Discussing MVP votes in late June is a rather pointless exercise. Players fade late in the season or get injured or just not perform as well.
But it’s not too early to at least put a working list together and show how valuable a player like Andrew McCutchen is to his team. After I gave him a hard time for a powerless April, McCutchen has exploded in May (practically carrying the team offensively through their doldrums) and kept it going in June (this month he’s had help).
In May his OPS was 1134 and in June, to date, it is 1075. His overall OPS of 971 correlates to an OPS+ of 168. By itself, that 168 OPS+ is good for 4th in the National League behind only Joey Votto (205 OPS+), David Wright (186), and Ryan Braun (171). That’s good company.
But what is even more fascinating is the fact that McCutchen has been a man on an island practically this whole year. Until Pedro Alvarez’s recent power spike, the only player on the team with an OPS+ above 100 was McCutchen. As it stands today, McCutchen has a 60 point gap between his next closest teammate in Pedro Alvarez (168 to 108).
Until this past weekend, there was no other team in the NL where there was only one player with an OPS+ above 100. McCutchen’s 60 point spread is the 3rd largest in the NL, behind Votto’s 74 (Todd Frazier has a 131 OPS+) and David Wright’s 62 (Lucas Duda has a 124 OPS+). As you can see, those two guys have had very capable wingmen to help them carry the load.
Hopefully the power surge from Alvarez is real and he will lessen that gap, while McCutchen maintains his fantastic OPS+ of course, but that remains to be seen. What is known, though, is that McCutchen’s profile has been increasing exponentially around the league and on a national level. If things stay the course they are on right now, it would not be surprising to see him garner significant votes in the NL MVP race.