Donaldson: Vlad deserves AL MVP over Ohtani
The Minnesota Twins third baseman, who won the award with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015, recently vouched for Guerrero. The Blue Jays slugger is producing a tremendous season, but he could finish second in voting behind Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels.
"To me, Vlad on a day-to-day basis has affected more games,” Donaldson told the Toronto Sun's Rob Longley on Saturday. "That to me, makes you most valuable.
"They have a nice lineup, but without Vlad in that lineup, this isn't the same team. And that makes a big difference."
Guerrero leads the AL in hits, runs, home runs, batting average, and OPS entering Sunday. He's also putting up a Gold Glove-caliber season at first base, and the 22-year-old could become the first Triple Crown winner since Miguel Cabrera in 2012.
Ohtani, meanwhile, is in the midst of an unprecedented campaign.
The two-way sensation is second behind Guerrero with 44 homers, and he's also recorded 94 RBIs with a .258/.359/.595 slash line. As a pitcher, the 27-year-old is 9-2 with a 3.36 ERA and 136 strikeouts over 115 1/3 innings.
While Ohtani has impressed Donaldson, the veteran believes there are other factors that need to be considered, like if a player has helped to guide his team to the postseason.
"People have wanted to give the award to Shohei for months now and he’s been going out there and doing something that is remarkable," Donaldson said. "We haven't seen that. And it is amazing. But the Angels aren't going to get into the playoffs.
“I'm not trying to take anything away from Shohei," Donaldson added. "I think what he's doing is incredible. It's just that Vlad is out there every day, he's in the middle of that lineup and he's having an astronomical year.
"But what both of them are doing is extremely special and it's rare, so we should appreciate it."