Does Yadi’s Greatness Work Against Him in MVP Voting?

As you likely know by now, Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates was the overwhelming winner in the National League Most Valuable Player voting, capturing 28 of the 30 first place votes. Yadier Molina received the other two first place votes — cast by Derrick Goold and Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch — yet finished in third place with 219 total points. Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks was second with 242 points. Matt Carpenter finished fourth with 194 points.

95191-yadimolinagettyFrankly, I figured McCutchen would win — though I did think Yadi would finish second. Because for as great as Yadi is and as invaluable as he was to the Cardinals’ success in 2013 (and 2012, and 2011, and …) it seems to me every single thing he does is just expected from him now.

All the unquantifiable “intangibles” being touted as reasons why Yadi is without a doubt most valuable are all very true. Defensively, he is without peer. He strikes fear in opposing baserunners so that they often don’t even attempt to steal second. He is the heart and soul and leader of the team, taking charge of the pitching staff — no matter who comprises it, from veterans to rookies — and provides whatever type of counsel and calming is needed during the heat of a game. Plus he’s improved his batting average, number of hits and RBI every year since 2010 and even led the National League in hitting for a stretch this season.

He exemplifies this quote from Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Excellence and Yadier Molina? Absolutely you’d use that word to describe him. It’s just Yadi being Yadi.

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MVP: Making The Case For Molina

Tonight and tomorrow, the Baseball Writers Association of America will be able to announce the winners of the two most prestigious post-season awards, and the Cardinals are well represented in both categories. Though Adam Wainwright is not expected to win the Cy Young Award (Clayton Kershaw seems to have it all but locked up), the battle for MVP is developing into quite the hot topic.

DSC_0332Most “experts” seem to believe Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen, who led his team to its first winning season in over 20 years, will land at the top of the ballots. An award that generally follows the path the numbers create favors the center fielder whose .317 average in 583 at bats, complete with 97 runs, 21 homers, 84 RBI, 27 stolen bases, an 8.2 WAR (not to mention his fielding percentage, runs saved, etc.) — especially as a center fielder — make him an easy favorite.

Now, I know my perspective is dripping in bias, but I don’t think it has to be in order to make a convincing argument in favor of Yadier Molina. It does, though, require a willingness to look beyond just the numbers to what “value” really means. Continue reading

Who Is Your Choice For 2013 Cardinals MVP?

Click to vote at the bottom of the post!

Now that we’ve had  few days to deal with the disappointing end of the St. Louis Cardinals season in the World Series, it’s time to look at the big picture of 2013. A team doesn’t win 106 games from April through October without a a variety of key contributors. Some, of course, are more valuable than others.

Who was the Cardinals Most Valuable Player this year, taking into account both the regular season and postseason?

collage-2013 MVPA few obvious candidates, in alphabetical order, and a very brief look at their 2013 numbers.

Carlos Beltran: Led the team with 24 regular season home runs, hit .296/.339/.491 with 84 RBI. In October, had 15 RBI and hit .268/.388/.464.

Matt Carpenter: Had the most hits in the National League with 199, most doubles in MLB with 55 and most runs scored in MLB with 126 while overall hitting .318/.392/.481 and often being mentioned in the NL MVP conversation. In October, things changed considerably as he only hit .217/.263/.290 with three doubles and four RBI. However, he did hit .296 in the World Series.

Matt Holliday: One of four Cardinals to hit .300 or better in the regular season, he led the team in OPS with .879 and hit .300/.389/.490 with 22 homers and a team-high 94 RBI. In October he hit .246/.268/.507 overall and hit four homers with 10 RBI. He was the only Cardinal to homer during the World Series, as he hit two, and he led the team with five RBI in the Series.

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