Blue Jays: Was Carlos Delgado robbed of the AL MVP in 2000?
Looking back at Carlos Delgado’s incredible season in 2000, was he robbed of the AL MVP award? Let’s have a closer look and find out.
As I was cruising Twitter last night, I came across a post from user @MBrownstein89 that highlighted a pretty incredible stat about former Blue Jay slugger Carlos Delgado.
Delgado is part of an exclusive group of hitters to every have 95 or more extra-base hits in a single season, while also having an OBP of .470 or higher. The others on the list? Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Barry Bonds. That’s some impressive company.
That then led me to looking back at Delgado’s stats from that season, and they were just as impressive as I expected. He ended up slashing .344/.470/.664 with 41 home runs, 137 RBI, and an AL-leading 57 doubles. That then led me to my next question: How in the world did he miss out on winning the MVP award with numbers like that?
Turns out it was a pretty impressive season for American League hitters in 2000, as Delgado actually ended up finishing fourth in voting that year. He ended up with 206 votes, finishing behind Alex Rodriguez with 218, Frank Thomas with 270, and the winner with 317, Jason Giambi.
For those interested, here are their respective numbers from that season:
1st: Giambi- .333/.476/.647, 43 HR, 137 RBI, 29 doubles, 7.8 bWAR
2nd: Thomas- .338/.436/.625, 43 HR, 143 RBI, 44 doubles, 6.0 bWAR
3rd: A-Rod- .316/.420/.606, 41 HR. 132 RBI, 34 doubles, 10.8 bWAR
4th: Delgado- .344/.470/.664, 41 HR, 137 RBI, 57 doubles, 7.3 bWAR
As you can see, Delgado was far from alone in putting up elite numbers at the plate that year. It’s also interesting to note the difference in bWAR and how much more it factors into MVP voting these days. In fact, if you were to rank AL players from 2000 based on that metric, the leader isn’t even in the top four. That would be Pedro Martinez at 11.7, and also worth noting that Darin Erstad had an 8.3 bWAR season in 2000 as well. If we went purely based off of bWAR, Delgado actually finishes sixth.
So while it’s crazy to think that Delgado’s numbers from the 2000 campaign weren’t worthy of an MVP award, taking a closer look at the competition explains why it never came to pass. That doesn’t take anything away from his incredible season though. That man could really hit a baseball.