Last week: No. 1.
Though Ryan Braun has a great case for NL MVP consideration and should be competitive in the final voting, Buster Posey is going to win the award this season.
The San Francisco Giants catcher leads the league in hitting—with Melky Cabrera no longer eligible—with a .337 average. He also has the NL's top on-base percentage (OBP) at .410. Posey is also among the top three in the league with a .551 slugging percentage and a .961 OPS.
SI.com's Cliff Corcoran recently argued that the real hitting Triple Crown should be constituted by batting average, OBP and slugging. If that's the case, then Posey being near the lead in each of those three categories—as well as OPS—has to make him the best hitter in the NL, right?
Posey leads the Giants with 24 home runs and 102 RBI and it's really not even close.
(UPDATE: It was pointed out in the comments that Hunter Pence has 24 home runs and 104 RBI for the season, but he has seven homers and 45 RBI since joining the Giants.)
Pablo Sandoval is second in both categories with 12 homers and 63 RBI (though he did miss more than 50 games with hand and hamstring injuries). As we know, Posey was the second-leading hitter on the team until Cabrera tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
Posey also excels at the most demanding defensive position on the field. His two passed balls are the fewest allowed among qualifying MLB catchers this season and his 26 wild pitches allowed rank second.
He has thrown out 38 basestealers, the best total in the majors. Unfortunately, Giants pitchers don't help him out by holding runners. That's resulted in 125 stolen bases attempts and a 30 percent caught-stealing average for Posey.
Combine that with the Giants' run to an NL West title and the third-best record in the league, and Posey looks like this year's NL MVP.
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