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SnakePit Round Table: End of year Awards

The second SnakePit Round Table covers the end of year baseball awards. Yeah, I know we don't have the slightest say in these, but it's an area where just about anyone has an opinion, and discussion and debate can get pretty heated. This year, the Felix Hernandez vs. C.C. Sabathia argument is shaping up to be a real doozy, for example, pitting the sabermetric lobby against the old-school "Look at the wins!" group. So, for this week's topic, I asked the SnakePit team what they look for in an MVP, Cy Young, who they've vote for this year, and whether any Diamondbacks will be getting love - now, or in the future.

Their answers are after the jump.

What's your philosophy when deciding who you'd vote for?

IHSB: For me, it's the best player, regardless of what team he plays on. If Josh Hamilton was on the Pirates, he'd still be Josh frickin Hamilton. Unfortunately, though, the lack of a major, well-recognized position players-only award outside of the MVP does really make me prefer to give the award to a position player. As for the numbers, I'll factor in defense but not lean on it, since defensive metrics are so screwy. So, for instance, I'm not sure where I'd place Ryan Zimmerman, but I'm not going to anoint him MVP.

Closers are not Cy Young winners. Sorry.

Zephon: I'm with IHSB all the way here. It's the best player, regardless of what team he plays on. I think that the player's team's success does factor in a little bit, but that's not really that important. If it's a toss up between two players, it's only then that the team's success really factors in.

Sprankton: I'm a little less renegade. If a closer can put up numbers similar to what Dennis Eckersley did in 1990, I'd be OK with it. When talking about who is "valuable", a closer definitely seems worthy of consideration.

DbacksSkins: I'm also newskool here, and believe that the best individual player, regardless of team outcome, should be MVP, as it's a player award, not a team award. The team awards are the banners that are hung in the stadium that say, "NL West Champion", "World Series Champion", etc. (Joe Morgan, you're a ****ing idiot. Sorry, this just reminded me of him. What was I saying? Oh yeah...) Among the numbers that matter, I like stats like WAR because they're all-inclusive -- even when different systems don't always agree with each other. For hitters, OPS+ is a good stat, but wRC+ is better, since OPS+ is based on OPS, and wRC is based on WOBA. (WOBA gives more weight to on base percentage, while OPS pairs them equally)

Pitchers, to me, are eligible for the MVP, but I'm hesitant to give it to them, as there's a separate award specifically for pitchers. However, if a pitcher has an INSANELY good season, (see Johnson, Randy, 2002; won the triple crown, an incredible 8.8 WAR) I'd be willing to give them MVP.

I remember in 2007 nihil67 made the argument that, while he didn't think Brandon Webb deserved MVP votes, he thought Jose Valverde deserved a mention. Closers are pitchers, and should be eligible for the Cy Young, but, of course, the standards by which they are judged are different.

Rookie of the year is a lot harder, since there's no separate "Rookie Pitcher Of The Year" award, but I tend to think of it as closer to the MVP award, so a rookie pitcher would really need to blow me away to win.

Jim: I do differ on the "MVP" issue. It's not "best player", but "Most Valuable". If you represent the difference between your team going to the post-season and staying home, to me, that makes you more "valuable" to me than someone who was the difference between their team having 75 wins and 82. Obviously, it's not the only factor, but it's definitely something I take into consideration: where would your team be without you?

DbacksSkins: Jim, what about guys like Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, and Ubaldo Jimenez, who basically did all they could to get the Rockies there, even though the rest of the team was awful? Toolo and CarGon were insanely hot in September, when it "counts", but the team was TURRABLE.

Jim. Games don't "count" any more in September than April or May, so that's a fallacious argument. They were all good players, certainly, but it's not called the "Most Good Player" award. Joey Votto's 6.9 WAR, on the other hand, probably was the difference between the Reds reaching the post-season or not. His performance was, as a result, more "valuable" than The Tool's.

Occasionally, pitchers deserve mention towards the lower end of the MVP ballot - Halladay for the Phillies this year. But they have the Cy Young, so I'm less willing to give them serious consideration for the award. Closers generally shouldn't get the Cy Young, but if they have basically been perfect for the season, then that does merit some thought. We've seen close to home, this season, how closers may not be as over-rated as sabermetrics would have us believe.

I'd start with ERA+ for pitchers and OPS+ for hitters. I still have skepticism towards some of the more advanced metrics, which seem to me to be measuring what a player's performance "should" have been, and not what it actually was - the latter is what really matters to me.

Sprankton: Jim, you even mentioned earlier how the MVP is defined as the "most valuable" player, so why is it that you would consider excluding pitchers just because they have a separate award? The Cy Young honors the best pitcher, so the most valuable issue is not the dominant question. It's not specifically meant to target value but to simply reward the most bad-ass pitcher in each league.

Jim: I think with pitchers, there's a lesser gap between "bad-ass" and valuable. If a pitcher wins MVP, then to me, he would also be a Cy Young lock, and it seems redundant to me to give them both awards.

Sprankton: As much as I'd like to see position players win MVP, I can't keep myself from gawking at some of the numbers pitchers put up sometimes. Pedro Martinez posted mind-boggling numbers in 1997, 1999, and 2000. Martinez never won the award though, even when he received more 1st place votes than any other player in ‘99. Ivan Rodriguez won MVP that year... with a 125 OPS+. I still question that decision.

It's a rare occurrence anyway. Only twenty pitchers have won the award dating back to 1931, with the last being Dennis Eckersley in 1992. It looks like a trend that won't be changing anytime soon either.

When all is said and done, I'm typically factoring in a few different categories. Taking the "best" player into mind is clearly a must. You also truly have to consider how "valuable" that player was. Was he detrimental to the overall success of the team? i.e. Was he more than just a bat in the lineup or a glove on the field? I place the weighted part of my decision based on stats like WAR, ERA+, and OPS+, and then delve into situational stats and defensive metrics next.

soco: I guess I'm of the opinion that there is no most important number for an award. I don't think you can look at a player and say, "oh, well they've led in this one or two categories so they should win," but I don't think it's merely an argument of adding up who has led the most categories. I do think that a candidate should be near the top of the major leaderboards. I don't believe that closers should normally be Cy Young winners anymore than I think pitchers should be MVP's.

It's so hard to make an argument that a pitcher that plays every 5 days can be compared to an everyday player, so I prefer to segment the concepts in my mind. I don't think that player should be in the postseason to win the award, but I do think it should be looked at as how much did the player help towards reaching the postseason? If a team would have been irrevocably worse without said player, I think that's an MVP type situation, regardless of whether it was the difference between playing in October or not, or finishing with 100 losses or not.

emily: I can't say that there's a stat I pay attention to when thinking about my MVP choices, and that is mostly because I'm not a stat-head like some people around here *ahem*. I do find it difficult to give MVP consideration to a player whose team did not make the playoffs, simply because it's hard to say that the "most valuable" player couldn't contribute enough value to get his team into the postseason (and for that reason, I don't want to consider Albert Pujols for MVP). Pitchers are a tough one...sometimes, a pitcher is far and away the most valuable player on his team, but not near enough to be considered for the Cy Young. Closers for Cy Young? Absolutely not. Sorry.

Wailord: I've got to go with Jim in the sense that the most valuable player deserves to win the MVP award. If there's a team that's star-studded and gets into the post-season handily, I don't know if I'd immediately jump on one of those guys simply because their team was so successful. I'd go with the guy that truly made the biggest difference for this team, and would have most drastically affected his team had he been out for the season (playoff-bound or not). If it's a pitcher, then so be it. I don't think it's an award dedicated to hitters. I think WAR is an extremely valuable stat (flawed as it is) - maybe it's because I'm growing up in an age of advanced metrics, but I never really had time to attach to other stats.

As for whether or not a closer should be Cy Young - I don't think it's fair to have a blanket statement and say they shouldn't be considered. Say a closer is lights-out, is perfect throughout the season, with some sort of ridiculous ERA. If there are no far-and-away better starters, I don't think you can simply ignore the closer. Sure, starting gets you a massive advantage before you even look at stats, but you can't disregard them completely. Finally, when it comes to weighting RotY hitters and pitchers, I think they're both equally deserving of the award. The best rookie, period. If you could have one guy on your team of all of them, whether at the plate or on the mound, the award should go to "that guy".

IHSB: I just find it a strange theory that the MVP award can be determined by the performances of players who are not given the award. It's like giving a Division Title solely to one player because he was the biggest reason the team got there. For those wanting it to be Votto, if even one of Bruce, Rolen, or maybe even Stubbs had been lost early in the year for the entire season, the Reds likely wouldn't have been able to fend off the Cardinals. Should something like that change the outcome of the Most Valuable Player award? Value is what you provide your team, not what you and your teammates provide your team.

Azreous: Of course, you also have the extremely bizarre circumstance where someone wins an MVP despite other players helping the team get there. The one that always comes to mind for me is the NL MVP 2007, when Jimmy Rollins undeservedly (in my opinion) received the award. A case could be made against Rollins regardless of his teammates' performance and contributions, but I remember many pundits talking about their top five MVP candidates, and for many, three were Phillies. How in the world can three players from the same team compete for most valuable player in the league? (For the record, Ryan Howard finished fifth and Chase Utley eighth). To me, assinging value is a tricky subject, but if nothing else it should be a player from a team who clearly stands above the rest of the guys on his own roster, let alone the entire league.

For me, MVPs can be from non-playoff teams. If Ichiro hits .600 next year with 50 steals and 120 runs, posts a WAR of 14, and Seattle's piss-poor offense limps to a 63-99 finish, should he be penalized for his team's crappy play? I disagree with that idea entirely. Pitchers are eligible, but it would take a Herculean effort. Closers are not - saves are horrendously overvalued.

NL awards?

IHSB: MVP is annoying... I don't want to keep giving it Pujols, and Adrian Gonzalez has such a good case, but... yeah, it's Pujols. Despite the better lineup coverage, despite the easier park, despite having won a bajillion of them already, it's Albert Pujols. .9 WAR is too big of a gap to make up with excuses and intangibles.

Cy Young = Halladay. The innings are just absurd and the peripherals are amazing. There's also those multiple no-hitters he's thrown going for him...

ROY = Heyward. A .393 OBP? Yes, please. Heyward has a higher wOBA, which doesn't over-value slugging like OPS does, and also played 34 more games - that's just too many to ignore. But this just demonstrates how incredibly horribly the Giants handled Posey, keeping him buried in Triple-A in favor of Bengie Molina...

Azreous: I'm on board with two of those picks. Halladay should be the easiest NL winner in some time, and for the sake of Jimenez/Wainwright/Johnson and company, it's a good thing postseason doesn't count toward voting. Heyward may have been a bit overhyped, but his numbers just barely beat out a handful of other strong candidates (it's the second straight year where there's 5-6 players who have a reasonable case in the NL for RotY). But my MVP pick is Joey Votto. The traditional counting stats don't provide much diference between him and Pujols, but Votto's better in WAR and OPS+

Zephon: Cy Young goes to Roy Halladay. He's been so good that he deserves to be in the discussion for MVP. I don't think Pitchers should be given the MVP award though, so the discussion comes down to Pujols VS Votto VS Gonzales. it's pretty much a wash between the three, but the tiebreaker to me is that only Votto's team made the playoffs. So the MVP award goes to Votto. RoY goes to Heyward. If Posey had put up his numbers of the course of a full season, I think he'd have run away with the award. For MOTY I'm going to go with Bobby Cox.

DbacksSkins: Cy Young: Doc Halladay wins it. It's pretty indisputable that he had the best all-around season.

MVP: Joey Votto. FanGraphs has him at 0.3 WAR above Pujols, and I'm going to be a bit of a hypocrite here and agree with Jim's sentiment above on team success. There's no way in Hell the Reds get to the postseason for the first time since I wore braces and didn't wear glasses without Votto's big year.

ROTY: Buster Posey. Heyward has the best OBP, which is certainly more valuable than slugging %, AND has more time in the big leagues this year, but Posey did all that while playing catcher, in a pitcher's park. Plus, he looks like he's 12, whereas Heyward looks like a man, so it seems like Posey is more eligible. Seriously though, I give a slight edge to Posey, but it's close. Also, Aroldis Chapman wins the "Rookie Of The Year Who Can Throw Faster Than My Car" award.

Jim: I'm sure the Tucson police might not agree with the last sentence, Phil...

Phil: MOTY: Bud Black. Say what you will about them overachieving, or failing down the stretch, but that was still a damned impressive turnaround in one year. I know, I know, managers don't ACTUALLY have much to do with a team's performance, but that's always how these things are judged. Shoutout goes to Dusty Baker for making the postseason without any of his pitchers' arms falling off. And screw off, east coast media, but a monkey could do Charlie Manuel's job with that roster. A monkey WITH BRAIN DAMAGE FROM HUFFING MODEL AIRPLANE GLUE. I expect, however, that "Bobby Cocks (SFW)" will win it in a giant media going-away-orgy. (Okay, that last part was NSFW) Just HOW the longtime manager of a perennial playoff contender wins it after squandering a 7 game division lead, I don't know.

Jim: A little surprised Josh Johnson is getting no mention at all in the Cy Young debate. His ERA+ of 182 was 17 points better than Halladay, and since 2005 has only been reached in the NL by Chris Carpenter last season. Sure, his year was shortened by back-pain, but he still threw 183 innings. He had that streak of 13 starts from May 13-July 22, where he posted a 0.79 ERA. Read that again: Zero. Point. Seven. Nine. Quite how he managed to get two losses and four no-decisions, I'm not sure. Ok, Halladay is a good choice too, but I wouldn't complain about anyone who opted for Johnson or Jimenez.

For MVP, I've got to go with Votto, if you hadn't already guessed. A 174 OPS+ is a level only Pujols has really reached recently, and his (relatively) down year opens the door - there's also no arguing, as even Phil noted, that he is the reason the Reds made the post-season. Oddly, this year, only three of the top 16 players by OPS+ are seeing post-season play. As another aside, the Giants and Braves both made it without a single player having more than 26 home-runs or 86 RBI. So much for needing a slugger in your line-up to drive in runs.

Rookie? Heyward. Produced 1.4 more BR WAR over a full season than Posey or Garcia. I think even it Mat Latos was eligible, I'd still be giving it to Heyward.

soco: Heyward is my NL Rookie of the Year, and it really comes down to that extra service time. He was producing all year, being a baller. Also, I think he's a big difference in how good the Braves can be, whereas the Giants draw most of their strength from pitching first. Posey doesn't add that much. MVP is Votto, and Halladay is the Cy Young. Both were crazy dominant, and bullied their teams to the playoffs. And if we're going to spend all year goobering on about how managers don't really matter, then I'm not really going to discuss Manager of the Year. Is there any team that made or almost the postseason that shouldn't have? No, probably not.

emily: If my vote for Cy Young wasn't already solidified, it certainly was tonight, with Roy Halladay throwing his second no hitter of the season (and the second in the playoffs, first since 1956, HOLY CRAP) to put the Phillies out front of the Reds in the NLDS.

MVP. Hmm. First, I'll just say there are many reasons I'm not on the list of people picking these awards. I mentioned in the last question that I wouldn't give it to Pujols, no matter his numbers, because he couldn't make that difference to get his team to the postseason. That said, my vote goes with Votto. And I'm not even going to explain why, because I don't think I can any better than anyone else that's already answered this.

If Posey had played a full season, and not been blocked by Bengie freakin Molina, I might have had a tougher time choosing, but as it stands, Heyward is the RotY. Even with that weird thumb thing that took him off my fantasy roster, the bum.

Manager of the Year is a tough one. I want to give it to Dusty Baker, purely for making it to the playoffs without destroying a pitcher's arm...but. BUT. As much as I hate the Giants, I'm inclined to give this one to Bochy. He managed a team to the top of the West that I, personally, did not see as a team with the potential to pull it out. Probably not a popular opinion, but, as I said, there's a reason I'm not in charge.

Wailord: As I said earlier, I believe the award should go to the player most valuable to his team. Joey Votto fits in the bill in my eyes - his 7.5WAR (going by Fangraphs, just my preferred metric) is considerably higher than Jay Bruce's 5.2, and the Reds wouldn't be where they are ("what, being no-hit, Ryan?...") without Votto. He deserves to win it. Cy Young I won't spend too much time on - Halladay far and away, and even if I shouldn't consider it, a no-hitter in your first career postseason start?

For RotY, I'd have to go with Buster Posey. Even if Heyward has the numbers and he helped his team out more (considering service time), Posey was awesome as soon as he hit the Majors. Heyward did have that homer in his first ML at-bat, but there's just something about putting up those numbers as a catcher... Manager of the Year I don't really care about, only because their effect is minimal. I guess Bud Black due to the team's (choking?) turnaround.

IHSB: "[T]here's also no arguing, as even Phil noted, that he is the reason the Reds made the post-season." You sure, Jim? Last I checked, Jay Bruce put up over 4 WAR on B-R and over 5 WAR on FanGraphs. The Reds won that division by five games. If you take away the FanGraphs' value, that's a tied division, and even if you take away just the 4 wins from B-R, isn't it possible that one of those wins you're taking away was one over the Cardinals, tying the division again? Votto is freaking awesome, but there were other players that, had they gotten hurt, could have broke the Reds' season (Scott Rolen being another).

Azreous: True, but then again, that's a somewhat specious argument. Players don't just vanish from teams - if you take away Pujols' value from the Cardinals, the Reds don't need Jay Bruce to make the postseason. Or Votto for that matter. And then, trying to assign those wins (were they in the division? Were they against the Cardinals themselves?) is a disaster of a slippery slope. It may be somewhat hyperbolic to say that a team couldn't have done this or that without a specific player, but I think the idea still stands.

IHSB: I am rather aware of how slippery that slope could be, but I'm just trying to say that the idea that Votto was the sole difference in the Reds making the playoffs and not making the playoffs is a bit flimsy. When you said that if Pujols had missed the year, the Reds wouldn't have needed those guys, well... exactly. That's because Pujols is a more valuable player. Hence him deserving, in my mind, the Most Valuable Player Award.

AL awards?

IHSB: Hamilton/Felix/Davis (no, not Neftali Feliz, I don't care about saves). Hamilton as a below-replacement defender in BR is absurd. Felix beats out Weaver - if Weaver got ground-balls 43% of the time instead of 33% of the time, he'd have gotten it, but HR's hurt too much. And the AL ROY crop is miserable, but Davis did some very good things in a very tough division as a rookie starter. Impressive.

Zephon: Josh Hamilton, hands down for MVP. Felix beats out CC Sabathia and Jered Weaver for a number of reasons. Throwing out the W/L record, Felix has pitched more innings, has a lower ERA, more complete games, more strikeouts, less walks, and less homers allowed. He's been hands down a better pitcher. But like Randy Johnson in 2004, he'll no doubt be robbed of the award because of his lackluster team. The RoY crop in the AL is pretty lackluster. I'm going to go with Neftali Feliz, just to be different from IHSB. MOTY is Ron Washington in Texas.

DbacksSkins: Cy Young: Felix Hernandez. Suck it, Yankees, but Felix has been the best pitcher in the league by any measure invented post-1890. (It didn't hurt that Joe Morgan came out and endorsed CC Sabathia, either) Also, Wes, I do like to think that things have changed since 2004 (to our detriment in 2008, with Timmay winning the Cy Young despite having 5 fewer wins than Webby) but I don't have a LOT of confidence, either.

MVP: Josh Hamilton. Any questions?

ROTY: The only "interesting" race in the AL, and it's really only interesting because there's absolutely nobody very interesting in the race. I agree with Dan's selection of Davis as ROTY, but I also agree with Wes' selection of Feliz because I hate Notre Dame. My prejudice having been said, I'll still give it to Davis.

MOTY: Um... um.. Joe Maddon? I guess? He's an Arizona Cardinals fan, so that's cool too. Ron Washington is up there, too.

IHSB: What does Wade Davis have to do with Notre Dame? Oh, and uhhh, RACIST!!!

DbacksSkins: Just the fact that I'm agreeing with you, that's all. And hey, at least I don't hate Catholics and Notre Dame like Clefo does. Everytime I hang out with that guy, he makes a papist joke.

IHSB: Cool story, particularly since I'm Episcopalian. : P

Sprankton: I've always wanted to meet an Australian Episcopalian. No reason...

IHSB: Sadly, I'm only halfway there... and we all know that 50% is still failing.

[meanwhile, back on topic...] (IHSB: tee-hee!)

soco: RotY is Feliz for me. I don't think you can argue much against Hamilton being MVP, the dude was crazy good this year. Cy Young? One word, baby: winnnnnnnnz

I will break my "no Manager of the Year" stance to say that Buck Showalter should just win it for the entirety of MLB. He might be the only one you can make a case for that truly turned around his team after taking over, considering how awful the Orioles were in the first half of the season.

Azreous: If this were a month ago, you'd be right about no argument against Hamilton. Great defense in center, .361 batting average, on pace for possibly 40 HR/125 RBI. But a month of injury made this at least a race, similar to Joe Mauer last year. He still gets my pick though.

Jim: I'm going elsewhere for MVP: Evan Longoria of the Rays. 7.7 WAR, tops in the AL, because he wasn't the defensive butcher Hamilton was. Can't argue with King Felix for the Cy Young, mostly because I want the Yankees to get nothing out of this season. Nothing, I tell you! The rookies are a pretty "meh" lot in the AL this year - can I give two to the NL rookies? Assuming not, then I like Danny Valencia of the Twins. But then, I like the Twins.

Wailord: Felix all the way for Cy Young. If he doesn't win, I'll be livid. He's arguably my favorite pitcher in baseball (behind Daniel Hudson at this point... <3) and his numbers were ridiculous throughout the season. AL MVP I'd have to go for Josh Hamilton, simply because his numbers were that good (even if I'm not exactly a Rangers lover). I'd give RotY to Neftali Feliz, because I love closers (THAT'S RIGHT DAN), and he's the only real AL rookie where you can say "he was awesome". Manager of the Year, Buck Showalter, simply because he's the only one I might secretly think actually made a difference. Maybe.

IHSB: Hamilton a defensive butcher? UZR begs to differ - 7.2 runs above-average in center field. WOO DEFENSIVE METRICS!!!!! In all seriousness, defensive metrics are so floozey that I can't give it to Longoria (or take it away from Hamilton) based on them.

emily: MotY, gonna have to agree with soco and wailord's votes for Buck Showalter. Yeah, the O's didn't end up great, but they were way, WAY better than before he came along. I'd like to see Dan Hudson get Rookie of the Year, but that won't happen. Um. Feliz, I guess? I dunno. The AL rookies completely underwhelmed this year. For me, Josh Hamilton is a no brainer for MVP.

Do you think any D-back will get votes this year? Which member of the current roster will be first to get mentioned on a CY/MVP ballot?

IHSB: Nobody this year, but if all of the cards fall properly, Dan Hudson could BABIP his way into a Cy Young at some point. Don't see a Halladay-like perennial contender, though. If you're looking for a possible perennial contender, it's Justin Upton for the MVP, but there's still plenty of polishing to do.

Zephon: Once again, I'm echoing IHSB's sentiments. Upton is the one player on the team who could be a perennial MVP candidate. I also agree with his point about Daniel Hudson BABIPing his way into a Cy Young.

DbacksSkins: I wouldn't be shocked if Dan Hudson got a few ROTY votes, Barry Enright got one or two, and Kelly Johnson got MAYBE a top-20 MVP finish. At best. Upton, if and when he bounces back, will be mentioned on MVP ballots -- if only because a big part of that is name recognition, and he's already got it.

IHSB: If BR is to be trusted, Kelly Johnson definitely should get a top-20 MVP finish. 11th in BR WAR. Awesome season, awesome player. Neglected to realize just how many players received votes for the MVP - KJ and Drew both ought to get a few.

DbacksSkins: Originally, I'd typed "top-15", before changing it. Glad to know I'm not totally insane.

Sprankton: All of these predictions seem pretty spot on; I'm going to go all crazy, insane, optimistic fan type, and say that Stephen Drew gets at least one vote. One vote!

IHSB: Drew should, really, if only to make up for the fact that he's one of the most underrated players in all of baseball.

Azreous: Can't argue with that. This is really a different debate for a different time, but I wonder how much recognition Drew would get if A) he played in a bigger market and B) he wasn't a complete wallflower. Does Stephen Drew with, say, Nyjer Morgan's personality (but not his repeated suspensions) in New York make an all-star team with the same numbers? I think he does easily. Regardless, this team currently possesses no top-10-worthy players in CY or MVP, and as fun as Hudson was to watch down the stretch, I don't see him or anyone else cracking that list next season either.

soco: No way I can look at any of our players and say they should be sniffing any of the major awards. Gold Glove? Maybe. But this was an underperforming bunch, with the few truly exceptional players not being as good as the other names being thrown around. Maybe next year.

Wailord: I don't think anyone'll get any votes this year, unfortunately. If I had to pick one Diamondback that's most likely to get an MVP vote in the future, it's Justin Upton; Cy Young would be Dan Hudson { ! }, and Rookie of the Year would be... I dunno, I'll defer to Wes/Dan.

IHSB: Oh... Rookie of the Year. I guess I'm supposed to say something about this... poo. It's going to have to be a guy who starts his rookie season on the big-league squad, or who spends little enough time in his first cup of coffee to still be rookie eligible the following year. So I'm going to use that as a reason to axe Jarrod Parker - I think he'll kill his rookie eligibility in 2011, but not be in the bigs for much more than half of the year.

Considering that the 2010 award will likely mark the seventh straight NL ROY given to a position player (since Dontrelle Willis in 2003... I still find it sad to be reminded of how spectacular he was), I'm going to continue on this trend. Particularly since our only super high-upside/immediate-impact starter is Parker and I already mentioned why I don't believe he'll get it. So that by itself leaves the crowd of serious potential candidates, for me, at Matt Davidson, Chris Owings, Bobby Borchering, Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, and Wagner Mateo, with an honorable mention to Ty Linton.

With Davidson, I'm almost concerned that he'll rise through the system too quickly, and thus take a few lumps when he first arrives at the majors (though I'm also quite convinced he'll adjust just fine). Pollock is more of a solid player than a star/ROY candidate - though if Chris Coghlan can win one, anybody can if the rookie crop is weak enough. Finally, Mateo (and Linton) is such a long way away that it's just too hard to project him right now.

So my crowd is reduced to Owings, Borchering, & Goldschmidt. Owings could have a serious chance at it, though he's pretty far away and the shortstop ROY crowd is tough to crack (Hanley Ramirez & Rafael Furcal are the only ones as of late), so I'm going to rank him third. Of Borchering and Goldschmidt, I think Borchering has the better chance of being a better player in the long-term, but I'm actually going to go with Goldschmidt on this one.

I feel like his immense home run power could really sway voters - flashy home run totals look nice on ballots. At the same time, there's also a serious chance that Goldschmidt contends for the AL Rookie of the Year Award in the near future, as he would seem to be a better fit in the American League as a DH and could thus be trade fodder with Brandon Allen in the big leagues.

Final list: Goldschmidt, Borchering, Owings, Davidson, Pollock, Mateo, Linton.

/required minor league thingy complete.

emily: I really have no idea. I think that all of Enright, Hudson and Kennedy could get votes for Rookie of the Year, but I don't think that any of them will actually get it. Upton and Kelly Johnson (maybe Chris Young?) could get votes for MVP, and I think that, at some point, Upton will be a perennial MVP vote-getter. Also, if Jarrod Parker pans out the way everyone talks about (and I hope they're right), I could see him on Cy Young ballots. Also, Hudson. He's awesome.