Who is the NL MVP?
The AL MVP is sure to go to J.D Martinez, a man who will finish the season about as close as you can get to the Triple Crown without winning it. But what about the NL MVP? There has been a large group of players from the Senior Circuit who have certainly helped their respective teams, but which of them has done the most? This has been an evolving debate as the season has progressed, and with only two weeks left before the Postseason I’d like to make each player’s case.
Freddie Freeman, Braves: .306/.388/.498, 21 HR 86 RBI
Freeman has always been a star, and that hasn’t changed this year. He has headed a scary Braves’ offense and has been one of the few consistent veteran guys in the locker room, and don’t forget that he can also pick it.
Javier Baez, Cubs: .295/.329/.566, 31 HR 103 RBI
Baez is the penultimate utility man in the Majors right now. He can play Gold Glove-caliber defense at second, third and short, and he has also been one of the league’s top sluggers. In another dominant season for the Cubbies, it’s hard to overlook their most complete player.
Lorenzo Cain, Brewers: .313/.403/.431, 10 HR 36 RBI
Christian Yelich has also been really good, but Cain’s defense and leadership put him over the top here. There’s no denying his veteran presence has boosted Milwaukee this season, and they looked poised to make a Postseason run.
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals: .268/.383/.548, 35 HR 77 RBI
His defense is underappreciated, sure, but his 35 homers certainly aren’t. The salsa has been flowing in the Cardinals’ clubhouse since the All-Star break and Carpenter’s power surge has put St. Louis right in the thick of the Wild Card race. His midseason turnaround directly coincided with the Redbirds propelling into contention, so he should merit serious consideration should the Cardinals reach the Postseason.
Trevor Story, Rockies: .291/.347/.557, 33 HR 102 RBI
Story’s late-season homerun antics have pushed Colorado into the NL West lead and he may even win the Gold Glove at shortstop. I’m not a huge fan of guys playing at Coors Field, but he has definitely been the most valuable player to his team over the past few weeks.
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks: .299/.401/.558, 33 HR 83 RBI
Goldschmidt came in third in NL MVP voting a year ago, and he has produced another season of his now-regular quality. The amazing defense is there, the power is there, the speed is there...now he has to do his best to get Arizona into the Postseason and make his final case.