The Nats have been on a roll lately, but their true MVP candidate's Ryan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg have been injured. While I'm a huge Bernadina fan he is more of a role player than a MVP. But there have been some great seasons put together so far. Below is my list for NL MVP. there is still a lot of baseball to be played so this list could look totally different by seasons end.
1) Matt Kemp CF Dodgers: .336AVG 22HR 62RBI 52R 21SB .422OBP .636SLG
Kemp has been straight up crushing the ball this season. After a superb 2009 season everyone expected even more from the youngster last year, but he took a step back. Coming into this year he flew under the radar. But it didn’t take long for him to burst back onto the scene. He currently sits atop the NL in HR, 2nd in RBI, 2nd in AVG, 6th in R, and 4th in SB. He is the definition of a 5tool player when that is becoming a rarity in baseball today.
2) Jose Reyes SS Mets: .341AVG 3HR 32RBI 61R 28SB .386OBP .514SLG
Reyes is having a career year just in time for him to cash in on it. With all the trade speculation, Wilpon money issues, and debilitating injuries to key players he has been able to play at a high level through it all. He is well on his way to shatter the Mets single season triples record, while leading the NL in AVG. He is 1st in R and 2nd in SB. If Kemp wasn’t putting up other worldly numbers, Reyes would be leading the MVP race.
3) Roy Halladay SP Phillies: 127.3INN 2.40ERA 10W-3L 1.03WHIP 123K
Doc has been lights out. He leads the league in complete games with 5. He is tied atop the wins list with 10. He is 2nd in strikeouts and 4th in ERA.
4) Ryan Braun LF Brewers: .308AVG 16HR 59RBI 57R 17SB .390BP .554SLG
Braun is doing everything this year just like Kemp. He gets the slight nod over fellow teammate Prince Fielder because of the stolen bases. When a power hitter also affects the game on the ground he is that much more valuable.
5) Prince Fielder 1B Brewers: .306AVG 21HR 68RBI 48R 0SB .426OBP .611SLG
Prince is having a monster season. He is 2nd behind Kemp in HR, 1st in RBI and SLG, 2nd in OBP. I have no issue with him being as high as 3rd on the list, but for this week I have him listed at the 5 spot.
6) Justin Upton RF Diamondbacks: .306AVG 12HR 41RBI 46R 14SB .388OBP .515SLG
Upton has been the driving force behind this upstart Dbacks squad this season. He provides stability to the order and the defense. If it weren’t for him I don’t think they would be in contention right now. His name hasn’t been brought up in the MVP talks nearly enough.
Last years MVP is having another superb season. His power numbers are down a bit, but he is still getting on base better than anyone in the league. I expect him to climb the list as the season goes on.
8) Cole Hamels SP Phillies: 112INN 2.49ERA 9W-4L 0.95WHIP 108K
Hamels has been nearly as good as his teammate in the 3 spot this season. The one area he gets trumped is complete games. Again depending on how much you value a pitcher in the MVP talk you could have Hamels as high up as 4th.
9) Clayton Kershaw SP Dodgers: 116.7INN 2.93ERA 8W-3L 1.03WHIP 128K
Kershaw is a strikeout genius as he leads all of baseball with 128. If he were pitching for a better team he would have double digit wins already.
10) Cliff Lee SP Phillies: 113INN 2.87ERA 8W-5L 1.12WHIP 114K
Lee has come on strong as of late pitching back to back complete game shutouts. If he continues to throw those kind of gems he will quickly surpass his fellow teammates on this list.
I will updating the list weekly at http://www.hits4brains.com/2011/06/hits4brains-mvp-race-national-league.html