Last night, MLB Network concluded their selection of the Top 100 Players Right Now. I admit, I didn’t pay much attention to the list because of the Olympics and the Olympics is quality family time in our house. However, I knew that Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks would show up on the episode where they ranked the top 20 players. I made sure to I checked back enough and about halfway through it, we discover that Goldy was ranked number nine. Not bad, until we see the very next selection: Joey Votto at number eight.
My gripe isn’t necessarily with the rest of the list. The other ones ranked ahead of Goldy play what are considered more important positions. I can (sort of) live with that. I can make the argument that Goldschmidt should be ranked ahead of Andrew McCutchen even if the latter was the MVP in 2013. I believe Paulie was the best player in the league in last season. That doesn’t bother me as much. It is the Votto placement that almost caused me a restless night. Goldy bested Votto in just about every single offensive category except for on-base average and walks. Votto finished with an OBP of .435 while Goldy’s was .401. Walks was 135 to 99 in favor of Votto which was a smaller difference than Goldy’s RBI dominance of 125 to 73. The D’backs’ 1B had 12 more home runs, had a 60 point advantage in slugging and a 26 point advantage in OPS. He also won the Silver Slugger and the Gold Glove and even finished with 12 more stolen bases. The only metric that allowed Votto to rank ahead of Goldschmidt was OBP and again, it wasn’t as if the former dominated the latter in that category.
I don’t want to knock Joey Votto. He is a great player, a former MVP and a tremendous all around player in his own right. However, for the purposes of ranking the best players right now based on 2013’s performance, it is clear he should have been placed behind Paul Goldschmidt.