Predicting Who'll Be the New York Mets' MVP in 2013
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Trying to predict who the New York Mets Most Valuable Player (MVP) will be this season is about as easy as prognosticating who will win the Republican Party's Presidential nomination in 2016.
There are some fine candidates but trying to gaze in the crystal ball and foretell the future is not an easy thing to do. In New York's case, the season is not even three weeks old yet and there are still over 145 games remaining to be played.
It sure is fun to speculate though.
Let's take a look at whom should be the most viable candidates to win the honor and then conclude with my predication as to which player will earn the 2013 New York Mets MVP award.
Candidate: David Wright
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports
A six-time National League All-Star, Wright seems like the most logical candidate to attain the honor. He is in the prime of his career at 30 years of age and is a lifetime .301 hitter.
In his 10-year career, the Norfolk, VA native averages 26 home runs and 105 RBI per season. Combine that with a career OBP of .381 and two Gold Glove Awards under his belt, Wright is primed to have another outstanding season in Queens.
New York's team captain is starting to come around in the power department (two home runs) but he is hitting .327 with 14 RBI and owns a .424 OBP. Things are starting to heat up for the Mets' icon.
If he remains healthy, "Captain America" is poised to be the leading candidate to capture his team's MVP accolade.
Candidate: Matt Harvey
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Fresh off being named the NL Player of the Week last week, the 24-year-old Harvey is taking the league by storm with a series of sensational performances to begin his 2013 campaign.
In his first three starts, the hard-throwing right-hander is 3-0 with a 0.82 ERA. Harvey has allowed just six hits in 22 innings this season. He has walked six and struck out 25.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the University of North Carolina product is the first pitcher since 1900 to earn a victory in each of his first three starts of a season with that few hits allowed and at least that many strikeouts.
Harvey took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Twins last Saturday before Justin Morneau took him deep but he showed his poise by shaking it off and allowing just one run and two hits in eight innings of work.
''That's a horse. That guy can really wing it,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told the Associated Press.
Mets right fielder Marlon Byrd was quite impressed with Harvey as well.
''It's like he made his 1,300th start the way he pitched out there,'' Byrd told the Associated Press. ''To be able to throw his other pitches like he does, hit spots, just all-around amazing.''
Candidate: John Buck
Al Bello/Getty Images
What a season it's been so far for John Buck. The 11-year veteran backstop is not just keeping the seat warm for prospect Travis d'Arnaud. Buck's been a real dynamo.
Not only has Buck been calling a solid game behind the plate but the Kemmerer, Wyoming native is tied for the league lead in RBI (19), has smashed six home runs and is hitting a robust .300 to boot.
Not bad for a guy that hit a feeble .192 for the Miami Marlins last season and appeared headed for the scrapheap.
During the course of a long season, catchers get tired and worn down from the summer heat and d'Arnaud will probably be called up after he recovers from his broken foot. Buck can't worry about that now. He's been the surprise of New York's season so far.
Manager Terry Collins told Kristie Eckert of the New York Daily News how pleased he is with his starting catcher so far.
“When we got John Buck one of the things we talked about as I talked to the coaches, was gosh if we could get some of the production he had in Kansas City, 25 and 28 home runs, if we could get 25 homers out of this guy, and again that was looking at the high end, I thought 'My god what a difference our lineup is gonna be,'” Collins said. “You are hoping realistically you are going to get 15 and holy cow he's gonna get 15 before April is over the way he is going."
Candidate: Daniel Murphy
USA TODAY Sports
Showing no ill effects from the strained intercostal muscle he suffered in the early days of spring training, the 28-year old Murphy is spraying line drives all around the National League.
In fact, Murphy ranks in the Top 10 in the National League in batting with a .352 average. Not only that but he has already clubbed two home runs (he had six all of last season) and knocked in 11 runs.
He's gotten off to a much better start than most people expected and if he can remain healthy, Murphy should be able to approach his stellar .320 batting mark he achieved in 2011.
The Mets second baseman has the ability to do it. He leads the NL with seven doubles and strokes the ball quite well to the opposite field.
“It always seems like he’s standing at second because he’s a doubles machine when he’s swinging good,” Collins told Jorge Castillo of The Star-Ledger. "He gets himself in scoring position."
Will Murphy eventually move into the number three spot in Collins' batting order? If so, would David Wright then bat cleanup?
We'll see but for now Murphy is prospering quite well in the number two hole, thank you.
Winner: Matt Harvey
Conventional wisdom might suggest that David Wright will most likely win this season's New York Mets MVP Award. That makes sense based on his track record, high standard of play and his overall pedigree.
As viable a candidate as Wright and the others are, Matt Harvey is the choice here. Is it a tough choice? No doubt. But it feels like the right one.
The New London, CT native is drawing comparisons to a young Tom Seaver—that is high praise indeed. He has sensational stuff. Tonight's scheduled matchup with Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals at Citi Field in Queens, NY is must-see TV between two of the best young hurlers in the National League.
"It’s the first game home after a long road trip, the Nationals have a good lineup and you’ve got Strasburg on the mound Friday night,” Harvey told Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. “It’s going to be fun and I am looking forward to it.”
Everyone is looking forward to it. In 13 career starts, Harvey is 6-5 but owns a sparkling 2.21 ERA and a 0.984 WHIP. He has fanned 95 batters in 81.1 innings of work.
He is the real deal and is the pick here to be the New York Mets 2013 MVP.