Chicago Cubs: Javier Báez named finalist for National League MVP award

Javier Baez / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Javier Baez / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

A tremendous 2018 season has Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez among the three finalists for the National League Most Valuable Player Award.

This year, Javier Báez posted one of the best offensive seasons by a Chicago Cubs infielder in franchise history. Now, he could cement himself in MLB history for his efforts.

Monday, MLB announced that Báez is one of three finalists for the National League Most Valuable Player award. Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers and Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies are also finalists.

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Báez was the Cubs’ most consistent offensive performer during the 2018 season. In 160 games, Báez hit .290 with 34 home runs and 111 RBI, all career-highs. His 101 runs, 176 hits, 40 doubles, nine triples and .880 OPS were also personal bests.

Unfortunately for Báez, Arenado and Yelich (to a greater extent) also had absurd 2018 campaigns.

In 156 games, Arenado hit .297 with 38 home runs and 110 runs batted in. While Báez led the NL in RBI, Arenado led the Senior Circuit in home runs and finished second to Báez in RBI.

Of course, Arenado plays his home games in hitter-friendly Coors Field, though his numbers are impressive nonetheless. Yelich may have wrapped up the award with his incredible second-half, however, leading the Brewers to the NL Central Division title.

Yelich’s spark lights Brewers’ playoff fire

Yelich hit an impressive .292 with 11 home runs, 43 RBI and an .823 OPS in 318 at-bats pre-All-Star Break. After, though, he hit a ridiculous .367 with 25 home runs, 67 RBI and a 1.219 OPS (256 at-bats).

In September alone, Yelich hit 10 home runs and walked 24 times in just 88 at-bats. Behind Yelich, the Brewers finished September with a 19-7 record, winning Game 163 over the Cubs to take the division crown.

Ultimately, Yelich does not necessarily have the award 100 percent locked down. Still, it would be surprising if he did not win because of how he performed in September.

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MLB will announce the winner of both the American League and National League MVP award Thursday, Nov. 15. Fans can watch the reveal live on MLB Network at 5:00 p.m. CT.