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MVP: Bryce Harper
Stats: .344 BA, 9 HR, 18 RBI, .720 SLG, 1.150 OPS
It's pretty clear now that 20-year-phenom Harper is clearly ready to show he is worthy of being mentioned among the superstars in baseball.
Harper's value offensively is even more pronounced with the struggles of Adam LaRoche and the injury to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. The Nationals will continue to rely heavily on Harper as they try to keep up with the Atlanta Braves in the NL East.
Cy Young: Jordan Zimmermann
Stats: 4-1, 2.00 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 4.8 K/9, .186 BAA
Zimmermann has put winning above personal goals, and the results have reflected that.
His one-hit shutout on 91 pitches on Friday against the Cincinnati Reds was a prime example: Zimmermann struck out just four hitters—instead working on keeping the ball down in the zone and getting into the late innings to help keep his bullpen fresh.
Zimmermann's plan of attack was revealed to James Wagner of the Washington Post:
“I’m just throwing strikes and trying to get ahead of guys and not trying to get deep in the counts and letting them put the ball in play,” he said. “I don’t care about strikeouts. I don’t want to walk anyone.”
That mindset has worked pretty well thus far.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.
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