Five Players Who Can Win 2013 National League MVP

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Five Players Who Could Win NL MVP in 2013

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Benny Sieu-USA Today Sports

Baseball season is right around the corner, and I can’t think of a better time to come up with a list of the possible candidates who should win the NL MVP this year before the season even begins. I only say this because it’s never too early to make guesses at who will produce and who will flame out.

The definition of Most Valuable Player is, “an honor typically bestowed upon the best-performing player or players on a specific team, in an entire league, or for a particular contest or series of contests.” These five candidates are without a doubt the Most Valuable Players on their team.

In order to be a MVP-type player, you have to be the best player on your team (obviously), be someone your team can count on in clutch moments in a game, be someone who can represent your team off the field and be a model of consistency throughout the entire season.

This list is composed of mostly position players mixed in with a few pitchers. I chose a few pitchers because they, to me, are the most important part to a team’s success. In order for a team to be successful you not only have to have a good offense, but you need at least one stellar pitcher, if not two, to help your team make a deep run when the month of October comes rolling around.

Of course, these are just my five guys who I think deserve to win. I am sure there are many other possible candidates to win it and I’m sure I have missed a few, but these are not necessarily a ranking in which how they should finish.

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Matt Kemp

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Daniel Shirey-USA Today Sports

Matt Kemp is one of many reasons as to why the Los Angeles Dodgers are a contender in the NL West. Kemp has been a backbone for the Dodgers, and has contributed greatly to their success. Barring an injury like he sustained last season, look for Kemp to be among the finalists for MVP.

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Justin Upton

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Kim Klement-USA Today Sports

Justin Upton is essentially a dark horse for me to win the MVP. He is no longer the main man like he was when he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Now that he's an Atlanta Brave, a lot of pressure has been removed from his bat to produce. It's not a stretch to think Upton could have a monstrous season and contend for the MVP.

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Joey Votto

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Frank Victores-USA Today Sports

It's been said before-- how can you have a list of top NL players and not have Joey Votto on the list? This may seem a little biased, but Votto is a player who I think can win the NL MVP this year. He is one of the game's purest hitters, delivers in clutch moments and plays some very good defense at first base. Barring injury, look for Votto to finish in the top three, if not to win the MVP this year.

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Johnny Cueto

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Jake Roth-USA Today Sports

Johnny Cueto checks on this list for a very good reason--he's the ace of the Cincinnati Reds' staff. Cueto is looking to not only be the MVP for the Reds, but for the league. He was the stopper anytime Cincinnati had a losing skid in 2012. Cueto, like Upton, is considered a dark horse, but don't be surprised if finishes in the top five of the MVP race.

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Stephen Strasburg

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Derick Hingle-USA Today Sports

Stephen Strasburg is the final player on the list for essentially the same reason as Cueto--he's the ace of the Washington Nationals' staff. If Strasburg doesn't get shut down late season again after hitting an innings limit (which I assume the Nats won't do this year), look for Strasburg to make a very strong case to win the NL MVP