Baseball is a regional sport, which means fans aren't always caught up on story lines happening outside of their city. Because he has always played for subpar Rockies teams Nolan Arenado has never gotten the national attention he deserves. Currently he ranks fifth among all players in WAR, according to baseball reference. If the 25-year-old superstar keeps up his recent level of play he won't be baseball's best kept secret much longer.
Arenado has always been known for his glove. Since entering the league in 2013 he leads all third basemen with 75 defensive runs saved. The next closest are Manny Machado (now a shortstop) with 56 and Josh Donaldson with 48. Safe to say nobody is catching him anytime soon. He has won a gold glove every year he has played in the league and it is widely expected that he captures a fourth this season since his 1.3 defensive WAR rank first among third baseman and third among all position players.
But what has transformed Arenado from a defensive wizard to one of the best all around players in baseball is his bat. While playing half his games at Coors Field has its advantages Arenado was never expected to hit like this. After hitting a combined 28 homers between 2013-14 he exploded for a National League leading 42 last season. He also led the NL with 130 RBI and 354 total bases. Arenado did this while playing his typical elite defense yet only finished eighth in the MVP voting.
It is fair to assume that a major reason why Arenado finished eighth was that he played for a 94 loss team. Bryce Harper deservedly won the award despite playing for a non playoff team, although one that was above .500. Why that is important is because there is a good chance the Rockies don't play the playoff this year. Arenado has only gotten better since last year's breakout season and once again leads the NL in home runs (18) and RBI (49). Nobody in baseball outside of Manny Machado has the two way impact Arenado does. His combination of power and defense means it's time he becomes one of the faces of baseball.