A long summer of games stand before Major League Baseball players and the prospect of October glory. If the season were over today, Pablo Sandoval would be in consideration, but probably wouldn’t win MVP.
Colorado Rockies Troy Tulowitzki is second in the league with 38 RBI, tied for ninth with nine home runs and ranking third in batting average in the National League (.338). Rockies’ outfielder Carlos Gonzalez deserves mentioning too, he’s fourth in the league with 11 home runs and a .302 batting average.
Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, batting .316 with 12 home runs and 36 RBI is another example of production from the NL West. Pablo, who currently ranks 11th in the league with a .306 batting average, tied for 13th with eight home runs and ranks fourth in RBIs with 34, would be a close runner up another impressive performance to date:
Other notables include Atlanta Brave’s Justin Upton, who leads the National League in home runs, or second-year standout Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals, who would certainly be in consideration.
Today, Sandoval is in contention for the NL MVP, however he needs to produce in clutch circumstances, not just put up impressive numbers, to truly be the Most Valuable Player. In April, he provided three game-winning contributions that provide clear evidence for his presence in an MVP discussion:
April 11th vs the Chicago Cubs: Ryan Vogelsong allowed five batters through the first three innings. In the fourth inning, after a walk and error set the bags up for Sandoval, he delivered with a three-run double that turned the game into a one-run ball game.
April 30th vs. Arizona Diamondbacks: Again, a two run home run from the Panda accounted for the Giants only runs; this time his powerful swing came into play during the top of the 9th inning, pushing the Giants to a 2-1 victory.
While I haven’t heard home run distance in the discussion for MVP, his tremendous shot demonstrates the effort and clutch ability in his swing. A summers worth of statistics need to weigh in before any real MVP discussion happens.
If Pablo Sandoval continues his production, stays healthy, and shows off his power, I have no doubt we’ll be talking about him in August.