2013 Preseason Awards: National League MVP

Last season, Buster Posey narrowly escaped a repeat campaign from Ryan Braun to claim his first MVP award. This season, both men will make a run at the award and will likely finish in the top five or six spots in the voting.

But the award will go to the game’s best hitter.

Posey is the best hitting catcher and the leader of a great pitching staff. Braun is a great hitter, but adds a good amount of value on the bases. Tulowitzki brings lots of value with his defense and his position. Heyward is a great all-around player.

The guy I’m picking here is the best at the plate. He’s no slouch in the field, but he is king in the box.

And the award will go to…

Joey Votto

Joey Votto (1B – Reds)

Dude, Votto is ridiculous. He missed time last season with a bad knee, but for the 111 games he was on the field, no one was on the same planet at the dish. Not Miguel Cabrera. Not Mike Trout.

He hit .337/.474/.567 with a league leading .438 wOBA and 177 wRC+. He failed to qualify for the batting title because of the injury, but it’s not like he did this in 50 games. This was 111 games and 475 plate appearances. And it’s not like he doesn’t have a history of being awesome.

Add this together with his preposterous ability to never hit infield popups or foul balls you have the most can’t take your eyes off him batter in the game. He’s a strong defender too.

Votto got on base more than 5% more than Joe Mauer last season and Mauer was the second best on base guy in the league. Votto walked in 19.8% of his plate appearances. And struck out in fewer. His power is insane.

He’s just the best.

The knee looks good this Spring, so we can assume he’s healthy and only has one other season in which he played fewer than 150 games. He’s 29 and in his prime and, for my money, the best hitter in the sport.

As an opposing pitcher, no one scares me more than Votto. As someone who loves baseball, he’s amazing to watch and will be an MVP worthy of your attention this season.

Think Posey or Braun will outdo Votto in 2013? Sound off, but don’t you dare say RBI!

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