Arizona Diamondbacks: Goldschmidt bids for MVP

Paul Goldschmidt's attitude reflects manager Torey Luvullo insistence that the team play
Paul Goldschmidt's attitude reflects manager Torey Luvullo insistence that the team play /

There’s no question that Paul Goldschmidt is having himself a year and the Arizona Diamondbacks are reaping the benefits. 

The 29-year-old first baseman is batting .320, but his entire stat line is nothing short of impressive. Goldschmidt has 25 home runs, 85 RBI, 15 stolen bases, a .440 OBP and a .591 slugging percentage.  

He is ranked in the top ten in the National League for the offensive trifecta: home runs, batting average and runs batted in. He’s also leading the NL with a 5.2 WAR.

Following his sixth straight appearance in the All-Star Game, Goldschmidt is proving himself worthy of more accolades.

Since the All-Star Game, Goldschmidt has collected 23 hits, two doubles, five home runs and 18 RBI. He has also been walked 18 times.

His .359 batting average since the break is the highest on the Diamondbacks among players who have appeared in more than 10 games.

But, is it MVP worthy?

The other front runners for the award include Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper, Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger and two candidates from the Colorado Rockies, Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado.

Another no brainer is that all of those candidates are fantastic baseball players who are having dominant seasons and contributing solid numbers to each teams postseason run. But, they can’t all win MVP.

Here’s my take: the MVP award should not go to the person with the highest stats in all categories, or the person with the most headlines. It should go to the person who has been the most valuable to their team.

That being said, Bellinger doesn’t belong in the discussion. The rookie has hit 30 bombs in just 88 games and he has broken several rookie records. He’s great, I know. But, he isn’t the key to the Dodgers success. He’s just a small part of it, his 3.0 WAR gives that away.

The truth is, while Bellinger can hit bombs and seems to have a bright future ahead of him, his award should stick to NL Rookie of the Year.

Next, Bryce Harper. He doesn’t just have great hair. The guy is living up to ALL of the hype that has been surrounding him since he was 16 years old and on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

But, he’s expected to be that good. He was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2010 and the league MVP in 2015. I expect nothing less from a man likely heading into free agency and potentially looking for baseball’s biggest contract, ever.

Should the expectations remove him from the discussion? No, because he’s living up to them, which isn’t an easy thing to do. But, I think there’s something much more valuable about the other three candidates.

Arenado and Blackmon are having phenomenal seasons. Luckily for them, they’re on the same team and they are leading that team into a nail biting Wild Card race with the Diamondbacks.

Without even diving into the stats, read that paragraph again.

The Rockies and the Diamondbacks are the favorites to face off in the Wild Card game.

The Rockies. And the Diamondbacks.

If you tell me you predicted that in March, I’d call you a liar.

Yet, Arenado and Blackmon are doing for the Rockies what Goldschmidt is doing for the Diamondbacks.

They are undoubtedly respected leaders and phenomenal athletes on their teams.  Above all that, they are humble and passionate. They bring flair to the game without the drama, while leading stat categories and pushing their teams to the next level.

If I had it my way, both teams would be facing off in the NLDS and the winner would determine the true MVP. But, thanks to the Dodgers, that won’t happen. So, I’ll settle for a one-game matchup in October.