight 40 point game coming on 13 of 23 shooting and taking a usual 14 trips to the foul line making 11 of them. Scoring wasn’t the whole story. At all. Harden grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out 9 assists and chipped in defensively nabbing 3 steals. In other words, this was one of the best performances anyone’s had all season. Lets not forget beard is in the middle of an MVP race and doing that without his partner in crime, Dwight Howard still out with a right injury and isn’t slated to return for quite some time.

Steph, Beard, Bron, and Brow are all in contention for the Most Valuable Player award. Performances like James Harden had tonight, helps his case tremendously.

Facets Player of the Night: Steph Curry

STEPH CURRY W THE POT

December 18th, 2014

The league’s MVP almost a third of the way through with the season struck in Oakland Thursday night. A first half which saw three of the betters players in the entire NBA score frequently saw one of them specifically rise to the occasion in the second half. That would be Wardell ‘Stephen’ Curry II.

Steph went 14-24 from the floor, hitting five three-pointers, for 34 points. He fell only one assist and three rebounds short of a triple-double against the red hot Oklahoma City Thunder. He also contributed slightly on the defensive end coming away with four steals.

NFL MVP Race Through 6 Weeks

Here we are through week 6 of the 2014 NFL Season. Some players have lead their teams to surprisingly good starts, while others have had the caliber season that you would expect. Through this point in the season here are the 5 players that are the most worthy to win the Most Valuable Player Award if the season were to end right now.

Demarco Murray

1. DeMarco Murray

Lesean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, and Matt Forte are three running backs you would expect to be sitting at the top of this list right now. One you might not expect to be up at the top is Cowboys tailback DeMarco Murray. Murray is off to a phenomenal start with 785 yards through six games. He is in elite company with Jim Brown as the only other running back with six straight 100 yard games through the six games. He is the primary reason that the Cowboys are the biggest surprise this year. Because of these factors he sits atop the list.

JJ Watt

2. JJ Watt

Its impossible to Deny that JJ Watt is the best defensive player in the NFL and possibly could be top 5 defensive player of all time. Through this point in the season the Texan’s lineman has 26 combined tackles, and 4 sacks. Alright that’s pretty good, but here is where he becomes mind blowing. Watt has 6 pass deflections which if you think about it could be 6 scores. DIFFERENCE MAKER is what comes to my mind with JJ Watt. Finally and most impressive is that he has three touchdowns. He has one fumble recovery for a TD, one offensive reception for a touchdown and most impressively an 80 yard interception for a touchdown. This a 290 pound defensive end with an arsenal unlike anyone else at this position, so for this JJ Watt comes in at number 2.

Philip Rivers

3. Philip Rivers

One of the NFL’s more pleasant surprises this season has been the San Diego Chargers. The main factor in the surge has been the play of QB Philip Rivers. Rivers currently leads the NFL in an astounding number of categories. These categories include completion percentage, yards per attempt, and passer rating. He also boasts a 15/2 Touchdown to Interception Ratio. Rivers also led the Chargers over the defending champion Seattle Seahawks and their “legion of boom defense”. Rivers has been a very pleasant surprise this year and for his impressive season thus far he gets the spot at number 3.

andrew-luck

4. Andrew Luck

Since the day Andrew Luck has come into the league he has been in the MVP Discussion. They were 2-14 before Luck came into the League and ever since the have had consecutive ten win seasons. Along with this he has had an incredible amount of fourth quarter comebacks. This year is no exception to this impressive repertoire this season, Currently Luck leads the league in yards. Along with this he averages 331 yards per game which is good enough to also put him in the first. It’s terrifying to think about how much more room he has for improvement because he is pretty darn good already. Andrew Luck sits at number 4 on the MVP chase list thus far.

aaron-rodgers-belt

5. Aaron Rodgers

What can you say? Aaron Rodgers in the best QB in the NFL. He makes plays like no one else and also throws the prettiest back corner fade in the league. Rodgers comes in as the only player who has already taken the award, as well as the only player on the list with a Super Bowl Ring. He boasts the NFL’s best TD to INT ratio in football at 15 to 1. It probably helps that he has the current best receiver in the NFL in Jordy Nelson. Aaron Rodgers last three weeks have been phenomenal and for this he comes in at a modest number 5 in the MVP Race