Top 5 MLB National League MVP Candidates
Top 5 National League MVP Candidates
With all 162 games in the book, it is time to start looking at the end of the year awards. The National League has a very tight race for Most Valuable Player with several qualified candidates. This year’s voters will have a hard time deciding who the MVP is in both leagues, but the NL produces many all-around talented players with plenty of drama.
The annual MLB award is given to one individual who exemplified excellence throughout the regular season. The MVP is voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America who then award the chosen individual with the Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award. The award is named in honor of the league’s first commissioner who served MLB for 24 years.
Two writers per each league city will vote on whom they believe not only was the best among the rest but how that player helped their team win. The writers must have their mind made up and vote cast before the start of the postseason. The results will be withheld until the conclusion of the World Series.
It is certainly interesting how the BBWAA go about their business, especially when it comes to how they decide whom they are going to vote for, as it must be a grueling process in most cases. It also must be somewhat stressful for the players who are in the running considering they have to wait for over a month to see if they won. The following slides are the top five candidates for NL MVP.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.
#5 Chase Headley
Chase Headley had an outstanding season for a decently bad team with a terrible lineup. Considering the ballpark he calls home is one of the hardest hitter parks in all of baseball, it is very impressive the offensive numbers he was able to put up. Headley ranked first in the NL in RBIs (115) and third in walks (86).He finished with other decent numbers across the board including 31 home runs, 31 doubles, 17 stolen bases, and a .286 batting average.
#4 Yadier Molina
Yadier Molina could possibly be the most talented all-around player on this list. Molina not only ranked fourth in batting average (.315), but he also showed signs of power as he recorded 22 home runs, 76 RBIs, and 28 doubles. What might be even more impressive is he only struck out 55 times in 505 plate appearances. As good as Molina is offensively, he is even better defensively behind the plate. He led all NL catchers in assists (88) and double plays (12). Molina ranked second in fielding percentage (.997), runners caught stealing (35), errors (3), and stolen base percentage (.521).
#3 Andrew McCutchen
Andrew McCutchen had a phenomenal first half of the season in which he batted .362 with 15 home runs, 60 RBIs, and 14 stolen bases. Obviously, it is near impossible to keep up with those numbers so he really had nowhere else to go but down. However, he still finished the season off strong and deserves to be mentioned among the league’s best. McCutchen ended up in second with a .327 batting average but had a difficult time making contact down the stretch as he struck out 132 times on the year. He also had decent power numbers with 31 homers and 96 RBIs.
#2 Buster Posey
Buster Posey won the 2012 batting title with a .336 average to end the regular season. He may have had 60 less at-bats then the two players behind him on the batting average list but nonetheless he deserves the honor. Posey did hit 24 home runs, 39 doubles, and 103 RBIs, but more importantly, he led his team to a division title while playing solid defense behind home plate. Posey is very valuable to a team with high expectations of winning their second World Series in three years.
#1 Ryan Braun
The 2012 NL MVP rightfully belongs to the reigning champ, Ryan Braun. The Milwaukee Brewers slugger posted numbers that are off the charts and his performance almost dug his team out of a deep hole in the last month of the season to clinch a playoff berth. Obviously, many people say Braun does not deserve the award and will not win it because of the controversy surrounding him last season. However, that was something that took place last year, which means it should have no impact on how the writers vote this season. Not to mention, considering Braun was under so much pressure and scrutiny it makes it even more impressive what he was able to accomplish. He ended the season batting .319 with 41 home runs, 112 RBIs, 36 doubles, and 30 stolen bases.