Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  By CHOPCAST  |  Last updated 9/3/13
ATLANTA Criteria for the Most Valuable Player Award varies from person to person, voter to voter. Never was this more evident than in 2012 when Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera both posted historic seasons in the American League one posting perhaps the greatest rookie season of all-time (and owning advanced metrics in the process), the other winning the first Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 and the opinions on which player should have earned MVP honors hit new highs. Should defense and base-running be factored into the criteria, or is it actually the Most Valuable Hitter? Should pitchers be eligible to win take the MVP home? There may be a correct answer, but there's not a unanimous one. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is hitting plenty of traditional checkpoints: all-around quality player, "best player on the best team", strong average, power and RBI numbers, etc. Entering Tuesday's game, Freeman is the unquestionable foundation to Atlanta's lineup hitting .307.385.483, 18 home runs, 93 RBI which is the fourth-highest scoring offense in the NL. Slowly, over the course of the season, Freeman's face started showing up on MVP-related graphics around the league and Internet. However, if he's in the race, he's in a competitive field. Cincinnati's Joey Votto (the 2010 MVP), Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen, Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt, New York's David Wright and St. Louis' Yadier Molina have also garnered recognition and each of them rank ahead of Freeman in advanced metrics. In the National League, the Braves first baseman ranks 23rd in wins above replacement (3.4 fWar), 10th in runs created (141 WRC, where 100 is league average) and 14th in OPS. So, with approximately one month remaining in the regular season, where should the sweet-swinging Braves' star rank? Top-10? Top-five? The Chopcast team Zach Dillard, Cory McCartney and Jay Clemons discusses his candidacy and more in this week's podcast. Here are the highlights: -- As of Sept. 3, how should the NL MVP race stack up? Is Freeman in your top-10 your top-five is he your leader? -- How should we be approaching the MVP Award in 2013? How much should advanced metrics factor into the equation? Is the "eye test" andor traditional statistics enough? Should pitchers qualify for the MVP Award? -- Jordan Schafer's re-emergence as a viable leadoff hitter. -- With the Braves' magic number at 11, on what date will they clinch? SUBSCRIBE SOCIAL
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