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Brewers: MVP Race and News & Notes
The National League MVP will be announced later today and the Milwaukee Brewers will have two front-running candidates for the award.
LF Ryan Braun and 1B Prince Fielder will be among the top vote getters, but will one of them be the first Brewers MVP since Robin Yount won the coveted award 22 years back, in the 1989 season?
CF Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks to be at the top of this discussion as well. Kemp put up monster stats this year for a club that finished in the middle of the pack with 82 wins and 79 losses.
Kemp fell just shy of winning the Triple Crown. He hit .324 and led the NL in HRs and RBIs with 39 and 126 respectively. The last player to win the Triple Crown was OF Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Yastrzemski hit .326 with 44 HRs and 121 RBIs. He also led the AL with 189 hits and 112 runs scored.
Its hard to argue with Kemp's stats, but Braun numbers are impressive too. Braun led the NL in SLG % and OPS. He also hit the HR against the Florida Marlins to clinch the Central Division. He finished the year batting .332 with 111 RBIs and 33 HRs. It's a very difficult task in the majors to finish second in the batting title race and also lead the NL in SLG % and OPS.
This should figure to be a very tight race. My vote would be for Braun.
Others in contention: OF Justin Upton, 1B Albert Pujols, OF Lance Berkman, P Clayton Kershaw, P Roy Halladay and P Ian Kennedy.
Brewers' News & Notes:
There have been reports of the Brewers' interest in free agent SS Jose Reyes. If the Brewers go after a top tier SS, look for them to try and pluck Jimmy Rollins off the market. It makes more sense for the club to offer him a four year deal for a whole lot less than what Reyes will command. Or they will go after someone like Jack Wilson or Yuniesky Betancourt for even less money.
The reason for this is: GM Doug Melvin knows what got his team to the NLCS. The addition of SP Shaun Marcum and SP Zack Greinke in the off season last year proved to be the final move that got this club over the proverbial "hump".
Melvin is not dumb. He won't throw a ton of money into hitting, which the Brewers have had for years now. He'll resign one or both of these two guys and fill in the pieces as he goes. The starting rotation was too good last year for him to ignore the importance of locking these two up.