As one quiet guy (at least at work and when competing) to another, I want to say Congrats to Paul Goldschmidt!
Goldie has been one of my favorite players even before his tenure as a Cardinal. But I really became a fan when he came to St Louis a few years back. Oh was that 2019 when he only put up a 117 wRC+ and struck out a ton? I totally forgot! I still liked him though, seemed like a good guy.
Well then there ended up being a season the next year! Like we thought there would. But it wasn't a full season. Goldie didn't have a ton of power in that Covid-19 shorted season, but he obviously put into play what he had been working on for a while: upping his walk rate and lowering his strikeout rate. He ended up being a much better hitter than what was shown in his 2019 Cardinal debut with a 30 point jump in his wRC+.
2021 could be summed up as being a career average year with a ho-hum 5 fWAR and 31 home runs. His walk rate suffered compared to 2020, but he went back to his power swing and somehow stole 12 bases too! 2021 showed that he wasn't technically OLD yet, and that we could still count on him as a big bat.
Well then, 2022 came along and guess what, we have ourselves an MVP this year! And he won it by chasing the triple crown... aka, he was the best hitter in the NL in 2022. How was he the best hitter of the National League?
Goldschmidt lead the league with a 177 wRC+, a .578 SLG%, and a .419 wOBA. He truly was an all around hitter... he would've probably had a few more home runs if he played a few more games (151 games this year). Only two players both younger than him had higher ISOs. And if UZR didn't portray his fielding so bad (many I've talked to say he's not nearly as bad at defense as he would be rated by UZR) he would've lead the league in fWAR too. Granted he's not the defender UZR wants him to be, but he sure does look athletic and talented at first base.
So that's it, I just wanted to highlight a really fun and memorable season, remember how good he was at times and forget about how he sort of tanked at the end, and about that 2 game postseason. Let's celebrate a Most Valuable Person!
Well ok, I've decided I'm not ready to give up on looking at the 2022 season, specifically about how Goldie performed.
As it turns out, Paul's April was NOT GOOD. At least for him. He only had 1 home run. In May though, he had 10! That's like a home run every series. And not only was his power in effect, he got on base A LOT. Good for a 255 wRC+ in May!
In June he came back down to earth but still, REALLY REALLY GOOD. His BB/K was at .75! July was sort of an off month for home runs but he still ran a 148 wRC+. August was when he got the triple crown chatter going, with his 9 home runs, 27 rbi, and .343 BA during that month.
September probably almost cost him his surefire NL MVP bid, and most certainly the triple crown. Whether he just ran out of energy, had a naggin minor injury, or somehow just mentally got lost in the OG retirement shuffle of the Pujols/Yadi/Wainwright show, he only hit 2 home runs that whole playoff stretch month with a pedestrian OBP of .333.
While I'm a little surprised that last month didn't cost him the MVP (and having another high caliber teammate to compete with), I still think he deserved it this year! Next year, I hope Nolan Arenado wins it!
One last thing, I wanted to compare the first half to the second half of Goldschmidt's MVP 2022 season. Did he hit better in the first or the second half of the season? He had a bad April, and a bad September...
Well without question, he hit better in the first half. 20 home runs, 184 wRC+ to 15 home runs and 168 wRC+.