The Cardinals are in the middle of a hotly contested National League Wild Card race. Now is the time of year when guys need to step up in a huge way. There have been several players that have made massive impacts this season, but who is the 2012 MVP for the Cardinals?
Without a doubt, Beltran was the 1st half MVP for this club. He is the main reason why the Cardinals got out on such a hot start, and it was great to see Beltran replace some of the production that left in free agency. He has slowed down considerably due to some leg injuries, but he has definitely been a driving force of the Cardinals offense at different times throughout the season.
He got off to a slow start, but he was outstanding for the Cardinals especially in June and July. His hot streak came right when Beltran started to cool down, and he kept the Cardinals’ season afloat with one of his best offensive performances of his career. This is his best season in a Cardinals jersey yet, and hopefully there are many more to come.
Lohse could easily be the frontrunner for the NL Cy Young. In the NL, he is first in games started and win/loss percentage, third in ERA and fourth in WHIP. Also (I’m about to blow your mind), 10 times this season Lohse has given up two earned runs or fewer and has gotten a no decision or a loss. He could easily have 20+ wins this season. He has clearly been the ace of the staff.
Craig is the best hitter in MLB that you have never heard of. Even with a truncated season, Craig has put up huge numbers. He has also been unbelievably clutch. He is leading all qualified NL hitters with a .404 batting average with RISP. In the big spots, Craig has been the stud. He is the future for the Cards at either RF or 1B (depending on the development/standing of Oscar Taveras and Matt Adams).
It is crazy to think about where the Cardinals would be without Yadi. He is having another unbelievable defensive season, but he is having the best offensive year of his career. Beyond all of the number are the intangibles. He plays in a ton of games, controls the pitching staff better than any other catcher, and he is a leader in the clubhouse. Also, his toughness is unfathomable. Even after getting knocked out on a play at the plate against the Pirates, Yadi missed a grand total of ONE GAME!
He is a beast. He is the best all-around catcher in baseball. He is the MVP of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Also considered: Lance Lynn, Jason Motte and Jon Jay
Be sure to tweet @Cardinals, @MLBFanCave, and @KyleOKC with your pick for the 2012 St. Louis Cardinals MVP.