Bill’s NL MVP Analysis
- Updated: September 17, 2008
The National League MVP race may be a little easier to break down than the American League’s, but it is still, by no means, a cake walk. No one really walked away with the award this year, just as in the AL, although a couple did distinguish themselves a bit more than those in the other league.
1. Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
Pujols is probably the best player in baseball and the sky is the limit for his career. One can only wonder what kind of numbers he would be putting up if he didn’t have a chronic elbow problem. He recently became just the 3rd person ever to start their career with 8 seasons where they hit 30 homeruns and drove in 100 RBIs. He ranks in the top 10 in the National League in 7 offensive categories (1st in OBP, 1st in OPS, 1st in slugging percentage, 2nd in walks, 2nd in batting average, 8th in RBI and 5th in homeruns). No one else even comes close to doing that. He also plays nearly Gold Glove caliber first base and is on a team that is still in contention for a playoff spot. He carried the Cardinals with his bat in so many clutch situations this season that it can easily be said that without him, they would not even be close to making the playoffs. This will be Pujols’ 2nd MVP, after winning it in 2005, and this writer would not be surprised to see him win multiple more times.
2. Lance Berkman, Houston Astros
He had a season no one really expected him to have. Many think he should be in the downswing of his career, but ranking 4th and 3rd in batting average and on base percentage respectively along with a solid first base has him this high on the ballot.
3. David Wright, New York Mets
The player affectionately known as the “other” baseball heartthrob in New York had another outstanding season. He is projected to have another 30 homerun season to go along with 40 doubles and over 100 RBI. He also has a good chance to win his 2nd gold glove in a row.
4. Matt Holliday, Colorado Rockies
This Rockie ranks in the top 10 in 6 separate offensive categories. It still seems it’s just a matter of time before he is no longer playing in Denver.
5. Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves
He flirted with .400 for so long that some in the national media thought me might end up with an average as high as .380. Then he got hurt and it all went down hill. One cannot argue with great defense and a .362 average.
6. Carlos Lee, Houston Astros
If he would have been able to play the whole season without being injured, who knows how many homeruns and RBIs he would have ended up with. Even with the injury he tallied 100 RBI and even more impressive is his .314 average.
7. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
Another player with a good all around performance, offensively, compiling a .295 average, 34 homeruns and a most likely 100 RBI season. He will soon be making far less than he deserves.
8. Aramis Ramirez, Chicago Cubs
Ramirez has played on one of the best teams in the league all year long and even though his average isn’t great, he does have 100 RBI.
9. Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres
There seems to be an amazing number of 30 homer-100 RBI players in the National League and Gonzalez is just one more of them.
10. Carlos Delgado, New York Mets
If the average was higher, his ranking would be, but the 35 homers and 104 RBIs make a strong case for some votes. The fact that he has been playing with the heart’s of the Mets faithful throughout the season makes him even more interesting.
11. Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies
The power numbers are amazing as he leads the league in both RBIs and homeruns, but his average is terrible. He ranks 71st in batting average and 56th in on base percentage, both stats that are going to turn voters off.
12. Adam Dunn, Cincinnati Reds/Arizona Diamondbacks
If he had been compiling statistics for one team all season, he could have even more consideration.