Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Postseason Awards: MVP Award

This is part 3 of my postseason awards ballot. Again, the listed stats are not the only ones I considered.

NL MVP
1. Albert Pujols, 1B, Cardinals - .357/.462/.653, 96.8 VORP, 13.0 WARP1, 6.39 WPA
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2. Lance Berkman, 1B, Astros - .312/.420/.567, 72.2 VORP, 10.9 WARP1, 6.71 WPA
3. Hanley Ramirez, SS, Marlins - .301/.400/.540, 80.7 VORP, 10.3 WARP1, 4.74 WPA
4. David Wright, 3B, Mets - .302/.390/.534, 66.2 VORP, 9.6 WARP1, 4.18 WPA
5. Chase Utley, 2B, Phillies - .292/.380/.535, 62.2 VORP, 10.4 WARP1, 1.47 WPA
Honorable Mention - Chipper Jones, Ryan Braun, Carlos Beltran

The gap between Pujols and Berkman is intentional, to demonstrate how far ahead of everyone else Mr. Pujols was this season. He should be the unanimous MVP. His season at the plate was historically great, and he is the best defensive 1B in the game. Those who feel Wright's struggles with RISP warrant putting him lower on this ballot should note that he was 6th in the league in WPA (a kind-of, sort-of measure of "clutchness").

AL MVP
1. Joe Mauer, C, Twins - .328/.413/.451, 55.5 VORP, 9.6 WARP1, 4.88 WPA
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Red Sox - .326/.376/.493, 62.3 VORP, 9.8 WARP1, 3.29 WPA
3. Grady Sizemore, CF, Indians - .268/.375/.502, 62.7 VORP, 8.1 WARP1, 3.48 WPA
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B, Red Sox - .312/.390/.569, 55.8 VORP, 8.4 WARP1, 2.33 WPA
5. Alex Rodriguez, 3B, Yankees - .302/.392/.573, 65.6 VORP, 8.9 WARP1, 0.47 WPA
Honorable Mention - Carlos Quentin, Josh Hamilton, Milton Bradley

This race is much closer, but I went with Mauer mainly because he plays the toughest position on the field and led the league in WPA. If the award went to Mauer, Pedroia, Sizemore or Youkilis, I would not be surprised/upset.

Check out this link for the Internet Baseball Awards voting. I did not participate, although I gladly would have. Maybe I could take the place of the possibly braindead participant who voted Scott Schoeneweis #2 for NL MVP, and John Maine #1 for NL Cy Young.

3 comments:

Mike Newman said...

I think Mauer is going to be a VERY tough sell as MVP due to his lack of power. Unfortunately, the MVP award is usually a mash-fest. Morneau would probably get the nod before Mauer.

Personally, I'm glad I have both Mauder and Pedroia on my fantasy league team!

Mike Newman said...

As for NL...Pujols is just a beast. Of the other players included for NL MVP, I think Wright is the only guy with Pujols-like offensive ability. If I were a betting man, I would put my money on Wright becoming a truly elite hitter in 2009 on par with Pujols.

Mets Tailgate said...

Mike,

This is a list of who I think is MVP - not who I think will win it. The voters generally use different criteria (i.e. putting WAY too much emphasis on players who made the playoffs, RBI's, runs scored, batting avg). Here's my list of who I think the voters will choose:

NL ROY: Soto
AL ROY: Longoria

NL CY: Lincecum
AL CY: Lee

NL MVP: Pujols (I fear they will choose Ryan Howard)
AL MVP: Pedroia

Pretty close to my ballot, with the exception of AL MVP. As for Mauer vs. Morneau, the stats indicate Morneau probably isn't more valuable than Mauer:

Mauer: .328/.413/.451, OPS+ 134
Morneau: .300/.374/.499 OPS+ 134

They have identical OPS+, although OBP is the more important component, meaning Mauer outperformed Morneau here. Morneau hit 14 more homers.

Mauer, w/RISP: .362/.465/.449
Morneau, w/RISP: .348/.443/.602

Both were beasts in the clutch this year. Morneau has 44 more RBI mainly because there were 88 more runners on base during his PA's than Mauer's, and also because of his homeruns. Using Morneau's RBI total here is not a viable argument, in my opinion.

My biggest argument for Mauer over Morneau is the positions they play. Mauer plays the toughest defensive position while Morneau plays the easiest. How many great hitting 1B can you think of compared to great hitting C? This explains Mauer's far superior VORP. Additionally, Mauer led the league in WPA (4.88), but Morneau wasn't far behind (3.87). Last, Mauer is probably the best defensive catcher in the AL, while Morneau ranks about average or below average at 1B.

Unfortunately, voters are blinded by the RBI, and would probably pick Morneau over Mauer if it came down to those two.