I am basing my American and National Most Valuable Player ballots on the first half success. I don’t look at team success, just the individual’s impact.
It’s Friday, which means baseball is back for the second half! I put together my own National League Most Valuable Player ballot half way through the year:
- Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
- Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
- Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
Harper is the obvious choice right now with .339/.464/.704 slash line with a 5.7 fWAR. Goldschmidt is also an obvious pick, but for the second slot. He’s slashing .340/.455/.610 with a 4.5 fWAR. The third slot is competitive. I decided to go with Arenado over other deserving candidates like Todd Frazier, Anthony Rizzo, Buster Posey, Giancarlo Stanton, and Andrew McCutchen, because I believe Arenado’s offensive production is not Coors Field driven. Weighted Runs Creates Plus uses park factors and they give Arenado a 131, which means he is 31% better than league average. However, 131 does not compare to Frazier’s 151, Rizzo’s 162, Posey’s 150, or Stanton’s 156. The problem is that he is slugging .615 on the road this year in over 40 games. His road parks consist of some of the more pitcher friendly parks: AT&T Park, Dodger Stadium, and Petco Park, so I’ll assume his .610 slugging is the real Nolan Arenado and not the inflated Nolan Arenado.
American League MVP ballot:
This is also an obvious choice, but Trout has some guys making it interesting. Trout is slashing .312/.405/.614 with a 5.5 fWAR while Kipnis is slashing .323/.401/.487 with a 4.8 fWAR. And not far behind him is Donaldson, who is slashing .293/.351/.532 with a 4.7 fWAR. A couple other guys on the fringe are Manny Machado, Lorenzo Cain, and of course Miguel Cabrera. The American League is filled with sensational young players this year, hopefully making for an even more sensational second half.
Here’s to an eventful trade deadline and playoff race.