The National League MVP award was handed out by the BBWAA on Thursday night, with the trophy going home with Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger.
We're not taking anything away from Bellinger's accomplishment, but the honors should have went to Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich. Here are three reasons in particular why Yelich should have been named a back-to-back MVP.
3. Main Factor in Brewers' Success
Before Yelich's emergence in Milwaukee in 2018, the Brewers were a middling team in the NL Central, missing the playoffs six years in a row. Yelich put the Brewers over the edge last season, and more importantly this season, leading theteam consecutive playoff berths. Though the team turned it up in September while he was out, they would've never been in such a position without him. This is where the term "MVP" quite literally comes into play. Take Yelich off this team for the whole year and they don't sniff the postseason. As for the Dodgers? They're littered with talent and made a World Series run last year without Bellinger logging anything close to an MVP season.
2. Untimely Injury
Yelich was on pace to repeat as NL MVP, but that came to a halt due to an untimely injury. Of course, we're talking about his fractured knee cap suffered against the Miami Marlins in September. Missing the final month of his campaign certainly swayed the voters, but the bigger question mark is Mike Trout winning the MVP after playing in 134 games (Yelich played in 130). Whatever the case, this award is Yelich's if he played September without a doubt.
1. Beat Bellinger in Most Statistical Categories
Cody Bellinger had a strong statistical year in 2019, but it was nowhere near what Christian Yelich accomplished. Bellinger bested Yelich in WAR, and that was it. Yelich posted a .329 batting average, .429 on-base percentage, and .671 slugging percentage. He led the league in all of those categories in addition to OPS+ (179). As for Bellinger, he slashed .305/.406/.629. Oh, and Yelich stole a staggering 30 bases, as opposed to Bellinger's 15.