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Tommy Pham should receive MVP votes - A Hunt and Peck

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He was really good this season.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

After recording the podcast one evening John and I had a discussion about baseball. He mentioned a concept for a post he had trying to justify Tommy Pham’s MVP candidacy, but ultimately decided that it was just not possible. It reminded me of a discussion I had with a coworker about Tommy Pham’s MVP candidacy and how the Cardinals making the post-season might affect it. Both discussions drew the same conclusion that while Tommy Pham has had a season worthy of down-ballot MVP votes, there are too many players with far better cases to call him the MVP.

He was certainly MVP of the Cardinals, though. And because of that, let’s look at some of his numbers.

476 plate appearances in 116 games played

Tommy started the season out in AAA. He played 25 games and accrued 106 plate appearances for the Memphis Redbirds in 2017. This is because he did not make the Cardinals out of Spring Training, but even without that extra playing time, Pham has achieved new career highs in these categories.

13% walk rate, 22.9% strikeout rate

Of Pham’s four seasons in the majors, this is the highest walk rate and lowest strikeout rate. Of course, this is usually attributed to having his vision corrected, which makes a lot of sense.

147 wRC+

This is his highest wRC+ of his career - a .307/.408/.521 slash line will do that.

5.1 fWAR

Finally able to play nearly a full season, the potential Pham showed was finally able to come to fruition. On a per rate basis, Pham was always one of the most valuable players on the Cardinals. With playing time he has been able to accumulate wins to make him the twelfth most valuable player in the National League.

Tommy Pham has worked hard, has overcame injury and a degenerative eye condition, and is the Cardinals most valuable player in 2017. He may not be the National League MVP, but he has more than earned a starting spot on the Cardinals as well as some down-ballot MVP votes.

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