Finalists for MLB’s Most Valuable Player & Rookie of the Year were announced Monday night on MLB Network. Included of the three players up for National League MVP were two St. Louis Cardinals. None other than the cornerstone of the infield & catalysts of the offense, 1B Paul Goldschmidt & 3B Nolan Arenado.
Manny Machado of the San Diego Padres is the other finalist.
Goldschmidt, (who already won the NL Outstanding Player Award) is also a favorite to win the NL MVP Award. The Outstanding Player Award is a player’s choice award, that is voted on by all of the players in the league.
Goldy had a career year in 2022, being named an NL All-Star for the 7th time (first with the Cardinals), was nominated for a Gold Glove (losing out to Christian Walker of the Arizona Diamondbacks), and slashed .317/.404/.578 with 35 HR & 115 RBI. He also had a 7.8 WAR.
Prior to a bit of a September slump, Goldschmidt was in the running for the Triple Crown, but ultimately finished 3rd in batting average, 6th in homeruns & 2nd in RBI.
Arenado was just as impressive this past season, as he too was named an NL All-Star for the 7th time (2nd for St. Louis), finished the year with a .293/.358/.533 slashline, 30 HR & 103 RBI, and won his 10th consecutive Gold Glove Award. His .533 slugging percentage was ranked third in the NL and he was a 7.9 WAR player.
Nolan’s blend of offense, defense, consistency & flashiness will surely garner some deserved votes from across the league.
While both Goldschmidt & Arenado are both worthy of the MVP votes that they will receive, hopefully they don’t cancel each other out so that one of them can bring home the prestigious award.
Brendan Donovan who is up for NL Rookie of the Year, already earned some hardware himself this season. He was the first St. Louis Cardinal rookie ever to win a Gold Glove, when he beat out teammate Tommy Edman for the first ever Rawling’s Gold Glove for a utility player.
Donovan slashed .281/.394/.397 for St. Louis with 5 HR & 45 RBI. He also scored 64 runs in his 126 games and was also the first MLB player since 1900 to start at 4 different infield positions in his first 4 career starts.
He finished the year having spent time at second base (264 1/3 innings), third base (189 innings), left field (144 innings), right field (143 innings), first base (58 innings) and shortstop (56 innings). His versatility in the field and ability at the plate, made Donovan a very impactful player for the Cardinals in 2022.
He’ll be going up against some stiff competition in SP Spencer Strider & OF Michael Harris Jr., both of the Atlanta Braves.
These awards are voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) at the end of the season. Each city with a team gets 2 ballots for each of the awards, with Hall of Fame baseball writer Rick Hummel & Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the voters from St. Louis.
The winners of the Rookie of the Year Award will be announced Nov. 14th, while the MVP winners will be announced Nov. 17th.