David Wright: Where Does the New York Mets Third Baseman Rank in MVP Voting?

Baily Deeter@@deetersportsSenior Writer IIIJuly 18, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 17:  David Wright #5 of the New York Mets hits a double in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 17, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

David Wright has had one heck of a season for the New York Mets.

Wright is hitting .346 with 11 homers and 59 RBI. The star third baseman has an astounding .437 on-base percentage, and he has only two more strikeouts than walks.

If it wasn't for Wright, the Mets would probably be in last place or at least ten games back of the first-place Nationals.

While the Mets have recently fallen on hard times (they have lost five in a row and are 7.5 GB of Washington), Wright certainly hasn't. He is still very patient, and he is making contact with the ball. Wright has a 17 percent strikeout rate and a .417 batting average on balls in play.

There's no doubt that Wright has been great and has bounced back from his injury. However, there have been a lot of other players like that in the NL.

Andrew McCutchen has a .374 batting average for the first-place Pirates, and he has been absolutely dominant this year, hitting 22 home runs.  While fellow MVP candidate Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants has just eight big flies, he also boasts a .353 batting average.

Oh, and there are some other contenders.

Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz has a .350 batting average and 14 home runs, and Joey Votto has a .342 batting average (although he is hurt now).

It's safe to say that Wright will have some serious competition for NL MVP. Still, he will definitely be in the conversation—provided he avoids a major slump.

If the season ended today, McCutchen would have to get the MVP nod. Unless McCutchen gets into a major slump, it's to see him failing to win MVP. His outstanding defense in center field and his outstanding hitting would net him the trophy. He is among the league leaders in homers, RBI, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS.

However, it's who will follow McCutchen in the voting that interests me.

Cabrera has played great defense and is hitting very well. He doesn't strike out much, he knows how to hit the ball into the gaps, and he knows how to get on base and drive in runs. People think Cabrera will go on a major slump, but he has been remarkably consistently this year. As long as he continues to hit like he's been hitting, Cabrera will compete with Wright for second place.

Carlos Ruiz will also be a factor in the MVP voting.

Ruiz is hitting .350 and has 14 homers, but I think Wright is ahead of him in MVP voting. Wright has a much higher OBP, 10 more RBI and 35 more walks. Eventually, Ruiz's inability to take pitches will hurt him, and his batting average will decline.

Wright's incredible patience makes him very tough to pitch to. He has finally avoided major injuries, and, because of that, he is wreaking havoc on pitchers. I don't think Wright will go into a major slump, and I think he and Cabrera will have a batting average around .335 by season's end.

Expect Wright to finish second or third in MVP voting at the end of the season.

But for now, Wright would edge out Melky Cabrera and finish second. Cabrera has made a huge impact in San Francisco, but Wright has done the same for the Mets. Wright has a much higher OBP, and he has three more homers, 13 more RBI, and 28 more walks.

The Mets star has been amazing this year, and he deserves to be in the conversation for MVP. As long as Wright doesn't start to chase pitches, he will finish in the top five. He has been very, very valuable to his team, and he may be the most valuable player in the league.

After all, isn't that what the MVP award is all about?


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