The 2012 MLB season may not have gone as planned for the San Diego Padres, but they did produce the top run producer in the entire National League.
Third baseman Chase Headley officially captured the RBI crown on Wednesday as he registered 115 RBI to fend off the likely NL MVP Ryan Braun, who finished second with 112.
It came down to the final game of the season in a matchup that was fittingly between the Padres and Braun’s Milwaukee Brewers, with Headley holding a one-RBI lead entering the night. He proceeded to go 2-for-3 with two RBIs while Braun went 1-for-4 without an RBI to officially give Headley the crown.
For the season, Headley registered a .285 batting average, .373 OBP, 30 doubles and 31 home runs in addition to his 115 RBI.
After finishing the first two months hitting a mere .256 with 25 RBI, it appeared that the 28-year-old had regressed in his fifth full season in the big leagues.
Instead, Headley proceeded to catch fire over the final two months, collecting 61 RBI to go along with 19 home runs and a .314 average. He was awarded National League Player of the Month in both August and September, becoming the first Padres player since Ken Caminiti (August-September, 1996) to win the award twice in one season.
So while the Padres may be sitting at home watching the 2012 postseason, the franchise can take solace in the fact they have a franchise slugger in the middle of their lineup that is still under team control through the 2015 season.
He will certainly command a higher salary in arbitration than the $3.47M he is currently making, and there’s a solid shot of the Padres locking him up to a multi-year deal.
It’s been a career year for Headley, and fans in San Diego have to be excited for the future of their offense with No. 7 in the middle of their lineup.
National League RBI Final Standings:
|1. Chase Headley, Padres||115|
|2. Ryan Braun, Brewers||112|
|3. Alfonso Soriano, Cubs||108|
|4. Aramis Ramirez, Brewers||105|
|5. Hunter Pence, Phillies, Giants||104|