d'Arnaud is NL's top performer in DS

October 9th, 2020

The Braves and Dodgers got several star performances as they advanced to the National League Championship Series, but one player stood out above all the rest in the NL Division Series: .

We asked a panel of MLB experts to select the top performer among the two NLDS, and d’Arnaud was the runaway winner, with the Braves' catcher receiving 12 of 13 first-place votes. Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger received the other first-place vote and finished second, while Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson finished third.

d’Arnaud led all players in the NLDS with a 2.092 OPS, batting .600 with two home runs, two doubles and seven RBIs in the Braves’ three-game sweep of the Marlins. He became the first Braves catcher to hit multiple home runs in a postseason series since Brian McCann in the 2005 NLDS against the Astros.

d’Arnaud had some of the biggest hits of the series, including a go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh inning of Game 1, a solo homer in Atlanta’s 2-0 win in Game 2 and a two-run double to help break open the Braves’ clinching Game 3 win early.

That huge series gave d’Arnaud the edge over Bellinger for top NLDS performer honors. Bellinger, the reigning NL MVP Award winner, had a superb series of his own as the Dodgers swept the division-rival Padres.

Bellinger did it all with his bat and his glove. He batted .333 with one home run, one triple and an 1.179 OPS in the series -- and he made maybe the biggest play of the year in center field in Game 2. With the Dodgers holding a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning, Bellinger robbed Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. of a potential go-ahead two-run homer, leaping above the center-field wall to bring Tatis’ drive back into the ballpark.

d’Arnaud’s teammate Swanson also had an excellent NLDS, hitting .400 with two home runs, one triple and a 1.617 OPS. Swanson homered for Atlanta in each of the first two games of the series just like d’Arnaud, including opening the scoring with a solo shot in Game 2. Swanson also went 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs in the Braves’ clinching Game 3 win.