Time to pick up where we left off yesterday handicapping first half MVP candidates. Today's focus is on National League players. NL MVP race has a long list of worthy considerations. Let's take a look at who stands out as baseball approaches the halfway point of our 2010 season.
Ubaldo Jiminez (SP-COL) - Jiminez is on collision course to accomplish a rare feat. CY Young & MVP. This guy has been lights out for Colorado. MLB best 13-1, 1.15. It doesn't get much better than this. He may also re-write modern day record books for single season ERA. Only one team has scored 3 runs against Jiminez. In 14 starts, he's held opponents to no runs 6 times (2 shutouts), one run 4 times and two runs 3 times. Jiminez also tossed a no hitter vs Atlanta on April 17th. Some argue pitchers shouldn't be considered for MVP's but it's hard to cast aside this kind of dominance.
Adrian Gonzalez (1B-SD) - Gonzo has been a one man show in San Diego's 25th ranked offense. Excellent pitching captures local headlines. It's been Gonzo's bat carrying the offense with absolutely no lineup protection. NL leading .969 OPS compliments a .313 BA, 18 2B, 15 HR, 47 RBI & .411 OBA. Pretty solid numbers for a player being pitched around. Perhaps SD will finally take Gonzo's name out of ever swirling trade rumors.
Martin Prado (2B-ATL) Who? That's right, Martin Prado should be considered an MVP candidate. NL leader in AB (303), hits (103), total bases (147) and tops in batting average .340. Toss in stellar defensive play up the middle and his contributions should be recognized by the baseball world. He's been one of the main reasons Atlanta is in first place (NL East, 42-29).
David Wright (3B-NYM) The Mets seem to rise or fall based on Wright's production. MVP's are often selected by an individual's consistency throughout a given season and by how on field contributions equate victories. Wright has been a hot run producer this month (18 Games, .375 BA, 6 2B, 4 HR, 21 RBI). His batting average now stands at .291 and 55 RBI's is tied for NL's lead. Wright has played a large part of Mets 14-4 June.
Keep an eye on ... Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, Andre Ethier, Joey Votto & Aubrey Huff.
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