St. Louis Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt has been voted the National League MVP, beating out teammate Nolan Arenado and San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado. It is the icing on the cake for the 35-year old All-Star, who had a career year in nearly every statistical category.
“I think definitely as you age, you have to adapt, and that’s some of what I’ve tried to do. I’ve tried to get ahead of it,” Goldschmidt said in an interview on MLB Network. “You can’t just try to do the same thing you did the year before. But yeah, kind of the stigma that as you get older, you’re going to keep getting worse. I mean, nobody likes that. They don’t like being told you can’t do something, so it’s definitely motivation.”
For the season, he hit .317 with 35 home runs and 115 RBIs, ranking third in the NL in batting average, fifth in home runs and second in RBIs. Goldschmidt’s sabermetric stats also were among the best in the major leagues, as he ranked first in WOBA (weighted on-base average), first in WRC+ (weighted runs created plus) and third in ISO (isolated power). He also ranked second in WAR among position players, narrowly trailing Arenado.
“Whether I won this or not, it was going to be a great year,” Goldschmidt said. “This was my best year and the most fun I had, playing with Nolan and Albert [Pujols] and so many guys we had. So, it was just incredible.”
Voting for the MVP Award takes place before the start of the postseason. And it goes without saying, aside from a late September slump, Goldschmidt was nothing short of outstanding throughout the duration of the season. And the performances of both himself and Arenado (who have been the most devasting one-two punch in baseball) were instrumental in helping the Cardinals not only reach the postseason, but win the NL Central with a 93-69 record.
But it wasn’t just the MVP Award that Goldschmidt seemed to be a shoe-in for: he was also competing for the National League’s Triple Crown, a feat that hasn’t occurred (in the NL) since former Cardinal and Hall of Famer Joe Medwick accomplished it in 1937.
For Goldschmidt, although his season didn’t end with a World Series title, he has added to his Hall of Fame resume with his first career MVP award.