Stanton was named the National League Most Valuable Player on Thursday as he narrowly edged Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto. Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt finished a distant third. Stanton became the first Marlins MVP in history when he beat Votto by two voting points, making it the third-closest vote in NL history, according to the BBWAA.
The Marlins slugger hit .281/.376/.631 with 59 home runs and 132 runs batted in. His 59 homers were the most since 2001, when Sammy Sosa hit 61 and Barry Bonds broke the all-time record with 73. The performance came a year after Stanton set career lows in nearly every major offensive category.
"He came to spring training on a mission: 'I want to do this, this and this—and don't let the result take me away from it, because I could do something wrong and hit a homer,'" Marlins assistant hitting coach Frank Menechino told Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. "He wanted consistency. After what he went through the year before, he was like, 'That's not happening again.'"
Despite Stanton's power numbers, Goldschmidt seemed a likely candidate. The perennial All-Star has been on the precipice of winning the MVP for years but never quite got the votes. Following yet another brilliant season that saw him lead the Diamondbacks to the playoffs and slash .297/.404/.563 with 36 home runs and 120 RBI, Goldschmidt had a chance to be rewarded as a bastion of consistency.
Instead, he will have to wait at least another year after being outvoted due to Stanton's once-in-a-generation power numbers and Votto's 7.5-WAR, 1.032-OPS season.