MLB Playoffs 2017: Choosing an MVP for every team
Chicago Cubs: Anthony Rizzo
What else can be said other than Anthony Rizzo is a stud. At just 27 years old, Rizzo has amassed four straight seasons with 30 or more home runs. In three of those seasons, Rizzo has driven in more than 100 runs. To paint a picture of consistency, Rizzo slugged the same amount of home runs and recorded the same number of RBI in 2017 as he did a year prior, 32 and 109.
While Rizzo’s batting average dipped this season, down from .292 in 2016 to .273 this season, he increased his OBP in 2017 by seven points to .392. Along with that, Rizzo compiled an OPS of .899 and an OPS+ of 132.
In 2016, Rizzo finished fourth in the MVP voting, won a Gold Glove, a Sliver Slugger and was voted into the All-Star Game. This season, Rizzo has not entered the MVP conversation and was not voted to the All-Star Game. Despite not getting any love from the MVP-voting community, Rizzo had, in some ways, a better season in 2017 than in 2016.
This season, Rizzo recorded 14 fewer hits than last season. To make up for that, Rizzo drew 17 more walks, struck out 18 less times and was hit by a pitch eight more times in 2017 compared to 2016.
In addition to Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Ian Happ, Javier Baez and Willson Contreras all posted solid offensive seasons. Bryant slashed .295/.409/.537 while Happ and Baez clubbed 24 and 23 home runs respectively. Contreras slashed .276/.356/.499 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 117 games.
Over the last two seasons, Rizzo has racked up the postseason experience. In 2015 and 2016, Rizzo appeared in 26 postseason games and logged 97 at-bats. He has a slash line of .247/.336/.454 with five home runs and 12 RBI in those games.