2017 IBWAA Season Awards Ballot

I am a lifetime member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America. Over the past few years, one of my last acts of the regular baseball season is to submit my ballot for the IBWAA Season Awards. This year, I have decided to share my vote with the readers at Cubs Den. Before we begin, it is fair to let everyone know that I am one who considers the MVP and the Cy Young as separate but equal awards. I do not feel a pitcher should be considered for the league MVP unless he has a truly historic season. 

AL MVP AL CY YOUNG AL ROY AL MANAGER AL RELIEVER
1 Jose Altuve, Hou Corey Kluber, Cle Aaron Judge, NYY Terry Francona, Cle Craig Kimbrel, Bos
2 Aaron Judge, NYY Chris Sale, Bos Yulieski Gurriel, Hou AJ Hinch, Hou Ken Giles, Hou
3 Jonathan Schoop, Bal Craig Kimbrel, Bos Andrew Benintendi, Bos John Farrell, Bos Roberto Osuna, Tor
4 Marwin Gonzalez, Hou Luis Severino, NYY
5 Jose Ramirez, Cle Justin Verlander, Hou
6 Mike Trout, LAA
7 Francisco Lindor, Cle
8 Eric Hosmer, KC
9 Nelson Cruz, Sea
10 Jose Abreu, CWS

 

NL MVP NL CY YOUNG NL ROY NL MANAGER NL RELIEVER
1 Charlie Blackmon, Col Max Scherzer, Wash Cody Bellinger, LAD Craig Counsell, Mil Kenley Jansen, LAD
2 Giancarlo Stanton, Mia Clayton Kershaw, LAD Josh Bell, Pitt Dave Roberts, LAD Greg Holland, Col
3 Paul Goldschmidt, Ari Stephen Strasburg, Wash Paul DeJong, St.L Dusty Baker, Wash Corey Knebel, Mil
4 Nolan Arenado, Col Kenley Jansen, LAD
5 Ryan Zimmerman, Wash Zack Greinke, Ari
6 Joey Votto, Cin
7 Bryce Harper, Wash
8 Marcell Ozuna, Mia
9 Anthony Rizzo, Chi
10 Cody Bellinger, LAD

For those who may not have picked up on this over the course of the year, I am not a big fan of advanced metrics, at least not yet. With that in mind, I have a feeling that my MVP vote will cause much chagrin among the advanced metric/fantasy baseball crowd. I can almost see the conniptions by some over Jose Altuve, who will lead both his league for the third time and all of base ball in hitting. The .347 average for Altuve is a career high, while his 24 home runs match a career high. This is not to take away from the fantastic year by Aaron Judge, who was a no-brainer for Rookie of the Year, leading the league with 52 homers and second in both RBI and OPS. If you haven’t been paying attention, Jonathan Schoop has probably had the best season that no one has talked about, while the switch-hitting Marwin Gonzalez maintained excellence across the board offensively while playing six different positions for the Astros. A courtesy vote was given to the White Sox Jose Abreu, who persevered in a very trying situation.

While some may think that leading all of baseball in home runs might make Giancarlo Stanton a shoo-in for MVP, baseball fans haven’t see such a dominant season like the one Charlie Blackmon has had in quite some time. The lead-off hitter for the Rockies is leading the senior circuit in batting, runs, hits, and triples while finishing third in OPS, tied for third in home runs, and tied for seventh in RBI. Stanton has put on an awesome power display, but his season also took a little of the spotlight away from the fine year of teammate Marcell Ozuna. In a year without the feats of Blackmon and Stanton, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and Ryan Zimmerman could all make legitimate cases for MVP. Although his season didn’t compare, for his leadership skills the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo gets a hometown vote.

The Cy Young race was a little more clear cut, especially in the National League. Max Scherzer’s dominant year gives him the edge over perennial contender Clayton Kershaw and teammate Stephen Strasburg. And while Chirs Sale led all of baseball in strikeouts along with posting a 2.90 ERA and 0.97 WHIP, the way Corey Kluber put the Cleveland Indians on his back and helped carry them to the best record in the American League prevailed. The fact that Kluber led everyone with a 0.86 WHIP and was second overall with a 2.27 ERA helps. It was tough luck that Boston’s Craig Kimbrel, who had one of the more complete seasons by a closer in memory, had to compete with Kluber and Sale. But Kimbrel can take umbrage in easily gaining AL Reliever honors.

The rest of the awards were pretty straightforward. The Dodger’s Kenley Jansen had decent competition from Colorado’s Greg Holland and Corey Knebel of the Brewers for NL Reliever. For guiding Milwaukee out of nowhere to competing for the NL Central crown until the last week of the season, Craig Counsell more than deserves NL Manager recognition. In the AL, Terry Francona’s masterful job with the Indians merits the top manager spot. Both the Yankees’ Judge and the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger were runaways for top rookie honors.

Filed under: Awards, General, MLB

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  • Counsell is a great choice for MOY - well deserved. I like Blackmon for MVP, too, but I'm surprised Votto didn't get a little more love.

    Thanks for sharing your vote - it's great to get some insight into the pick process.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Respect your opinion, but personally I'd vote for Torey Lovullo over Counsell, certainly over Roberts and Baker who had so much more to work with. I'd even consider Bud Black over the later two. Similarly, Molitor deserves major props for the turnaround of the Twins.
    As to NL MVP, I'm from the JD school that discounts Rockies stats, especially when Blackmon's road stats were so pedestrian. Stanton was somewhat one dimensional. If it is truly most valuable, I'd go with Goldschmidt; if it is best athlete, Votto.

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    Exactly right on Blackmon. Citing his stats for Blackmon as MVP involves willful blindness to the well-known and obvious Mile High inflation. Tom admits he's not an advanced metrics guy, but home and road spits are not advance metrics are they? Here they are home/road:

    AVG: .391/.276
    HR: 24/13
    RBI: 60/44
    OBP: .466/.337
    OPS: 1.239/.734

    Like night and day. Blackmon is very good, but please, he's no MVP.

  • In reply to TTP:

    A lot of fans make a big deal about home and away splits, but it doesn't matter as much to players as you think it might.

    Players are looking for the best deals for themselves, and don't have stadiums high in their consideration. If they did, there would be a line of hitters for Colorado every off-season, a line of left-handed hitters for the Yankees and Pittsburgh, and a line of pitchers for San Diego.

    The question of whether "Would Charlie Blackmon be an MVP candidate if he didn't play for Colorado?" is more moot than anything else. Blackmon does play for Colorado and put up some great numbers this year. Deal with it.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    I would add that he was undoubtedly instrumental in the Rockies making the playoffs this year.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    "Deal with it," is not an appropriate response, especially from one of the author-custodians of John's legacy.

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    I'm sorry you had to be the brunt of that. I still have a little bit of carryover from my previous site, in which some of the commenters where quite a bit nasty with opinions that weren't lock-step with theirs. I will strive to be more appropriate, and once again apologize.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    It obviously doesn't matter to you.

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    In reply to Tom U:

    +1000

    Anyone who doesn't understand this or see this is not watching the same game we all are.

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    How was Stanton one-dimensional? BB rate of 12.3% (very good), and K rate of 23.6% (slightly below league-average). His OBP was .376 and his batting average was .281. None of this takes into account his incredible slugging. By every offensive metric, Stanton was incredible (he was even an average defender).

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I'm thinking Francona is a solid pick for AL Manager of the Year, and I think Counsell did a fantastic job with his young team.

    Corey Kluber and Scherzer are also solid Cy Young candidates. Much like many of the others here - am not as convinced about Blackmon,... I would probably have to go for either Stanton or Goldschmidt as NL MVP. Could see a case for Zimmerman as well - this season shows what he 'could' have done the last 10+ years for the Nats IF he had managed to stay healthy consistently.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I would have to go with Staton. Goldschmidt had a great year but very poor September. Blackmon's home and away splits are very wide.

  • I am on board with all of your selections, especially Blackmon and Altuve . Glad someone besides me has recognized what an outstanding season Blackmon has had and Altuve has been fantastic for three seasons now.

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    In reply to cubbybear7753:

    Besides you? I been banging the trade for Blackmon for 3 years on this site and really pushed hard after Dexter "left" the first time before resurfacing and surprising us at spring training.

    A lot of us have been acknowledging and enjoying the amazing yr Blackmon is having. Even if he doesn't win the MVP, at least people now know who he is. The numbers we are seeing out of him are things we have never seen in baseball history. For you guys who don't know that this game has been played for a very loooooong time so to do things never seen gets MVP votes in my book.

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    No home town votes for Wade or Kris? Didn't Kris lead the league in WAR?

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    In reply to Brian Steiner:

    I would have cast a vote for Kris but it would have been in the 5-7 range. His WAR is really good and he is unquestionably a great player. But I believe there are others who are move valuable to their team and having close to if not better seasons. But I think Bryant deserves "Top-10" votes. I have been hoping for Bryant to finally take home a WS MVP trophy this year to complete his unprecedented string (Golden Spikes, AZ Fall League MVP, Minor League Baseball POY, ROY, MVP...).

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    By this thinking though, for a team that makes the playoffs by one game, isn't the 1-WAR guy more valuable than the 6-WAR guy?
    I wouldn't vote for Bryant either, but I don't buy that logic.

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    Generally I agree with you but on this I respectfully disagree.

    First of all, I think you are taking the "Win" portion of "WAR" too literally. I don't think we can say, "If the Cubs had a 'replacement level' player at 3B instead of Bryant they would have had 86 wins instead of 92."

    Second, I don't think that the 1-WAR guy is more valuable than the 6-WAR guy follows from what I wrote since without the 6-WAR guy the team wouldn't have really been in contention.

    Finally, if we are using WAR as our stat of choice I think it bears considering some of the main contenders for NL MVP: Rendon (6.9), Stanton (6.9), Bryant (6.7), Votto (6.6), Blackmon (6.5) and, because I have mentioned him in other places, Goldschmidt (5.3)--though a caveat on Goldschmidt, his defensive WAR came in at a -7.6 and Votto at -5.3 which prompted me, since both are reputed to be good defenders, who had the HIGHEST defensive WAR of any 1B and it turns out all the ones in the NL only Buster Posey showed a positive WAR, and I am suspicious this was due to his work behind the plate. In short, with the possible exception of Goldschmidt--and I might be biased because I remember him DESTROYING the Cubs this year--we are talking VERY SMALL differences. Likely within the "margin of error" if that makes sense for this formula.

    If we want to include wRC+ (which I believe tries to take home ballpark into consideration), we are, with the exception of Votto, again talking about a fairly small difference between guys. Votto checks in at 165 wRC+ while there is another group clustered around 142-156, or within 10% of one another.

    These statistics are nice as they boil things down to one number which is easy to comprehend and I am all in favor of them. But when the difference in values are small then . And they will rate different skills differently to arrive at this number (and, yes, I do have a basic understanding of how the formulas and weights were arrived at). But inherent in that is the possibility of things beyond what they measure. If there is a difference of 1.5-2WAR that is FAR more meaningful to me than a difference of a couple tenths of a WAR. Once someone's wRC+ gets above about 130-140 unless the difference is egregious (such as the difference between Votto's 165 and some of the other guys' 140-145) I don't look at that as decisive and have to admit that other things come into play that might outweigh that difference.

    In short, this is part of what keeps the Hot-Stove warm. We can discuss these things and continue to discuss them even after the results are tabulated (Did Sammy deserve the 1998 MVP over McGwire?). It is part of what makes baseball baseball.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    "Second, I don't think that the 1-WAR guy is more valuable than the 6-WAR guy follows from what I wrote since without the 6-WAR guy the team wouldn't have really been in contention."

    Here's the crux of the issue. If a team earns a playoff spot by 1 win, then can't you argue that every single win (or player WAR accumulated) was needed? That's what I was insinuating with my comment. Of course, one would argue that Goldschmidt (who contributed more WAR by himself) was more valuable to the Diamondbacks than someone like Nick Ahmed. I was more saying that I don't like the "more valuable to HIS TEAM" argument. If Goldschmidt was on the Reds and had the exact same season, would he be the MVP? Would they make the playoffs? No. But if Votto was on the Diamondbacks, they would make the playoffs. The "more valuable to his team" argument makes the MVP a team award.

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    First off, as I said above, I think that is taking the "wins" part of WAR too literally. WAR boils production down to a single number making it easier to compare players. But inherent in that is the danger of over-simplifying.

    I don't see the MVP as a team award and try not to get into a discussion of "if Player X was on Team Y how would Team Y have done?" Though I do shamefully admit I used that rationale in 1998 ("Valuable to what?"). I have grown and learned since then.

    As I mentioned before I look at the MVP more as a POY (Player of the Year) award as "value" is so subjective and difficult to differentiate.

    [Veering WAY off topic]: I try to stay away from hypotheticals such as, "What if Player A played on that team/park?" ("What if the Cubs had drafted Jon Gray and the Rockies had drafted Kris Bryant?" is a more concrete example). It is a fun counter-factual sometimes but I try to leave it at that. There is no guarantee things would have turned out the same. For instance if we do discuss "Bryant to the Rockies," we can fantasize about 80+ HR seasons. But we have to acknowledge the possibility Bryant might also have had a debilitating wrist injury in AA that led to him developing some bad swing habits that even his legendary attention to swing details and work ethic weren't able to eradicate and he turned into a player who hit a TON of HR but "struggled on the road" and continued to have K% in the upper-20's/lower-30's. In short, he became Adam Dunn ca 2009/2010. But that is a HUGE off-topic. Sorry.

    [Back on topic]: Even when discussing as a POY type award there is always going to be disagreement. How do we "weight" the player's performance? While WAR (bWAR, fWAR and their differences), wRC+, wOBA, OPS+, etc. help a lot it is not uncommon for one player to outshine the rest in one "category" but be overshadowed by others in another category. Eventually we have to make distinctions and what we think honors things best. The nice thing about these numbers is that they are based on the player's production, not his relative position on the team. But they are still imperfect measures of production that can be skewed. And as I said earlier, especially when the numbers are relatively close then vagaries in production and how the stats are computed can give misleading information about how the player performed.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I wasn't trying to create a hypothetical as much as just saying if you replaced (for instance) Goldschmidt's production on the Diamondbacks with Votto's, they still make the playoffs. They likely still win 93 games. This, to me, illuminates that Votto is just as valuable to his team as Goldschmidt is to his. You're rewarding Goldschmidt, or saying he's more valuable to his team, because his teammates happened to be better than Votto's teammates.

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    But I am not arguing that Goldschmidt was more valuable to his team than Votto. A fact I explicitly acknowledge in my post: "In short, with the possible exception of Goldschmidt--and I might be biased because I remember him DESTROYING the Cubs this year--we are talking VERY SMALL differences." And I don't recall ever saying that Goldschmidt deserved it "more than" Votto (or anyone else for that matter.). Honestly, if we exchange ANY of the MVP candidates I don't think it would likely make a difference in how their teams finished relativel to eachother. Swap Rendon and Bryant and I believe it likely that both teams would have had the same seeding in the league, if not the exact same record as happened with the actual configuration, for instance.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Welp, I guess I'm lost then. It seems I've derailed myself somewhere along these many comments. I re-read, and I think my whole argument came from your original post where you said (with regard to Bryant's candidacy) "I believe there are others who are more valuable to their team and having close to if not better seasons." So apologies, I extrapolated your sentence into something much larger and entirely different.
    So...it's been fun as always, Joel... But I think this whole argument hinges on me having misread/misinterpreted a single sentence of your post!

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    OK, now I see. I did mention that other players were more valuable to their team than Bryant. I meant that not as a comment on how valuable Bryant has been but, more so, to short-circuit a dispute about "valueable" as one definition I have heard used for MVP is the most valuable player to his teams' success. And I believe that others have had better seasons. But I wouldn't have left him off my ballot entirely. But maybe that's why I don't get a real vote. So my attempt to pre-empt that line of reasoning LED to the very confusion I meant to dispel.

    Either way these discussions are always fun to have. And at least now the last day of the regular season doesn't mark the beginning of the Hot-Stove Season.

    It is always fun to discuss these things with you. And here I was looking forward to finally disagreeing with you. LOL

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Yep, they are fun to have! And one day, I'm sure we'll disagree about something [trivial] and then we can fill the comment section again with pages and pages of babble.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Also, I agree that when the quantifiable metrics are very close, like they are this year in the NL, we ought to look at other methods of deciding. Tie breakers. Again, I just don't think looking at a guy's value with respect to his teammates' performances is the right way to go about it.
    And for what it's worth... holy smokes did Sosa (159 wRC+) not deserve that MVP over McGwire (205 wRC+!!). McGwire rated as an awful defender so I suppose an argument could have been made for Bonds or someone, but not Sosa.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    I had another comment more in response to what you said but it got eaten. Help anyone? Thanks

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    I am not advocating that we factor in value relative to teammates when deciding an MVP. A guy can be "barely" the best player on their team and still be the best player in the league.

    My general preference for MVP is closer to "POY" since "value" is a really hard thing to assess. If we really want to talk "value" then Steve Carlton 1972 (27 out of 59 wins) or Nate Colbert 1972 (111 RBI for a team that scored 488 runs).

    Side note: Nate Colbert had a REALLY odd year in 1972. As I point out above he had an exceptionally large percentage of his team's runs as RBI. But it wasn't from the most likely scenario: batting behind someone who was constantly on base. The 2nd highest RBI total on the team was 47 (Leron Lee) and 44 (Cito Gastin). But he also led the team in runs with 87 (2nd highest was Derrel Thomas with 44). Just a weird season in which 2 guys (Colbert and Lee) were head and shoulders above everyone and Colbert REALLY got the counting stats.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Right. I understand what you were getting at. I had a meatier response but it got eaten by the admin blocker. The response you see was more an addendum.

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    OK, I look forward to reading it. I generally agree with your comments so a discussion where we might not completely agree is interesting to me.

  • In reply to Brian Steiner:

    Had there been a fourth slot to vote for NL reliever and NL rookie of the year, Wade Davis and Ian Happ would have been selected.

    To me, Kris Bryant is the victim of some questionable batting order construction. Bryant seems to be a more natural #3 hitter than a #2. Had Bryant been hitting third all season with a legitimate lead-off and number two hitter ahead of him, Bryant would probably have back-to-back MVPs.

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    In reply to Tom U:

    I kind of agree and kind of disagree. If he bats lower in the order he would likely have more RBI but I am not a fan of that stat. To me Bryant had a very good season but his pinky injury hurt his power for a couple weeks. And, to me, he wasn't the best player in the NL. To me Goldschmitt, Votto and Stanton were all better players and, I believe, as valuable or more valuable than Bryant.

    Obviously being able to list "100+ RBI" onto Bryant's resume would have been helpful. Or, at the very least, his total of 73 RBI looks ostentaciously low but even if he had 105 RBI I don't know that I could have voted for him as my #1 choice for MVP. As I said above, I probably would have put him at about 5-7.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Its crazy how a leadoff hitter (even playing at Coors) could crush KB in rbi's considering he plays on one of the most powerful run scoring offenses. ( i know a lot can be blamed on Joe stubbornly sticking w the Schwarbenator in the leadoff spot so long killing his rbi chances and in turn put KB in a short poor streak.

    Next year KB will be flirting w the triple crown.

  • Having your own opinion is cool and everything, but voting Jonathan Schoop and Marwin Gonzalez 3 and 4 is irresponsible.
    It's fine that you don't buy into the advanced metrics, but a sound argument cannot be made for either one of those players being ranked so high.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Having an IBWAA vote? Cool. Sharing it with us at Cubs Den when he isn't obligated to tell anyone? Even cooler. Personal insults against such a cool guy? Not cool at all.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I definitely didn't say anything personal or insulting. I criticized 2 of Tom's picks, which is exactly what he is opening himself up for by posting all of his picks for us to read.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Thanks Cliff, and you are also okay Kramerica. I explain myself a little further below. Hope you find it interesting, even if you do not agree.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    I had been waiting for someone to pick up on that, and a little surprised that it took this long.

    I had not even considered Jonathan Schoop until I was watching a national broadcast a few weeks ago and all of the announcers, including Ken Rosenthal, felt that Schoop should be in the mix. I took a look at Schoop's numbers, and found that they compare somewhat to Ryne Sandburg in 1984, when he won the MVP over Mike Schmidt, Dale Murphy, and Gary Carter. Schoop was also the top fielding second baseman in the AL this year.

    For Marwin Gonzalez, I researched a little deeper. Cesar Tovar of the Twins was one of the most versatile players in baseball history. Tovar received MVP votes every year from 1967 to 1971. Tovar's best year, 1970, doesn't even come close to the season Gonzalez had this year. The presence of having Gonzalez on the team allowed several of the Astros to relax more and contribute. Gonzalez was also invaluable when Carlos Correa was injured.

    In the end though none of it mattered, as the AL MVP was only a two-horse race between Altuve and Judge.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    If I had a vote, Marwin Gonzalez might sniff the top 10. Definitely no where near the top 4, but yeah... great season.
    But even by your own explanation, Schoop at 3 is egregious. You're picking one guy, at one position, who happened to have a similar year to an MVP at the same position, who won the award 33 years ago. Never mind that this is an entirely different offensive environment, so comparing raw numbers with cherry-picked players from any era is a hugely faulty method... but Schoop wasn't even the #2 second baseman in the AL this year by "non-advanced" metrics.
    Rank among AL 2B:
    BA: 3
    OBP: 6
    SLG: 3
    HR: 2
    Fangraphs overall Defensive ranking: 5

    Jonathan Schoop was probably the 4th or 5th best 2B in the AL this year, and you have him as the 3rd best PLAYER in the entire league. He had a really nice year, but dude... You're giving an actual meaningful vote to a guy who was arguably not in the top 15 players for his entire league.
    I appreciate you sharing your votes, and even more that you took the time to explain yourself on these specific guys. But I think your method for choosing is incredibly flawed and that you should reconsider your votes. The AL players you have ranked behind Schoop deserve that.
    But again, I do appreciate the explanation, and thanks for sharing in the first place.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Just a follow up, Giancarlo Stanton's 2017 was much better than Andre Dawson's 1987 MVP season. Both RF. Why not vote for Stanton?

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    FWIW I have talked to people who have insisted that Dawson didn't deserve the 1987 MVP.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    wRC+ of 124 and an OBP of .328. Without even looking at anyone else's year, I can say with confidence that Dawson was a poor choice for MVP.
    I'm actually not sure I'd have him in the HOF either.

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    The name someone brought up as the "better" choice for MVP was Ozzie Smith (6.3 fWAR, .350wOBA and he wasn't a liability on defense ;))

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Were you arguing with a Cardinals fan? Jack Clark (Cardinals) was actually the best hitter in the league by far (176 wRC+, .445 wOBA; next best was Darryl Strawberry at 159 and .412). Tony Gwynn's 7.4 WAR set the pace.
    Ozzie would have been an interesting choice. His value was almost entirely defense-based, but he did manage a 114 wRC+. I probably wouldn't have voted him as the MVP, but one could probably make a compelling case.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Actually I was discussing it with someone who was/is a Cubs fan and the person who taught me as much about baseball as I have learned from John A.

    Keep in mind, we were having this discussion in the late-90's early 2000's so it was before WAR, wOBA, wRC+ and other such things, or at least before they were at our fingertips on the internet. BR existed but was a lot less thorough than it is now. The data just didn't exist OR it was not in common parliance.

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    Besides Altuve, please name me 3 AL second basemen who had better years then Schoop.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Well, it depends on how you define "better", but I think it is arguable that Dozier had at least as good a season, if not better, than Schoop. More R (+14), HR (+2), SB (+15). Fewer RBI (-12). Same number of K (-1) and nearly same SLG (-0.007). 5 fewer 2B, but 4 more 3B. Poorer avg (-0.024), but better OBP (+0.019) and better OPS (+0.012). fWAR for Dozier was 5.9, for Schoop, 2.1.

    I know that is only one 2B, and not 3, but the point is, if Schoop is nr 3 on Tom's list, why is not Dozier not listed?

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Just out of curiosity, since the MVP doesn't specify a position, why are you limiting the pool to choose from to find 3 people better than Schoop to 2B? There are 15 teams in the AL, you have taken 2 off the table (Schoop and Altuve) and now want a list of 3 MORE who had better years than Schoop. So, as long as Schoop is in the top 1/3 of 2B he is, therefore, entitled to MVP votes?

    Depending on how you want to consider a "2B" I would posit Jose Ramirez (577 innings at 2B, 736 at 3B) His slash line of .318/.374/.583 is solid. His wOBA of .396 and wRC+ of 148 and WAR of 6.6 pretty well dwarf those of Schoop .293/.338/.503 .355 wOBA and 121 wRC+

    I am NOT saying that Schoop doesn't deserve some credit and there are obviously things beyond "stat line" to be considered for MVP. But the more I dig into it the more I find the choice of Schoop odd. Though I admit I haven't seen much of him playing. Offensively he was Tommy La Stella writ large (I will concede there is NO comparison on defense). TLS put together .288/.389/.472 with a wOBA of .368 and a wRC+ of 126.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I am not nor do I agree he should be a top 3 MVP candidate. I am just replying to Kramerica's post about how Schoop isn't even a top 5 second baseman in the AL. Thats my only question but thanks for the long blown out response.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I said Schoop was "probably the 4th or 5th best 2B in the AL."
    Altuve, Dozier, and Ramirez were all better hitters. And I can't figure out what Tom is using to rank Schoop as the best defender. He led AL 2B in putouts and assists, but by DRS he's 5th, UZR he's 4th, and even by fielding percentage (not a great metric) he's 7th.

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    I got your point, but maybe I didn't get mine across clearly. I am not sure Schoop is even in the top in the MVP, but he is def not in the top 5. Jose Ramirez is not a true 2nd baseman. He only played that many innings because Kipnis was hurt for a large part of the season. You see where he lines up when Kipnis is healthy.

    So if he's the 4th or 5th best second baseman in the league, whose better? Altuve for sure, I disagree on Dozier as he's had a down year (compared to last) but I will concede him because its close. Who else is better?

    The DRS and the majority of the defensive metrics aren't nearly as accurate as their offensive counterparts but a lot of people quote them like they are gospel. If you watch some Oriole games ( which I have seen at least 20 or so), Schoop's D does jump out on the TV. Is he a gold glover, no but he's no Tommy LaStella.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Sorry. Once again my outrage could be answered by context. I thought I had read the whole thread--and I probably had once--but got things out of place.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Well if you exclude Ramirez (who still played 577 innings at 2B this year, but fair... that's only 64 full games), then Schoop is the 3rd or 4th best 2B. Offensively this year it was Altuve, followed by Dozier, then Schoop. Dozier was only slightly better than Schoop, but he was still better.
    Defensively, yeah Schoop is very good. But Tom said he was "the top fielding 2B in the AL his year." Even if you completely disregard things like DRS and UZR (agreed, they aren't to be taken as gospel, but we should still look at them), how do you arrive at this conclusion? Sure, maybe his defense stands out by watching him. But are we using the eye test to say someone is objectively the best at something? Are we watching every AL 2B for comparison's sake, and then using our eyes and memories to tell us who is the best? Because that's a bad way to do things. It's why we keep track of statistics and numbers, so that we don't have to rely on our memories. None of the numbers indicate Schoop was the best defender at 2B. For something like MVP voting, there cannot be so much subjectivity. Otherwise we'd end up getting ballots filled with voters' favorite players, regardless of what they actually did on the field.

  • appreciate you sharing your votes, dont agree with them all, but it isnt my vote to say otherwise. lol

    thanks for sharing

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    I have a response stuck in the administrator. Please take it out when you get a moment, Tom.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I'm not sure I know how to do that. If anyone can help, it would be appreciated.

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    In reply to Tom U:

    Alrighty, then. Nevermind.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I took care of it.

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    In reply to Jared Wyllys:

    Thanks, Jared.

  • A little late to the party today. I can definitely see everyone having their own opinions, I do, and I don't blame a single Cubs fan for having a little "homer" creep into the equation. But let's keep it civil, especially considering the events in Las Vegas, which make these debates seem so trivial.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Overall things have remained civil in my opinion. Remember the vitriol that could be spilled on other Cubs sites?

  • I am not a "homer", I consider myself a realist, which is why I hate the "All-Star" voting. I rarely vote for a Cub. Because I vote for the best player. Sometimes that is an all-around guy. If a SS and a 1B have the same stats, I am going to vote for the SS. And if Joey Votto has better stats than Rizzo, I am going to vote for Votto!

    Tom, I personally agree 98% with every vote in every order you made! Because you are NOT a "homer".

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