O'Brien is an MVP if There Ever Was One

The thoughts on how this season has gone for Miami have been somewhat mixed. On one hand, they have done a good job of soundly beating the weaker competition on their schedule. Teams like Rutgers, Albany and Boston College have not tripped them up like similar teams did to last year's Canes. Padding their record with these wins have set them up nicely for hosting come the postseason this June.

On the other hand, errors, baserunning miscues and a lack of execution offensively at times have kept the team from reaching its potential. No matter how you feel about this team and this season, I think we can all agree that things would be a lot worse if it weren't for Peter O'Brien.

The All-American transfer from Bethune-Cookman has actually been better than advertised, if that's even possible.

Through 32 games, O'Brien is hitting .357 with ten home runs and 36 runs batted in. He is getting on base at a .454 clip and he has only struck out one more time than he has walked, no small feat on a team that has more than a few guys that strike out far too often.

As a team, Miami hasn't been bad offensively. They hit for decent average, take their fair share of walks and in this era of the scaled back BBCOR bats, their power numbers are much better than average.

But the solid numbers as a team only serve to make his numbers look more impressive. Miami has 24 homers as a team. Again, no small number. O'Brien has ten of them. His 80 total bases on the season are 39 more than the next highest total, Brad Fieger's 51. O'Brien's slugging percentage is .696, 196 points better than Stephen Perez's second-best rate of an even .500.

Most impressive of all, O'Brien has done a lot of this damage while nursing a bad back. It has been hurting him badly enough that he has been at DH for most of the past several weeks and some of his swings at the plate have looked awkward as he tries not to aggravate the injury. But he continues to play hard every time he takes the field.

O'Brien is on every award watch list that he qualifies for and rightfully so. It's hard to imagine any one player being a bigger part of their team's success.

If he continues to play this way for the rest of the season, it's also hard to imagine Miami not making a run deep into the summer.

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