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Thoughts on Paul Goldschmidt Finishing 2nd in the MVP Race

By Thomas Lynch
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Paul Goldschmidt Finished Second in the National League Most Valuable Player race. Bryce Harper deserved to win the award but that does not diminish the greatness of Goldschmidt.

For the second time in three years, Arizona Diamondbacks’ first baseman Paul Goldschmidt finished second in the National League Most Valuable Player race. As much as we may want to holler and feel that Goldschmidt got ripped off (again, according to some folks), the fact is Bryce Harper deserved to win the award. However, this does not diminish the fact that Goldschmidt remains one of the best players in baseball. Finishing as the runner-up for MVP in two out of three seasons affirms that fact.

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If you are going to go by the numbers, Harper outpaced Goldschmidt in many offensive categories, though not by much. He hit .330 compared to Goldschmidt’s .321 and had a higher on-base percentage, .460 to .435. Harper homered 42 times as opposed to 33 for the runner-up while scoring 118 runs to Goldschmidt’s 103. I am not going to go into the litany of ways Harper made history with winning this award other than at age 22, he is the youngest unanimous selection in baseball history.

If you are so inclined to make Goldschmidt the MVP, you have a couple of arguments. He had 110 RBI’s as opposed to Harper’s 99 and banged out ten more hits than him, 182 to 172. He also stole 21 bases with Harper only swiping six bags. Goldschmidt is also the superior defensive player, backed up by capturing his second Gold Glove award. Then there is the team aspect. Harper’s Washington Nationals fell well short of expectations, having been picked by many to win the World Series. Goldschmidt’s D-backs won 15 more games in 2015 than in the previous season. The Nats finished four games better than Arizona although the NL East had three teams had 90 more losses, the worst division in baseball.

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That being said, Harper had the better all-around season. Goldschmidt was not being slighted this year, at least not compared to two years ago when you could make a better argument that he could have won that year as his numbers were superior to Andrew McCutchen‘s. This wasn’t a case of the media ignoring the greatness of Goldschmidt, although you can sometimes get the impression that they were in love with the idea of Harper winning the MVP. There is no shame in saying Bryce Harper had a better season than Paul Goldschmidt in 2015. We’ll see who ends up having the better career.

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