Christian Yelich Claims 2018 National League MVP Award
An otherworldly second half from Christian Yelich not only propelled the Brewers to a come-from-behind NL Central win.
It also, as we learned Thursday night, locked up his first career NL MVP award.
Yelich was voted the 2018 MVP by the Baseball Writers Association of America, topping Javy Baez and Nolan Arenado. Yelich received 29 of 30 first-place votes.
The one other player to receive a first-place vote? Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom, who finished fifth in MVP voting and won the NL Cy Young on Wednesday.
The Brewers became one of the feel-good stories of baseball, coming within one game of the World Series while embracing the role of NL underdog as it battled with the Cubs for a division and the Dodgers for a pennant. Yelich’s exceptional second half mirrored their rise.
He came painstakingly close to winning the NL Triple Crown, finishing with a .326/.402/.598 line, 36 homers, 118 runs and 22 steals. He was the NL’s batting champ -- the first in Brewers history -- and led the NL in WAR.
His OPS after the All-Star break? 1.219.
And in September, as Milwaukee caught the Cubs, then beat them in Game 163 at Wrigley Field, as fans behind the Brewers dugout invading opposing territory with "Yelich 4 MVP” signs?
BA's Matt Eddy profiled Yelich as he rose through the Marlins organization and developed the power we're seeing today. We also wrote about Yelich back in August, and also examined the haul Milwaukee paid to acquire him from the Marlins.
We’d say it was worth the price.
Yelich beat out Javy Baez, who turned in a career-best year as well. He hit .290/.326/.554 with 34 homers, played several positions exceptionally and, in many ways, emerged as the heart and soul of the CUbs.
Arenado, meanwhile, was his typically-tremendous self at third base, winning another Gold Glove while hitting an NL-best 38 homers.