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Andrew McCutchen finishes 5th in NL MVP race

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew McCutchen has finished fifth in NL MVP balloting, behind Bryce Harper (who got all 30 first-place votes), Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto and Anthony Rizzo. Gerrit Cole also received three eighth-place votes.

Harper's season was so good that it rendered moot the usual haggling about the meaning of the word "valuable"; there just wasn't much of a case for anyone else at the top, even though Harper's team missed the playoffs despite him. It's interesting to see two other players from non-contenders finish second and third.

Anyway, it was another brilliant season for McCutchen, who hit .292/.401/.488 and, after a weak April, was the single biggest reason the Pirates won 98 games. 2015 also marks the fourth consecutive season McCutchen has finished in the top five in NL MVP balloting. His consistent excellence over that period has been incredible to watch. He only recently turned 29, so it's way too early to think much about his Hall of Fame candidacy, but seven seasons into his career, he's off to a great start.