No. 2: DJ LeMahieu
I must admit, this was a toss up between him and my No. 1 selection. LeMahieu is one of the most underrated players in MLB. His 2016 season was nothing short of sensational.
DJ became the eighth Rockies player to win the NL batting title, finishing at .348. This average was the highest by a Rockie since Todd Helton hit .358 in 2003.
So what else did he do? He set new career-highs in HRs (11 ) and RBIs (66). He also had 192 hits (first on the team), 32 doubles and out of qualified hitters had the highest OBP of .416. His fielding was also sublime with just six errors and a .991 fielding percentage.
And he set a new career high with a WAR (wins above replacement) of 4.1 in 2016 per fangraphs.com, compared to his previous best of 1.9 in 2015.
Rox Pile’s James Keating delved deeper into more advanced statistics to show the value of LeMahieu in 2016:
"… an advanced statistic called Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) integrates all the varying aspects of hitting into one value, weighting each hit and time on base in accordance too their true value in creating run production. Put simply, wOBA shows offensive value more accurately than AVG, OBP, and even slugging percentage. I’m sure you can guess where I’m going with this. Heading into the weekend, DJ led the squad with an wOBA of .393 while Blackmon was second at .389, and then Nolan at .385. Still not sold? Well, if we control for park effects and weigh each offensive action, DJ again takes the cake with a Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) of 129 whereas Blackmon has a wRC+ of 126 and Nolan comes in at 124."
No matter which statistic you look at or value higher, DJ had a superb 2016 season. He should be winning the Silver Slugger award for second basemen once this award is announced later.
Next: No. 1: Nolan Arenado