As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, I have the privilege to vote on all of the awards that are handed out by the organization at season’s end. The Stan Musial Award goes to the most valuable player in the league.
1) Buster Posey, C, San Francisco
It’s hard to realize, but 2012 was Posey’s first full ML season and man was it good. He led the NL in WAR (8.0) and won the batting title with a .336/.408/.549 line.
2) Ryan Braun, LF, Milwaukee
Braun’s 2012 was even better than his 2011 MVP campaign. Whether or not you believe he deserves it, his numbers don’t lie. He hit 41 homers and was second in the league in WAR (7.9).
3) Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pittsburgh
It was awesome to see McCutchen blossom into the MVP-caliber player the Pirates have so desperately needed for years. His 7.4 WAR was 5th best in the league.
4) Chase Headley, 3B, San Diego
Headley was a hot commodity during the deadline and he ended up showing why. He ended up staying with the Padres and amazingly put up a line of .286/.376/.498 with 31 homers in the worst hitter’s park in the majors.
5) David Wright, 3B, New York
Wright had a big bounce back season after a 2011 season where he posted just a 1.9 WAR. He hit .306/.391/.492 with 21 homers this season and finished 3rd in the NL in WAR (7.8).
6) Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles
Kershaw led all NL pitchers in WAR (5.5) and ERA (2.53). Somehow he is still just 24 years old. It’s crazy what he has accomplished so far.
7) Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis
I hate him so bad, but Molina put up his best season of his entire career. And in the Cardinals’ first year without Albert Pujols, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Molina hit .315/.373/.501 with 22 homers and threw out 35 of 73 attempting base stealers.
8) Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Milwaukee
Ramirez rejuvenated his career with the Brewers and posted the highest WAR (6.5) of his career at age 34. He hit .300/.360/.540 with 27 home runs.
9) Aaron Hill, 2B, Arizona
Hill was the best second baseman in the NL this year and also put up his best season of his career. He set career highs in BA (.302), OBP (.360), SLG (.522), and WAR (6.2).
10) Jason Heyward, RF, Atlanta
Heyward put together the breakout season that Braves fans had in mind when he was a hugely touted prospect. At age 23, Heyward finished 6th in the NL in WAR (6.6) thanks to a solid line (.269/.335/.479) and very strong defense (21.5 UZR).