Will Paul Goldschmidt get the best Diamondbacks MVP result ever?

Dustin Bradford

Today sees the announcement of the MVP results in both the American and the National League. Even if Paul Goldschmidt doesn't win, he could still set a few franchise records.

Let's start by listing all the Diamondbacks who have ever been mentioned on an MVP ballot:

Year Name Pos Points bWAR
1999 Matt Williams 3rd 269 4.10
Jay Bell 13th 31 4.91
Luis Gonzalez 18th 12 6.44
2000 Randy Johnson 17th 5 8.10
2001 Luis Gonzalez 3rd 261 7.94
Curt Schilling 10th 24 8.51
Randy Johnson 11th 23 9.39
2002 Randy Johnson 7th 127 10.67
Curt Schilling 10th 53 8.61
Junior Spivey =14th 8 3.91
2003 Luis Gonzalez =25th 4 3.13
2004 Randy Johnson =19th 7 8.33
2007 Eric Byrnes 11th 43 3.71
Jose Valverde 14th 19 2.26
Brandon Webb 17th 15 5.89
2008 Brandon Webb 17th 14 5.59
Stephen Drew 26th 2 2.93
2009 Mark Reynolds =20th 6 3.28
Justin Upton =25th 2 3.99
2011 Justin Upton 4th 214 6.05
Ian Kennedy 14th 16 4.81
Miguel Montero =21st 2 4.13
2012 Aaron Hill =26th 6 4.77
Miguel Montero =32nd 1 3.93

Now, let's see what Goldschmidt has to do to set new franchise marks in a few voting sub-categories

Highest ranking, non-playoff season: 17th (Webb 2008)

If you don't think voters take whether or not you make the playoffs into contention, the above should prove otherwise. 11 other Diamondacks have finished higher than Webb's 2008 finish, but every single one did so when the team, as a whole, made the post-season. Even though pitchers do take a hit when it comes to MVP balloting, you'd be hard pushed to tell me with a straight face that Webb's campaign was inferior to Junior Spivey's 2002 or Jose Valverde's 2007, both of which received higher consideration. A rising tide floats all boats, it appears, and it also illustrates, again, that MVP is not entirely the same thing as best. Goldschmidt's chances: smashes this to smithereens.

Highest ranking: 3rd (Williams, 1999 + Gonzalez, 2001)

I think, given that Goldschmidt has made it as one of the final three nominees, we can say with a high degree of certainty that he'll at least give us our best MVP finish in a decade. Will he be able to set the all-time mark? Harder to say. The BBWAA clearly love them some Andrew McCutchen: he finished third last season, and that was on a team which didn't just fail to make the playoffs, they finished with a losing record. He was one WAR better this year, and based on the paragraph above, it's hard to see him not winning. Molina was fourth in 2012, but wasn't quite as good this season and won't get any additional playoff boost. Goldschmidt's chances: cautiously optimistic.

Most points: 269 (Williams, 1999)

Points are awarded on a 14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis, and it's an area where the loss of the Houston Astros to the American League presents a hurdle, because that means two less ballots and two less chances for Goldschmidt to score points. As a result, with 30 voters, if every one of those put him in second-place, he would finish with 270 points, just passing Williams. But for every five positions he is lower than that, Goldschmidt needs a first-place vote to make up the lost ground. Those top spots are gold, due to their increased weight, and a couple of those would go a long way to securing his place in the record books here. Goldschmidt's chances: shaky.

Most 1st-place votes: two (Williams, 1999)

It's hard to argue with Paul's performance in the other awards. Gold Glove winner? Check. Silver Slugger? Check. Hank Aaron award? Check. But he's also dealing with significant prejudice against first-basemen. Of the 64 ballots cast over the past couple of years, only one went to a 1B - Prince Fielder in 2012. It can happen - and often did, with Albert Pujols - but there generally needs to be clear daylight between you and the other contenders, in order to establish credentials. Has Goldschmidt done that? We'll find out this afternoon, but I'd settle for even one person putting him top, since our only other first-place balloter was Upton in 2011. Goldschmidt's chances: unlikely.

We'll find out after 4pm Arizona time, when the award winner is announced on the MLB Network. Get your popcorn ready....

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