Colorado Rockies: Will Nolan Arenado Win First MVP Award in 2017?
Is the 2017 MLB season the year when Colorado Rockies star Nolan Arenado wins his first MVP Award?
Talented third basemen are plentiful in the MLB. From the ageless Adrian Beltre to the boyish-faced, dreamy eyes of Kris Bryant, the hot corner is filled with greatness. One of those very skilled players is Colorado Rockies star Nolan Arenado. Not only a great hitter, Arenado is an amazing fielder. So much skill helps make him a great candidate to win the 2017 National League MVP. In fact, it feels imminent that he takes home the award any time now.
Credit Coors Field all you want. Arenado is more than a guy seeing his numbers inflate in Colorado. As much as it aids, not many could produce at the rate he does.
Last year, while on the road, Arenado still hit .277/.340/.492 with 16 home runs in 344 plate appearances. Certainly better at home, Arenado showed he is not limited to succeeding at Coors Field.
Furthering crediting the imminence of his MVP chances, one does not need to look further than all of the areas he has led the league in the past two seasons. For two straight years, he has been atop the National League in home runs and RBI. This is a rare feat not many men will accomplish. Thanks largely to the 83 home runs he hit over the past two seasons, he also has more total bases than anyone else in the league.
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After only four years in the big leagues, the front page of his Baseball Reference page is already beginning to fill up with bold. All he seems to lack is the MVP trophy.
For those who compete against Arenado, the scary thing is that he continues to get better. He is already improving with each season. Somehow, he even managed to increase his terrific 2015 WAR which was already at an awesome 5.8 to an even greater 6.5 in 2016.
One of the absolutely greatest parts of Arenado’s game that he improved in this most recent season was his plate discipline. Arenado literally doubled his walk total from 34 to 68 over one year. This helped add an additional 39 points to his OBP. Arenado also struck out 7 fewer times with 41 more plate appearances.
When it comes to the MVP voting, Arenado has yet to receive much credit. In 2015, he finished in an appropriate eighth place. Last year, Arenado finished in a less justified fifth place, even though he was tied for the second best WAR with sixth place finisher, Freddie Freeman. It was Bryant’s year to win the league’s best player award. This season, though, it could be Arenado’s turn.
As much as the team’s performance should not matter, it often does in the voting. Everyone who finished ahead of Arenado in last year’s MVP voting was on a playoff team. A better record for the Rockies will certainly help Arenado’s case and finally get him the title of the best player in the league.