With baseball, you never know what you’re going to get. That’s why it’s always fun to make assumptions and predictions before the first pitch of the season is thrown. Here’s a look at the 2013 NL MVP Contenders..
Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants: In 2012 Buster Posey had himself an absolute monster season. Posey batted a ML leading .336 with 24 long balls and 103 RBIs, collecting NL MVP honors, NL Comeback Player of the Year and Silver Slugger Award as well on en route to his second World Series ring. What makes Posey so special is his patience and ability to hit any pitch at the plate. With a healthy Pablo Sandoval and lead off men Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro in front of Posey, expect a replica performance of the previous season. Scary thing to think of is Buster is only 25 years old. Not only his age, but the fact he’s only played one full season, technically. Entering his 4th season, Posey is a dead on candidate for NL MVP oncw again as the San Francisco Giants look to defend their World Series Championship.
Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers: Let’s just throw all PED suspicion and rumors out the window and focus on the numbers. In the past two season, no other player in the NL has had more home runs and RBIs than Mr. Braun. Collecting 74 homers and 223 RBIs. He’s a perennial All-Star and no matter who’s in the Brew Crew’s line up, he produces. Only two seasons removed from his own NL MVP Award, it’s foolish to think he won’t be in the discussion again this season, seeing as if voters look past the rumors. I mean, you are innocent until proven guilty, right?
Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals: Now I know what you’re thinking, “Ryan Zimmerman? MVP?” But just hear me out. The Nationals have a stacked line up and adding Span will only help. However, this offense goes as Zimmerman goes. The 7 year vet is easily a .290/30/100 type of player, as long as he stays healthy. The Nats offense didn’t jump start until Zimmerman finally got it going in July, where Zimmerman batted a scortching .366 with 10 dingers and 24 RBIs and a ridiculous OPS of 1.186. Zimmerman is the glue to the lineup. He will be in the NL MVP race by the time October rolls around.
Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers: Matt Kemp along with the rest of the LA orginization had a very disappointing season. Kemp blew open the doors to the 2012 campaign with his blazing hot start. In the month of April, Matt Kemp batted .417 with 12 homers and 25 RBIs. That success was short lived when he went down with a hamstring injury. Haunting him all season, leading to 56 missed games. However, he still managed to bat .303 with 23 home runs and 69 RBIs. With last season acquisitions Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez, Kemp will have plenty of RBI opprotunities and protection to put up the same kind of numbers he did in 2011.
Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates: .327 batting average, 31 homers, 96 RBIs, and he cooled off. Hard to believe, I know. But McCutchen was hands down the hottest player in baseball from May-July. With an batting average of .392 including his hottest month of July when he batted .446. The MLB The Show 13′s cover man is easily the best player the lowly Pirates have, and he will continue to carry the team on his back.
Chase Headley – San Diego Padres: Despite the Padres only winning 76 games, Headley was outstanding and overlooked by many. The Gold Glove 3rd basemen set career highs in home runs (31) and RBIs (115.) Padres have themselves a wonderful player, who is only going to get better.
Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado Rockies: CarGo’s Rockies may be bottom feeders in the NL right now, but don’t let that fool you. Gonzalez is a career .300 hitter and in 2012 he batted .303 with 22 homers and 85 RBIs – WITHOUT Troy Tulowitzki. Expect Carlos Gonzalez to have a big year with his running mate Tulo back in the lineup.
Allen Craig – St. Louis Cardinals: It’s hard to pick just one guy from the Cardinals team to be in the MVP talks preseason, but I chose Craig because of a few reasons. His stat line consisted of a .307 average, 22 long ones and 92 RBI, in his first season as a full time starter, batting clean up as well. Craig helped fill teh void that Albert Pujols had left and Craig will only get better as the years come along.
Justin & BJ Upton – Atlanta Braves: This may be cheating, but I couldn’t chose just one Upton. Both come from similar enviroments. Neither wanted to be where they were, now that they are both on a team they are comfortable with and are out of that negative atomosphere they both played at, I expect both to have career years. Justin Upton had a dismal 2012 campaign, compared to his career year in 2011. All his numbers were down a signifigant amount. BJ on the other hand did set a career high in home runs with 28 last season but also set a career high in strikeouts. Both will be rejuvenated and play with a fire that we all know they have.