Chicago Cubs: Is Javier Baez ready to make another run at NL MVP?

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

On the heels of another walk-off winner, Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez continues his MVP-caliber start to the season. Where does he rank in the NL?

Each league’s Most Valuable Player award marks the highest individual honors available to big league players. We saw Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant earn the top National League honors back in 2016 and Slammin’ Sammy Sosa in the historic 1998 campaign. Last season, Javier Baez finished as the runner-up and has shown no signs of slowing down so far this year.

The MVP has, in recent years, turned into the WAR and offense award. We have seen the last eight NL WAR leaders go on to win MVP honors. I understand that WAR is supposed to determine who the best player is, but is that what the MVP is? Most Valuable Player should be the impact you bring to your specific club. Things that may not always be represented on the stat sheet (or at least not the offensive stat sheet).

The value that Baez brings to the Cubs goes well beyond production at the plate. This guy is an offensive juggernaut in the National League and happens to be one of the best infielders in the game. He makes plays that Kolten Wong dreams he could pull off. He is an elite baserunner and has the versatility to play anywhere on the diamond. He does not have a weak point in his game and is the best example of a five-tool player in the league today.

As it stands on May 22, your three NL MVP candidates are Javier Baez, Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger.