The Braves produced an NL MVP in 2020. Could they do it again? There are three extremely promising candidates ready to battle for the award.
The 2020 MLB season was as unique as they come, with players rising to meet the challenge of playing during the coronavirus pandemic.
For the Braves, it was a season that proved they have some incredible star power to build on over the coming years.
Here’s a look at three Braves who have what it takes to compete for the NL MVP award in 2021…
It’s been a decade since Albert Pujols won back-to-back NL MVPs, the last time there was a repeat winner. So maybe it’s about time for Freddie Freeman to do it too.
Freeman won the NL MVP in 2020 in a landslide over Mookie Betts and Manny Machado. He did it with career-bests in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He led the NL Braves with 51 runs while adding 13 home runs and 53 RBI. He led baseball in Offensive WAR, runs, adjusted runs and adjusted wins, extra-base hits and more.
The thing is, Freeman’s MVP-level output wasn’t a total surprise. Sure, he took his game up a notch, but he had been building to it for years. He was an All-Star in 2018 and 2019 while securing Gold Glove and Silver Slugger status. It’s reasonable to expect him to continue putting up big numbers. This wasn’t just a flash in the pan.
The tough part will be sustaining those numbers through a complete MLB season. The first baseman did it for 60 games in 2020, but the coming year will be much more of a grind. It’ll take something special to defend his title.