Opening day has come and gone, each team has played each other once and each player has had their chance to shine on the SFWL's biggest stage, Shed Field. Here is how the MVP race is looking after April's games:
1. Joe Cronin, Twins: Joe had a solid opening day. He hit .600 and had a .692 OBP. Joe simply got the job done at the plate. He struggled on the mound though in 3 innings against the Red Sox and Padres, giving up 9 runs. Pitching is at least 25% considered when voting for MVP and Joe hasn't done anything on the mound to impress. He only hit 1 HR and needs to get into a power groove next month. Joe didn't outperform the #2 on this ladder, but he is the reigning MVP so it will take a lot more work to knock him off his laurels.
2. John Cronin, Padres: He is among the league leaders in every major category. He is batting .700 with a .786 OBP. John also dominated on the hill. He had 8 strikeouts and has a 1.67 ERA. John looked very impressive an opening day. He silenced critics who said he wasn't going to hit a lot of home runs this season by smashing 4. He also led the Padres to a 3-0 record with comes with a #4 national rank (as of week 4). If the season ended today, John would give Joe a run for money in the MVP vote.
3. Tony Thompson, Twins: What a debut for the rookie! He is batting .556. He has been the center of the Twins offense with 4 HR, 8 RBI, and 7 runs. He is pitching great with 9 K's and a 1.25 WHIP. Tony was the top rookie we saw on opening day for sure and he will turn more heads as the season goes on.
4. Sam Essen, Red Sox: Another rookie who did well on opening day. Sam is among the league leaders for most stat categories. He is batting .545 with a .722 OBP. The manager of the Red Sox, he will have to put the team on his back until more of his players step up and perform. He didn't look to good on the mound. He has a 5.00 ERA, but has a top-5 6 strikeouts. Sam is a rookie who still needs a lot of work, unlike rookie Tony Thompson.
5. Derek Dust, Padres: Another rookie in the ladder...Derek leads the league in batting average (.714) and tied for the HR lead (4). He and John create a powerful bash bros. duo for the #4 nationally ranked Padres. He has yet to pitch, but will pitch in May according to manager John Cronin. He has a terrific dugout presence and is good at mentoring the young talent on the Padres.
6. Howard Cronin, Blue Jays: Well, I was right in my pre-season edition. Howard dominated on the mound, but honestly horrible at the plate. He didn't get a hit or draw a walk. It will be hard for him to get his batting average up as the season progresses. On the bright side, he leads the league with 10 strikeouts. He also only threw 1 walk in 6 innings, so that is fantastic for him too. If there was a "Cy Young Ladder" he would be on the top, but this is the MVP ladder so he needs to hit better before he moves up any higher.
7. Andrew Cronin, Padres: Andrew threw a 1-hit shutout and smoked 2 HR. Enough said.
8. Erik Essen, Red Sox: The rookie on the Red Sox had the most clutch play of the young season. Down 3-0 to the Twins, Erik smacked a 3-run HR to tie the game. He added another one later in the inning and the Red Sox won the game 14-3. Erik is tied for the league lead with 4 homers.
Honorable mentions: Andy Lehman (1st in the league with 8 hits), Paul Cronin (6 K's, 1 HR), Sarah Cronin (.346 and 1 HR in return from maternity leave), Yvonne Cronin (1 HR following big homer in last year's championship),