Ryan Braun, LF, Milwaukee Brewers
Chase Headley, 3B, San Diego Padres
Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals
Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants
Most Notable Snub: Jason Heyward, RF, Atlanta Braves
This is yet another situation where I don't have a huge problem with the list of finalists, but I'd put Jason Heyward on it over Yadier Molina.
Heyward was one of the most overlooked superstars in baseball in 2012. He hit .269/.335/.479 with 27 homers and 21 stolen bases, and he was very much deserving of the Gold Glove that he got for his work in right field. His defense was tremendous, and it definitely gave his overall value a huge boost.
According to FanGraphs, Heyward finished with a 6.6 WAR, slightly higher than that of Molina. He was tremendous offensively and defensively, but he wasn't the same kind of complete threat that Heyward was.
But simmer down, Cardinals fans. This is a minor gripe. Molina is a stud.
Projected Winner: Buster Posey
There's a huge debate regarding the AL MVP, but not so much with the NL MVP. Everyone seems to agree that it should go to Buster Posey.
Posey pleased both the sabermetrics crowd and the more traditional crowd in 2012, leading the NL in WAR while also winning a batting title and leading the Giants to an NL West title. He further helped himself by being particularly good in the second half and by carrying the Giants after Melky Cabrera was suspended.
I'd say he's a lock.
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