With the Major League Season underway, but not quite three weeks old yet, we are looking at players off to great starts who could have a chance to win their league MVP. You can find the 5 Early AL MVP Candidates here. We know it’s early but we are having fun, you know that thing sports is supposed to be. Here are five early candidates for NL MVP. Don’t get hung up on the order, this isn’t a ranking.
Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies – The 31-year-old outfielder is picking up right where he left off last season when he emerged as an MVP candidate. Blackmon currently ranks second in the NL in home runs with seven and has scored 13 runs and driven in 13 runs. He is slashing .309/.387/.745 so far in this young season. In case you were keeping score at home, Blackmon is on pace for 60 home runs this year. After hitting 37 last season there is no counting him out and making a run at 50 if he keeps up this hot streak for a little while.
Ozzie Albies, 2B, Atlanta Braves – The Braves are 9-7 as of this writing, a pretty solid start for a team not many thought would compete yet. Albies has played a big part in the Braves’ positive start. He has belted five home runs, eight doubles, a triple and scored 16 runs while driving in 11. Not bad for the first 71 at-bats of the season. Last year, in 217 at bats he hit six home runs, nine doubles, and five triples. Albies is one of the most exciting young players in baseball and at 21, one of the youngest in the game. He might not be a household name just yet but he will be and maybe as early as this year.
Bryce Harper, OF, Washington Nationals – At age 25 and about to hit free agency, Harper is leading the Majors in home runs with eight. In case you were wondering that is a pace that would give him 72 home runs. He has almost as many home runs as he does singles and doubles. He is slashing a healthy .304/.482/.750 and his 23 walks puts him on pace for 207 on the season. He has scored 17 runs, a pace of 153 over a full season and driven in 18, a pace of 162. Some of his performance might not be sustainable but the 2015 NL MVP could shatter some personal bests this year.
Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals – Molina has gotten off to a great start this year. He already has five home runs, a pace that would give him 48 over a full season, and has driven in 12 runs, a pace good for 112 at this rate. He is slashing .286/.303/.540 and he plays a position where offense is more of a bonus these days. Molina’s career high for home runs was 22 and came back in 2012. Can he put together what would be a career year by a long shot at age 35 while handling the grueling duties that come with his position? Maybe not but right now his start, and his position, puts him in the conversation for 2018 NL MVP.
Patrick Corbin, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks – Corbin is off to one heck of a start with a 1.65 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, and 37 strikeouts in 27.1 innings. He looks absolutely dominant on the mound this year. Yes, it is only 27.1 innings but he has been unhittable at time this year. In an era where the ball is juiced you can’t discount the year Corbin is having. Is this the year he finally puts it all together and dominates? It very well could be. After all, who predicted Jake Arrieta would suddenly put it all together at 27 after a couple of horrendous years in Baltimore. Corbin could very well be in the process of putting it all together.