Nationals Baseball: Zimmerman MVP voting thoughts

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Zimmerman MVP voting thoughts

Zimmerman is arguably the best all-around player in the National League, perhaps in the whole shebang. Now - he won't win the MVP, I think we can all understand that. The MVP is 95% an offensive award for players whose teams are in the pennant race. The Nationals haven't sniffed decency since June and there are stronger purely offensive candidates out there.

(If Joey "not good enough for Charlie Manuel to name to the All-Star team" Votto doesn't run away with the MVP I'd be surprised.)

Ryan will probably take home another Gold Glove, but what I'm really curious about is how will he look in the MVP voting. Will his excellent play two years running garner enough recognition to push him into ... say the Top 10? Will he languish near the bottom like last year (2 votes) behind guys like... Miguel Tejada? Will Adam Dunn, with a slightly more impressive offensive year, actually beat Ryan out?

My guesses are no, kindof, and yes. Top 10 is the realm of HR and RBI leaders, of the best players on the best teams, not for guys like Zimmerman. I see him still near the bottom but higher than last year. He should be bolstered by the increased recognition of another great season and the realization at years end that the Nats have won 5-10 games more than 2009. Voters will look for a reason and some will gravitate to Ryan. Of course some will gravitate toward Dunn and that's the hardest one for me to pick out. If Dunn can pass Pujols in HRs he'll easily outpace Ryan. Dunn will finish somewhere right around 10, Ryan probably near 20.

(Leading the League in home runs is traditionally a rubber stamp to the Top 10 in MVP voting. In fact the home run leader has only finished lower than 6th twice since the strike, both times it was Sammy Sosa finishing 9th. They must have really not liked him. Even fluke year Andres Galarraga for a 3rd place Rockies team finished 6th, which was the next lowest finish.)

If Adam doesn't pass Pujols though I can see Ryan benefitting and both of them finishing around 15th, though I'd still bet on Adam above Ryan.

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