If you check out the national chatter regarding tonight's National League Most Valuable Player announcement, you're likely to hear that Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is the the frontrunner.
(KSDK Sports) -- If you check out the national chatter regarding tonight's National League Most Valuable Player announcement, you're likely to hear that Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is the the frontrunner after helping his team get back to the postseason for the first time since 1992.
Although McCutchen was only hitting .238 at the start of May, the three-time All-Star ended the year hitting .317 with 21 home runs, 84 RBI, 27 stolen bases, with a .404 on-base percentage and a .508 slugging percentage in 157 games.
He became just the fourth major league center fielder since 1947 to have consecutive seasons of hitting .300 with a .400 slugging percentage and .500 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, joining Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Ken Griffey Jr.
Should he win, McCutchen's 84 RBI would be the fewest of any winner of this award since Kirk Gibson knocked in 76 in 1988.
McCuthchen's other finalists are Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina.
Goldschmidt, who is trying to become the first Arizona player to win this award, was tied with Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez for the NL lead with 36 home runs and topped the league with 125 RBI and a .551 slugging percentage.
He's also no slouch in the field and was recently rewarded with his first Gold Glove award and he won the Hank Aaron Award as the top hitter in the NL.
Molina, meanwhile, set a franchise record for doubles by a catcher (44) and ranked fourth in the NL with a .319 batting average and sixth with his .373 average with runners in scoring position. He ranked in the NL's top seven in multi-hit games (50), three-hit games (14) and four-hit games (four) despite missing time due to a knee injury
He also established season-best marks in RBI (80), runs (68), hits (161), go- ahead RBIs (19) and game-winning RBIs (10).
Not to mention, he's also the best defensive catcher in baseball and recently won his sixth straight Gold Glove Award.