The 2019 MLB season has ended and the Washington Nationals won the World Series for the first time in franchise history. This means six more teams are left to win the World Series: Tampa Bay Rays, Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres, and the Milwaukee Brewers. The Nationals were a part of those teams, but this year changed that. One of the best players in the MLB is on the Nationals: Anthony Rendon, and he was one in the running for this year’s National League Most Valuable Player. Cody Bellinger was also in the running with a great year as well–eventually winning this year’s coveted award–with one of the most successful teams in the MLB, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Along with these two great players, there was another that could have been in very close contention for the NL MVP race–Christian Yelich. Although the league recently decided that Bellinger was indeed the recipient, many still consider the question posed. Against such stiff competition, did he truly deserve to win it?
Bellinger had one of the best statistical seasons that any player has ever had. He hit .305 with 47 home runs and 115 RBI with 15 stolen bases and an OPS of 1.035. He is only 24 years old and has been in the league for just three years. In his three years that has been in the MLB, he hit 39, 25, and this year 47 home runs and played almost every game for the Dodgers as well. In addition to being a strong offensive player, he played first base and all three outfield positions. For having to play four of the most competitive positions in the MLB while also hitting over .300, Bellinger only committed 38 errors combined at the four different positions with a very talented Dodgers team. “I believe that Bellinger should win the NL MVP because of his capabilities to play multiple positions,” stated Austin Rexroad, a Greenville University Baseball Pitcher before the final decision was announced. “He was also leader in most offensive categories. I also think Christian Yelich would be more deserving if he wasn’t hurt.”
Yelich was another runner for the NL MVP, defending the title from the 2018 MLB season. In that year, Yelich hit .326 and 36 home runs with driving in 110 runs and helping the Brewers make the playoffs. This year, Yelich had another standout season, hitting 44 home runs and driving 97 runs with a .329 batting average over 130 games. He only played 130 games because of a season-ending injury of a fractured kneecap. Bellinger and Yelich were going back in forth in the MVP running all year, but when this injury happened, Rendon had the opportunity to join the running.
Ryan Taylor, shortstop for the GU Panthers, thinks the winner of the national league MVP should’ve been Rendon. All three candidates are very qualified for the award, but with Yelich missing a chunk of the season due to injuries, he was out of the race. At third base, Rendon led almost all the stats from the players in his position. Rendon also backed up his defensive skills as a .971 career fielder with a .969 fielding percentage this year. During the playoffs, he made so many great plays to save games for the Nationals on their run to win the World Series. Comparing him to Cody Bellinger, who plays what are considered to be two of the easiest positions at first base and outfield, Rendon’s value is in much more demand. The three most popular stats are average, HR, and RBI’s. Bellinger held the advantage, especially in home runs, with 47 to Rendon’s 35, but as an overall player, Anthony Rendon could have more value to a team.
To answer the question from the beginning, there are so many reasons to give one of these three men the National League MVP award, but Bellinger as a very productive defender and with a great year of hitting truly did deserve to get this award. Bellinger had one of the best seasons in the MLB, played positions that are very competitive on every team, and played each of those positions like a Gold Glover. The league did right to award him the 2019 NL MVP.
Media by Ryan Taylor.