Jason Heyward = MVP?
Since no one took the bait two days ago, I’m going all in on Jason Heyward this afternoon. MVP—MVP!!!
Now before you hit “delete” (metaphorically) consider this. So far in 2017 Heyward leads the Cubs in RBIs, and trails only Addison Russell in Batting Average, WAR, and Defensive Runs Saved. His defense is not quite, statistically, canceling out Kyle Schwarber’s lack of defensive mastery—yet. But he’s well on his way. And oh, did I mention that he’s hitting?
Now sure, you Debby Downers out there might point to how many roll-over ground outs to second base he is still hitting. But I would point out that just two nights ago one of those resulted in an errant throw and the only run of the game in a 1-0 victory. Not looking so bad now, is he?
Seriously though, there’s no denying that J-Hey has really straightened out his shit at the plate. The other night the out of town announcers pointed out that he is wearing a thumb guard on his left hand, not to guard this thumb so much, but to keep him from twisting that hand around the bat too much when he does that weird regripping thing he does with his left hand when he strides—which he still does. They showed it in slo-mo and it looked to me like his grip was ending up where it should be, so that’s pretty sweet.
I suppose one could still argue that he’s not worth the money that the Cubs are paying him. But I would counter that, so far at least, his numbers are at or near his career highs, so he’s giving them all they could have reasonably expected to get from him based on what he’s done in the past. They didn’t sign him to be protection for Kris Bryant. They signed him to hit 6th or 7th and play Gold Glove defense—which he’s doing.
So maybe he won’t be the MVP this year. But the Cubs have too many dudes vying for that title already, don’t they?