Postseason and Season Awards: Baseball Essential Staff Predictions

National League MVP

Bryce Harper (85%)

Also receiving votes: Jake Arrieta (6%), Anthony Rizzo (3%), Yoenis Cespedes (3%), Nolan Arenado (3%)

Amidst an otherwise disappointing season that saw the firing off Matt Williams and his coaching staff, Bryce Harper emerged as the superstar we always thought he would be. His 99 RBIs, though less than some other MVP candidates such as Paul Goldschmidt or Nolan Arenado, are more an indictment of the team surrounding him than Harper himself. The former first overall pick, still just 22, finished tied with Arenado with 42 home runs and finished in second behind Dee Gordon with a .330 batting average. Jake Arrieta, meanwhile, became the ace of a Cubs staff that was supposed to be led by Jon Lester, turning in one of the most impressive seasons by a Cubs pitcher ever. Anthony Rizzo, just 26, has become a leader in the Cubs clubhouse, as well as one on the field, hitting 31 home runs with 101 RBIs and a .378 OBP. Yoenis Cespedes has attracted attention everywhere he’s played from Oakland to Boston to Detroit and now New York. His arrival, which coincided with the resurrection of the Mets season has impressed some enough to even garner MVP talk, despite only coming to the National League in a deadline deal.

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