Whoah. You can certainly call me surprised. I realized he had been playing well, really well, in fact, but MVP candidate?
So, out of pure boredom on a Saturday morning, I decided to run through Justin Upton's stats on FanGraphs, and had realized he has amassed 5.3 WAR this season, already a career high. One of the more encouraging things so far from Upton this year has not only been his strong play, but he's been healthy all season. Indeed; he's on pace to play 160 games this year, and 5.3 WAR in 105 games works out to 8 WAR over 160 games. That really hit me, as 8 WAR is a legitimate MVP candidate, and as I soon realized, Upton does not only have a reasonable chance of accumulating some votes, or an outside chance of it; he's a legitimate MVP candidate. There's also nothing in his batted ball rates to suggest his performance to date has been any sort of fluke. Of course, you don't care about how I came to this realization.
Per FanGraphs WAR, Jose Reyes leads the way with 5.5 WAR, but Upton is only .2 wins behind, and then there's Matt Kemp at 5.1, Andrew McCutchen 4.9, and Ryan Braun and Shane Victorino are both tied at 4.7. Of course, this is just FanGraphs, and baseball-reference is less kind to Upton, ranking him 10th among NL position players at 3.7 WAR. But still, he's been phenomenal this year, and I'm really glad Rob Neyer has been wrong about him so far.
So what do you think? Will Justin Upton actually win the prestigious award? Will he get significant consideration? How many votes will he get?