Arizona Diamondbacks’ first baseman Paul Goldschmidt came just short of completing his already impressive trophy case with an NL MVP, finishing second behind Pittsburgh Pirates’ center fielder Andrew McCutchen.
In the annual award given by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, Goldschmidt was unable to overcome McCutchen, who led the Pirates to their first postseason appearance since 1992. The D-backs finished 81-81, which may have played a role in the voting.
McCutchen received 28 of 30 first place votes. St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina, who finished third, received the other two. Goldschmidt received 15 second-place votes, but was as low as sixth on the ballots of Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald in Illinois and Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Previously this offseason, Goldschmidt received the NL Hank Aaron Award, given to the league’s top offensive player, and the NL Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards for first basemen.
“It’s a huge honor just to be one of the finalists,” said Goldschmidt in a video statement. “There have obviously been a lot of great players, just to be mentioned alongside them is a huge honor. I want to say congratulations to Andrew McCutchen and Miguel Cabrera and all of the other winners. It was a good year and hopefully we’ll move on and get a little bit better as a team next year and strive towards making the playoffs and winning the World Series.”
Among National Leaguers, Goldschmidt ranked first in slugging percentage (.551), first in RBI (125), tied for first in home runs (36), third in runs scored (103), fourth in hits (182), and third in walks (99).
The D-backs have yet to have an MVP winner. Goldschmidt’s second-place finish is the highest ever by an Arizona player. Matt Williams (1999) and Luis Gonzalez (2001) both finished third.
McCutchen sported a .317 batting average, which ranked seventh in the NL, and he was fifth with 27 steals. Fangraphs.com also had him first in the league with 8.2 Wins Above Replacement.
Molina finished third in the award voting. While the catcher is most known for his defense and ability to handle the Cardinals’ pitching staff, he was also fourth in the NL with a .319 batting average and second in doubles with 44.
Full ballots and voting can be found on bbwaa.com.