No. 4: Mike Schmidt’s 1977 Season
1977 was the second of three straight division crowns for the Phillies, and Mike Schmidt played no small part in winning the division. Schmidt led all players with 9.2 wins above replacement that year, as he was truly valuable both on offense and defense.
Schmidt brought the lumber in 1977, smacking 38 home runs and driving in 101 runs. He also came around to score 114 times, making the work easier for his teammates by stealing 15 bases. Across 154 games and 667 plate appearances, posted a .274/.393/.574.
Schmidt’s defense also helped raise his WAR. His fielding was worth 20 runs – two full wins – according to Fangraphs, posting a career-high 2.5 defensive wins above replacement according to Baseball Reference.
Schmidt won the Gold Glove and was an All-Star in 1977, but he finished tenth in NL MVP voting. He received just 14% of the total possible votes. The award went to Cincinnati’s George Foster, who hit 52 home runs and drove in 149 runs. He was worth 8.9 fWAR, so he certainly had a strong case for the award.