August 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm by Ben Duronio under Atlanta Braves
With just over a month left in the season, here are the top 5 in the NL in Fangraphs WAR:
Andrew McCutchen: 6.2
David Wright: 6.2
Ryan Braun: 6.2
Michael Bourn: 6.0
Jason Heyward: 5.8
Now, most voters won’t be weighting Fangraphs WAR to chose their MVP for each league, but they will include each team’s playoff chances. That effectively eliminates Ryan Braun and David Wright from the competition, even though I vehemently disagree with that type of decision making. Additionally, almost all of the voters will be looking predominantly at offensive performance above all else.
Here are the players in contention for the playoffs with a higher wRC+ than Heyward (that haven’t been suspended for PEDs).
Andrew McCutchen: 162
Buster Posey: 154
Yadier Molina: 148
Matt Holliday: 145
Jason Heyward: 133
There is virtually no chance Matt Holliday wins the award, because for some reason people fail to even consider him a top player in the league even though he is nearly every season. McCutchen, Posey, Molina, and also Carlos Beltran (131 wRC+ but will have 100 RBI and 30 HR which voters will care about) are the main competition.
If the Pirates fall out of the race, the award will certainly be attainable for Heyward. Does that mean much for the team? No, but would be beyond awesome to see Heyward win the MVP after such a tough season last year and the fact that so many soured on him.
He would need to have a big last month of the season, needing to probably reach the 30 home run mark and at least have 100 runs scored, which is certainly not easy considering he has just 75 on the year. Voters are becoming a bit more progressive, so maybe they will consider his defense and base running more than expected. If he ends up going 30-20 and the Braves make the playoffs, in combination with the Pirates struggling and Posey having an off month, the MVP seems likely.
Even if Heyward does not end up winning the MVP, he will finish in the top-5 in voting barring an injury or awful month. Those can certainly occur, but this bounce back season from Heyward has been a site to see.
Also, if you have ESPN Insider, Bill Petti wrote a nice piece about Heyward’s power and how he has transformed his profile at the plate.