Most Valuable Player: Eric Hosmer
It’s a sign of how crazy the 2017 season was for the Kansas City Royals that the two players battling for our MVP honors at the midway point in the season were Moustakas and Salvador Perez.
Now that we have reached the end of the season, the two players up for the biggest honor are Hosmer and Merrifield. It underscores the value of health.
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Perez and Moustakas were both banged up for stretches of the second half. Hosmer and Merrifield, meanwhile, remained healthy throughout the season. Hosmer played in all 162 games, while Merrifield featured in all but five games in which he could have played.
So why Hosmer over Merrifield? Going off Baseball Reference’s WAR itself would give the slightest of advantages to the first baseman (4.0 to 3.9). Although, both are well behind Lorenzo Cain (5.3) in that category.
Hosmer had more home runs (25 to 19), RBI (94 to 78) and a better slash line (.318/.385/.498 to .288/.324/.460) than Merrifield. Being the Most Valuable Player, though, goes beyond that.
There’s a reason fans of the Kansas City Royals are terrified of the prospects of losing Hosmer in free agency. Merrifield has been a revelation this season and will be leaned on heavily during the rebuild, especially if Hosmer leaves, but he is not yet a leader on this team.
Hosmer is. That’s one reason he’s not only the best player on the team, but also the most valuable.
Now, the only questions is: Will Hosmer will have a chance to be MVP of the Kansas City Royals in 2018?