Giancarlo Stanton might not be a Miami Marlin for much longer, if rampant trade rumors are to be believed. But if he’s played his final game as a member of the club, he’s going out in style. Stanton was named the National League Most Valuable Player on Thursday, narrowly edging Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto. He is the first Marlins MVP in history. Stanton edged Votto by two votes, making it the third closest vote in NL history, according to the BBWAA.
The Marlins slugger hit .281/.376/.631 with 59 home runs and 132 runs batted. His 59 homers were the most since 2001, when Sammy Sosa hit 61 and Barry Bonds broke the all-time record with 73. The performance came a year after Stanton set career lows in nearly every major offensive category.
“He came to spring training on a mission: ‘I want to do this, this and this—and don’t let the result take me away from it, because I could do something wrong and hit a homer,'” Frank Menechino, the Marlins assistant hitting coach, told Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. “He wanted consistency. After what he went through the year before, he was like, ‘That’s not happening again.'”
Despite Stanton’s power numbers, many expected this award to go to Goldschmidt. The perennial All-Star has been on the precipice of winning the MVP for years but never quite got the votes. Following yet another typically brilliant season that saw him lead the Diamondbacks to the playoffs, Goldschmidt had a chance to be rewarded as a bastion of consistency.
Instead, he will have to wait at least another year after being outperformed by another player’s once-in-a-generation power numbers.
By Tyler Conway