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David Ortiz: Does He Have a Shot at Winning the AL MVP in 2012?

Christopher BenvieCorrespondent IIMay 15, 2012

At 36 years of age, David Ortiz is having the type of season that rivals his 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons, at ages 29, 30 and 31 respectively.

In each of those seasons, Ortiz finished second, third and fourth in the American League MVP voting consecutively.

This season, he is absolutely raking for the Boston Red Sox. I must eat crow, I wanted him out of town during the winter and I was wrong.

Not only is Ortiz leading the Red Sox in most offensive categories, he is at the top of the MLB leaderboards in most categories as well.

I know it is hard to imagine anyone but the Texas Rangers Josh Hamilton winning the award right now, but think about it, Ortiz isn't all that far behind Hamilton in many categories.

Ortiz is third in batting average at .353 behind only Derek Jeter and Hamilton. That being said, his career-high average came in 2007 when he finished the year batting .332.

His OBP is sitting at .417, again, third best in the AL behind Paul Konerko and Hamilton. That would be second to only his .445 OBP in 2007, which led the American League.

Hamilton is running away from everyone in slugging at .852, but Ortiz is second with a .633, which is about .040 points higher than next in line, Adam Dunn. Only in 2006 at .636 did he have a higher career SLG.

Ortiz ranks second in OPS as well, with a 1.050 to Hamilton's 1.310. They are the only two players with an OPS over one right now in the AL. Only in 2007 did Ortiz have a higher OPS with a 1.066.

In terms of extra-base hits, Hamilton comes across as having more impressive numbers. He does have 18 home runs after all, which leads the AL. Ortiz, however, has 15 doubles, which leads the AL. Ortiz has eight home runs while Hamilton has five doubles. Neither has a triple to their credit, which means both have 23 extra base hits this season.

Jeter does lead all AL batters in hits with 55, with Hamilton in second at 52 and Ortiz in third with 49.

After having a closer look at the raw numbers, Ortiz really isn't that far off. The season is still young enough to allow for a few hills and valleys for both Ortiz and Hamilton to have to overcome.

Whatever the outcome may be, one thing is for sure: Ortiz is making a strong case for a new two-year agreement for himself in Boston at the end of the season.

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