Milwaukee Brewers: Despite Injury, Can Christian Yelich Still Win NL MVP?
A little over two weeks ago, the Milwaukee Brewers probably the biggest hit they received all season; Losing their MVP, Christian Yelich after a foul ball was hit off of his kneecap, resulting in a fracture that would end his season.
Winner of the Gold Glove (2014), Silver Slugger (2016, 2018), the Hank Aaron award (2018), and the Best Major League player at the ESPYs, you could say that Christian Yelich definitely is one of the best players the MLB has seen in awhile. He’s certainly one of the best to have ever put on a Milwaukee Brewers uniform.
The reigning National League MVP, Yelich is again in the running for possibly claiming the title for a second year, which would make him the first to win it back-to-back since Albert Pujols in 2008-2009.
Yelich is very capable of winning a back-to-back title, ending his season with 44 HR, 30 stolen bases,and a .329/.429/.671 slash line with a 1.100 OPS. Despite finishing the season injured, his stats definitely show that he is worthy of the MVP title once again this season.
Yelich is likely to win the NL batting title, something he also won last season. By September, he was the youngest player to achieve 40 HR/30 SB since Alex Rodriguez back in 1998. People were starting to put their bets on Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger rising up and claiming that title.
Christian did trail behind Bellinger in doubles, walks, and RBI’s. But as of lately, Bellinger’s OPS have been declining with each time he’s at bat in his last couple of games. The chances of Bellinger winning the MVP are still up there for the National League, as he’s still a good athlete in the game, but his chances are slowly declining.
Bellinger’s drop off in the second half has opened the door for Yelich to win the MVP again and journalists like Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required) recently suggested that Yelich may have better chances of winning the MVP than most people think. After his injury, many assumed his chances of winning dropped dramatically, but perhaps not.
With the Milwaukee Brewers recent surge and Bellinger’s second half struggles, the door is open for Yelich to win again, now that he’s had a profound impact on a playoff team, and not a team that missed the playoffs.
As much as we would like to see Yelich play in the postseason, unfortunately, the knee injury has ended his season. However, he is expected to be back up on his feet and running by Halloween, according to a tweet from MLB writer Adam McCalvy. He was off his crutches and walking around at the postseason champagne shower after the victory over the Reds, which gave the Brewers their spot in the 2019 postseason. Improving immensely since the initial blow to the knee, he’ll definitely be back for Spring Training, and I have a good feeling that he’s going to be bringing 110% to the diamond.
It’s going to be an interesting decision for NL MVP voters. Do they go with Bellinger who is still riding a hot month of April and has declined each month since, or do they go with Yelich, who was more consistent and slightly better in most statistical categories, but missed the final three weeks? We’ll find out in November.
He’ll be showing all these people that were doubting him, saying this injury was going to take him down and hinder his career, that he is still the MVP worthy athlete who just suffered an injury and didn’t let it stop him from being the best.