It wasn’t too long ago when it seemed Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani was poised to win the American League MVP award. However, Toronto Blue Jays Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been making a strong case for it as well in recent months after being behind Ohtani early in the 2021 season.
In fact, former Blue Jays star Josh Donaldson thinks Guerrero Jr. is more deserving than Ohtani simply because he is dominating, striking fear to his opponents and contributing significantly on both offense and defense. Simply put, the younger Guerrero has been critical to the success Toronto has had so far and that they won’t be the same team without Vlad.
“It should happen,” Donaldson said on Guerrero becoming just the third Blue Jays players to win AL MVP, per The Star. “He’s put up (an) astronomical season from the offensive side and he’s contributing on the defensive side. The guy’s got a 1.000 OPS at 22 years old, being a huge contributor.”
Of course Josh Donaldson, who won the MVP award with the Blue Jays in 2015, is not saying that Shohei Ohtani doesn’t deserve to win. Nonetheless, for him, the impact of the two players are incomparable since there are “holes” in the Japanese designated hitter’s MVP case.
“To me, there are some holes in the argument for Shohei,” the Minnesota Twins vet argued. “Not to say that he hasn’t had an unbelievable, remarkable season … But he hasn’t made every fifth start. (There’s a possibility that) he’s going to get shut down from pitching to where he’s not going to finish the year as a pitcher. And he’s DHing. A DH has never won the MVP because he’s not impacting the game on all sides.”
While nothing is set in stone yet and it does look like the odds are favoring Ohtani, Donaldson pointed out that Guerrero can win MVP without a doubt if the Blue Jays make the playoffs. After all, winning matters in every MVP discussion.
It remains to be seen how the AL MVP award will end, but it is certainly brewing to be an exciting two-horse race between the two stars.