Congratulations to Josh Hamilton, who won the AL MVP Award today (with another former Red, Paul Konerko, finishing fifth in the voting). There have been a number of former Reds who later won MVPs. Let’s explore….
Now we all know that Joey Votto has been named the National League and former Red Josh Hamilton has won the American League MVP award. Too, we all would be happy to have had both Votto and Hamilton in the our lineup together. Knowing what we know now, I suppose that would have solved our outfield problem and we’d have less of a logjam at starting pitcher, and maybe Edinson Volquez wouldn’t have started Game One in the playoffs.
But all that doesn’t matter now. Outside of the Volquez starting game one decision, I still think the Hamilton-Volquez trade was defensible at the time it was made. In saying that, the Ken Griffey (Jr.)–Mike Cameron (et al) trade was defensible at the time, too, but didn’t really pan out as well as we hoped.
Oh, and in case you didn’t know, the Reds are now tied with the Giants for second place as a team in total National League Most Valuable Player Award seasons with twelve. Only the St. Louis Cardinals have more (17).
Hamilton had a truly terrific year, hitting .359 with 32 homers and 100 rbi in only 133 games. He had a .411 OBP and led the majors in slugging percentage (.633) and OPS (1.044). Since leaving the Reds, Hamilton is hitting .315 with 74 homers in three seasons with a .915 OPS (138 OPS+). He’s been a very good player since leaving Cincinnati. In saying all that, Hamilton is not the first former Red that became an MVP following his Reds playing days. There have been others.