Hunter Pence, Buster Posey almost win NL MVP*

Garrett Ellwood

Okay, you're wondering about the headline. There were 680 different players who either had an at-bat or pitched in a game for a National League team in 2013. Out of those 680 players, Hunter Pence finished 16th in the NL MVP voting, and Buster Posey finished 20th. That means 660 players finished below Buster Posey, and 664 finished below Pence. So they basically almost won the NL MVP.

Don't know about you, but I'm pretty proud.

The vote totals:

Player, Club 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Points
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates 28 1 1 409
Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs 15 9 1 3 2 242
Yadier Molina, Cardinals 2 8 4 6 6 1 2 1 219
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals 6 5 4 3 9 1 1 1 194
Freddie Freeman, Braves 5 7 8 8 1 1 154
Joey Votto, Reds 2 8 7 3 4 1 2 149
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers 8 4 4 5 4 1 146
Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers 1 1 2 1 2 3 3 3 58
Carlos Gomez, Brewers 1 3 6 2 3 43
Jay Bruce, Reds 1 1 3 2 3 30
Craig Kimbrel, Braves 1 1 3 3 27
Shin Soo Choo, Reds 1 1 1 4 3 23
Jayson Werth, Nationals 1 2 2 6 20
Andrelton Simmons, Braves 2 4 14
Yasiel Puig, Dodgers 1 2 10
Hunter Pence, Giants 1 1 2 7
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies 2 1 5
Allen Craig, Cardinals 1 1 4
Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers 1 1 4
Buster Posey, Giants 1 3
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals 1 3
Michael Cuddyer, Rockies 3 3
Matt Holliday, Cardinals 1 2
Russell Martin, Pirates 1 1

The four votes for Pence came from Alex Pavlovic (8th), Henry Schulman (9th), Marc Carig from Newsday (10th), and Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (10th). The lone vote for Posey (8th) came from Mike Puma from the New York Post.

I'll admit the Pence votes caught me off guard a bit. He really did have a fantastic season, but I wasn't expecting even a down-ballot vote for him. When I had to come up with 10 names for a National League ballot, Pence never even crossed my mind. Posey did, but never Pence. That might be my own bias (a .339 OBP doesn't get me jiggly in any era), but it's interesting the two Giants beatwriters gave him a vote rather than Posey.

About halfway through the season, a radio host asked me who the MVP in the National League was. After a few seconds of pretending to reflect solemnly on the question, I answered "Posey." And I meant it. Even though the Giants were bad, about halfway through the season, Posey was having a better season than anyone. Boy, that was one miserable second half he had. It surprised me that he got even one vote.

But there you have it: Buster Posey and Hunter Pence almost won the MVP. They were several votes away, sure, but they combined for far, far, far more votes than almost everyone else in baseball combined.

(Vote in the poll!)

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