Hey, it’s not as stupid as it sounds! No, Yoenis Cespedes will not win the National League MVP. But if he keeps up his current pace, he could be in the discussion. And there is precedent for such talk.
In 2008, the Dodgers acquired Manny Ramirez from the Red Sox on July 31 and he simply exploded, batting .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs. The Dodgers were in second place, two games back, and Ramirez helped propel them to the division title. He finished fourth in the MVP vote.
The Mets also got Cespedes on July 31, when they were also two games out of first place, oddly enough. We know where they are now. In 22 games Cespedes has seven home runs and 20 RBIs. At that pace he will finish his Mets season with 19 homers and 54 RBIs, even better numbers than Ramirez. Of course, Cespedes is hitting “only” .306 — a far cry from nearly .400, but still very good.
It is likely Bryce Harper and Paul Goldschmidt will battle it out for the MVP. But voters like guys who play for winning teams, and neither of those players does (assuming the Mets beat out the Nationals). The probable playoff teams do not have any obvious MVP candidates, although players like Anthony Rizzo, Adrian Gonzalez and Andrew McCutchen will get some votes.
The Mets also have no obvious candidates, which is why people will start talking about Yoenis Cespedes if he and the Mets keep up their current paces. It probably won’t happen unless Cespedes somehow gets even hotter. But the Mets have never had an MVP, so it’s nice to dream.