The Baseball Writers Association of America is expected to declare within this week the winner of the NL Most Valuable Player Award for this year. There are 3 top baseball players who are candidates to receive the title, however the favorite could possibly be Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals.
St. Louis first baseman took part in 159 games this previous season, finishing tied for 5th in the league with a .312 average while leading the league in both home runs and RBI with 42 and 118, respectively. Pujols already received a Silver Slugger for his work at the plate – the 6th of his career – and a Gold Glove for his work in the field – the 2nd of his career. He also batted .343 with runners in scoring position and .339 in clutch situations, just strengthening his case.
However, Pujols will face competition from Cincinnati Reds’ first baseman, Joey Votto and Colorado Rockies’ left fielder, Carlos Gonzalez. While the 30-year old Pujols posted a .312 average, a .414 OBP, and a .596 slugging percentage, Votto posted a .324 average, a .424 OBP, and a .600 slugging percentage. The 27 year old Votto also finished just behind Pujols with 37 home runs and 113 RBI, and Votto’s Cincinatti made the playoffs, which has historically helped athletes in the Most Valuable Player voting. Votto batted .369 with runners in scoring position and .355 in clutch situations, with the only real drawback being that he missed 12 games.
And CarGo (Carlos Gonzalez) rivaled both Pujols and Votto in average, slugging, home runs, and RBI and at the same time playing also center field for the Colorado. While the Little Pony (Gonzalez) will lose points for playing in a very hitter-friendly ballpark, he will obtain points for his defense and the fact that he batted .363 in the 2nd half of the season and, along with Troy Tulowitzki, nearly pushed the Rockies into the playoff picture. Gonzalez drew lots of attention to himself down the stretch, and even though Colorado eventually came up short, their brief run should only help CarGo’s case.
Other baseball players, like Phillie’s Roy Halladay and Padres’ Adrian Gonzalez, should end up pretty high on some ballots, but the MVP will end up being 1 of the 3 talked about above. If it is going to be Pujols, it will be his 3rd in a row and 4th overall. Votto and Gonzalez would be 1st time winners, with Barry Larkin being the last Cincinatti player to win way back in 1995, and Larry Walker being the only Colorado’s player to win in 1997.