Reds: Jesse Winker should be leading the NL MVP conversation

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 13: Jesse Winker #33 of the Cincinnati Reds walks out of the dugout. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 13: Jesse Winker #33 of the Cincinnati Reds walks out of the dugout. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

It’s that time of year when the race for the MVP begins to take shape. The disrespect toward Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jesse Winker on behalf of the sports media is embarrassing. What it boils down to is hype over production.

Winker is atop the National League in virtually every meaningful category except for one; mark size. The national media has snubbed Jesse Winker, and his teammate Nick Castellanos when discussing the race for NL MVP.

Fox Sports was the latest media outlet to snub Reds OF Jesse Winker.

When will the madness end? Yet another media outlet left Jesse Winker out of the Top 3 candidates for National League MVP. Fox Sports looked at the three favorites from both leagues to win this year’s MVP Award. Jacob deGrom, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Ronald Acuna Jr. all outpaced Winker, who was in the honorable mention category.

I can easily wrap my mind around the idea that deGrom is in the hunt to become the first pitcher since Clayton Kershaw in 2014 to win the MVP Award. Personally, however, no matter how good a player like deGrom is, the fact that a starting pitcher takes the mound once every five days should severely impact that player’s chances to win the award. Just my opinion.

On to every analyst’s favorite player; Fernando Tatis Jr. Yes, the San Diego Padres’ infielder is supremely talented and he can hit home runs. Tatis Jr. leads the NL in home runs (22), slugging percentage (.677), and RBIs (50). Tatis Jr. is also tied with Winker for the league lead in OPS (1.036).

There is no doubt that Tatis Jr. deserves to be in the conversation for NL MVP. But the way the media salivates over his every at-bat is nauseating. Apparently bat flips and celebratory home run trots are what counts when it comes to the league’s Most Valuable Player.

Finally, let’s get to the one player who every analysts talks about; Ronald Acuna Jr. Yes, just like Tatis Jr., Acuna Jr. is a supremely talented player, but Winker bests the Braves outfielder in many statistical categories.

Winker has a higher batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, and OPS+. Acuna (18) leads Winker (17) in home runs by only one, and the Reds left fielder trails the Venezuelan native by only one in the RBI category as well.

Next. Could the Reds trade for Kendall Graveman?

We’ve seen ESPN’s Buster Olney omit Jesse Winker from his NL MVP Twitter poll, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman dismissed both Winker and Nick Castellanos, and now Fox Sports joins the club. I guess that Winker will just have to keep proving the talking heads wrong.