It’s been quite a turn of events for the San Diego Padres and they’ve had someone new emerge as a likely candidate to win the NL MVP in 2020.
For three-fourths of the 2020 season, it looked as if the San Diego Padres had a lock on having the NL MVP winner on their team.
That could still be true, but it might not be the person we all thought it would be.
Fernando Tatis Jr. has cooled off significantly in September and is no longer the favorite to win the MVP award.
But one of his teammates has certainly entered the discussion late.
You all remember the guy the Padres signed for 10 years and $300 million? The guy everyone tried to write-off after a down first season in San Diego? Yea, that guy, Manny Machado.
Well, he’s suddenly the best player on the team and will be leading this team into the postseason for the first time in 14 years.
After a slow start in July, Manny has been the most consistent hitter for the Padres hitting .324 in August and .338 so far in September.
On FanGraphs, he’s still behind Tatis in WAR at 2.9 to 2.7.
But Machado is second in the NL in home runs with 16, sixth in runs with 42, third in RBI with 47, eighth in stolen bases with 6, 11th in average at .314, 16th in OBP at .378, 10th in wRC+ at156, eighth in slugging at .605, and seventh in OPS at .983.
Now, those numbers and rankings aren’t good enough for Manny to win the MVP. Freddie Freeman, Juan Soto, and Mookie Betts are probably the favorites for the award right now.
But Manny certainly deserves to be in the conversation as he’s helped lead this young team to the postseason and carried them in September while Tatis has been struggling.
Let’s not forget that Manny has also been very solid defensively at third base where he has 7 DRS this year, according to FanGraphs.
It’s really great as a Padres fan to see Manny stepping up and leading this team, which is what he was signed to do. We all know Tatis is the future of this team and will have plenty of chances to win an MVP in the future.
But this is Manny’s time to shine, and I hope he finishes off the season on fire and is able to at least finish in the top three of the MVP vote.