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Monday, October 01, 2007

2007 Award Winners Special

AL MVPShould WinWill Win

What's interesting about this award is the fact that people weren't mentioned AROD as the clear winner back in April/May when the Yanks were struggling. Yet, all of a suddent since the AS Break, he's been the clear favorite (and rightfully so). Did his performance magically improve since then?? No, of course not. The team started winning because Cano stopped batting .240, Matsui decided he was able to hit more than 2 HR/month and the Yankees stopped throwing AAA level 22 year olds every 4th day. But yet somehow the above changes are due to AROD's value.

A-Rod's overall number are astounding. He almost single handedly kept his team afloat in April and May and without him, Jeter, Posada and Rivera would be fishing right now. The only way he doesn't win it is if voters give it to Ortiz to make up for robbing him 2005, but that's probably not going to happen.

NL MVPShould WinWill Win
DWTHTBWrightJimmy Rollins
Tent TimeHollidayRollins

Was Rollins really that more valuable to his team than Howard, Utley, or Rowand? Maybe Howard since he is a terrible defensive player, but Utley & Rowand each had great offensive seasons (better in RC/27 than Rollins) AND played difficult positions defensively (2B & CF) well. Maybe it's just me but I find it difficult to believe that a guy who isn't even the most productive (offensively) on his own team (5th in RC/27) is the MVP for an entire league. Because the Mets choked and the Phils won the NL East, Rollins will get the award. Hopefully, someone in the next century, the BBWAA will realize that MVP stands for Most Valuable Player, NOT best player on a team who made the playoffs.

The big question is whether BWAA sent in their ballots before Monday's Wild Card Playoff Game. If they did, then Rollins will probably win, but if they waited (and they should have, as the game was technically a regular season game) then they all saw Matt Holliday send his team into the playoffs with a tying triple and an ill advised head first slide into home plate. He led the NL in batting average, RBI, doubles, extra base hits, Runs Created and was third in OPS. He had a great year, and it's hard to come up with a legitimate reason that Rollins is more deserving other than calling him a "spark plug," whatever that is. If he wins, it won't exactly be anything close to a travesty, but his .342 OBP out of the leadoff spot is not terribly impressive. (30-30 is, but that's beside the point)As far as David Wright goes, he had a great year, make no mistake, but you simply cannot vote for a player, no matter how good he was, if his team has just completed one of the biggest regular season collapses in baseball history.

AL Cy YoungShould WinWill Win
Tent TimeSabathiaSabathia

This one really is a toss-up between Beckett and Sabathia. While Sabathia does have more IP, more 7+ IP 2ER or fewer starts, and a lower ERA, Beckett edges him slightly in DIPS (3.04 vs 3.09----FYI--Chien-Ming Wang was 17th in the AL). Also, Sabathia got wins when he didn't pitch great: 4+ R (6/20, 7/19). So yes, he has gotten screwed in terms of run support relative to Beckett but some of those outings (6/10, 8/10, 8/14) cancel out with the 2 listed above.

Sabathia led the AL in innings pitched, throwing 40 (Forty!) more innings than Beckett. That alone should secure him the hardware, but on top of that he had a slightly better ERA and led the world in K/BB ratio. If Sabathia wasn't saddled with Borowski trying to finish off his wins, there wouldn't even be a discussion.

NL Cy YoungShould WinWill Win
Tent TimePeavyPeavy

It should be pretty obvious that Peavy was the best pitcher in the NL this year AND will win the award. Besides leading the league in Wins, ERA and K's, he had a league-leading 1.03 WHIP and 2.67 DIPS.

The easiest award this year. Webb is a solid, though distant second as Peavy's ERA is half a run better. Most impressively, Peavy allowed 54 fewer hits than innings pitched. Now if he could just start translating that success into the playoffs...

AL ROYShould WinWill Win
Tent TimePedroiaPedroia

Matsuzaka can be eliminated based on his last 8 starts. So that leaves Okajima (who will also be eliminated because of his struggles down the stretch), Delmon Young, and . Pedroia has played good defense at 2B (compared to RF for Young) and Brian Bannister. Pedroia has a great AVG/OBP/OPS and # of doubles compared to Young. It's true that Young bests him in HR, RBI, and Hits. But no player with a .320 OBP should ever win a postseason award. Ever.

It comes down to Pedroia vs. Young and Pedroia's OBP of .380 obliterates Young's aforementioned .320. Plus, Pedroia obviously gets extra credit for playing so well in a pennant race and also not being a whining, spoiled, pain in the ass, who refuses to run out ground balls or even play the last game of the season.

NL ROYShould WinWill Win
Tent TimeTulowitzkiBraun

The only reason Tulowitzki shouldn't win this award is because he plays his home games in Colorado. +6 in HR, +20 in RBI, +.64 in AVG, and +.222 in OPS at home. They ended up almost equivalent from offensive production and Tulowitzki played great defense while Braun played terribly in the field. So on that basis, it should be Tulowitzki. However, we need to properly deflate his stats to take into account Coors Field and thus, this gives Braun a slight edge.

Braun's offensive emergence was nothing less than historic, breaking Ted Williams rookie record for homers and having a higher OPS than David Wright and Miguel Cabrera. However, defense just has to taken into account, especially since Braun led MLB third basemen in errors despite playing only 112 games. He was the only qualifying third baseman with a Fielding Percentage under .900. His range factor was .18 worse than the next worst qualifier, and his zone rating is the only one under .700. He is a great offensive force, but he should be a left fielder. By comparison, Tulowitzki led MLB shorstops in Range Factor and was second to Vizquel in Zone Rating. Oh and he also hit 24 homers and knocked in 99 runs, including a 4 hit performance in the 1-game Wild Card playoff.

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