Tag Archives: National League MVP

The First Of Many

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Kris Bryant

When the Chicago Cubs made third baseman Kris Bryant the second overall pick of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft, they hoped that he would develop into a star, but even they could not have imagined what would happen so soon. Bryant made his MLB debut in 2015, and in 151 games he batted .275 with 26 home runs and 99 runs batted in to be named as the National League’s Rookie of the Year. Bryant’s stellar rookie campaign was a part of the Cubs turnaround in 2015 that saw them make their first postseason appearance since 2008, and their first trip to the NLCS since 2003. Bryant would follow his solid rookie campaign up with another stellar performance here in 2016 as he batted .292 with 39 home runs and 102 runs batted in. Chicago finished 2016 with the best record in Major League Baseball and Bryant would go on to help the Cubs win their first World Series Championship last month since 1908 as he was named N.L. MVP. It’s scary good for Bryant as he’s only 24-years of age as he’ll never have to buy another drink with the Chicago city limits, while his nod to be the N.L. MVP is more than likely the first of many.

The Cubs fan base has waiting for a very long time to get behind a player like Bryant. The Cubs have had talented players suit up for them over the years such as Andre Dawson and Sammy Sosa. But neither Dawson or Sosa were homegrown talents. The Cubs have also had their fair share of players come up through their system that had a ton of hype attached to them, only to fizzle out under the pressure, while Bryant has never run from the spotlight as he has embraced it.

Now the sky is the limit for Bryant as he has helped to deliver to World Series Title to an organization that had written the book on championship droughts. Bryant is in line to become the Cubs best third baseman since Ron Santo, while he has the potential to own the City of Chicago due to his athletic ability and boyish good looks as he is on pace to rewrite the franchise’s offensive record book.

It’s tough to pencil a player in to be a future Hall of Famer at the age of 24, but if Bryant is able to maintain the pace that he’s currently on for the next decade, he’ll be on the fast track to Cooperstown.

Source: Baseball-reference.com

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2016 National League MVP Candidates

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Daniel Murphy-Second Baseman-Washington Nationals

Last October saw second baseman Daniel Murphy become a household name when he set a Major League Baseball record as he hit a home run in six consecutive playoff games to help the New York Mets win the National League Pennant. Murphy left the Mets in free agency to join the Washington Nationals and the hitting prowess that he displayed last October hasn’t dissipated.

Daniel Murphy

For the first two months of the 2016 Major League Baseball season, Murphy flirted with hitting .400, but he is still leading the National League in batting at .348 while his 17 home runs are a career-high. Murphy is a big reason why the Nationals are in first place in the N.L. East and on pace to win the division for the third time since 2012.

Jeurys Familia-Relief Pitcher-New York Mets

Jeurys Familia

In the 75 years of the National League MVP Award, a relief pitcher has never won it. And as for both leagues, only Dennis Eckersley in 1992 was named the MVP as he did it in the American League. But even though that New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia is fighting an uphill battle, his accomplishments so far in 2016 need to be recognized. Familia is a perfect 31-for-31 in saves opportunities this year and he is a big reason why the Mets have been able to hang around in playoff contention. Familia has also struck out 41 batters while only allowing 12 runs, and if he is able to reach magical number of 50 in the saves category, he should receive some serious consideration as far as being the N.L. MVP.

Kris Bryant-Third Baseman-Chicago Cubs

Kris Bryant

When the Chicago Cubs were struggling in 2014, the folks knew that help was potentially on the way in the form of third baseman Kris Bryant. Bryant was the second overall pick of the 2013 Major League Draft by the Cubs and he has lived up to the hype and then some. After winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award last year, Bryant has avoided the sophomore slump as he is batting .286 with 25 home runs and 65 runs batted in. Bryant is a big reason why the Cubs are in first place in the National League Central and the folks in the Windy City are thinking about the World Series for the first time in a long time.

Anthony Rizzo-First Baseman-Chicago Cubs

Anthony Rizzo

As there were some very lean years for the Chicago Cubs in the early 2010’s, there was one bright spot for the team which was first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo was showing his potential on bad Cubs teams which included belting 32 homers in 2014 as he finished tenth in the National League MVP voting. Currently Rizzo is on pace for his best season as he has 21 homers and 63 runs batted in to go along with a .299 batting average here at the All-Star break. And just like Bryant, Rizzo is a big reason why the Cubs are in first place in the N.L. Central.

Nolan Arenado-Third Baseman-Colorado Rockies

Nolan Arenado

The Colorado Rockies might be 16 games out of first place in the National League West, but that doesn’t mean that the year in which their starting third baseman Nolan Arenado is having should go unrecognized. Arenado was the second overall pick of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft by the Rockies and he is coming into his own as one of the best all-around players in the game. Last year Arenado led the National League in home runs (42) and runs batted in (130), while he also won his third Gold Glove Award.

This year Arenado is batting .287 with 23 homers and his 70 runs batted in lead the National League. Arenado will be fighting an uphill to named as the N.L. MVP as the Rockies will more than likely not make the playoffs, but Arenado simply continues to chug right along.

Source: Baseball-reference.com

   

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The NL MVP Case For Both Kershaw And Stanton

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As we’re in the final month of the month of the Major League Baseball season, playoff races are taking shape and the same can be said about the MVP races in both leagues. But for my money the National League MVP race is an intriguing one between Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw and Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. Kershaw is looking to become the first Dodgers player since Kirk Gibson in 1988 to be named as the NL MVP. Kershaw is also attempting to become the first pitcher since Bob Gibson of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1968 to be selected as NL MVP. The history of the Marlins dates back to 1993 and they have never had a player be selected as National League MVP and Stanton is looking to ascend to rare air. But between Kershaw and Stanton, who will win the coveted award in 2014?

Clayton Kershaw

This season Kershaw is 18-3 with  an earned run average of 1.67 and 210 strikeouts. Kershaw is currently leading the NL in wins and ERA. Kershaw is doing all of this in spite of the fact that he has missed six weeks of the season with a back injury. Stanton is currently leading the NL in home runs (37), runs batted in (105), walks (91), slugging percentage (.560), and on-base plus slugging (.957). Stanton is also closing in on becoming the first Marlins player since Gary Sheffield in 1996 to hit 40 home runs in a single season.

Kershaw only sees the field every fifth day while Stanton is an everyday player. But Kershaw’s Dodgers are currently leading the NL West as they appear to be on their way to the postseason while Stanton’s Marlins are currently under .500 and the postseason appears to be a long shot. Both Kershaw and Stanton are extremely valuable to their respective teams, but the voters tend to side with players who are on contending teams. The Marlins current record of 70-72 will work against Stanton as not since Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs in 1959 has a player been named as National League MVP while playing for a team that finished the season with a losing record.

Giancarlo Stanton

Kershaw also plays on one of the deepest and most expensive clubs in Major League Baseball while Stanton does not have that luxury. The Dodgers payroll of roughly $240 million is the highest in MLB which is evident by the talent around him. The Marlins on the other hand have a payroll of $50 million which is the lowest in baseball. But both players know how to put their respective teams on their backs. Since June 2, the Dodgers are 16-1 in games started by Kershaw and in the process he has lowered his earned run average from 3.32 to 1.67. Stanton’s season got off to a bang as he hit 8 home runs along with 29 runs batted in in the month of April. Overall this season Stanton has had three months in which he has hit at least 8 home runs and he is looking to finish strong. Already in the month of September, Stanton has hit 4 home runs to go along with 7 runs batted in.

In the end it will more than likely be Kershaw that will be named as the 2014 National League MVP. Kershaw plays in the bigger media market and the Dodgers simply have better teams as compared to the Marlins. Whereas Kershaw can take the mound at Dodger Stadium and know that he is going to consistently pitch in front of at least 40,000 fans, Stanton launches home runs at Marlins Park in Miami where one fan could have an entire section to his or herself. Kershaw should become the first Dodger to win the NL MVP since 1988, but it should not take away from the season that Stanton is currently having for the Marlins.

Source: Baseball-reference.com

 

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