A Mariners player may not have won the AL MVP award last night, but the team put the American League on notice as three of their star players grabbed spots in the top-fifteen of the final vote tally.
Had the Mariners made the playoffs, maybe the rest of the AL would have given the M’s power trio of Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager more credit for their offensive magnificence. Nevertheless, Mariners fans did take notice, and they were ecstatic about the heart of the lineups production.
Collectively, Cruz, Cano, and Seager smashed one hundred and twelve home runs, three hundred and seven RBI, and ninety-four doubles.
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The combo of SCC was finished second in the AL for home runs only behind the Baltimore Orioles one hundred and twenty-two from Mark Trumbo, Manny Machado, and Chris Davis.
The Orioles also beat out the Mariners trio in doubles. It wasn’t the same O’s though, this time it was J.J. Hardy, Jonathon Schoop, and Machado who legged out one hundred and seven doubles.
Unfortunately for the Mariners, they were also beaten out by the Boston Redsox for the most doubles. David Ortiz, Mookie Betts, and Dustin Pedroia totaled one hundred and twenty-six two-baggers -the most by any trio in the AL.
It was those Boston men and the rest of their teammates that challenged the AL record for most doubles, only to come up thirty-four doubles shy of the record.
The Red Sox didn’t stop by just collecting more doubles than the Mariners, they also had a trio that had more RBIs. Hanley Ramirez, Betts, and Ortiz drove in three hundred and fifty-one men. Mainly because of those three guys, but also due to the rest of the team’s productivity, the Red Sox led the AL and MLB for most RBIs.
Individually, Cano, Seager, or Cruz couldn’t beat out their American League compatriots to lead in any of the three aforementioned categories either.
Cruz’s one hundred and five RBIs lead the Mariners but were only enough to rank seventh in the AL. Four of the people ahead of him were Trumbo, Betts and Ramirez and Ortiz.
Seager’s thirty-six doubles led the team, but he too was bested by a handful of American League studs. At the end of the season, Seager sat eleventh on the AL doubles list. Half of the players that beat Seager were part of other team’s best trios. The list included Pedroia, Schoop, Machado, Ortiz, and Betts.
Cano’s thirty-nine blasts weren’t enough to be best on the Mariners in 2016 -Cruz smacked forty-three homers, notching the second-most in the AL. Also ahead of Cano were five other men, one of which was Trumbo. Two of the other batters -Brian Dozier and Edwin Encarnacion- were also on the AL MVP top-fifteen list.
So, whether it was collectively or individually, we see that the Mariners threesome of stars was overshadowed by the league’s other great talent, and in some cases, each other. This is probably why they were not as talked about as they should have been and it is definitely why they didn’t finish higher in the AL MVP vote count.
If Seager and Cano continue to set new career-highs -Seager set a best in RBI, HR and batting average, Cano set a best in home runs (Cruz didn’t set any career-highs)- then maybe one of them will have the AL MVP hardware in their hands in the future. Hopefully, it will be sooner rather than later and it helps the Mariners to their first playoff spot in fifteen seasons.