Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado finished in third place on the Baseball Writers' Association of America National League Most Valuable Player ballot, as announced Thursday on MLB Network. He finished behind the winner, Christian Yelich of the Brewers, and runner-up, Javier Baez of the Cubs.
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The third-place finish for Arenado marks the third consecutive season that the Rockies slugger finished in the top five in NL MVP voting. He finished fifth in 2016, and fourth in '17. In this year's balloting, he received three second-place votes and eight third-place votes. His total score was 203 (Yelich received 415 points, and Baez received 250).
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Arenado, 27, turned in another tremendous season, both at the plate and defensively. He hit .297/.374/.561 with an NL-best 38 home runs, despite playing through a right shoulder injury he sustained on a throw in mid-August. His 133 OPS+ was a career high, and his OPS+ has increased in every season of his career.
Defensively, Arenado won his sixth Gold Glove Award in six Major League seasons and also took home his second consecutive Platinum Glove Award, an honor given to each league's best defender.
"I thank the writers for recognizing my body of work," Arenado said in an Instagram post. "I know that playing in Denver, sometimes it doesn't work out that way. But I really appreciate that they saw the best in me. ... I'm proud to be a Rockie, proud of my team. Congratulations to the other guys, Baez and Yelich; they're unbelievable ballplayers and I love watching them play."
Arenado will be entering the final season on his contract with the Rockies in 2019, as the two sides have not yet agreed to an extension. After the Rockies were eliminated from the postseason with a Game 3 loss in the NL Division Series against the Brewers, Arenado expressed his desire to remain in Colorado.
"Obviously arbitration is going to come around, and that topic will come up, but I expect to be in Spring Training with the Rockies next year," Arenado said. "I love it here. This is a business, though, and things can get a little iffy because of the business side of it. But that being said, I expect to be in Spring Training next year."
Arenado became the sixth player in franchise history to finish in the top three in MVP voting, joining Dante Bichette (second, 1995), Ellis Burks (third, '96), Larry Walker (first, '97), Matthew Holliday (second, 2007) and Carlos Gonzalez (third, '10).