Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Major League Baseball's 10 Most Indispensable Players in 2010

Philiadelphia Phillies at San Francisco Giants
Part 1 of 10

A review of each season's Most Valuable Player voting typically reveals the best players in the game at that particular time. Although each player's team's regular season success is a factor, the vote tally usually has a strong correlation to statistical leader boards.

Those players have almost always earned this recognition through quantifiable performance from RBI's to HR's to batting average to wins to saves. And, individual team MVP selections often mirror the same approach.

However, determining which players are most indispensable can often entail a much more complex equation. In fact, it usually involves a subjective consideration of many different variables such as the team's makeup, style, flexibility, and depth— along with the player's individual performance, position and role.

Simply put, it's a matter of assessing which players have the greatest impact on and would be missed the most by their team?

All the players that follow surely have impressive measurable results, but their value to their team includes much more. Here are Major League Baseball's 10 most indispensable players:

No. 10 Jayson Werth, Philadelphia Phillies

Over the past four seasons, Jayson Werth went from being released by the Los Angeles Dodgers to developing into one of baseball's best all-around players. Along the way, he has become an indispensable piece on a team loaded with stars.

Werth's value to the Philadelphia Phillies relates to the many ways he helps them win games and the much needed balance that he provides. His presence as the sole right-handed slugger in the middle of the team's left-handed power trio of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez provides critical equilibrium.

The athletic right fielder's emergence as a bona fide threat also forces opposing pitchers to challenge Howard rather than feed him a constant diet of breaking balls off the plate. Of course, a simple scan of the 2010 stat sheets clearly reinforces Werth's value.

After 31 games, he is third in the National League with a .349 average, tied for seventh with 7 HR's, and sixth with 26 RBI's. Werth also is second with a .688 SLG and a 1.105 OPS.

The 30-year old player's value goes way beyond the batter's box.

Werth has established himself as an outstanding fielder worthy of Gold Glove consideration with his great range and powerful throwing arm. He takes away hits, limits base runners from moving up and racks up assists against those that dare to challenge him. He can capably fill in for center fielder Shane Victorino, but the team has no one near his ability to cover him in right.

Werth's own smart, aggressive base running manufactures runs and puts pressure on opposing teams. Additionally, the past two seasons he has stolen 20 bases and rarely ever gets caught.

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