SB Nation Awards #4: NL MVP

National League 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Points
Matt Holliday 12 4 1 2 1 - - 1 - - 235
Prince Fielder - 4 9 2 1 2 1 2 - - 148
Jimmy Rollins 4 2 3 2 2 1 - 1 2 1 137
David Wright 1 2 1 3 5 1 2 4 - 1 117
Chipper Jones - 2 2 2 2 2 4 2 1 1 95
Hanley Ramirez 2 - - 3 2 1 2 2 5 - 90
Chase Utley - 2 - 2 3 1 4 3 4 - 88
Albert Pujols - 1 1 3 2 4 - 2 1 2 80
Ryan Howard 1 2 1 1 - 1 3 - 2 2 70
Jake Peavy 1 2 2 - 1 2 - - 1 2 68
Miguel Cabrera - - - - - 3 2 2 1 4 35
Brandon Webb - - - 1 - - 2 - - 1 16
Aramis Ramirez - - - - 1 - 1 - 1 1 13
Eric Byrnes - - - - - 2 - 1 - - 13
Derrek Lee - - 1 - - - - - - - 8
Ryan Braun - - - - - 1 - - 1 1 8
Brad Penny - - - - 1 - - - - 1 6
Jose Reyes - - - - - - - 1 - - 3
John Smoltz - - - - - - - - 1 - 2
Troy Tulowitzki - - - - - - - - - 1 1
Adam Dunn - - - - - - - - - 1 1
Roy Oswalt - - - - - - - - - 1 1
Carlos Lee - - - - - - - - - 1 1
Todd Helton - - - - - - - - - 1 1
Barry Bonds - - - - - - - - - 1 1

*Hey Jim? How does Oswalt have no votes and one point? [I'm assuming that's a typo, and he should have one tenth-place vote as well. Have fixed it on that basis!]

Jim's ballot:
1. Holliday
2. Utley
3. D.Lee
4. C.Jones
5. Pujols
6. Fielder
7. Cabrera
8. Wright
9. Ramirez
10. Howard

Okay. Basic ground-rules here. I don't vote for pitchers. I do lean heavily towards players, without whom their teams would not have made the playoffs. Factors beyond that are generally OPS+ based, with weight being given to position to a certain extent. And I really could not find one player on the Diamondbacks whom I would point out as "most valuable". Our 2007 season was truly a team effort: "Anybody, Anytime" (TM) may be a hackneyed phrase, tainted with the bitter taste of the NLCS, but it remains an appropriate one. Still, Webb got four votes and Byrnes three. I note the pitchers listed for MVP were the same top three as for the Cy Young.

That said, Holliday's contributions to the Rockies, particularly down the stretch (a .365 BA with a 1.236 OPS in the last month), were impeccable. You can certainly argue Coors had its impact - his OPS was almost 300 points higher there than on the road, but his place was sealed by scoring the winning run in the playoff game...even though that has become the Kennedy assassination of the 2007 season. Beyond that, most of the rest should be obvious. Though a bit surprised to see I was the only one who voted for Derrek Lee, who had the best OPS of anyone on the Cubs. With hindsight, perhaps Aramis Ramirez might have been a better pick there.

Charmer's ballot:
1. Holliday
2. Howard
3. Fielder
4. Utley
5. Wright
6. Rollins
7. H. Ramirez
8. Byrnes
9. C.Jones
10. Pujols

Boy, it's been a while, I'm not entirely sure I remember my reasoning for all my votes! Choosing 10 players for this was tough. I looked a lot of numbers, and at some point it felt like a crapshoot. Holliday was the easy #1 this year. His offense was just rockin', his defense solid, and he was definitely the story of the year. I thought of putting Utley #2, but I think I liked Fielder's and Howard's power numbers a little better. Utley certainly deserves the #4 spot. After Wright and Rollins, really, what about the other four? Hanley Ramirez had a phenomenal year, Byrnes was a major force the first 4 months, and Jones and Pujols had solid years as well.

It's fascinating to look at the vote breakdown. Holliday the runaway winner; Rollins, Wright and Jones all getting votes in 9 different spots; and the number of pitchers getting MVP votes. Webb?? And not even Jim or I voted for him?? Very interesting.

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