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2014 AZ SnakePit Awards, MVP: Paul Goldschmidt

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The ballots have been counted, and despite missing two months of the season, Paul Goldschmidt did more than enough to cruise to a comfortable victory as this season's MVP for the Diamondbacks.

Voting
  1. 52% Paul Goldschmidt
  2. 19% Evan Marshall
  3. 19% Josh Collmenter
  4. 4% David Peralta
  5. 3% Ender Inciarte
    3% A.J. Pollock

Paul Goldschmidt repeats his 2013 success as the Diamondbackls Most Valuable Player, taking home that 'Pittie for the second consecutive season. It was less of a landslide this time around than last year, when he received 14 of 15 first-place votes [we did a 3-2-1 rather than a straight poll], but Goldie still managed to snag a majority of all ballots cast. It looked like it was going to be a lot closer in the early stages, with both Marshall and Collmenter receiving a lot of votes out of the gate, but Goldschmidt pulled away down the stretch. He's now tied with Brandon Webb, as the only players with multiple MVPs. Can Paul make it three in 2015?

Most Valuable player: Paul Goldschmidt

It was appropriate that Goldschmidt scored the first run of the 2014 season for the Arizona Diamondbacks because, as he has done almost continually since making his debut in 2011, he was the engine-room which powered our offense. Even though he missed almost one-third of the season, no-one on the team had more hits [Aaron Hill matched Paul's 122 hits], and he also led the team in walks, doubles and home-runs, despite sitting out the last 53 games of the season. Of course, he was also first in BA, OBP, SLG and OPS (min 300 PA) and his OPS+ of 158 was 46 points better than the next-best, David Peralta.

Goldschmidt had 35 multi-hit games and on three occasions this season came within a triple of hitting for the cycle. He also continued one of the most spectacular streaks of dominance, in his complete ownership of Tim Lincecum. The two faced off on 11 occasions, with Goldie being retired only four times. The other seven led to two walks and five hits, two of them home-runs, with a total of six RBI and a line on the season of .625/.636/1.500. Above, you'll find their first encounter of the 2015 season, which more or less set the tone: Goldie started the year against Timmeh going two-run homer, single, flyout, three-run homer.

It's safe to say his talents mean Goldschmidt is no longer flying under the radar with regard to national recognition. That became clear in July when, after initially trailing Adrian Gonzalez, he became the first Diamondback voted in to the starting line-up for the All-Star game in 13 seasons, topping the ballot at first with over 3.5 million votes to make his second ASG. He was given the honor of hitting clean-up for the National League and, although he went hitless in three at-bats, showed off some of his Gold Glove defense. to take away a hit from Josh Donaldson with the scores tied in the fifth inning.

And then, on August 1, Goldschmidt was broken. He'd played 108 of the previous 109 games in their entirety, and this one was already a dispiriting loss when he was called upon to pinch-hit in the ninth, the Pirates having scored eight times in the previous two innings, overturning a 4-1 Diamondbacks lead after seven. An 0-1 pitch from Ernesto Frieri sailed up and in, smacking Goldschmidt square on the back of his left hand. At first, it didn't seem too bad. He stayed in the game, initial X-rays were inconclusive and Paul said, "It felt OK, but obviously there’s still some pain because it hit it pretty good. don’t know what it would feel like if it was or wasn’t anything wrong with it."

But further examination revealed the hand had, in fact, been fractured, and Goldschmidt was placed on the DL the following day. He said, "I was holding out hope. I was staying pretty positive, wasn't trying to think about it being broken. But I knew it was a possibility. There was some swelling. I knew there was something, but I was hoping … it was a bad bruise or something like that." He was keen to get back too: "I want to play, play every day, as much as I can. I'll work hard at the rehab, and if there's a way to speed it up as much as I can while being smart about it, I'll do anything that they'll allow."

While he did take batting practice at the end of September, the hand had a different idea, and that was the end of Goldschmidt's season. Without him, the team spiraled down to the worst record in the majors, going 16-37 after Paul suffered the injury. The good news is, reports indicate the recovery has gone well, with no need for surgery to repair the damage and Goldschmidt reporting no pain in the hand. All being well, he should be 100% by the time Opening Day rolls around in a couple of months, and that can only be good news for D-backs fans. We saw exactly what the team without Goldie was like last season: it wasn't pretty, and we'd rather not see it again.

Summary

This concludes the voting for the 2015 AZ SnakePit awards - thanks to all who took part in choosing both the nominees and the eventual winners. Here is a full list of the winners this time round - the complete list, going back to the inaugural awards in 2006, can be found here. I'm sure this year will bring another batch of performances to honor, and I look forward to the 10th annual 'Pitties after the end of the season.

Most Valuable Player
1. Paul Goldschmidt
2. Josh Collmenter
3. Evan Marshall

Pitcher of the Year
Josh Collmenter

Unsung Hero
Evan Marshall

Honorable mention: Vidal Nuno

Rookie of the Year
David Peralta
Honorable mention: Ender Inciarte

Game of the Year
5/17: Killing Kershaw

Performance of the Year
5/29: Josh Collmenter's imperfect game

Play of the Year
8/8: David Peralta steals home