Who has the better MVP Case: Jose Ramirez or Steven Kwan?

The Cleveland Guardians are witnessing career seasons from both Jose Ramirez and Steven Kwan, but which player is making the stronger MVP case as we reach the halfway point of the season?
Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Guardians
Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Guardians / Mike Lawrie/GettyImages
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A case for Steven Kwan

Steven Kwan
Cleveland Guardians v Baltimore Orioles / G Fiume/GettyImages

We'll start with the case for Steven Kwan, beginning with the obvious. His batting average is something of old-time legends at this point. Kwan is currently batting .370 on the season, which will lead baseball once he reaches the mark to be a "qualified player" on MLB's stat lists. As of right now, that spot is occupied by Shohei Ohtani of the Dodgers with a .322 mark, 48 points behind Kwan. The last player to finish a season with an average of .370 or better was 20 years ago when Ichiro Suzuki hit .372 in 2004. Suzuki finished seventh in MVP voting that season, but Kwan's resume might be more impressive.

Something that has gone rather unnoticed this season is Kwan's OPS, which currently sits at .973. Only six batters have a higher mark in the MLB currently: Aaron Judge, Ohtani, Juan Soto, Gunnar Henderson, Bryce Harper and Kyle Tucker. Those six all have something in common. They all have at least 19 home runs this season. Kwan has seven, yet he's still hanging around.

Even Kwan's slugging percentage (.543) is top 10 in baseball, sitting just one spot behind fellow Guardian Jose Ramirez, and again that's with just seven home runs. The seven blasts for Kwan are already a career-high in a single season, but his on-base percentage (.430) is just as impressive, ranking third in the MLB. When talking about Ichiro's 2004 season as a comparison for Kwan's batting average, Suzuki's slugging percentage was only .455 that year.

We can't forget the time that Kwan missed. He's only played 54 games, while most players in these conversations are closer to the 80 mark now. Despite that, he's still putting together one of the best seasons we've maybe ever witnessed from a Cleveland hitter. Sure, the power isn't what we're used to from MVP candidates, but considering his entire slash line is among the best in baseball, it's hard to ignore him.