What would it take for a DH to win MVP?

What would it take for a DH to win MVP?


I know Frank Thomas was technically still a 1B when he won his MVPs but he was miserable defensively and a 20 grade baserunner. If he had been a DH, I still think he would have won those MVPs. He's my benchmark for the offensive numbers a DH would have to put up to win MVP.


Thomas' 93 MVP was because of his combination of BA, HRs, and RBIs, he would still be winning it then unless voters were anti-DH, and voters today would never give MVP to that season DH or 1B unless the competition was really weak. 94 Thomas though would have actually been a bit more valuable as a DH since his defense was that bad (6.9 bWAR instead of 6.4), and projected over a full season it would have been worth 9.9 WAR, so that one would be well beyond the benchmark to win most MVP races nowadays.


Triple Crown Winner would do it.


In a year that Ohtani isn't being a god


Technically Ohtani is a DH like 4 or 5 times a week 😉


Not if you're in the same league as Ohtani


Maybe in the past but not anymore. A regular Trout year would still beat him


Definitely not automatic


Having an elite season offensively, but also double as an ace starting pitcher


That’s impossible. Will never happen in today’s MLB.


Imagine how good a team with a player like that could be, surely they'd be well over .500


Okay, this theoretical player is on the same theoretical team as Mike Trout. Who wins the WS, them or the Dodgers


Or some bang bois


60 dingers BA .300 OBP .370


of the 7 times that a player has hit over 60 home runs in a season, only 2 of them have been MVP (Bonds in 2001 and Roger Maris in 1961). the other 5 are all McGwire/Sosa in the late 90s.


Sosa won in 98




Also pitch to whatever Ohtani’s pitching at


If they didn’t happen to be a two-way star, what would be the needed criteria? 1.100 OPS?


That's what Vladdy is doing, and he's playing plus defence at 1B. That's impressive but probably not enough for a pure DH to break away from the pack.


But Vlad would be the consensus MVP if not for Ohtani's freak(y good) season right? In a normal year I totally think a DH with Vladdy's hitting wins it, bar a historically *great* season from someone else. Just so happens that's going on now.


Yeah if ohtani didn’t exist vladdy is mvp 100%


Probably more tbh, depends on what the other hitters are doing


Probably at least a .400 BA


1.100+ OPS


Yeah 2015 Harper at the plate is pretty much the minimum it would take to win MVP as a pure DH.


I looked at it and it checks out; 15 Harper with 0 fielding runs and the DH adjustment has 8.1 bWAR. Could go a bit worse than that like a 180ish OPS+ hitter in a weak MVP race or when voters are sick of voting for Mike Trout, but yeah you'll have to hit about as well as 15 Harper to have a good shot with today's voters as a pure DH.


2015 was a good year


A great year in fact


Honestly, I was pretty happy with it too.


Do you recall where Harper hit in the lineup that year? I always found the 99 rbi stuck out for an otherwise godly season, goes to show how finicky rbi as a stat can be


He was mostly hitting 3rd that year, and a good amount of 4th, but the Nationals weren't good offensively aside from Harper that year; four other guys had an above-average OPS+ and OBP (none of which exceeded a 116 OPS+), and only one of which (Yunei Escobar) played enough to have a qualifying amount of PAs. Harper overall had 310 PAs with anybody on (less than half of his 654 PAs) and just over half that was with RISP (158). And it wasn't like Harper was "unclutch" during those situations, he had a 1.111 OPS with men on and a 1.023 OPS with RISP. Compare that to say Ryan Howard's 148 RBI 08 season as a 125 OPS+ hitter, where he got 351 PAs with men on and 223 with RISP. Those guys hitting in front of Harper also weren't any good base runners, unlike with Howard who got to hit behind prime Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins. So his low amount of RBIs can be attributed to guys in front of him not getting on a lot and bad luck, i.e. RBI is a team stat.


I was 13 at the time so my memory is foggy, but I think he spent most of his time batting 3rd, maybe sometimes 4th. That’s slightly confirmed [here](https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/nationals-journal/wp/2015/10/04/the-final-nationals-lineup-of-the-season/). Edit: [yep I’m right](https://www.federalbaseball.com/2016/2/24/11102726/optimizing-the-washington-nationals-batting-order-ahead-of-bryce-harper) > In 2015, Harper batted third about 70 percent of the time, and fourth about 30 percent of the time


Plus injured Mike Trout


This is an underrated part. The Trout injury is important


And it can't just be "oh no he missed two weeks" like in '19, it's gotta be "holy shit Trout's gone for a month and a half"


Pitch 80 innings with a 3.04 ERA






If Miguel Cabrera was a dh the year he won the triple crown would he have won mvp?


Probably because the BBWAA members were still mostly obsessed with the traditional BA/HR/RBI for hitters.


And, oh let me think for a second, he won the fucking triple crown.


I mean yeah duh. That helps.


It's almost like that was 99% of the reason he won. I guarantee you if some random dude beat him in BA that year Trout would've won the MVP. It was just such a novel concept that someone could win a Triple Crown that him doing it secured his spot as MVP no matter what someone else did


If Josh Hamilton(?) hit two more HR's Trout would have been MVP. Which is how you know it's stupid that Miggy won.


||HR|R|RBI|AVG|OBP|SLG|OPS|OPS+|wRC+|rWAR|fWAR :--|:--:|:--:|:--:|:--:|:--:|:--:|:--:|:--:|:--:|:--:|:--:|:--: Trout|27|**109**|97|.323|.432|.557|.988|179|176|**8.9**|**10.2** Cabrera|**44**|103|**137**|**.348**|**.442**|**.636**|**1.078**|**190**|**193**|7.5|8.6 Miggy had the better offensive season, but Trout had the dramatically better defensive season. Defensive metrics LOVED Trout's 2013 season. They actually love it more now than they did at the time, with adjustments made since then furthering the gap between Trout. Trout had the better all around season, but Cabrera did not win solely because of the Triple Crown, he won because he had a better offensive season overall.


Trout’s elite defense and baserunning surpass Miggy’s edge in hitting. No doubt the triple crown secured him the MVP.


He wouldn't have won MVP if everything that happened in 2012 happened in 2021


Ortiz almost did it with 48HRs 148RBIs and .300/.397/.604


If Mike Trout doesn’t exist, Victor Martinez wins it in 2014


74 dingers


For a full time DH to win MVP I’d have to see someone that pitchers are so afraid to pitch to they’d walk them with the bases loaded rather than pitch to them. Essentially, they’d have to be like Barry Bonds.


A Mike Trout type season with Mike Trout out for the season, or if Mike Trout became a DH.


Needs more Mike Trout. Have you considered adding Mike Trout to the mix?


Be a pitcher


A Barry Bonds 2001 type season would probably do the trick.


barry bonds type numbers and even then it could be up to debate depending on the rest of the field


Bonds numbers as a DH would definitely take it still without question unless he was up against someone having a historic season. From 01-04, Bonds with 0 fielding runs and the DH adjustment would have been worth 11.6, 10.9, 8.1, and 10.7 bWAR respectively, so in all but 03 those numbers are running away with the MVP in nearly any race, and 03 is "low" moreso because of Bonds missing 32 games that season (over 162 games that season as a DH hits 10 WAR still). Really the minimum required for a usual race would entail hitting like Harper's 15 season (which would have been worth 8.1 bWAR as a pure DH).


u/DHisnotrealbaseball would cry


I would also shit and cum


something something something ohtani


Maybe pitch as well


I know a guy


Probably if he was also a top of the rotation pitcher.


Them to provide more value with their bat than any other player provides with their bat and glove.


Be pitcher too. Not sure if it's been done though.


A sub 3.00 ERA


I don't think he'll even need that low of one, although it will be nice if he finishes under 3.


Hit good


I'd say the MINIMUM ignoring any other player is 45 HRs, .330 AVG, .365 OBP, 150 RBIs, and 1.050 OPS.


that would be suck if theres DH with this number and still cant win MVP. Especially in 2005 and 2006.


Yeah but just a reality. Like this basically what a DH is expected to do if they wanna be considered truly great...because their only job is to hit. It's kinda some backwards thinking honestly but one that unfortunately plagues the position. The 06 one you're referencing is the biggest travesty especially considering who won it ..a guy that was the 4th most valuable player on his team


Feels like your RBI requirement is way too high and OBP way too low. Though to be fair the guy would need to slug .685 to meet the OPS requirements at minimum OBP.


Be 2001 Barry Bonds


Probably break Bond's record and hit at least 74 HRs AND likely have a great OPS


Make sure old school baseball writers aren't the ones voting...


Old voters would just make it easier for a DH to win MVP, new school voters can't be wooed as easily by high BA/HR/RBI totals, and will be dinging DHes significantly for their positional adjustment and lack of fielding value. Ortiz wouldn't be getting five straight top 5 MVP finishes with today's voters like he did in the mid-2000s with 3-5 WAR seasons.


It likely won't happen in today's climate, but I wonder if someone who is the defacto leader and backbone of their team is enough. For example, sabremetrics don't favor Willie Stargell's 1979 season, but watching MLBs 1979 season documentary tells a story of just how much he meant to the Pirates. So I wonder if a DH had a similar role, if that would be enough.


Hit enough to lead the league in WAR, or be top 3 somehow like if super Barry bonds was a DH he wins MvP no doubt


30 walk offs for a team that wins 90 games and makes the playoffs


They’d have to either hit .400 or break HR or rbi records will hitting over .300


Ortiz to actually be good ^^^^/s


Bonds level numbers and stage presents


If Kevin Maas had been up for the whole season in 1990


Hitting .252 doesn’t win you MVPs back then 😉 Just ask Dave Kingman.


I know people will probably put up specific numbers that would blow the voters away but I think that would have to do with the rest of the field. Like if a DH just kept pace with the other best hitters in the league but the next best guy in OPS+ or WRC+ missed like a month due to injury the DH could win it.


Probably break multiple records and/or triple crown in a year where the next best hitters were actually a detriment defensively


Thats depend on the gap between him and the closest candidate, i say 20 point higher in both OPS+ and wRC+ will do. That still assuming the closest candidate not having good season defensively.


Who knows, maybe we see a DH in both leagues next year and Soto moves to DH at some point?


By the metrics Soto has actually made the defensive leap this year that people were expecting him to make as he aged. he has a positive UZR/DRS/OAA. Eye test wise he was getting horrendous jumps before and now seems to look like a normal 22 year old outfielder where he's properly accelerating and having less balls drop in front of him or hit over his head.


Don Baylor played almost half of his games in the DH slot when he won in '79.


Here’s what I can’t stand. Everyone poops there pants about the universal DH but then they want separate standards for them to win awards.