SB Nation Awards: MVP

Here's the last of the SB Nation awards: officially announced yesterday, but delayed because I was too busy ranting about the traveshamockery which was McLouth's Gold Glove. First the National League:


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Pts
Albert Pujols 13 4 - - - - - - - - 218
Lance Berkman 1 2 3 4 1 1 4 - 1 - 113
Hanley Ramirez - 4 1 3 2 - 1 1 1 - 86
David Wright - 1 3 1 2 3 2 3 - 1 95
Chipper Jones - 1 3 3 1 5 - - - - 85
Ryan Howard 3 1 1 1 - - 1 - - 1 71
Chase Utley - 1 1 1 4 2 2 - 2 1 71
Ryan Braun - - 1 3 - 2 1 1 2 1 51
Carlos Beltran - - 3 - - - - 3 1 1 36
Manny Ramirez - 1 - 1 1 - 1 - - 1 27
Matt Holliday - - - - 1 2 - - 4 - 24
CC Sabathia - 2 - - - - 1 - - 1 23
Carlos Delgado - - - - 2 1 - 1 1 - 21
Aramis Ramirez - - - - 2 1 - - 1 2 19
Ryan Ludwick - - - - - - 1 3 2 2 17
Jose Reyes - - - - 1 - 2 1 - - 8
Brad Lidge - - - 1 - - - - - - 8
Carlos Lee - - - - - - 1 - 1 - 6
Pat Burrell - - - - - - - 1 - 1 4
Brian McCann - - - - - - - 1 - 1 4
Prince Fielder - - - - - - - 1 - 1 4
Stephen Drew - - - - - - - 1 - - 3
Geovany Soto - - - - - - - - - 2 2
Tim Lincecum - - - - - - - - 1 - 2
Brian Giles - - - - - - - - - 1 1

Here's my ballot on this one.

  1. Albert Pujols
  2. Manny Ramirez
  3. Chase Utley
  4. Ryan Braun
  5. Aramis Ramirez
  6. Chipper Jones
  7. Lance Berkman
  8. Stephen Drew
  9. Matt Holliday
  10. David Wright

And now, the explanations. Pujols was, once again, head and shoulders above just about every other player in the league, and was good enough to overcome my usual preference for MVP's who help their teams reach the playoffs. My second-place pick is a classic example, and demonstrates admirably the difference between "Most Valuable" and "Best". In 36 regular-season games, he had an OPS+ of 213. Much though I loathe him, Manny Ramirez is the reason the Dodgers reached the playoffs. They often say one player can't make all that much of a difference, but his impact on LA can not be over-stated. Let's hope he gets a better offer from somewhere else, as I really do not want to see him next year. [And in the playoffs? 13-for-25 with eleven walks, four homers and 10 RBI all told; an OPS in eight games of 1.747].

Further down the list, nothing too outstanding, or out of place, except perhaps my pick of Stephen Drew in eighth spot. Only Hanley Ramirez had a higher OPS among shortstops in the league, almost fifty points better than last year's MVP, Jimmy Rollins. His production out of the position was one of the things that drove Arizona's offense all season, but in particular during the second half, when all about were faltering, with a line of .326/.372/.556, for a .927 OPS. In a season which proved disappointing in a number of ways, Drew was a shining beacon of surpassed expectations.

SnakeCharmer's Notes

Very belatedly posting my ballot here:

  1. Albert Pujols
  2. Ryan Howard
  3. Lance Berkman
  4. Chipper Jones
  5. Carlos Delgado
  6. Matt Holliday
  7. Manny Ramirez
  8. David Wright
  9. Ryan Braun
  10. Aramis Ramirez

I feel I didn't really vote too far out of the ordinary. Pujols' numbers were, once again, out of this world. I thought about putting Manny Ramirez higher in the list, since he really did have a huge impact on the NL West, but the others were all very good all year 'round. Berkman very quietly had a great year, as did Holliday and Ramirez.

 

And here is the American League:


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Pts
Dustin Pedroia 5 3 4 2 1 - - 2 - - 155
Joe Mauer 2 3 2 2 2 1 1 1 - - 109
Grady Sizemore 5 2 - - 1 1 - 1 2 - 106
Kevin Youkilis 2 - 2 3 1 4 - 1 2 - 98
Alex Rodriguez 2 1 4 - 4 - - - 1 1 96
Josh Hamilton 1 1 - 3 3 1 1 - 1 - 73
Justin Morneau 1 3 1 1 - 1 - - - 2 63
Carlos Quentin - - 2 2 - 2 2 2 2 - 58
Carlos Pena - 1 - - - 3 1 1 - - 31
Cliff Lee - 1 - - 2 - - 1 - - 24
Milton Bradley - - - 1 - - 1 2 2 2 23
Aubrey Huff - - - 1 - 1 - 1 - 2 17
Roy Halladay - - 1 - - - - 1 1 - 13
Miguel Cabrera - - - - - - 2 1 - 1 12
Evan Longoria - - - - 1 - - - 1 2 10
B. J. Upton - 1 - - - - - - - - 9
Ian Kinsler - - - - - - 1 - 2 - 8
Francisco Rodriguez - - - - - - - 1 1 - 5
Alexei Ramirez - - - - - - 1 - - - 4
Brian Roberts - - - - - - 1 - - - 4
Vladimir Guerrero - - - - - - 1 - - - 4
Jim Thome - - - - - - 1 - - - 4
Nick Markakis - - - - - - - - - 2 2
Joe Nathan - - - - - - - - - 1 1
Jermaine Dye - - - - - - - - - 1 1

Meh. It's the American League, so I can't really work up much enthusiasm for any detailed analysis here. I note the startling lack of love shown for the two teams with the best records: the Angels and Rays, whose entire rosters received not a single first-place vote. Pena's overall ninth-place finish was the highest Tampa player, while the 100-win Anaheim team didn't get anyone rated above seventh. Again, this perhaps illustrates the difference between 'best' and 'most valuable'. Perhaps the key to becoming MVP is to be a standout player on an otherwise mediocre team, rather than a player of the same quality on a team where everyone is good.

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