2015 NL MVP: The case for the Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt

Major League Baseball will announce the winner of the 2015 National League Most Valuable Player award live on MLB Network at 6 p.m. ET Thursday evening. In advance of the announcement, we'll make the case for each of the three candidates. Here's the case for Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks.

In 2015, Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks proved he's once again on the short list of most productive players in all of baseball. He played in 159 games and ran up almost 700 plate appearances, and over that span he batted .321/.435/.570 (170 OPS+) with 33 homers, 38 doubles, and 323 plate appearances.

Goldschmidt was also quite consistent from month to month, as he never had a monthly OPS worse than .784, and in four of six months his OPS was better than 1.000. Elsewhere, Goldschmidt batted .340/.510/.639 with runners in scoring position and .328/.557/.621 with two outs and runners in scoring position. In high-leverage spots -- which you may think of as clutch situations -- Goldschmidt batted .309/.474/.598. So his numbers were excellent, but they were even better in big spots. 

As well, Goldy was a veritable speed merchant by the standards of first basemen. He stole 21 bases in 26 attempts. Just three other first basemen in 2015 even reached double figures in stolen bases. Defensively? He excelled there, too. In 2015, he led all first basemen in Defensive Runs Saved and finished second to Brandon Belt in Ultimate Zone Rating. Yes indeed, Goldschmidt did it all in 2015, and that's why he's one of three left standing when it comes to the NL MVP award.

Paul Goldschmidt’s best year to date has earned him a spot as an MVP finalist.
Paul Goldschmidt’s best year to date has earned him a spot as an MVP finalist. (USATSI)
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