Paul Goldschmidt should become the first D’back to win the NL MVP. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Tonight is the night Arizona Diamondbacks’s fans have been anticipating for months. Ever since August, we have been harping on the fact that Paul Goldschmidt deserves to be the National League Most Valuable Player. While that is the homer in us, there are also some very practical reasons why Goldy deserves the MVP. Instead of appealing on his behalf from just a stat point of view, I would like to encompass other, practical reasons why giving him the award makes sense.
I would rather not go negative on the other two candidates, Andrew McCutchen and Yadier Molina. They are both tremendous players and honestly, I couldn’t lose much sleep if either guy won. However, there is one and only negative that hurts Goldy. He played on a .500 team while the other two played ball in October. If that is the logic, then there is no way Mike Trout from the six games under .500 Angels should win on the American League side. At least the D’backs were in first place for over 70 days. Any writer who votes on the MVP for both leagues and casts their ballot for Trout while not for Goldy has some real explaining to do.
Was there anyone more clutch in 2013 than Goldy? How about games like May 8th against the Dodgers when he was the D’backs’ only offense? Goldschmidt was inflicting damage on every team he played against, whether it was the Yankees on April 18th or the Reds on August 20th. If we are going to use two outs and runners in scoring position as a metric, Goldschmidt sported a robust line of .340/.535/.600 with nine home runs and 28 RBI’s. Pretty impressive stuff for a guy who was the one batter who could inflict the most damage in a lineup and very often, did.
Think about the supporting cast each player had. Cutch had Pedro Alvarez and his NL-leading 36 home runs hitting behind him along with guys such as Neil Walker and Starling Marte every day. Molina had Matt Carpenter, himself an worthy MVP candidate, Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig helping him out. Goldy had to contend with Martin Prado‘s slow start, Aaron Hill‘s injury and a bullpen that compromised the number of wins his team had. Cutch and Yadi had consistency in their lineups; Goldy had chaos in his.
Finally, if we are going to use stats, it is clear Goldschmidt owns his share of significant ones. His line of .302/.401/.551 rivals McCutchen’s .317/.404/.508 and is better than Molina’s .319/.359/.477. Goldy bests both players in home runs, RBI’s and runs scored. While first base isn’t as big defensively as center field and catcher, he did capture a Gold Glove at the position. Goldschmidt even stole 15 bases. There wasn’t a thing on the baseball field Goldy didn’t do well in 2013.
Hopefully, the voters got it right and selected Paul Goldschmidt as the first-ever Arizona Diamondback MVP.