Cardinals: Who Nolan Arenado believes should be National League MVP
Who does Nolan Arenado believe should be National League MVP? Spoiler: it’s one of his teammates with the St. Louis Cardinals.
By all accounts, Nolan Arenado is having an MVP-type year in his second season with the St. Louis Cardinals. He’s hitting .304/.371/.561 with a .932 OPS, 23 home runs and 71 RBI in 102 games. But when asked about the MVP award, he deflected credit.
“I would have to go on a serious run to get that award from him,” Arenado said. “He deserves it right now.”
Who is he?
“I’ve played with some good players, but Goldy to me is the best player I’ve ever played with,” Arenado said. “I think he’s way better than me. I’m always trying to find ways to get better with him, ust like when (Troy Tulowitzki) and (Carlos Gonzalez) were here (in Colorado).
That’s some seriously high praise for Goldschmidt, and it’s warranted. Goldschmidt, 34, has produced 5.7 WAR in what has statistically been his best season – .328/.413/.605 with 26 home runs, 84 RBI and a 1.018 OPS – while continuing to play Gold Glove caliber defense. He’s emerged as an irreplaceable piece in St. Louis and perhaps the undoubted leader to win the MVP award with two months left in the regular season.
What would only stop him is 1) injury or 2) another player going on a huge run, as Arenado suggested. But Goldschmidt is as durable as they come, playing in at least 155 games in each of the last six seasons (except for the COVID shortened season), and they are managing his workload at first base this season (16 starts at DH; 88 starts at first).
But it’s been Goldschmidt’s emergence this year that has not only vaulted the Cardinals atop the National League Central, but thrusted them into the playoff picture. They have a team capable, when clicking on all cylinders, that can compete with the Dodgers, Mets and Braves.
Arenado deserves a lot of credit for that, of course, but he’s right: Goldschmidt is not just the MVP of the Cardinals, but of the entire National League.