1. Jeff Kent has 377 career home runs which is the best all-time among second baseman. That is 74 more home runs than Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, 76 more than Rogers Hornsby, and 240 more than Jackie Robinson. Kent brought a sense of power that has been almost absent from the position.Most teams would be happy with 10-15 home runs from their second baseman, Kent averaged 22 per season. He is one of only three second baseman to hit 30 home runs in a season and the only one to hit 20 home runs in nine straight seasons.
2. 560 doubles is good for 21st all-time among all hitters. That is more doubles than Tony Gwynn, Lou Gehrig, Frank Robinson, Ted Williams, Willie Mays and Rickey Henderson. Each one of those players is considered a tremendous hitter and has already been forever enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
3. 1,518 ranks 47th all-time among all hitters. As mentioned before, second base is thought of as a speed and defensive position. Jeff Kent redefined the position by driving in 100 RBI in 8 seasons. His run production reached it’s peak in 2000 when he drove in 125 runs on his way to winning the NL MVP.
4. Hardware, Kent is the proud owner of one NL MVP, four Silver Slugger Awards, and five All-Star selections including being named the starting second baseman in 2005. Kent was awarded a World Series ring with the Blue Jays in 1992 despite being trade to the Mets mid season.
Jeff Kent is in no way one of the greatest to ever play the game, but he redefined the position he played. Before him second baseman were small and quick with a little pop (Dustin Pedroia, Orlando Hudson, Freddy Sanchez) but now second baseman can be known to hit with the best of them (Chase Utley, Dan Uggla, Brandon Phillips).
This week the National and American League Most Valuable Player Awards were released. The voters came through this year.
Albert Pujols won it for the National League while Dustin Pedroia won it for the American League. They both deserve it, hands down.
Albert Pujols is easily the best player in Major League Baseball right now. If you deny it then you are ignorant to his greatness. We are talking about someone who will go down as one of the greatest hitters of all time. This year he hit .357 while jacking 37 home runs. That is a ridiculous average while still being able to produce so many runs. He drove in 116 runs while scoring 100 on 187 hits. Guess how many strikeouts he had. 54. As opposed to 104 walks. With some simple mental math you can figure out that he walked almost 2 times for every strikeout. Albert Pujols is a pure hitter, not slugger, hitter. He can hit for contact and power at the same time while keeping up a tremendous average. Pujols deserves the MVP award hands down. A few years back I thought Andrew Jones should have won it, but I can’t complain. I would love to be able to say “I came in second in the MVP voting behind Albert Pujols.” Bow down, this guy is a freak.
I think I’ll also address everyone that says Ryan Howard should have won. Wrong, incorrect, negative, no. Ryan Howard is what I like to call a slugger.
Slugger\slug- ger, noun: someone who swings wildly at everything even remotely close to home plate and try’s to hit a home run everytime.
That is what Ryan Howard is. He try’s to hit a home run everytime he goes up and instead looks like a complete moron when someone throws a curve ball. I actually find his at bats quite humerus to be honest. Howard also has some comical defense at times.
Philly Phans can say that he lead them to the postseason and World Series and someone who wins the MVP should be in the postseason. Wrong again. Some of the greatest players ever played on terrible teams, why should that keep them from winning an award for individual excellence? It shouldn’t.
Dustin Pedroia on the other hand, did make it to the postseason. This kid is one heck of a talent. He plays the game with such a passion it is hard to not like him. He is one of the smallest guys in the game yet he makes his presence known to anyone and everyone near him. He is so small yet he hits the ball kinda like that Pujols guy I mentioned earlier. Dustin Pedroia is a damn good player.
Big game players come up big in big situations. Albert Pujols and Dustin Pedroia are two big game players that come up big in big situations. You have to look long and hard to find another pair of guys you would rather have come to the plate in a big situation. Congrats on the hardware.