Baseball players and baseball writers don’t necessarily agree on much, but Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt winning the Players Choice award Friday night as the National League Outstanding Player may be a harbinger of another announcement to be made less than two weeks from now.
On Nov. 17, the Baseball Writers’ Association will announce its Most Valuable Players for both the National and American Leagues and Goldschmidt almost certainly will be one of the three top vote getters for the NL award. “Finalists,” as they are called, will be announced on Monday for all the BBWAA major awards — MVP, Cy Young Award, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year.
Since the Major League Baseball Players Association began its Players Choice awards in 1992, 63 percent (or 19 out of 30) winners of the National League Outstanding Player award later have been named MVPs that year by the writers.
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The last Cardinal to win either award was Albert Pujols, who won both MVP and Players Choice honors in the National League in 2008 and 2009.
Goldschmidt, interviewed on ESPN, said the Players Choice award was a “huge honor.
“There are so many great players and such a long season. ... I’m just very thankful and excited,” said Goldschmidt. “To have the players vote you in, those are the players you’re competing against and competing with. That means a lot.
“I just try to go out and do my best,” said Goldschmidt, who won out over Los Angeles first baseman Freddie Freeman and Atlanta third baseman Austin Riley.
"There's so many guys out there who deserve this vote. It's definitely a great honor to represent the Players in the National League." - Paul Goldschmidt— MLBPA (@MLBPA) November 4, 2022
⁰🏆 Congratulations 2022 Players Choice Awards NL Outstanding Player... PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT 🏆
⁰@Cardinals | #PCA2022 pic.twitter.com/xNwnkFZb2Z
Cardinals teammate Nolan Arenado also will be a strong MVP candidate, but Goldschmidt seems to trump the rest of the National League in that he ranked first in Offensive War at 7.5, slugging percentage at .578 and OPS at .981.
He was second in runs batted in at 115, third in batting average at .317 and tied for fifth in home runs with 35.
Goldschmidt also was a finalist for the Players Choice top overall Player of the Year, but that award went to the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who set the American League home run record at 62 and beat out Goldschmidt and two-way star Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels. Judge also was voted the American League Outstanding Player.
Other Cardinals who were finalists in the Players Choice balloting were Pujols, who finished behind Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr., for National League Comeback Player and rookie Brendan Donovan, who finished behind Atlanta right-hander Spencer Strider as the Outstanding Rookie.
Donovan could find himself in the top three of writers’ balloting for National League Rookie of the Year, as could Oliver Marmol, who has a good chance to be a finalist for the Manager of the Year award in his first season as a big-league manager.
His predecessor, Mike Shildt, won the award in his first full season as a big-league manger in 2019.
In other Players Choice Awards, former Cardinal Sandy Alcantara, the Miami Marlins’ ace, was voted Outstanding Pitcher in the National League. Alcantara was 14-9 with a 2.28 earned run average.
Houston’s Justin Verlander was named the American League Outstanding Pitcher and Comeback Player and Seattle outfielder Julio Rodriguez was the AL Outstanding Rookie.
New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor won the MLPBA’s Marvin Miller Man of the Year award and former Montreal Expos pitcher and native Missourian Steve Rogers won the Curt Flood award.