2015 Arch Awards: Who was the MVP of St. Louis Sports This Year?

3 of 6

Jason Heyward, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

Heyward likely won’t get many votes from heated Cardinals fans considering that he just passed up a $200 million-dollar deal from the Cards to sign with the Chicago Cubs. On a 2015 Cardinals team that didn’t really have a legitimate standout player, however, Heyward was the MVP, and that puts him into consideration as the MVP of St. Louis sports.

Heyward, who had been acquired (along with reliever Jordan Walden) from the Atlanta Braves for starting pitcher Shelby Miller and prospect Tyrell Jenkins, got off to a slow start with his new team, hitting .217/.261/.349 in April while looking a bit tentative in right field. Heyward quickly heated up along with the weather, though, and he finished with a career-best .293 batting average, a .359 on-base percentage that was his highest total in that category since 2010, and a .439 slugging percentage that was his best since 2012.

More importantly (at least where the powers-that-be that hand out money are concerned), Heyward really got comfortable in right field and earned his third career Gold Glove. Via Baseball Reference’s Wins Above Replacement calculation, Heyward finished fifth in the National League with a WAR of 6.5.

Heyward was by no means the Albert Pujols type of force that single-handedly ignites an offense and propels them to success, but particularly for a team that dealt with so many injuries and so much inconsistent performance across the board, his steadiness at the plate and his excellence as a fielder was a major advantage.

Next: Tay Awesome