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Andrew McCutchen named an MVP finalist

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Justin K. Aller

Andrew McCutchen has been named an MVP finalist, along with Clayton Kershaw and Giancarlo Stanton.

Personally, I don't see why a pitcher shouldn't win this award if he was the most valuable player in his league, and I think Kershaw was this year. A starting pitcher only plays once every five days, but has such a disproportionate impact on the games he does start that it seems obvious to me that a pitcher could be more valuable than any position player in his league.

That said, this was another extraordinary season for McCutchen, who actually slightly improved his offensive numbers this season from his MVP campaign last year. WAR doesn't give McCutchen as much credit as it did this year, but that's mostly because of differences in his defensive numbers, and I didn't see a massive change in McCutchen's level of skill. He was probably about an average defender both years. If anything, McCutchen's great season was overshadowed somewhat by Josh Harrison's out-of-nowhere performance and the buffet of intangibles that is Russell Martin. McCutchen probably won't win the award again this year, but it's great to have another excuse to celebrate him.