Make no mistake; if numbers were the only important factor in deciding the 2013 NL MVP, Paul Goldschmidt would be the hands-down, odds-on favorite to take home the trophy. As it is though, Goldschmidt is of the very real disadvantage that his team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, will not be making the postseason.
The MVP is supposed to be awarded based off of the regular-season performance. But lately, the playoff factor has seemed to play in to who gets the award. Only twice since 2005 has the winner of the NL MVP not made the playoffs. But in these seasons, the numbers were too hard to ignore. Unfortunately, Goldschmidt probably won’t get the same courtesy.
To put his season into perspective, we should compare Goldschmidt with five other guys who are in the MVP conversation and who all have been instrumental in their teams’ playoff runs.
Andrew McCutchen: .319 AVG/20 HR/82 RBI/.404 OBP
Freddie Freeman: .314 AVG/ 23 HR/ 105 RBI/ .392 OBP
Yadier Molina: .315 AVG/12 HR/71 RBI/ .355 OBP
Yasiel Puig: .327 AVG/ 18 HR/ 41 RBI/ .397 OBP
Joey Votto: .308 AVG/24 HR/72 RBI/.434 OBP
Then there is Goldschmidt: .305 AVG/ 35 HR/ 123 RBI/ .406 OBP.
Of the six guys, the difference between average and OBP is essentially negligible with the exception of Votto. Votto aside, Goldschmidt actually has the second highest OBP of the group. Of the group, he bests Votto by 11 HR and Freeman by 18 RBI — two differentials that are not negligible.
Additionally, Goldschmidt is first in the NL in HR, RBI, SLG (.557) and OPS (.963). He is third in R (100) and third in BB (97). Of the MVP list, only Votto has more runs and walks.
In a year when the Diamondbacks will most likely finish second in the NL West, Goldschmidt has had an MVP year. Unfortunately, his stats are so close to guys like Votto, who will be playing in October, that is going to be hard to justify giving the award to Goldschmidt.
The playoff factor is an added bonus and it might just be one that leaves Goldschmidt out in the cold despite an incredible 2013 season. He has the MVP numbers, his team just wasn’t able to turn them into MVP results.
Marilee Gallagher is a writer for RantSports.com. You can follow her on Twitter @MGallagher17 like her page on Facebook, or join her network on Google.