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Award Watch: NL MVP

May 30, 2012
  1. Gio Gonzalez – I really didn’t know who I’d have in the first spot here, but there isn’t a hitter in the NL just running away with the MVP like Josh Hamilton is in the AL. I think it’s safe to say Gio won’t stay here for that long, but for now he’s my NL MVP pick because he’s been the best pitcher (2.04, 0.94) on the league’s best staff (2.96) on a team that’s been hurt badly on the offensive side by injuries and has struggled scoring runs (26th in the majors). His only bad start was his first of the season, against the Cubs, but since then he hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs (only once); has allowed either an equal number of hits or fewer number than innings pitched in any start; and has eight starts of four hits or fewer. He leads the league in K/9, and has only allowed one home run.
  2. Joey Votto – Votto’s counting stats won’t blow anyone away (8 homers, 30 runs, 29 RBI), but he leads the league in WOBA, which is similar to average and OBP but gives more weight to extra-base hits. Votto ranks ninth, second and third, respectively, in the slash stats, and his 20.2 percent walk rate is almost four points higher than any other NL batter. I don’t think you’ll find anyone who calls any other Red the most valuable player on their team, especially when Votto is the only consistent, powerful force in the Reds’ lineup.
  3. David Wright – The Mets 28-22 record is fairly misleading, considering their run differential of -20 ranks 10th in the NL. But credit where credit is due: Wright’s been outstanding and basically the only reason the Mets are a playoff team…if the playoffs started today. He’s hitting for average (.370, second), getting on base (.470, first) and also hitting for power (.570, ninth). Despite being 28th in plate appearances, he has the fifth-most hits among NL batters. The Mets won’t stay in contention throughout the year, but Wright deserves to be in MVP consideration for now.
  4. Carlos Beltran – Despite the Cardinals being hit even harder than the Nationals by the injury bug their offense ranks first in runs, average, OBP and slugging in the NL, and most of those leads are by huge amounts. Those rankings are due in large part to the play of Beltran, who leads the league in home runs, is second in RBI, fourth in slugging and 10th in OBP.
  5. Matt Kemp – Kemp returned to action last night after missing the past two weeks with a hamstring injury. With less than two months of the season completed I normally wouldn’t give a rank to a guy who missed about a quarter of the season so far. But Kemp’s time on the field was other-worldly. Despite missing two weeks of games Kemp still ranks third in homers and in the top 20 in runs and RBI. His .355/.441/.719 line isn’t that bad, either. Those numbers include an 0-13 stretch that consisted of his last four games before he was DL’d all while he was playing injured.




From → MLB

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