Thursday, September 22, 2005

Preliminary awards: AL MVP

Sure, there are about 10 games left in the season, but I figured why not give my votes for the 4 major awards early.

Here's my 1-5 for AL MVP:

1. A-Rod. I'm not sure why there is a discussion here. If you can even have an argument over who is more valuable at the plate, don't you always give it to the guy who plays the field? And a gold-glove caliber field at that? In a very valuable defensive position? Of course you do. Let's not be confused--I think a DH "could" win the MVP, but not when there has been a batter almost as or as good who also plays the field and plays it well. Just like a reliever should be able to win the Cy Young, but not if there has been a starter who has been almost as or as dominant.
A-Rod's offensive case: 1st in OPS (1.024), 2nd in runs (113), 2nd in HR (45), 4th in RBI (120), by far the best Runs Created per 27 outs (9.37), and also still has speed (3rd in SB among top 20 OPS) and minimizes costly mistakes (only 8 GIDP, low for a power guy).

2. Ortiz. No doubt that even as a DH, he gets the #2 vote as his bat well ahead of #3. Big Papi has some huge hits in the pennant race (although note that A-Rod does too), is #2 in OPS (1.012), #1 in runs (114), #1 in RBI (140), #1 in HR (46). He's the best hitter in the AL right now.

3. Hafner. Easier to pick #3 than I thought it would be. He's #3 in OPS (1.008) by a decent margin. The clear leader on the surprise (probably-) playoff bound team of the year. He has fewer PAs than most contenders, but I don't think anyone deserves my #3 vote ahead of him.

4. Vlad. Here's the big plus for a Vlad vote: He is 5th in OPS (.970) when no one else on his team is in the top 50 (almost 60, next Indian is at 59)! For reference, the Yanks have 5 in the top 24 and Boston has 5 in the top 31. Add to that Vlad's speed, glove, arm, more walks than Ks, etc. and he gets my 4th vote--especially since I don't really see a #5 at all.

5. Mariano Rivera. I see my #5 vote as a complete crapshoot with no one that really leaps out. I'll go with Rivera, whose miniscule 0.84 WHIP, 1.32 ERA and his 2nd in the league 41 saves, combined with his ability to never make a mistake (.457 OPS against, 2 HR against, no wild pitches), makes him the dominant player at his position.


At 5:53 PM, Blogger Mean Dean said...

I agree with your #1 personally, but I do think Ortiz will win it in reality, based on the perception that he is Mr. Super Clutch, and being the RBI leader.

I think I'd go: #1 A-Rod, #2 B. Roberts, #3 Tejada, #4 Ortiz, #5 Vlad

If you're curious, Win Shares: A-Rod 33, Sheffield 30, Ortiz/Manny/B. Roberts/Teixiera 29, M. Young 26, Hafner/Vlad/Sexson/Tejada 25 (Rivera 17)


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