When the 2016 Major League baseball season kicked off, the Colorado Rockies didn’t have many expectations and were projected to be a below .500 team.

Although it’s early, the Rockies are only 4 games back of the Pirates for the final wild card spot and their pitching has held up better than most expected.

The fans knew the Rockies lineup had potential and Trevor Story‘s breakout year just helped solidify who would play shortstop for them after Jose Reyes was suspended, but the MVP of the season for the Rockies and possibly the National League is Nolan Arenado.

Arenado, 25, has always had potential, and the organization knew he would continue to improve, but no one saw this coming.

Last season, Arenado hit 42 homers and had 130 RBI’s while hitting .287 with an OPS of .898. And while Bryce Harper ended up walking away with the MVP, Arenado put up better offensive numbers in many statistical categories besides batting average.

The Rockies finished last in the NL West last season, with 94 losses, so it makes Arenado’s season look more impressive considering he had a horrible team around him.

This season, Arenado has continued to destroy the baseball world, as he is second in the NL in home runs (14), third in the NL for RBIs (34) and hitting just under .300. He is also in the top five in runs, slugging and OPS.

Perhaps the most important stat is that Arenado is tied with Stephen Piscotty of the St. Louis Cardinals for the highest WAR in the National League.

Offensively, Arenado is one of the best players in the game, and defensively, it’s not even close; Arenado is the best defensive third baseman the game has seen in a long time.

Arenado, told Jim Rome of CBS Sports Radio, that “Everyone was counting us (the Rockies) out, but it’s a different culture here right now, and we’re playing some good ball and doing some nice things.”

Even after his MVP-caliber season last year, Arenado has still made some offseason adjustments to change his swing.

“The change came, but it didn’t come because I was trying to do it,” Arenado told Rome. “I came with just recognizing pitches, and slowing the game down. I think experience is the biggest thing, and I’m more experienced now, and I’m just trying to look for my pitch. I’m an aggressive hitter, and I’m still going to swing the bat a lot.”

Arenado, who signed a one-year, $5 million contract this offseason, will probably be earn somewhere around $250-300 million when he hits free agency.

If the Rockies can successfully retain Arenado, they’ll be bringing back one of the best players in the league and arguably the best third basemen in the MLB