Three Of A Kind For National League MVP; Is It In The Cards?
The St. Louis Cardinals through the first 100 games of the 2013 season have the best record in Major League Baseball, and it is in large part due to the contributions from a trio of players-Yadier Molina, Allen Craig, and Matt Carpenter. Molina has been the early pick of many baseball pundits for National League MVP, and he has certainly earned the accolades he has thus far received. Molina is leading the National League in batting average, and he is tied for second in doubles. And of course there is his well-known defensive prowess, which has earned him five Gold Gloves as the best defensive catcher in the National League. Craig is currently right behind Molina in the batting race, and he is also second in hits, third in rbis; and most importantly he is hitting an astounding major league best .485 with runners in scoring position. Not to be left out of the conservation, all Carpenter has done is take on a new position (second base) where he had only played two games prior to the 2013 season and take over the leadoff spot in the batting order as the igniter of the best offense in the National League. Carpenter is currently leading the league in runs scored and doubles, and he is third in hits and on-base percentage while sitting in fourth place in the chase for the batting title.
With a little less than 40 percent of the season remaining the most likely contenders against these three Redbirds for the MVP crown in the National League are Paul Goldschmidt with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips with the Cincinnati Reds, and Buster Posey with the San Francisco Giants. Since none of the aforementioned contenders are currently playing for a first place team the smart money would seem to say that either Molina, Craig, or Carpenter will ultimately be chosen MVP if everything stays relatively as it currently stands.
Given what he has done in making the switch to a new position, as well as becoming a full-time player for the first time in his career, the pick here is for Carpenter. Since replacing Jon Jay at the top of the St. Louis batting order, all Carpenter has done is hit over .330 with an on base percentage of over .400. In addition, he has knocked in 50 runs and hit nine home runs with a slugging percentage of just over .500. He has simply erupted onto the baseball scene this season, and he is the best leadoff hitter on the best team in the big leagues. That has earned him the title of 2013 National League MVP.