Miami to MVP: Christian Yelich
Swimming in the waters of Miami, MLB player Christian Yelich, would’ve never imagined he’d be in Milwaukee in an MVP race. With Derek Jeter at the helm of the Marlins organization, he decided it was time to rebuild and they should trade their good players for multiple valuable prospects. After the death of Jose Fernandez, all the Marlins’ previous rebuilding was burned down; they had no ace to lead them to contention. All that was left was the tremendous trio of Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Christian Yelich.
On December 11 of last year, the Marlins traded their powerful star, Giancarlo Stanton, to the Yankees in exchange for 2B Starlin Castro, RHP Jose Guzman, and SS Jose Devers. With the departure of Stanton came great financial relief; they would’ve owed him $295 million over the next decade and got out only paying 30. Along with Giancarlo, Marcell Ozuna was traded just 3 days later to the Cardinals in exchange for RHPs Sandy Alcantara and Zac Gallen, OF Magneuris Sierra and LHP Daniel Castano.
All that was remaining was Christian Yelich, and for about a month it looked like he’d stay in Miami and was free of Giancarlo’s shadow. However, on January 25 he was dealt to the Brewers in exchange for OF Lewis Brinson, OF Monte Harrison, INF Isan Diaz and RHP Jordan Yamamoto. It was time for Yelich to turn to a new chapter in his career, luckily for him it would turn out to be the greatest year of his life.
Fast forward 8 months, Christian Yelich and the Brewers are just a few wins away from booking their ticket to the World Series. In light of all the Brewers have done this season, Yelich has been the diamond in the rough. In the regular season, Yelich posted a .326 batting average which secured the batting title in the National League. Complementing his average, he had 110 RBIs and 36 HRs. Another astonishing feat he achieved this season was hitting for the cycle...twice...against the same team. And so far in the playoffs he has not disappointed, posting a 1.196 OPS and crushing a huge homerun in game 1 of the NLDS.
He has built quite the resume for a kid who never played in an All-Star Game before this season. Sophomore John Vallen believes, “Yelich is a great player and will 100% win the award.” He has emerged into an MVP candidate and will hopefully be a contender for the award for the next 7 years.
But how did a guppy swimming in the waters of Miami navigate his way to becoming a trout in Milwaukee? Was it a change of scenery? Change of coaching? Or simply just physical improvement?
According to ESPN.com, Brewers GM David Stearns believes Yelich had just finally got that breakthrough he needed, “This is a really talented player who trusted himself, trusted his process, and just incrementally got better over time.” Yelich himself commented on the matter, “I think it's understanding an approach. Understanding your swing. Understanding what you do when you're successful and not successful.” Obviously what Yelich is doing works.
Not only is Yelich an MVP on the field, but he is one off the field as well. Last offseason Yelich partook in disaster relief efforts to aid those affected by the various hurricanes that ransacked the South. "It's been a tough year for a lot of people all over the country," Yelich said on MLB Network’s "Hot Stove" morning show. "It's just nice to let them know we appreciate them and haven't forgotten about them. We're going to do anything we can to help out." That is how the athletes of America should act, they should use their platform to help those less fortunate than them, especially in times of need.
With the World Series quickly approaching, you can’t help but to root for Yelich and the Brew Crew. The unanimous MVP has brought the Brewers back to the playoffs for the first time since 2011 and is deserving a championship. From being drafted in the first round in 2010, to being part of a sluggish Marlins organization, Yelich’s hardwork has finally put him spot to win. Now it’s his world and we’re just living in it.