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Arizona Diamondbacks 2018 MVP: Nominations

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Five candidates... plus a bonus one!

Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

There seemed general agreement over four of the five names in the nominations thread (at least, among those who actually discussed the topic...). The final spot came down to between Nick Ahmed and Clay Buchholz, with compelling cases to be made for each. As Jack said about Ahmed, “I just don’t think we can underestimate how much of a positive impact his spectacular defense made for our pitching staff.” Then again, as Jack said about Buchholz, “May have only pitched half a season, but he filled the injury breach like no other player on the team, pitcher or hitter.” Saving us from Kris Medlen and Troy Scribner was a highly-valuable trait, that’s for sure.

With the wisdom of Solomon, let’s simply put them both onto the final ballot, and have six candidates this season. Some of these paragraphs may seem a little familiar, because the players concerned have been previously nominated for other awards, and in those cases there’s no much point in re-writing the wheel!

Nick Ahmed

Winning his first Gold Glove at shortstop, Ahmed finally obtained the national recognition that his defense deserved. We’ve known for a while he was one of the best defenders at the position, but it was nice to see this acknowledged elsewhere. This was coupled with a startling increase in Ahmed’s power. He hit sixteen home-runs, compared to twenty over the four previous seasons combined. It was a very good comeback for Nick, after his 2017 campaign was limited to 53 games by hand and wrist injuries. He was almost an ever-present, with a career high 153 games, and almost 200 more innings than in any previous season. Only Goldy saw more playing-time in the field for the D-backs.

Clay Buchholz

I hope Buchholz doesn’t win, simply because I’ve already had to write two articles about him, and a third would have me leaning heavily on the thesaurus! So, pardon me if I simply repeat what I said about Clay all the way back... on Sunday: “No-one who endured the Lovecraftian sense of creeping dread which was Kris Medlen’s outing, can have any doubts about the saving throw Clay Buchholz provided for Arizona fan sanity this season.” We’d have been delighted had he given Arizona an ERA of four. That he basically slashed that in half, setting a franchise record for lowest ERA by any pitcher with 80+ innings of work, was one of the most remarkably pleasant surprises in D-backs history.

Patrick Corbin

If you’re going to have a career year, the season you hit free agency would be the time to do it. Corbin threw a career high number of innings, reaching 200 for the first time, accompanied by a career high strikeout rate. The 246 K’s Patrick recorded, was the most by any Arizona pitcher since Randy Johnson in 2004. He came within an infield checked-swing of no-hitting the San Francisco Giants on April 17, an outing already honored as the Performance of the Year. With a personal best ERA of 3.15, Corbin deserved a significantly better record than the 11-7 achieved, in large part a result of the offense scoring a total of 10 runs across those seven losses.

Paul Goldschmidt

On May 22, the odds of Goldschmidt even being nominated here seemed slight. For he ended that day batting .198, after ESPN told us, “Paul Goldschmidt’s season-long slump should be cause for concern.” Oh, ye of little faith. He was merely a little late to the party. He batted .328 the rest of the season, with a 1.023 OPS. He picked up his sixth consecutive All-Star appearance, fourth Silver Slugger and despite being all but absent for the first two months of the season, still came sixth in the voting for National League MVP. Despite giving everyone else eight weeks’ head-starts, Goldschmidt led the team in hits, doubles, home-runs and runs scored, as well as OBP, SLG and OPS.

Zack Greinke

Another season, another All-Star appearance and another Gold Glove - Greinke’s fifth of each. He was simply consistent: two-thirds of his 33 starts this year saw Zack pitch between six and seven innings inclusive. But over a nine-game spell from June 23 through August 7, he was near untouchable, throwing 59.2 innings with a 1.36 ERA, and he had a record of 9-1 over June and July. On July 22, he struck out 13 batters: Greinke’s most in an Arizona uniform, and trailing only a 15-K outing, back in 2009 as a Royal, in his career. Going 15-11, Zack became the first Diamondbacks pitcher to give the team consecutive 15-win seasons since Ian Kennedy in 2011-12.

David Peralta

After a couple of years where Peralta failed, for one reason or another, not quite to live up to the promise of his sophomore season in 2015, the Freight Train got back on the tracks last year. In only 27 more plate-appearances, he more than doubled his home-runs, going from 14 to 30 - enough to win his first award, becoming one of the NL’s Silver Slugger recipients in the outfield. This surge did not come with an decrease in average, Peralta batting exactly the same .293 figure in 2017 and 2018, with an identical OBP (.352) as well. The overall result was a career high in bWAR for David, reaching just short of four bWAR, and fWAR was almost in agreement, at 3.8.

Poll

Who was the 2018 Arizona Diamondbacks MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Nick Ahmed
    (10 votes)
  • 4%
    Clay Buchholz
    (5 votes)
  • 13%
    Patrick Corbin
    (14 votes)
  • 38%
    Paul Goldschmidt
    (40 votes)
  • 1%
    Zack Greinke
    (2 votes)
  • 32%
    David Peralta
    (34 votes)
105 votes total Vote Now