The 2013 NL MVP race has been one of the most competitive of the last couple of years. With the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Joey Votto, Paul Goldschmidt, Andrew McCutchen and others it is difficult to pick any one guy for the award.
Kershaw has made a strong case for himself. He has basically secured the Cy Young Award and it wouldn’t be surprising for a pitcher of his caliber to be in MVP talks. However, his success can be attributed to his team as well. Heck, one of his teammates, Adrian Gonzalez, is in the MVP talks as well. In order for a pitcher to win the MVP, he must have a historic season and clearly be the guy that carried his team. Kershaw simply doesn’t fit this criterion.
McCutchen has the benefit of both being on a playoff and producing good stats. A batting line of .317/.404/.508 with 21 HR, 84 RBI and 27 steals is decent but it doesn’t really say “MVP”.
The true dark horse and my pick for the award is Paul Goldschmidt. While playing for the sub-par Diamondbacks the talented first baseman led in HR (36), RBI (125), slugging % (.551), on-base plus slugging % (.952), and total bases (332). A .302 batting average and on-base % of .401 furthers his case.
All of these offensive stats plus solid fielding are why Goldschmidt has earned the NL MVP. Other guys like Votto McCutchen, and Gonzalez fall short on key offensive categories and Kershaw didn’t put up the sort of monstrous numbers that a pitcher ought to have in order to win the MVP.
Hence, Goldschmidt deserves the MVP. He will probably not get it due to not being on a playoff team, but when the actual stats are considered, there is hardly anyone else who was more reliable and valuable as a player this year.
The stats for this post can be found at the following link: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/league/nl