The Legend

The Legend

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Bob Walk Picks the Award Winners

The other day I was emailing back and forth with some friends talking about who we thought should be the major award winners this year. Here are my winners for each leagues MVP, Cy Young and ROY. 

NL ROY
1. Corey Seager (should be unanimous)

NL Cy Young - I struggled with this one because what Kershaw did in his limited innings was sooooo good. You have to penalize him some for falling short on innings.  He is awesome so I'm still picking him. 
1. Kershaw
2. Scherzer
3. Syndergaard

NL MVP
1. Bryant
2. Seager
Big drop off after those two.  I have a feeling Bryant will win by a good bit. 

AL ROY
1. Fulmer
2. Sanchez 

This wouldn't have even been close a month back, but holy crap Gary Sanchez is murdering baseballs. 

AL Cy Young.
1. Kluber
2. Sale
3. Quintana

Sorry Red Sox fans, no Rick Porcello for me.  #killthewin

AL MVP
1. Mike Trout
2. Josh Donaldson
3. Manny Machado

The narrative that you have to be on a good team is a bunch of shit. Mike Trout is the best player in the world, but will get screwed out of another MVP. My guess is Donaldson will win. 

Pretty much every stat about Mike Trout this day has him in the same company as Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby and Mickey Mantle.  

Who you got?

36 comments:

  1. For MVP i have your mail person who is going to be very busy starting with five packages that went out today.

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  2. Corey Seager amigo. Kyle is his Mariners' brother.

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    1. My brain knew it was Corey my fingers did not.

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  3. Porcello, Kluber, Sale, & Quintana all have very similar numbers. You can't really go wrong with any of the four, but since none of them are running away with any other stat, I will use Porcello's wins as the tiebreaker and give it to him.

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    1. I actually forgot about Tanaka too. You are right though, any of those guys are good picks. I tend to favor the strikeout guys.

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  4. Gary Sanchez for ROY because Detroit doesn't have a big enough presence in the public's collective consciousness.

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    1. This is going to be an interesting vote. If Sanchez would have came up a month earlier I think I would vote him in. You are right though in saying that Fulmer is very low key.

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  5. I agree with you on all but the NL Cy Young. I'd go with Scherzer.

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    1. I actually picked Scherzer when I was picking with my friends, but changed to Kershaw. I think Max is the most deserving if Kershaw doesn't get it.

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  6. I agree with Twitch on Porcello, it's not all about the wins with him. Just look at his quality starts and ERA. As a fan watching every game I can't recall another pitcher in the Sox organization since Pedro where you really felt like you knew you were going to get a rock solid performance every time out. Given how he was last year I can't believe I even just typed those couple of sentences, haha. Also, Mookie Betts for AL MVP!

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    1. I think Porcello has a great shot. This is just how I would vote. It is cool to see him balance back after that terrible year last year. Porcello has a lot of things going for him so it wouldn't surprise me at all if he won. A lot of voters will only vote for guys on winning teams. That would eliminate the White Sox guys.

      I know I picked Kluber, but I would actually like to see Sale win it. The guy has been so good the last handful of years but could never get over the top.

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  7. Haha JBF.

    Can't argue with many of your decisions. I think Altuve has a shot for AL MVP.

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    1. He probably should be my short list over Machado. By wRC+ Altuve has been the fourth best offensive player in the AL. He is in a virtual tie with Donaldson and only trailing Trout and Ortiz.

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  8. I may have a media bias here, but there is talk in Boston of Mookie Betts winning AL MVP. Though my vote goes to Trout who is so amazing it's ridiculous. Not his fault the team around him is struggling. Whereas Betts has a healthy compliment of people contributing to Boston's success. I think this is a significant distinction. My second place after Trout goes to Altuve.

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    1. I think Mookie could be on the short list. WAR wise he is number 2 to Trout in the AL, but a lot of that value is in defense and base running. I think the drop off offensively in stats like wRC+ takes him down a notch or two. Also his obp is about 50 points lower than Donaldson and Altuve. My guess he finishes 4th.

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  9. Mazara for AL ROY. I'm fundamentally opposed to pitchers winning ROY (or any other award other than the Cy) because they pitch every fifth day (interpret that as they aren't on the field every day like other players). I'm not taking a shot at him, and I felt the same way when Neftali Feliz won the award with the Rangers in 2010. What Gary Sanchez is doing is incredible, but he is doing it on a team that has essentially been out of contention since before he was called up (yes, I know they are close in the Wild Card, but they need to jump four teams to get in - highly unlikely). I understand it's the Yanks, but still less pressure. Mazara was called up to replace an integral part of the Rangers lineup in April and has consistently produced, leading all AL rookies in essentially every offensive category. This is even more impressive considering that the Rangers are, thus far, the best team in the AL. Fulmer may get in the playoffs, but no guarantee he pitches. Unless the Yankees perform a miracle, Sanchez will be on fall vacation in a week and a half. Mazara will still be competing for a championship.

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    1. Mazara would have been in my top two at the All Star break but he tailed off too much while Fulmer stayed steady. I think Mazara probably has the highest ceiling of any of the current rookies, but Fulmer and Sanchez just have been more productive. I use WAR as my jumping off point.

      Mazara 1.3
      Sanchez 2.9
      Fulmer 2.5
      Naquin 2.1
      Kepler 1.0

      While Sanchez has the most, Fulmer has been steady all season. To me that puts him in the top. I know he only plays every fifth day but the impact a pitcher has on one game is so much more than a position player that it essentially equals out over the course of the year.

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    2. That Kepler vote is all for that 3 Homer game... He had two hot weeks, and he's a good young player. The other guys have had much better years though.

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    3. I just put him down for context.....I would never vote for him. The three homer game and being from Germany is what I know about him.

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  10. I understand the logic, we just disagree on measurement. I think (and have always thought) WAR was a theoretical statistic in that there is no way to actually measure how accurate it is. Taking the name literally, we would assume that minus that player, the team would have lost 3 more games (in the case of Sanchez). Since we can't actually measure if that's accurate, I don't think it's a fair indicator (or stat, for that matter, but that's an entirely different conversation). And players don't win awards based on parts of seasons (at least they shouldn't), they win them on complete seasons. That's why averages are better measuring sticks. Which leads back to my original point, Mazara still leads in essentially every major offensive statistic among AL rookies and should, at the very least, be in the conversation (leading that conversation, in my opinion).

    All of that said, I do have to give Sanchez credit. Through 42 games, he is ahead of Mazara's pace. His BA/OBP/SLG/OPS slash line is ridiculous (.327/.399/.710/1.109). Mazara's slash at 42 games was impressive for a rookie (.311/.358/.478/.836), but compared to Sanchez, he does look pretty average. Sanchez is playing out of this world right now, I just don't think you can give him rookie of the year based on such a small sample frame.***

    Anyway, this is why I love the blogosphere - I get to talk baseball with people that care about it as much as I do! Thanks for the post, and even more thanks for the debate. I love it!

    ***I couldn't remember the rookie rules, so I had to check. Players lose rookie status after 130 at-bats, so I guess Sanchez has to and should be considered for the award. Still, I just can't bring myself to mentally accept that he should be in the conversation. I guess I'm the old man that sits on his front porch screaming at kids to get off his lawn.

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    1. He definitely should be in the conversation and if he could have kept on a halfway reasonable pace after the All Star break he would have probably got my vote.

      The small sample is the only thing that is hurting Sanchez. The production is out of this world. It is kind of a similar situation with the NL Cy Young. Kershaw doesn't have as many innings, but they are such dominant innings that it warrants consideration.

      With all that being said that is why I think Fulmer is still the best candidate. It is not clear cut by any means, but he offers the best body of work of the rookies that played the majority of the year in my opinion.

      These are always fun debates.

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    2. With WAR being a cumulative Stat as opposed to a rate Stat, it makes the small sample of Sanchez so far more impressive to me. But I would prefer ROY to go to a player that played all season long. He might deserve a Silver Slugger award for AL catchers, though....

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    3. It really is insane what he is doing. Fulmer looked like a runaway winner, but now people are having second thoughts. Sanchez has been a beast on my fantasy team.

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  11. I'm definitely bias. But Mookie and Porcello get my vote.

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    1. I love Mookie. He has been a sabermetrics darling for a long time. I don't anybody expected this power output from him.

      Porcello has a real shot I think. The AL is up for grabs.

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  12. Biased O's fan here, but, ZACH BRITTON IS THE AL CY YOUNG!!!

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    1. I've been reading a lot of articles recently about his case. Fangraphs had a good one last week. Don't think he would get my vote, but the AL has no clear cut leader so why not!

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    2. He pitched for my rival high school. I could never support him. I'm THAT petty. hahahahahahaha

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  13. definitely biased here, but if arrieta could win last year based on his second half, then kershaw should be able to win based on his first half. howver, for me to really consider him, kershaw needs to pitch enough to qualify for the era title, which probably won't happen since he needs 27 innings and the dodgers only have 11 games left. so, it's probably scherzer. in the al, i would argue that it's ok to give the cy young to a reliever and have zach britton take it home. corey seager for the rest of the awards, by the way.

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    1. Well Seager will win ROY of the year for sure so the Dodgers will get at least one award. I'm having hard seeing a scenario in which Kris Bryant doesn't win the MVP.

      I'm all for Kershaw winning it....I'm fine with him or Scherzer. I have a man crush on Max Scherzer. He is one of my favorite non Pirates.

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  14. Interesting choices, we could debate them all day (and it looks like you have!) I did this a couple weeks ago and had Fulmer, Altuve, and Sale in the AL. I think I'd have to change all three at this point.

    My issue with the sabermetric side is that winning is basically meaningless to them. I'm fine with the CY winner having a 14-12 record or whatever if the other stats are superior, and I'm OK with an MVP from a non-playoff team. But if there are a handful of deserving candidates and one of them is on a 95-loss team, I'm crossing him of the list-- even if he is Mike Trout.

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    1. I guess I just don't understand why the best player in baseball should be punished because he is on a bad team. I don't think it is fair to say winning is meaningless to the sabermetric community, its more that they strive to change the way the traditional baseball fan thinks. Even though Trout has had a statistically superior season to the rest of the AL candidates, Josh Donaldson should win because his team has better players? That thought process is just strange to me. I understand using something like that as a tie breaker when stats are identical like last year, but not this year.

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    2. There is always something to be said about playing games under pressure in a pennant race

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    3. I agree, that is why I don't mind when some voters use it as a tiebreaker. Trout and Donaldson were in a virtual dead heat last year when Donaldson pulled it out. My issue is that playing in a pennant race is not quantifiable. Certain voters will just exclude guys no matter how great the season. The thing is if they do exclude Trout, at least in terms of WAR Mookie Betts would be next in line. I don't see voters giving it to him because he gets a ton of value from baserunning and defense. If Trout can't win that would be pretty cool to see Betts take it.

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