Colorado Rockies Roundtable: Who is the 2016 Team MVP?
I agree with all of the points you all have made, and it is nice to have so many options for team MVP this year. My choice for most outstanding is Nolan Arenado for similar reasons to the ones Trevor laid out.
Call to the Pen
My choice for most valuable, however, is Jon Gray. I don’t think he had the best year of any Rockie in 2016, but I think it was the most important for the future. I think Gray’s 2016 campaign has started to prove that a power pitcher can succeed at Coors field and this is extremely valuable for the Rockies with the philosophy they are building the team around.
With many “big arms” in the minors working their way to the majors, it is very valuable to have someone performing so well in MLB. You could see this is a strategy the Rockies were taking having Jeff Hoffman‘s locker right next to Gray’s. He can teach the young guys, like Hoffman, German Marquez, Kyle Freeland, and Antonio Senzatela what he has learned about the differences in pitching at Coors Field.
I also feel for the past 10 years there have been so few pitchers succeeding at the major league level for the Rockies it had to compound the “fear” of the park for the guys developing in the minors. Now hopefully it will be more of a “Gray can do it, so can I.” I think this could be the most valuable contribution of the year for the Rockies.
Obviously, Gray’s numbers are nothing to scoff at either. He has the Rockies record for strikeouts at 185, has made 29 starts, compiling an ERA of 4.61. His FIP is a solid 3.60 and a WAR on Fangraphs of 3.7. His 16-strikeout performance was the best pitched game in Rockies history, capping a huge year for a guy who is only going to get better.