Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has been named the National League’s Most Valuable Player, according to an announcement from the Baseball Writers Association of America. He was followed in the vote by Manny Machado of the Padres and his teammate Nolan Arenado.
While he’s come close many times, this is the first MVP award for the veteran, who just turned 35 in September. While older than most athletes’ typical best years, he had arguably the best campaign of his career in 2022. He hit 35 home runs and produced a batting line of .317/.404/.578. That production was a whopping 77% better than the average hitter in the league, as evidenced by his 177 wRC+. Coupled with his solid defense at first base, he was considered worth 7.1 wins over replacement in FanGraphs’ eyes and 7.8 in Baseball Reference’s estimate.
Goldschmidt finished second among qualified NL batters in on-base percentage, trailing only Freddy Freeman. He led the league in slugging and was fifth in longballs. Along the way, he was named to his seventh All-Star game. Goldschmidt earned a fifth career Silver Slugger honors and appeared on MVP ballots every season, going back to 2015. He is under contract for two more years on the five-year extension he signed shortly after St. Louis franchised him acquired from the Diamondbacks. trade change.
Machado took second place, the highest of his career to date. He has now entered the top five in the voting four times, including two of his four seasons in San Diego. He hit .298/.366/.531 with 32 home runs and 37 doubles in 150 games. Machado finished 7th in the NL in on-base percentage and fourth in slugging. He earned his sixth career All-Star nomination in the process.
Arenado picked up his 10th straight Gold Glove award this year with a typically outstanding season in the hot corner. He also had arguably the best offensive year of his career, hitting a .293/.358/.533 line over 620 at bats. Only Goldschmidt and Mookie Betts surpassed him in slugging while finishing ninth in on-base percentage. Arenado secured his seventh All-Star selection and fourth top-five MVP finish.
Goldschmidt received 22 of 30 first-place votes, while Machado received seven votes. Arenado was the other player to get a first place finish. Freeman finished fourth overall and was placed second in six ballots. Betts rounded out the top five, while Mets shone Peter Alonso (who finished eighth) was the only other player to come in second. Austin Riley, JT RealmutoAlonso, Francisco Lindor and Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara sixth through tenth, respectively.
Full breakdown of votes is available here.