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5. Cal Ripken Jr., 1991
Stats: .323/.374/.566. 34 HRs, 99 runs, 114 RBIs. 11.5 WAR, 9.2 oWAR, .405 wOBA.
Skinny: Ripken's 1991 MVP award was debated because he won it for a 95-loss, sixth-place team while runner-up Cecil Fielder played for a team that finished over .500. But there's no denying how tremendous Ripken was that season, leading the majors in total bases and setting career bests in homers and RBIs. His 11.5 WAR -- which also incorporated his tremendous defense at the key shortstop position -- is the fourth-highest WAR since 1950, trailing only two seasons by Barry Bonds and Carl Yastrzemski's Triple Crown year in 1967. Ripken also won the MVP in 1983, but 1991 was the peak of his offensive stardom.
February 22, 1996