SBN Awards: Player of the Year

Pic by Jinnah

We end awards week with the SB Nation prizes for the Player of the Year in the American and National Leagues.

Player Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Points
Buster Posey San Francisco Giants 26 6 3 - - - - - - - 442
Ryan Braun Milwaukee Brewers 7 16 6 4 2 - - - - - 330
Andrew McCutchen Pittsburgh Pirates 2 7 14 8 3 - - - - - 277
David Wright New York Mets - 2 6 5 10 6 2 1 1 - 204
Chase Headley San Diego Padres - - 2 13 6 7 - 3 1 1 190
Yadier Molina St. Louis Cardinals - 4 2 2 7 10 5 3 1 - 189
Jason Heyward Atlanta Braves - - - 2 1 5 7 4 - 5 90
Aramis Ramirez Milwaukee Brewers - - - - 1 1 3 5 3 4 48
Michael Bourn Atlanta Braves - - - - - 1 4 5 4 3 47
Matt Holliday St. Louis Cardinals - - - - 1 - 2 1 5 1 28
Joey Votto Cincinnati Reds - - 1 - 1 - - 1 4 - 25
Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers - - - 1 - - 2 1 3 - 24
Gio Gonzalez Washington Nationals - - - - 1 1 2 - 1 - 21
Aaron Hill Arizona Diamondbacks - - - - - - - 3 4 4 21
Ian Desmond Washington Nationals - - - - - - 2 3 - 2 19
Jay Bruce Cincinnati Reds - - 1 - - - 1 - 1 - 14
R.A. Dickey New York Mets - - - - - 1 1 1 - 2 14
Giancarlo Stanton Miami Marlins - - - - - - 1 1 - 4 11
Carlos Ruiz Philadelphia Phillies - - - - 1 - 1 - - - 10
Adam LaRoche Washington Nationals - - - - 1 - - - - 1 7
Matt Kemp Los Angeles Dodgers - - - - - 1 - - - 1 6
Johnny Cueto Cincinnati Reds - - - - - - 1 - 1 - 6
Martin Prado Atlanta Braves - - - - - - - 1 1 1 6
Carlos Gonzalez Colorado Rockies - - - - - 1 - - - - 5
Chipper Jones Atlanta Braves - - - - - 1 - - - - 5
Bryce Harper Washington Nationals - - - - - - 1 - - 1 5
Allen Craig St. Louis Cardinals - - - - - - - 1 1 - 5
Melky Cabrera San Francisco Giants - - - - - - - - 2 - 4
Ryan Zimmerman Washington Nationals - - - - - - - - 1 2 4
Carlos Beltran St. Louis Cardinals - - - - - - - 1 - - 3
Craig Kimbrel Atlanta Braves - - - - - - - - 1 - 2
Alfonso Soriano Chicago Cubs - - - - - - - - - 2 2
Paul Goldschmidt Arizona Diamondbacks - - - - - - - - - 1 1

John Baragona

  1. Buster Posey
  2. Ryan Braun
  3. Andrew McCutchen
  4. Chase Headley
  5. David Wright
  6. Yadier Molina
  7. Gio Gonzalez
  8. Jason Heyward
  9. Michael Bourn
  10. Aaron Hill

For most this is probably a decision between Posey, Braun and McCutchen for the top spot. Looking purely at the numbers, it was hard not to give the top spot nod to Ryan Braun. Last year was last year when he had a great year and then had the whole PED issue, not to mention having Prince Fielder protecting his backside. This season he didn’t have Fielder and he still posted a huge season, plus he led the Brewers on a strong late season push for the playoffs that just came up short. I wanted to downgrade him for the whole PED mess but I just couldn’t do it. But I still didn’t give him the top spot.

On my ballot it came down to Posey and Braun. McCutchen was a stud all year long with very little lineup protection. He simply ran out of gas down the stretch as teams just stopped pitching to him. Posey on the other hand didn’t have much lineup protection either batting 4 th in the middle of a fairly anemic Giant offense. But he still posted a terrific year with a .955 OPS and a 7.8 WAR. On top of that he played the toughest of all positions at catcher, though he did play a number of games at 1B to give him a breather and keep his bat in the lineup. So Posey gets my vote in the top spot, Braun gets my second spot and McCutchen gets third.

I placed Chase Headley in the 4th spot for his terrific season carrying a Padres team that really played well in the second half, and in a pitcher’s ballpark. Gio Gonzalez was the only pitcher who made my list. David Wright and Yadier Molina get my 5th and 6th spots. Two Braves in Jason Heyward and Michael Bourn get 8th and 9th on strong seasons and A+ defensive metrics. Aaron Hill gets my 10th spot being a consistent hitter near the top of the Diamondbacks lineup who produced all year long.

Zavada's Moustache

1. Buster Posey
2. Ryan Braun
3. Andrew McCutchen
4. Chase Headley
5. David Wright
6. Jason Heyward
7. Yadier Molina
8. Ian Desmond
9. Aaron Hill
10. Michael Bourn

John and I didn't collaborate on this, I promise. As personally abhorrent as I found voting for a Giant for MVP, it's difficult to deny Posey earned it. .336/.408/.549 while playing his home games in a ballpark that literally eats home runs. Literally. And, oh yeah, he happens to play the most important defensive position in baseball at what seems like a high level (quantifying catcher defense is like). Add in the narrative factor of him getting his leg snapped nine months before the season started and making a full recovery, and Posey's my winner, Giant or not.

Anyone who voted against Braun because they think he's still on steroids (if indeed he ever was) underestimate the herculean level of stupidity required to keep juicing after getting out of his charges on the ticky-tackiest of ticky-tack details last year. And anyone who voted against Braun because he did steroids at one time sort of missed the point of the exercise. If we had voted at the beginning of August, McCutchen would have appeared first on my ballot, but his thoroughly mortal .253/.354/.425 line for the last two months of the season while his team freefell in the standings was too much to ignore.

Chase Headley is the new Adrian Gonzalez, in that only the NL West and hipster baseball writers know who he is, thanks to the Padres and Petco Park. Obviously this means that he'll get traded out of the division to a big-market team, be a disappointment, and eventually get traded back to the NL West to the chagrin of everyone else in the division who thought they'd gotten rid of him for good.

[And here are the American League results]

Player Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Points
Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels 22 4 - - - - - - - - 344
Miguel Cabrera Detroit Tigers 4 18 3 1 - - - - - - 249
Robinson Cano New York Yankees - 1 14 8 2 - - - - - 189
Adrian Beltre Texas Rangers - 3 6 8 6 2 - - - - 177
Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers - - 2 6 8 1 1 - - - 115
Josh Hamilton Texas Rangers - - - 2 6 - 1 4 2 - 70
Ben Zobrist Tampa Bay Rays - - - - 1 6 3 3 2 3 64
Adam Jones Baltimore Orioles - - 1 - - 4 2 6 2 - 58
David Price Tampa Bay Rays - - - 1 - - 7 1 3 - 44
Prince Fielder Detroit Tigers - - - - 2 2 3 1 3 1 44
Edwin Encarnacion Toronto Blue Jays - - - - - 4 3 1 3 2 43
Alex Gordon Kansas City Royals - - - - 1 2 - 2 3 1 29
Felix Hernandez Seattle Mariners - - - - - 2 3 - - 3 25
Joe Mauer Minnesota Twins - - - - - 1 1 3 2 2 24
Austin Jackson Detroit Tigers - - - - - 1 2 - 1 4 19
Torii Hunter Los Angeles Angels - - - - - 1 - - 1 - 7
Fernando Rodney Tampa Bay Rays - - - - - - - 2 - - 6
Josh Reddick Oakland Athletics - - - - - - - - 1 4 6
Albert Pujols Los Angeles Angels - - - - - - - 1 - 2 5
Josh Willingham Minnesota Twins - - - - - - - 1 - 1 4
Chris Sale Chicago White Sox - - - - - - - - 1 2 4
Alex Rios Chicago White Sox - - - - - - - 1 - - 3
Dustin Pedroia Boston Red Sox - - - - - - - - 1 - 2
Yoenis Cespedes Oakland Athletics - - - - - - - - 1 - 2
J.J. Hardy Baltimore Orioles - - - - - - - - - 1 1
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