A’s Marcus Semien named American League MVP finalist


Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien was sitting on the sofa with his household when MLB Network began announcing the game’s major award finalists on Monday afternoon.

He’d want to wait until eventually the show’s final phase to listen to the news, and there it was: sandwiched among Houston’s Alex Bregman and Los Angeles’ Mike Trout, Semien was named an American League Most Precious Player finalist.

His 1st considered: Fairly amazing. Second believed: What a trio to be provided in.


“I was just sitting there with my family members on the couch and just hoping,” Semien said on a conference simply call. “It’s likely to be rough to gain it, but just to be best three and see your identify in amongst individuals guys. It is really cool.”

Those people other two names are towers in this match, certain. Trout is a perennial finalist and two-time winner. Bregman has the optimum Wins Above Replacement (eight.five per Fangraphs) on a 107-get, World Collection runner-up Astros group.

“We performed some great baseball in the AL West,” he reported.

But Trout fell to injury late in the year. And even however Bregman’s numbers, overall, edge Semien’s  — this kind of as Bregman’s .418 weighted on foundation average to Semien’s .373, or his one.015 OPS above Semien’s .892 — Semien’s grateful that the voters acknowledged his consistent contributions to a profitable staff.

Guaranteed, Semien’s 343 overall bases rated next in the league. His 123 runs — tying Oakland’s file established by Reggie Jackson in 1969 —  83 additional foundation hits and 43 rated 3rd. He strike 33 dwelling operates and was a Gold Glove finalist for his play at shortstop.

But maybe his most valuable stat was the 162 games he performed and 747 plate appearances he created. His regular creation set a normal for the 97-win crew.

“These are factors that assist us acquire, from leadoff spot just acquiring on foundation,” he claimed.

The minimal items go a little bit deeper for Semien. His regularity was a merchandise of his finish handle of the strike zone in the course of. While in 2018 and just before, Semien was inclined to biting the chase pitch and increasing the zone, he honed his tactic in get shrink the zone back to his gain. He did not swing at the very first pitch as much and had a .500 OBP in complete counts.

Semien decreased his crouch and altered his pre-sport regimen. Hitting coach Darren Bush would feed him underhand pitches to simulate two-seamers, overhand to simulate the four-seam. Simply transforming his bat, even, designed Semien all the a lot more self-assured at the plate.

In spite of the competition, the very little points built Semien an indisputable MVP prospect — in theory and now formally.

Semien’s 7.6 WAR ranks 3rd in baseball guiding fellow AL finalist Alex Bregman and Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger (7.6), for each Fangraphs. Semien concluded the year with 92 RBI, batting .285 with a .892 OPS.

Semien is the A’s initially MVP finalist considering that Miguel Tejada was nominated and received the award in 2002.

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