National League MVP Race
Defense and position
Wright: small plus
Hanley: small negative
My current thinking is that the above categories are the ones I mostly care about, I also consider how important a players wins are to his teams chances of making the playoffs. Not all things "count" the same, but I think it's important to keep all of them in mind.
I think it's pretty clear Chase Utley has been the best player in the national league this year when he has been on the field. But I'm not comfortable supporting him, based on how much PT he has missed. The same can be said for Chipper, though not to the same degree.
I'd also remove Hanley from contention, as replacement level is not the correct baseline for this discussion and he gets a pretty big hit when switching from replacement to average. Couple that with well his team being not good enough to leverage his wins enough to put him in the running with the other candidates, and of course his defense/position which I don't think is as bad as many do, but certainly isn't a plus.
Puljos looks to have a better case than I thought. His batting both in context neutral and context specific situations are only a step behind Wright and Prince. A good month, coupled with a Cards surge could put him right up their with the other two.
Wright and Prince are neck and neck offensively at this point, with a very small edge to Wright. Wright gets the head to head checkmark in terms of defense and positioning which puts him ahead of Prince, though Prince has advantage in terms of the value his wins are providing his team. If one player out hits the other by a considerable amount down the stretch that could sway things, the other factor is the Brewers playoff hopes. If they make it, and both players continue to play as is, then I THINK I would give Price a very small nod, but it would be extremely small. If the Brewers don't make it and both players continue to play at the same pace relative to each other then it's Mr. Wrights in a decision that isn't nearly as close.
This is a really interesting season in terms of NL MVP candidates. All stats from fangraphs.