Now, WAR is a weird and complicated statistic in baseball. It is basically an all-inclusive stat that provides a way of telling how valuable a player is to his team. If Alex Gordon went down with an injury, the Wins Above Replacement stat would be able to tell us how many wins Alex Gordon single-handedly provides the KC Royals if we had to play a minor leaguer in his position. So basically, at a 5.7 WAR, the 69-55 Royals would be looking at a 63-61 record without Alex Gordon.
Instead of being 14 games over .500, the Royals would be a mere 2 games over .500 without Alex Gordon. That is pretty darn valuable if you ask me.
However, Alex Gordon leads all of Major League Baseball’s position players in WAR. He’s better than players such as Mike Trout, Robinson Cano, Andrew McCutchen, and every other player in the league. That would technically mean that Alex Gordon is the most valuable player in baseball.
That is crazy to think of because his statistics don’t exactly stand out as being extraordinary. He is hitting .286 with 55 RBI’s, 29 doubles, and 13 home runs. And yet, his WAR would suggest that he would be the leading candidate to win MVP of the league in 2014.
Do I believe that he deserves this? Not at all. There is obviously still flaws in the WAR statistic, however, he is still mathematically the most valuable player in the league. Going by traditional MVP voting determinants, however, he will not win the award in 2014.
It is interesting, however, to see how much his defense provides the team and how underrated defensive performance is when determining the Most Valuable Player in the league.
Maybe one day defense will play more of a factor in determining the winner of the award, but as for 2014, Alex Gordon will surely take pride in quietly being the honest most valuable player in the league.
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