Saunders: Casting my vote for NL MVP will be no easy task


I’ll receive my official Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) ballot over the next few days.

This year, I have a vote for the National League MVP. It’s a bit daunting because there are several intriguing story lines and two local players in the mix.

In my mind, the top five candidates, in no particular order, are Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton, Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon, Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been scouring the web, reading arguments for this player vs. that player. For example, if you want to read a solid argument for Blackmon, I suggest you read Craig Edwards’ recent article in Fangraphs. The article is heavy on metrics, but Edwards also wrote something I found compelling:

“If you do choose to penalize him further for playing in Colorado, you might want to appropriately credit him for the observed difficulty of hitting on the road after playing at Coors.”

Of course I’m going to compare statistics before I vote.

Consider Goldschmidt vs. Arenado. “Goldy” entered the weekend batting .305, with 35 homers, 117 RBIs, a .410 on-base percentage, .986 OPS (on-base percentage, plus slugging) and a 6.0 WAR (Wins Above Replacement). “Golden Nolan’s” stats were equally impressive: .306 average, 34 homers, 125 RBIs, .370 on-base percentage, .949 OPS and a 6.6 WAR.

Then again, Stanton’s 1.012 OPS and 7.3 WAR are impossible to ignore.

As you can see, it’s a tough call, and one I’m not quite ready to make.

A definition of MVP — most valuable player — is left to the eye of the beholder, or at the discretion of the voter. Many factors will figure into my MVP vote:

— The historical significance of a player’s season. For instance, if Stanton hits six …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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