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Team MVPs: National League East

The Game Haus will spotlight MLB names whose contributions have helped bring victory to their teams this season. We will do so by crowning our MVP’s and Rookies of the Year for each baseball club. Today, we continue with the National League East Division.

Team MVPs: Atlanta Braves

MVP: Freddie Freeman, First Baseman

One of the more imposing presences in the batter’s box, Freddie Freeman has more than helped Atlanta bounce back into the playoff picture. In 2018, Freeman has belted 20 home runs and 77 RBI’s. He is also the National League leader in batting average this season, with teammate Nick Markakis at second in NL. Freeman’s batting average has only climbed even higher, averaging a .342 in his last 30 games. Freeman and company will have to keep the pressure coming. Their lead over the National League East is not a very big one.

Team Rookie of the Year: Ronald Acuna Jr., Left Fielder
National League East MVP's
Ronald Acuna is the next big thing in Atlanta. (Sporting News)

Ronald Acuna Jr. has taken baseball by storm in recent weeks, and the league can’t get enough of him. It’s not hard to see why. A rookie known for his defense, Acuna has a .974 fielding percentage and has committed only three errors this season. But it’s his recent batting hot streak that has the whole league talking. The 20-year old left fielder has cashed in 12 home runs and 24 RBI’s in his last 30 games, along with a .342 batting average in that span. Do not be surprised if number 13 of Atlanta is crowned “NL Rookie of the Year” for 2018.

Team MVPs: Philadelphia Phillies

MVP: Aaron Nola, RHP
National League East MVP's
Image Courtesy The Sports Post

One of the highest flying aces in the NL this season can be found in the City of Brotherly Love. That ace is none other in Aaron Nola. In 2018, Nola boasts a 14-3 record from the mound, along with a 2.24 ERA (third lowest in the NL). To add to his breakthrough season, he went 8-1 in his last 15 starts, coupled with a 2.15 ERA. Nola has no doubt earned his reputation as an NL Cy Young Award favorite. But number 27 will need to keep bringing pain to help the Phillies take the lead in the National League East. Plus, a certain Washington Nationals pitcher stands between him and the coveted accolade.

Team Rookie of the Year: Jorge Alfaro, Catcher

Jorge Alfaro has All-Star and Golden Glove potential as a catcher. Yes, he may have nine errors this season. But he also has a .989 fielding percentage as a rookie. That is on par with Chicago Cubs’ Wilson Contreras for best among NL catchers. His numbers are not too shabby from the batter’s box, either. Alfaro has posted eight home runs and 29 RBI’s this season. Given enough time to settle in, and number 38 can be a two-way threat for years to come.

Team MVPs: Washington Nationals

MVP: Max Scherzer: RHP
National League MVP's
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer throws in the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Saturday, April 16, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

Remember that ace standing in Nola’s way to the NL Cy Young Award that was previously mentioned? That is Max Scherzer. Mad Max, this season, has a 16-5 pitching record, along with a 2.11 ERA. On top of that, he has gone 5-0 in his last seven starts, while posting a 1.53 ERA in that time. Arguably the best pitcher in the National League East, Scherzer is certainly well on his way to another Cy Young Award. But as for the Nationals, they are not where they want to be in the division. Plus, they have yet to find that spark to ignite a hot streak. Luckily, they have number 31 on the mound to help them get back on top.

Team Rookie of the Year: Juan Soto, Left Fielder

Not many 19-year old players get many chances to prove themselves on baseball’s biggest stages. Juan Soto got one of those rare chances and has more than proved why he deserved. From the batter’s box, Soto has cashed 15 home runs and 44 RBI’s since his debut this past May. He also has a .290 batting average in tow. Given enough time to get his cleats firmly planted, and Soto could be the next big name in the National League East.

Team MVPs: New York Mets

MVP: Jacob deGrom, RHP
National League East MVP's
Image courtesy of NBC Sports

Baseball fans have to feel for number 48 of the New York Mets. Jacob deGrom is boasting baseball’s lowest ERA. But somehow, he has an 8-7 record from the mound. How can this be? New York, as a team, holds one of the lowest batting averages in the NL and give deGrom little to no run support. If given the support he needs, deGrom could easily give Max Scherzer a run for his money, and possibly become a favorite the NL Cy Young Award. In the meantime, the Mets will have a lot on their plate to get their act together. Hopefully, if they can pull it off, they get to keep one of their star pitchers in their roster.

Team Rookie of the Year: Corey Oswalt: RHP

Corey Oswalt no doubt has what it takes to become a big league ace, even though his ERA is rather high. Oswalt’s ERA stands at 5.16, along with a 2-2 record from the mound. But as the old saying goes, “Rome was not built in one day.” All that Oswalt needs is more time to get comfortable in the big stage, plus make a couple more adjustments with his throwing. If he can do that, he can become an All-Star pitcher out of the National League East in the very near future.

Team MVPs Miami Marlins

MVP: J.T. Realmuto, Catcher
National League East
Realmuto is the present and future for the Marlins behind the plate (Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports).

One of many names asking to be traded during the off-season fire sale, J.T. Realmuto has really become a standout, and one of few glimmers of hope for the Marlins’ organization. This season, Realmuto has recorded 16 home runs and 61 RBIs, along with a .293 batting average. In addition, Realmuto has cashed in seven RBI’s and has averaged a .320 in his last seven games. But will he stay a Marlin? Knowing Miami’s ownership history, that is doubtful at best.

Team Rookie of the Year: Brian Anderson, Right Fielder

Brian Anderson is off to a solid start to his MLB career. Anderson, this season, has helped himself to nine home runs and 54 RBI’s. His .274 batting average is also respectable. However, Anderson is fighting off a slump right now, and has averaged a .186 in his last 15 games. If number 15 can shake this cold streak off, he can surely help the Marlins ease the pain that is the rebuilding process. The fact that Miami is dead last in the National League East does not help things, either. But having Anderson on board could be of great help moving forward. Hopefully, owners Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter will see a future All-Star Marlin in the 25-year old, not just a chance to gain money by trading him.


Featured image courtesy of New York Post
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