After finishing a head-shaking fifth in last year’s National League Most Valuable Player voting, Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies is once again on track to be one of Major League Baseball’s most dominant threats at the plate.
Will this be the season Nolan Arenado wins the National League MVP? It seems that that depends more on how Colorado does in the standings rather than how Arenado does at the plate.
All four of the players who finished ahead of Arenado in last season’s National League MVP race — Chicago’s Kris Bryant, Washington’s Daniel Murphy, Corey Seager of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago’s Anthony Rizzo – all tasted the postseason in 2016. Despite leading the league in homers and RBI, Arenado wasn’t rewarded for his play at the plate.
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In our article that listed five bold predictions for the 2017 season, we did indeed say that Arenado would win his first MVP award. We also predicted that the Rockies would indeed make the playoffs this season. The two seem to go hand-in-hand in the eyes of the national media.
There’s not much else that Arenado can do to show exactly how valuable he is to the Rockies. Along with his eye-popping numbers at the plate, Arenado has also earned four consecutive Gold Glove awards and makes the difficult plays at third base seem routine.
He started the season out in fine style in Monday’s win over the Brewers, going 2-for-3 at the plate and starting a beautiful game-ending double play with an eye-popping defensive stop.
Arenado’s main competition for the award could well be the same players who finished ahead of him last season. Bryant and Arenado seem to have a competition building that could be considered the equivalent on Peyton Manning and Tom Brady on the diamond. The duo not only will be competing for a playoff spot this season, but also postseason honors and even which of the players will start at third base in the All-Star Game.
Yes, we believe Arenado will win the MVP award this season. Yes, we believe the national media will overcome their bias toward Coors Field when they vote, thanks in part to Colorado’s playoff push. Yes, we believe it’s going to be a spectacular season in LoDo.