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Harper is MVP finalist, but no Gold Gloves for Nats

Nov 10, 2015, 7:33 PM EDT

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Bryce Harper, to the surprise of nobody, is one of three finalists for NL MVP honors. The Nationals’ young star will have to wait another nine days to find out if he won the award, and if so, by how much margin.

Harper, and teammate Wilson Ramos, did find out Tuesday evening they will not be adding a Gold Glove Award to their respective mantels.

Harper officially was named an MVP finalist, joining Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Reds first baseman Joey Votto. That means those players finished 1-2-3 in balloting conducted by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America prior to the end of the regular season.

The BBWAA will announce the winner Nov. 19, with Harper a runaway favorite to capture the award, perhaps in a unanimous vote. (There are 32 total voters, two from each NL city.)

Harper’s candidacy is as solid as they get. He led the NL with 42 homers, 118 runs scored, a .460 on-base percentage, .649 slugging percentage and 1.109 OPS, while finishing second to Miami’s Dee Gordon with a .330 batting average. He was only the ninth player in MLB history to hit .330 with 42 homers and a .460 on-base percentage in a single season.

If he is selected, Harper will be only the third player in Washington baseball history to win an MVP award, joining the Senators’ Walter Johnson (1913, 1924) and Roger Peckinpaugh (1925). The highest a Nationals player has ever finished in NL MVP voting is fifth (Anthony Rendon, 2014).

No other Nationals were named finalists for the BBWAA’s three other awards (Cy Young, Manager of the Year, Rookie of the Year). Max Scherzer is expected to receive Cy Young votes, though, perhaps finishing fourth or fifth.

The Nationals had a pair of Gold Glove Award finalists in Harper and Ramos, but neither emerged with the hardware. Harper lost out to Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward; Ramos lost out to Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.

  1. philipd763 - Nov 10, 2015 at 8:35 PM

    Neither the Diamondbacks (Goldschmidt) nor the Reds (Votto) had a winning record so the fact that the Nats didn’t make the playoffs will not hurt Harper. Good luck, Bryce!

  2. Sonny G 10 - Nov 10, 2015 at 8:41 PM

    I wished Harper did get the gold glove. Is Heyward really better than Harper? He is pretty good, but my bias is with Bryce.

    • Section 222 - Nov 10, 2015 at 11:57 PM

      Yeah, Heyward is better than Harper. Bryce has a great arm, but he doesn’t cover ground and make amazing catches like Heyward.

      • unkyd59 - Nov 11, 2015 at 7:22 AM

        …yet 😉

      • Section 222 - Nov 11, 2015 at 10:23 AM

        Indeed. Hope you’re right.

      • Candide - Nov 11, 2015 at 9:43 AM

        You know who else doesn’t make amazing catches? Denard Span.

      • Section 222 - Nov 11, 2015 at 10:22 AM

        Actually, that’s not true. He gets great jumps and runs excellent routes. That lets make make catches look easy that would be sensational if made by others — see Roger Bernadina.

        Do you deny that Harper is not as good in the field as Heyward? If so, feel free to make an argument to that effect.

      • Candide - Nov 11, 2015 at 1:18 PM

        Actually, that’s not true. He gets great jumps and runs excellent routes. That lets make make catches look easy that would be sensational if made by others — see Roger Bernadina.

        Bernadina was exactly what I was thinking. He made those amazing diving catches; Denard’s catches aren’t spectacular BECAUSE he gets the great jumps and takes the direct routes.

        Not trying to make the case that Harper is better than Heyward, so I think we might be arguing about a point we agree on. When I think “amazing” catches, I think of Bernadina making his spectacular diving catch (with Stammen behind him in the BP cheering) or Souza’s catch that saved JZ’s no-hitter. Span doesn’t make those kind of diving catches because he’s so good he doesn’t have to.

      • Section 222 - Nov 11, 2015 at 2:36 PM

        Ok Candide, so you basically agree that Heyward is better, but picked on the precise words I used to describe why. I stand corrected.

        Still, not a lot of spectacular catches by Bryce this year, ie., catches that average outfielders wouldn’t have made. His strength in the field is his rifle arm, and that’s no small thing. But frankly, I’d rather he be an above average outfielder and not risk his body on the diving catches. He is so valuable when he’s in the lineup. We really don’t need him to be a gold glover. I hope Dusty will encourage him to keep playing hard, but smart.

      • Candide - Nov 11, 2015 at 4:22 PM

        I stand corrected.

        I think we just had a different understanding of what you meant by amazing.

        Still, not a lot of spectacular catches by Bryce this year, ie., catches that average outfielders wouldn’t have made.

        Agree on that. The most spectacular catches he made as far as I can recollect, were the slide-on-one-leg-with-glove-outstretched variety, which always impresses me, but it’s not the kind where a guy lays out and gets completely horizontal and ends up with a snow cone.

        His strength in the field is his rifle arm, and that’s no small thing. But frankly, I’d rather he be an above average outfielder and not risk his body on the diving catches. He is so valuable when he’s in the lineup. We really don’t need him to be a gold glover.

        I think that dispute he had with the fence in LA might have persuaded him of that…

  3. ehay2k - Nov 10, 2015 at 10:08 PM

    Honestly, I was surprised that Ramos was up for a GG at all. It seemed to me that he dropped, just missed catching, a lot of balls thrown home.

    Bryce was good but he made some mistakes in the field and all of them are of course in the spotlight. I didn’t expect him to win but wasn’t surprised to see him nominated.

    • therealjohnc - Nov 10, 2015 at 11:53 PM

      A lot of Nats fans focused on a handful of plays at the plate, and missed the fact that pitch after pitch, throw after throw, Ramos was a really good defensive catcher. He not only threw out a lot of baserunners, word got around and few even tried. He was very good at blocking balls in the dirt, and was even OK at pitch framing. I do think Posey deserved the GG … but Ramos deserved to be a finalist.

      • ehay2k - Nov 11, 2015 at 8:28 AM

        True. Plus, he did catch 2 no hitters (one was almost a perfect game through no fault of the catcher) so that has to count for something. It’s much easier to criticize when you see every game and the mistakes were painful. 😋

      • Section 222 - Nov 11, 2015 at 2:38 PM

        I agree that Ramos has grown into very good defensive catcher. Unfortunately, the one place where his defensive game is weak is a very important one. How many well framed balls does it take to equal a run that shouldn’t have scored? I don’t know, but I bet it’s a lot.

        Also unfortunately, he’s not a great offensive catcher either. But it’s a generally weak position in the NL, so I don’t see us looking for an upgrade while he’s still relatively cheap.

  4. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 11, 2015 at 2:08 AM

    Harper officially was named an MVP finalist, joining Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Reds first baseman Joey Votto. That means those players finished 1-2-3 in balloting

    Mark, clarify please: the finished 1-2-3 in that order? That is, Harper got the most votes, then Goldschmidt, then Votto? Or they just finished as the top three vote-getters?

    • k286 - Nov 11, 2015 at 7:13 AM

      They finished in the top three. In some order that hasn’t been revealed yet. But Harper will get the most votes, then Goldy, then Votto.

  5. rabbit433 - Nov 11, 2015 at 8:07 AM

    The good news is, no matter who wins the MVP, it won’t change the season’s statistics.

  6. kirbs3256 - Nov 11, 2015 at 9:09 AM

    Has there ever been a MVP final with nobody from the playoffs?

    • k286 - Nov 11, 2015 at 10:23 AM

      1959 was last time in NL. 1991 was last time in AL. So its rare.

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