National League Most Valuable Player - Who You Got?

National League Most Valuable Player - Who You Got?

National League Most Valuable Player - Who You Got?

As we approach the All-Star break, I’ll be doing a couple articles on who should be winning the awards as of the half-way mark. We’ll start with the National League Most Valuable Players. In the next couple of days, I’ll post the American League MVP, National League Cy Young, and American League Cy Young. I know what you’re thinking – what about the Rookie of the Year awards, Andy? I’ll do that now – Washington Nationals Bryce Harper and Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout.

I think the NL vote for MVP is pretty clear right now, but the top guy has some company. Here they are in order of how I would vote…you know, if anyone gave me a vote.

(all statistics are through July 4, 2012)

Joey Votto, First Base, Cincinnati Reds


Those statistics alone are what I like to call phenomenal. Let’s break those down and then we can talk about the advanced statistics that matter more in these races. Votto is hitting .350 which is phenomenal, but he has an on-base percentage of nearly .500! He isn’t hitting a ton of homeruns (he never has), but he’s only six doubles shy of matching his total from last season. He’s on pace to hit about 68 doubles…that would be a record!

In addition to the traditional statistics, Joey has an OPS+ of 189 and WAR of 4.3. He’s having one of the best (non-steroid) seasons in recent memory and is probably a lock to win the trophy if he can stay healthy for the rest of the season and keep some semblence of this up.

David Wright, Third Base, New York Mets


Wright is only 29 years old and he seems to be coming into his own and rounding back into the look he had from 2007-2009. The New York Mets are a good baseball team that’s contending for a playoff spot and David Wright is leading the way at the plate. If he can stay healthy and keep delivering big hits that get the Mets wins, he’ll give Votto a serious run for his money.

I usually put a lot more stock into advanced statistics, specifically OPS+ and WAR and if you do that here, you could make the case that I have Wright and Votto out of order. Wright has an OPS+ of 176 and a WAR of 4.4. That puts him on the same level as Votto and he’s got a little more to do with his teams winning ways.

Andrew McCutchen, Center Field, Pittsburgh Pirates


McCutchen has something that the other two gentlemen don’t have. A first place baseball team. The only knock I have on McCutchen, before I tell you why I’m in love with him, is that he doesn’t walk enough. He does steal bases, get extra base hits (37/105 of his hits, to be exact) and he’s only 25. It’s been a long time since I’ve liked a ball player this much…sorry to Harper and Trout, but they haven’t proven anything to me yet.

McCutchen’s OPS+ of 181 and WAR of 4.0 makes him just as loveable as Wright and Votto, too. If McCutchen can lead his Pirates to the playoffs and maintain this level of production, this MVP race could get even more heated.

Tune in tomorrow for the American League MVP race!

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Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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By The Baseball Page
Friday, 6 Jul 2012


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