Mattingly weighs in on NL MVP race

September 23rd, 2017

PHOENIX -- Along with being the beginning of the Marlins' final road trip of the season, the series with the D-backs features two of the top National League MVP candidates.

is pushing toward the 60-home run benchmark and being the first Marlins player ever named NL MVP. Arizona first baseman is a complete player, who hits for average, power and can steal bases.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly was the American League MVP in 1985 when he was with the Yankees.

Mattingly has said Stanton's home run barrage has been fun to watch.

"He's been hitting everybody," Mattingly said. "He seems to have his rhythm back the last couple of days. He's a guy who is capable of hitting two every night, pretty much."

The NL has several deserving candidates, including Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon and third baseman .

Mattingly even praises the consistency and big season of Marlins left fielder , a two-time All-Star.

"G's playing great defense," Mattingly said. "When you look at Arenado, he's so good at third. Goldschmidt is so good at first, but he's also stealing bags. Blackmon is playing center, and stealing bags, hitting homers, hitting for average. I think you look at that complete package of the player, but in general, I think it's that whole offensive package."

As part of the MVP debate is whether a player should be on a playoff team compared to a standout on a squad that's below .500.

The D-backs are poised to be the first Wild Card team in the NL, and Miami is on the brink of its eighth straight losing season.

"In baseball, one guy can't really change the whole scenario," Mattingly said. "If you're one guy on a bad team, and you're having a huge year, you're not really going to change the wins and losses."

Bottom line, if you're putting up numbers, Mattingly said a player should be rewarded.

"I think just the guy putting up the numbers," Mattingly said. "At the end of the day, that's what you're really looking at. A guy who is driving in runs, getting on base, doing kind of everything offensively."

Worth noting

• Trevor Rogers, the 13th overall pick in the MLB Draft, is in Jupiter, Fla., throwing some bullpen sessions. The 19-year-old left-hander from Carlsbad, N.M., didn't log any innings of pro ball over the summer. But he returned to the Roger Dean Stadium complex recently to get some work in. It's basically a minicamp for Rogers, ranked as the Marlins' No. 1 overall prospect by

• Third baseman is on the trip with the team and taking part in batting practice and fielding. Prado has been on the disabled list since July 18 with a right knee sprain, which required surgery. Mattingly noted Prado is not expected to play during the series with the D-backs. There is a chance he could be reinstated and play before the season ends, but that will only be if he is confident he is ready.