The 30-year-old has had some excellent seasons and is a five-time All-Star, but is he regarded in a way that makes him seem better than he is?
The answer is no.
3. You Can’t Argue With His Track Record
Arenado has all sorts of accolades to his credit.
He’s led the league in home runs three times, runs batted in twice, and total bases twice.
He is a five-time All-Star, an eight-time Gold Glover, and a four-time Silver Slugger.
It’s hard to argue with that list of accomplishments.
While some players often earn their stripes on the basis of popularity alone (regardless of their season-by-season performance), Arenado had to genuinely earn all of his awards and selections while playing most of his career for a small-market club in the Colorado Rockies.
2. He’s A WAR Magnet
Value statistics tend to love Arenado.
He has finished in the top-eight of the MVP race five different times and for good reason.
From 2015 to 2019, he totaled 32.6 WAR.
That’s a massive number which levels out to an average of 6.5 WAR per season over that span.
Arenado’s elite third-base defense has been a major key to his success in the value statistics department.
Just look at this:
That… Nolan Arenado throw is not supposed to look that easy pic.twitter.com/Icj8MGxUdM
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) June 13, 2021
He’s never finished a season with a defensive WAR lower than 1.4, and that mark even came in the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
On average, Arenado accumulates 1.9 defensive WAR per season, a wildly impressive number.
On the overall topic of WAR, here’s all you need to know regarding Arenado:
- On average, a WAR of 5.0 or higher is an indication of an All-Star-caliber season.
- Arenado has completed eight MLB seasons and averages a WAR of 5.0.
1. He’s Disproving The Theory That He Used Coors Field As A Crutch
For years, the most prominent argument against Arenado was that he owed much of his power-hitting success to the very home-run-friendly Coors Field.
Coors Field, of course, was his home ballpark for the first eight years of his career in Colorado.
The argument was a valid one, as his career OPS away from Coors Field was about 200 points lower than his OPS at home during his time with the Rockies.
But any lasting concerns about Arenado’s ability to produce away from Coors have been put to rest this season.
With a brand new team and a brand new home ballpark, Arenado has managed an excellent slash line of .281/.330/.514 this year.
DOWN 7-0, NOLAN ARENADO TIES IT AS PART OF A SEVEN-RUN SIXTH pic.twitter.com/ReexfBYFHl
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) June 6, 2021
He has 12 home runs and 20 doubles in just 64 games, setting him on pace for 30 home runs and 51 doubles over a full 162.
He is well on his way to his sixth All-Star selection, and he is doing it despite playing in a ballpark (Busch Stadium) that ranks 28th in home run rate.
While Arenado’s MVP-caliber years may be behind him, he’s still an excellent player who is a net positive in nearly every category.
There is no real argument to support the claim that he is overrated.