Cardinals: It’s time to put Paul Goldschmidt in MVP discussion
It’s time to put St. Louis Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt in the MVP discussion.
After Paul Goldschmidt hit three home runs in two games, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers, it’s time to put him in the National League MVP discussion.
Now, let’s be clear: Goldschmidt isn’t going to win the award. The MVP in all likelihood will be San Diego Padres phenom Fernando Tatis Jr. and that has been the case for most of the season. But Goldschmidt, who is hitting .291/.362/.508 with 29 home runs and 93 RBI, should finish in the top-10 in voting and the argument can be made that he should finish in the top-5.
Goldschmidt, 34, has been the Cardinals’ best player this season. He carried the offense when the unit underperformed and has stepped up in the biggest moments this season, with a two-run homer on Thursday tying the game at five before they eventually beat the Brewers 8-5. He has fueled their surge into a five-game lead for a wild-card spot and is why the Cardinals have a chance against any team they face in a winner-take-all game.
Just look at how good Goldschmidt has been: In his last 30 games, he’s slashing .339/.419/.815 with 11 home runs. In the second half of the season, he’s hitting .323/.395/.591 with 16 home runs and 44 RBI. He ranks first among first baseman with nine Defensive Runs Saved (18th overall). The next closest first baseman is Yuli Gurriel, who ranks 32nd with five DRS.
In his career, Goldschmidt has 1,562 hits, 278 home runs, 931 runs, 921 RBI, 3 Gold Gloves, three top-3 MVP finishes. His adjusted OPS+ of 141, per Buster Olney of ESPN, puts him in the same statistical category as Larry Walker, Duke Snider, Reggie Jackson and Ken Griffey Jr., putting him in strong position to eventually make the Hall of Fame.
But first, Goldschmidt suddenly finds himself in the MVP discussion and it’s been a long time coming. He has been the Cardinals’ best player this season and without him, surely aren’t on a 12-game win streak. They might not even be a playoff team. He’s been that good.