Paul Goldschmidt’s NL MVP case, from those who know him best

St. Louis Cardinals’ Nolan Arenado is having a fantastic season, but he believes the National League MVP is teammate Paul Goldschmidt

Take a look at the numbers and there are arguments that there will be many contenders in the National League MVP debate. However, St. Louis Cardinals’ Nolan Arenado (one of those players) says all he has to do is glance at the clubhouse locker next to him to see who should win the award…Paul Goldschmidt.

He was in the visitors’ dugout at Coors Field when he got home to face the Colorado Rockies, a team that drafted and eventually drafted him traded him before the 2021 season, all eyes on Arenado. There are the usual questions about his return to Denver and memories of playing with the Rockies, but speaking of his All-Star numbers this season (.300/.369/.550 and an OPS+ of 161 on the way to Wednesday’s game), it’s all about him In terms of the potential MVP discussion, Arenado is as quick to deflect that talk as he is to hitting a hot smash on third base.

“That’s Goldy’s award,” Arenado said, referring to Goldschmidt. “I would have to do a serious run to get that award from him. He deserves it now.”

Cardinals endorse Paul Goldschmidt for NL MVP

“He (Goldschmidt) is about consistency and I think that’s the best way to describe you as being consistent,” Marmol said. “He’s a guy who shows up every day and has a routine that’s second to none. What he does to be ready to play every day is hard to do and not many guys are willing to do it.

“That’s a guy who doesn’t want to get out of the lineup every day. He plays every day… and it’s the preparation for that game that allows him to be as consistent as he is and that’s damn good.”

Marmol’s definition of “damn good” fits aptly with what Goldschmidt has compiled so far in 2022, leading all MLB players in batting average (.329) and base percentage (.413) while beating the National League in slugging percentage ( .609), OPS (1,022) and OPS+ (191). Those are MVP numbers for sure, and Arenado says Goldschmidt’s standing made him a better player over the two seasons the duo was teammates at St. Louis.

“I’ve played with some good players, but Goldy is the best player I’ve ever played with,” said Arenado. “I think he’s a lot better than me. I’m always trying to find ways to get better with him, just like when Tulo (Troy Tulowitzki) and CarGo (Carlos Gonzalez) were here (in Colorado).

“We talk a lot about approaches before bats. I think that really helped both of us.”

Goldschmidt agrees that he and Arenado have become better players by learning from each other. After facing off in the National League West when Arenado was with Colorado and Goldschmidt with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Goldschmidt was traded to St. Louis ahead of the 2019 campaign. Two seasons later “Goldenado” became a nickname for the new duo occupying both corners of a redesigned Cardinals infield.

“He definitely helps me,” Goldschmidt said of Arenado. “We talk about how pitchers pitch and we’re like, ‘Hey, what do you see in my swing?’ or ‘What do you think will happen in this situation?’ It’s nice to have another guy who thinks a lot like me about batting, on the bench to talk about bats and in the cage.

The 34-year-old Goldschmidt was even deadlier against lefties this season, leading all MLB hitters in batting average (.458), on-base percentage (.547), slugging percentage (.847), and southpaw OPS (1,394). His lifetime OPS of 1,042 against lefties ranks third in MLB history since 1974 behind Frank Thomas (1,083) and Manny Ramirez (1,060).

“I think Goldy is our lead. He comes to the base. He drives in runs. He’s our leader,” Arenado said. “The rest of us have to help him. We have to do our part and pick it up and be proud of it.”

It’s a season that could result in the first-ever National League MVP award for Goldschmidt, who finished second with Arizona in 2013 and 2015. Overall, he’s finished in the top six on five separate occasions in his 12-year career, but Arenado, Marmol and many others within the Cardinals organization are hoping this is the season where Goldschmidt finally gets the honor.

“He’s overall consistent with his physical and mental preparation,” said Marmol. “He’s putting together a pretty special season.” Paul Goldschmidt’s NL MVP case, from those who know him best

John Verrall

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