Sunday afternoon saw the fourth cycle of the 2017 MLB season. Wil Myers of the San Diego Padres had the first of the year back on April 10th of the year. He was followed by Trea Turner and Carlos Gomez, who secured the second and third. Now we can add Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies to the list.
Not only did Arenado reach the feat of hitting a single, double, triple and homer in the same game, but he did so in style. Down 6-4 in the ninth inning against Mark Melancon, the closer for the San Francisco Giants, Arenado launched a three-run homer for the walk-off. This not only gave him the cycle and the Rockies another win, but also helped the team complete of their division rivals.
Nolan got the hardest hit out the way early, tripling in the first. He would then follow that up with a single in the fourth inning, and then a double in the sixth inning. Of course, he then put the cherry on top with the walk-off long ball.
I have been one of Arenado’s biggest supporters this entire season. Back before the season began, I predicted Arenado would win the NL MVP. After Sunday’s performance, I just felt it was time to remind fans that they should not sleep on Arenado.
While he may not hit for a cycle every day, he goes all out day in and day out. Now at the moment, Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals is seen as the favorite for the NL MVP. And there is no arguing he has had a tremendous season, earning that title. Entering Sunday’s game, his stat line looked like this: .317 average, 17 homers, 51 RBI, 54 runs and a .609 slugging percentage.
Now, let’s get back to Arenado. He is the leader of the team that holds the best record in the National League. Following Sunday’s walk-off, which was the fifth straight W for the Rox, the team holds a 46-26 record. That is good for the top spot in the NL West, which boasts three teams over 40 wins.
Before his insanely awesome performance on Sunday, the Gold Glove third baseman was mashing with the bat already. His stat line looked like this: .290 average, 14 homers, 51 RBIs, 46 runs and a .547 slugging percentage. He has been red-hot in the month of June. Sunday’s cycle raised his average up to .299 and a slugging percentage of .573.
Now, let’s also factor in his defense. Arenado is arguably the best defender in all of baseball. His current fielding percentage sits at an astonishing .995 at the hot corner in 2017. I mentioned earlier that he is a Gold Glover. But what I did not mention was the fact that he is a four-time Gold Glover winner. I should mention, he has only been in the Majors for four seasons before this year. So yes, he has never been bested for that award during his time in MLB.
He often finds himself on the highlight reel, as he makes some of the most amazing plays with not only his glove but also his arm. The dude is simply a wizard in the field.
So, with all of that said, he is firmly in the race for the NL MVP. Bryce Harper does have better offensive numbers at the moment, yes. And he would likely win the award today if they handed it out now. But given how Arenado swings the bat, plays defense and leads the team with the NL’s best record, Arenado is not far behind.
As we head into the Summer months, this will be a fantastic race to follow. Arenado will win an MVP at some point in his career. I for one, really would like to see it happen in 2017.
I would like to end this post by saying congratulations to Nolan for hitting for the cycle. And best of luck the rest of the season. This writer will be pulling for you as you race for the NL MVP and the Rockies push for the playoffs.