Posey is in his third season in the MLB and has shown signs of MVP-like talent from day one. In his rookie season, Posey batted .305 with 18 home runs and 65 RBIs in only 108 games. His sophomore season was destined to lead him to the top of the catcher ranks in the league, but then this horrific play against the Marlins happened.
So fast forward to the 2012 season and 10 months removed from surgery and rehab and you have a healthy Posey. Now most of the time, players who come off of major injuries like Posey’s broken leg would be afraid to get back behind the plate. It would be completely understandable if a player wanted to ease his way back. But this has not been the case for Posey. The Giants have played 149 games this season and Posey has started in 136 of them. Those 136 games are tops among all catchers in not only the NL, but the MLB. Now I know Posey has logged both 107 games behind the plate and 25 games at first, but regardless, Posey has been out there as much as anyone else. I believe the fact that he rebounded from a major injury will play a minor role in the voting, but the big votes are going to come from what he’s done in those 136 games and where the Giants are at in the standings. So let’s breakdown where the MVP votes are going to come from and discuss the numbers on the three MVP candidates.
**Note – All ranks are from the National League. Not MLB**
Looking at McCutchen vs Braun, McCutchen has Braun beat in the most important categories. Obviously Braun has more power, which puts him in the tops in HRs, RBIs and SLG, but besides that, McCutchen has been the better hitter and player. Whether he gets a hit or walks, McCutchen is always on base. When on base, McCutchen is right there with Braun at stealing bags and above him in scoring. And if you really want to find the factor in why Braun won’t win, just remember he has the positive drug test scandal. I think this will factor into any chance he has, which puts him in third in voting.So looking at these numbers, you should first realize that Posey has about 50 less ABs than Braun and McCutchen. If you wanted to factor in where he would be with the same ABs, Posey would have about another 16 hits, seven walks, seven runs, two home runs, 10 RBIs and four doubles. But that is just a “what-if” scenario. So let’s look at his competition.
Now to compare Posey vs. McCutchen, the two basically have identical numbers. McCutchen does have six more home runs, but it’s all because of the park he plays in. The Giants have one of the worst hitter’s park in the league and if Posey was in another stadium, a good amount of his 36 doubles would have stretched into home runs. For stolen bases, McCutchen has that based on speed obviously, but what will be the deciding factor for the final vote will be records.
Pre-All-Star break, McCutchen was a lock for the MVP award when the Pirates were in the playoff race. Fast-forward to today, the Pirates have fallen to 15.5 back in the division and 4.5 back in the wild card. On the other side, the Giants have surprisingly ran away with the division and are up nine games on the Dodgers, who everyone thought would win.
The only way I see McCutchen winning the award is if the Pirates jump into the playoffs, but I think that is a long shot. Who wins the MVP award really comes down to the best numbers with the best record because obviously numbers don’t win the award or Matt Kemp would have won last season.
Posey has put together a remarkable comeback season and pushed the Giants to the top of the National league and he deserves the MVP award.