There has been a little talk latey about Rollins for MVP. ESPN has mentioned it a couple of times and now it is in the Phillies Notes section on Philly.com.
Jimmy Rollins, who leads the league in runs and triples and is second in total bases, is on pace to finish with 205 hits. Rollins has a chance to become the third shortstop since 1962 to win the NL MVP award, joining Maury Wills (1962) and Barry Larkin (1995)."
It isn't a surprise that people talk about Rollins in this manner. He has put up some good counting stats and is on pace for...
202 hits 40 doubles 19 triples 28 homeruns 136 runs 92 RBI and 32 SB
That is one triple away from a 20-20-20-20 and 8 RBI away from 100-100. Certainly excellent stats and good to have on your team. Unfortunately, the MVP talk is complete bogus as Rollins has done this with more plate appearances than ANYONE else in the league.
Rollins PAs: 606
They start getting packed in there around Jeter. However, despite only having 4 more PAs than Reyes, Rollins has 18 more ABs due to his low walk total (Reyes is #2 BTW). What this has done is a) depressed Rollin's OBP, which should be his more important stat as a leadoff hitter and b) kept his SLG down since his total bases are spread out over more ABs than anyone else in baseball.
This isn't necessarily a slight on Rollins. He is what he is. A good power low walk short stop with good speed and an above average glove. Certainly worth the money he is making (even though I thought it was a bad contract at the time). He is not, however, a MVP candidate.
There is precedence however. Ichiro's 2001 season where he posted an OPS of 300 points below Giambi's comes to mind. So does Larkin's 1995 campaign and Gibson's 1988. But, just because it has happened before, doesn't mean it should happen again. Utley was a legitimate, if not flawed candidate before he went down. So was Howard before his slump. Rollins has been very good this year, but nowhere near MVP levels.
If you had to twist my arm, I'd make the unpopular choice of Chipper Jones in the NL. Sure, he isn't good in the field anymore, but the guy can still rake.
Jones: .335 .419 .594 1.013 .340 EqA
Cabrera (.333 EqA), Fielder (.317 EqA) and Hanley Ramirez (.320 EqA) (before his recent slump) would also be decent choices. Pujols (.332) has turned this into another one of his awesome years despite starting off really poorly. Even David Wright (.321 EqA), who is the only Met with an OPS over .900.
Btw, Rollins has the FIFTH best EqA on the Phillies.
Lastly, Rollins has the 4th best VORP among SSs in the NL.
Rollins has been good this year, but he hasn't been an MVP candidate. Not by any shot.
*You may have noticed I left a big name off of the list. Barry Bonds. I have been a supporter of Bonds just because I love to see greatness. And he is leading the league in EqA and OPS. I think a lot of this is due to opposing pitcher's fears and walking him more than he deserves. He MAY be the most valuable player, but I am just moving on from him because he has already won enough of them.