Monday, October 24, 2011

NL Most Valuable Player Picks

This post marks our eighth and final post in our series highlighting baseball's major postseason awards. Today we do our due diligence in breaking down the National League Most Valuable Player Award. Here are the candidates:

Ryan Braun - LF Milwaukee Brewers
2011 notable stats: .332/.397/.597, 33 HR, 111 RBI, 33 SB, 7.7 WAR
-Braun paced the league in SLG and OPS (.994), was second in average, runs scored, WAR and total bases (336), ranked fourth in RBI, and tied for fourth in doubles (38).

Prince Fielder - 1B Milwaukee Brewers
2011 notable stats: .299/.415/.566, 38 HR, 120 RBI, 5.2 WAR
-Played in all 162 games, led the majors in IBB (32), was second in the league in homers, RBI and OBP, and was third in runs created (135) and total bases (322).

Matt Kemp - CF Los Angeles Dodgers
2011 notable stats: .324/.399/.586, 39 HR, 126 RBI, 40 SB, 10.0 WAR
-Kemp led the majors in WAR and RBI, paced the league in homers, total bases (353), runs created (141) and runs scored (115), was second in hits (195), OPS (.986), stolen bases, IBB (24) and finished fourth in OBP.

Albert Pujols - 1B St. Louis Cardinals
2011 notable stats: .299/.366/.541, 37 HR, 99 RBI, 5.4 WAR
-"The Machine" was third in the league in homers, tied for third in runs scored (105), ranked fifth in total bases (313), and was seventh in RBI.

Justin Upton - RF Arizona Diamondbacks
2011 notable stats: .289/.369/.529, 31 HR, 88 RBI, 39 2B, 4.1 WAR
-Upton finished second in the league in doubles, tied for third in runs scored (105), and was fifth in both total bases (313) and runs created (118).

@RedlegsReview's pick:

Matt Kemp - You could make a compelling case that Kemp had the best all-around season of any player in the big leagues this season. He not only boasted 1.5 more wins above replacement than any other player, but he finished first or second in the league in TEN, count 'em TEN, offensive categories. The Dodgers' outfielder fell just one homer shy of becoming only the fifth member of the elite 40-40 club, but did however, become the 11th fastest player to 30 homers and 30 steals in MLB history (130 games). While my runner-up vote would go to Braun, Kemp gets the edge not only for his superior performance on a mediocre team, but for the simple fact that he didn't have the benefit of Fielder to help shoulder his team's offensive load.

@RedlegsWriter's pick:

Ryan Braun - This category also reinforces to me that there should be a third award for best hitter. Matt Kemp was easily, to me, the best hitter in the NL, but unfortunately he played for the Dodgers, who actually finished with a better record than you might have thought. Nonetheless, the NL MVP to me would be Ryan Braun. He was the best hitter for the NL Central Champions, going .332 with 32 HR and 111 RBIs and a .397 OBP and he had the highest WAR (7.8) of any NL hitter not named Matt Kemp.

That concludes our eight-part series highlighting baseball's major postseason awards. In case you missed a post, or would just like to re-read one, here are the links to each post:

10/17: AL Rookie of the Year
10/18: NL Rookie of the Year
10/19: AL Cy Young
10/20: NL Cy Young
10/21: AL Manager of the Year
10/22: NL Manager of the Year
10/23: AL Most Valuable Player

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