Well, today we may just find out that Joey Votto is the Most Valuable Player in the National League. The outcome of the NL MVP vote will be revealed this afternoon at 2 p.m. Mark Sheldon has made a good case that Votto should win:
Votto stood at top of the league in key categories like his .600 slugging percentage, a .424 on-base percentage and obviously, on-base plus slugging (OPS) with 1.024.
Although he played 81 games at the bandbox confines of Great American Ball Park, Votto had one more homer on the road (19) than at home (18). His .349 average on the road led the NL, as did his RBI ratio of one-per-every 4.8 at-bats and a .347 average vs. right-handed pitching. He was second in the NL, just ahead of Gonzalez and Pujols, with a .369 average with runners in scoring position.
Votto finished among the top three in 11 offensive statistical categories.
A month ago, I took a look at the terrific season our man Votto had:
.324 batting average
.424 on-base percentage
.600 slugging percentage
Very, very impressive, especially for a guy who was just 26 years old for most of the season.
How does all that rank against the rest of the league? Well, Votto was first in the NL in WAR, first in wOBA (by a healthy margin), first in OBP and SLG (and, obviously, first in OPS), first by a huge margin in WPA, first in OPS+, first in RC, first in OWP, 2nd in BA, third in HR, 3rd in RBI.* Those are absolutely staggering numbers, and I wish I could say that I predicted Votto would have such a breakout season. Heck, eighteen months ago, most of us would have said that Votto is likely to be a very nice player for many years, but who would have guessed that he’d develop into an MVP candidate by this point in his career?
*Sorry for all those ridiculous acronyms. Trust me, they all say Joey Votto is the wonder boy.
“There are carriers and there are helpers,” Baker said. “Joey is a carrier. You need someone who can carry the team. You also need other guys to help out when the carrier is struggling. But the good teams usually have an MVP-caliber player.”
This may be the only one in this series of How Valuable Is posts where there is no disagreement. That said, let’s get the community opinion on Joey Votto. Is he still underrated? What should the Reds do with his contract? Will he win the MVP award today?
Let’s hear it, Nation.