Explaining my AL MVP ballot: Why I had Betts first, Britton ninth - Page 5 of 12 - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

Explaining my AL MVP ballot: Why I had Betts first, Britton ninth

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Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

4.      Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas Rangers

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This, honestly, is what I think is the most controversial thing about my ballot. Beltre, Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson were interchangeable from four to six for me. All three were great defensively, great offensively and played for playoff teams.

Beltre was the best down the stretch, basically throwing the Rangers on his 37-year-old shoulders. He hit 20 homers and batted .323 after the All-Star Break.

One AL pitcher told me that, besides Betts and Trout, Beltre was the hitter that had to be pitched to most closely this year, because his approach never changes and he can beat you in so many ways. Beltre, who placed seventh overall for MVP but received a first-place vote, also captured his fifth Gold Glove this year.

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