Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Baseball is Poop - Postseason Awards

Here are my picks for baseball's major awards:

NL MVP: Joey Votto
I can't believe I am saying this but it seems like when you have a guy as good as the Magnificent Pooh Holes you could make a reasonable case for him every year. So when someone new is almost as good, that player gets the nod. This happened several years with Michael Jordan. But in this case Votto and Pooh Holes are so similar (Votto by .014 in OPS, Pooh Holes by 3.7 in VORP, Votto by .3 in WAR) it's basically a toss-up. So I will go with Votto because his team is better. I know that's an old school writers' way of deciding MVP but in this case I think Votto did provide more value to his team in intangible ways as well. Carlos Gonzalez had a great season and is an obvious third choice but doesn't really warrant being in this discussion.

you know you're good if I pick you over Pooh Holes.  This division title celebration has a lot to do with it

AL MVP: Josh Hamilton
Another close two person race. I really wanted give this to Jose Bautista, but clubbing a lot of home runs is not enough. If you are only judging by old school stats, you'd see Cabrera with 6 more homers and 26 more RBI than Hamilton. And even an extra 46 walks. But Hamilton still has the better OPS (1.044, best in the majors this year) because of 30 fewer ABs. Hamilton has the superior VORP, and the better WAR by a lot. Hamilton's 8.0 is best in the majors, while Cabrera's 6.2, is not even in the top 10. And when you go back to wins and losses, and the intangibles, I think you'd have to go with Hamilton once again for making his contributions to a winning team.

NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay
I think it would be hard to dispute this one. At one point we thought it would be Ubaldo Jimenez, but he fell so hard his ERA is worse than R.A. Dickey's. Josh Johnson has a better ERA than Halladay, but he did it in 70 fewer innings, which certainly means a lot. And the fact Halladay has 10 more wins is not merely the product of playing on a much better offensive team. Adam Wainwright also had a spectacular year but he doesn't have one thing as good as Halladay's. It's almost like John Tudor in 1985. He had one of the best seasons of the past 30 years, but he finished second in pretty much every category to Gooden.

AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez
This is the one you can argue about. And I know he is not going to win it with only 13 wins, but he's like Good Will Hunting. It's not your fault, Felix, it's not your fault. Here's his key stats: 2.27 ERA, 3.04 FIP, 6 CGs, 249 2/3 innings, 232 Ks and a 6.2 WAR. Those are amazing stats but one thing jumps out at me, his FIP is much higher than his ERA. That normally happens with low ERAs, but it brings me to something. If Felix is given a pass for his low win total because his team never scored any runs for him, then should we look at his ERA differently because his team made a concerted effort to focus on run prevention? If it doesn't go to Felix (which it won't) you could give it to David Price (probably will). Price was 19-6, exactly 6 games better than F-Her, his WAR is similar, 6.0, but his ERA (2.72) and FIP (3.42) are significantly worse. So if you give it to price the only stat it's based on is more wins, a stat that everyone knows is the worst judge of a pitcher's performance. The other option is Clay Buchholz whose ERA (2.33) is close to Felix's but check out his FIP (3.61), meaning he also benefitted from a team focused on run prevention. Buchholz went 17-7, but he had six fewer starts and 76 fewer innings than Felix. Any voter not picking Felix first is doing so based on wins and wins alone, and showing himself unworthy of the vote.

Felix Hernandez is going to get robbed
NL Rookie of the Year: Jaime Garcia
One of the best rooke crops in years. Jason Heyward (.849 OPS, 18 HRs, 72 RBI), Ike Davis (.791, 19, 71) and Gabby Sanchez (.788, 19, 85) all could have won the award in other years with a weaker class. I'm even impressed with Atlanta relief pitcher Jonny Venters who had a 1.95 ERA in 83 innings. But Jaime Garcia finished 4th in the NL with a 2.70 ERA and his 13-8 record making his pitching performance more remarkable than any of the above mentioned hitters.

Jaimie Garcia tops a great rookie class in the NL

AL Rookie of the Year: Austin Jackson
The pickings are slimmer in the American League so I am going with Jackson over his teammate Brennan Boesch and Rays pitcher Wade Davis. His .745 OPS doesn't impress me (10 3Bs but only 4 homers) but his 27 steals in only 33 attempts certainly adds to his resume. Jackson's 3.6 WAR is also much better than Boesch and Davis, showing his contributions in other areas.

Austin Jackson tops a weal AL rookie class

Manager of the Decade: Buck Showalter
The Orioles were 34-23 with Showalter as the manager and 32-73 with other guys. Enough said.


master bates said...

NL ROY should be buster posey. he had better or similar numbers to heyward and davis in every category in 100 less at bats. and he also played in a penant race. I dont think its close.

Paul said...

You are absolutely right. I forgot Posey because the site I used to sort rookies didn't include him because he only had 436 PAs. He definitely is better than all those offensive players I named, with an .862 OPS as a catcher. I will still choose Garcia though.