The finalists for the 2017 National League Most Valuable Player award were announced today, and Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto was among the three finalists. Because of course he was:
Votto, of course, won the National League MVP back in 2010, when he hit .324/.424/.600 with 37 home runs and 113 RBI, with 6.9 wins above replacement. In 2017, at age 34 (an age when most players are declining), Votto posted a gem of a season. Mark Sheldon has the details:
Votto, 34, had what he considered the best season of his 11-year Major League career. While starting all 162 games, he batted .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBIs, 106 runs and 7.5 wins above replacement. He led the NL in on-base percentage, OPS (1.032) and walks (134).
This marks the third time that Votto is an NL MVP finalist. He finished third in the 2015 vote. He came in seventh in ’16. The BBWAA electorate consists of two voters in each of the 15 NL cities with points awarded to each player from first through 10th-place votes.
Sheldon has more fun facts about Votto, so go read his entire piece.
Votto, who was named to his fifth All-Star team this season, wasn’t just a great hitter — though he is certainly a historically great hitter. But Votto was also named a finalist for the Gold Glove award among National League first basemen, after a spectacular (and much-improved) season defensively.
Of course, Joey will have some tough competition for this year’s MVP, as Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt and Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton each had outstanding seasons. Goldschmidt, also a Gold Glove finalist among first basemen, hit .297/.404/.563 with 36 home runs and 120 RBI, along with 5.8 WAR. Marlins outfielder Stanton was the NL home run king, hitting 59 bombs to go along with 132 RBI and a slash line of .281/.376/.631 and 7.6 WAR.
So yeah, Stanton and Goldschmidt are both great players. But Joey Votto is the most valuable player, right? I say he is, and that’s that.