COMMENTARY | The Most Valuable Player Award tends to go to players who had the best offensive season in the league.
Sure, fielding is taken into consideration and the player's actual value to the team is looked at, but, for the most part, it's the guy that raked all year long.
Paul Goldschmidt destroyed National League pitching, he was one of the top five defensive first basemen in the league this year, and he was the Arizona Diamondbacks' most valuable asset.
So why not Goldschmidt for 2013 National League MVP?
THE CASE FOR GOLDY
To win the MVP, players have to stand out among other top players. That means leading the league in multiple categories, not just being near the top. Goldschmidt fits the bill, as he led the National League in five different major categories.
He led in home runs (36), runs batted in (125), slugging percentage (.551), on-base plus slugging percentage (.952) and total bases (332). He also led in intentional walks (19). To add to his resume, Goldy hit .302 with an on-base percentage of .401 (4th in the NL).
Not to mention, he stole 15 bases, scored 103 runs and was a rock of solidarity for the team, playing in 160 games.
As a fielder, Goldschmidt fared well, especially in advanced metrics. His fielding percentage of .997 was No. 2 in the NL. His range factor per game of 10.02 was No. 1. He turned 118 double plays, good for No. 2 in the league. His total zone runs (a combination of stats that show how many runs a player saves defensively) was 12, which was also No. 1.
THE CASE AGAINST GOLDY
The biggest reason why Goldschmidt may not win the award is team performance. Unless you put up a historically great season, your team had better be in contention and well above .500. That's just not the case here.
Since Barry Bonds in 1990, only one MVP winner hit below .302 and that was Jimmy Rollins in 2007 for the first-place Philadelphia Phillies. The Diamondbacks finished the season 81-81 and nowhere near first.
The good news is that the competition isn't as strong this year in the NL. Joey Votto hit well and led the league in on-base percentage and walks, but he hit only 24 home runs with 73 runs batted in. Andrew McCutchen had a stellar batting line of .317/.404/.508 with 21 home runs, 84 runs batted in and 27 steals.
Unless the voters go outside the box and give the MVP to a guy like Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83 ERA, 232 K), Goldschmidt had the best offensive season. The problem is still that he played for the least successful team.
Michael Dunlap covers the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks for the Yahoo Contributor Network. He is an NBA credentialed writer who is also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of HoopsHabit.com.
- Sports & Recreation
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- Paul Goldschmidt