I decided to submit my name into the MLB Dreamjob contest that Bob posted, and it asks you to do an essay for either AL/NL MVP or biggest story line of the year. Well I did the MVP essay and this is what I wrote.......feel free to bash and disagree as much as possible
The 2011 National League MVP is going to be Joey Votto. Votto won the MVP award in 2010 and he will continue to tear up NL pitching, especially playing in the NL Central. I am a firm believer of players entering their prime around the age of 27 give or take a year, and Votto is right around that time frame as well.
Joey put up career numbers last year in nearly every category and will continue to become more productive. I like the protection that Votto will get in the line-up as well. He doesn't have that star power hitting behind him like he could have on other teams, but he has hitters that put the ball in play and can make you second guess trying to pitch around Votto. Just having the reigning MVP award will also give him an immediate leg up if he puts up traditional Votto numbers.
Playing on a winning team also gives a player a better chance at winning the MVP. The Reds have a great staff and will play in division that features a team that just lost their ace, a Brewers team that continues not to live up to expectations, and a Cubs team that continues to break the hearts of many around the nation. I won't even talk about the Pirates or Astros here. The Reds are a clear favorite to win the Central with Wainwright going down which only helps Votto's case over perennial MVP candidate and contract seeking Albert Pujols.
The AL MVP is a little tougher to predict, but I like Adrian Gonzalez. He is going to get a ton of protection in the Red Sox line-up, but very friendly right field dimensions at Fenway will also help inflate his numbers.
Gonzo put up good numbers after playing in a not so friendly Petco Park, so moving to Fenway and a better Red Sox team is going to help out his MVP case for 2011. I look for Adrian to hit 30 homers and knock in around 110 guys this year. Playing on a team that will compete in the AL East all year helps as well. He's going to be in the spot light all year moving from the West Coast to the East Coast.
Moving to the East coast he will get more national attention between different papers and national media. ESPN loves to favor the Red Sox and cover them extensively throughout the year. Gonzalez will easily put up the numbers to be considered a legit MVP candidate, and playing on a winning team that is highly recognizable will help propel him to the 2011 AL MVP.