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And the 2010 Diamondbacks MVP is...

Kelly Johnson high-fives with Chris Young. But how did the team-mates stack up against each other in MVP voting?
Kelly Johnson high-fives with Chris Young. But how did the team-mates stack up against each other in MVP voting?

Last Saturday, we opened the poll for the last and most prestigious of the 2010 AZ SnakePit awards, to decide who was the Most Valuable Player for the Arizona Diamondbacks this season. Voting has closed and a highly-respected firm of accountants have now tallied the ballots. The results were announced at a black-tie gala event last night, attended by all the members of the team, and after the jump, we'll analyze the numbers.

Er, some of the paragraph above may not be entirely true...

There were quite a significant number of spoiled ballots - 29, to be exact. I would have thought "list the nominees in order, 1-2-3-4-5," would be hard to get wrong, but people apparently missed this, or opted to ignore it. So, we had everything from five votes of "1", to a pair of fives, two fours and a one. Fortunately, Google Spreadsheets makes it easy to filter out the invalid one, so once that had been done, we were left with 122 legitimate ballots. Below, you'll find the rankings for each of the five nominees: on the left as a graph, and on the right as a table, each showing the number of votes the player in question got at each position, from first to fifth.
Stephen Drew
Rank Votes Percent
1 20 16%
2 33 27%
3 31 25%
4 23 24%
5 9 7%
Daniel Hudson
Rank Votes Percent
1 17 14%
2 12 10%
3 22 18%
4 37 30%
5 34 28%
Kelly Johnson
Rank Votes Percent
1 47 39%
2 29 24%
3 28 23%
4 13 11%
5 5 4%
Justin Upton
Rank Votes Percent
1 3 2%
2 12 10%
3 16 13%
4 28 23%
5 63 52%
Chris Young
Rank Votes Percent
1 24 29%
2 36 30%
3 25 20%
4 15 12%
5 11 9%

Eyeballing the graphs, you can get a rough idea of the overall rankings, with the nominees falling into three broad bands. Hudson and Upton are in the lowest group, Drew sits in the middle, while it seems that the battle for MVP comes down to Johnson and Young. However, all votes and positions count in the final tally, because the award doesn't go to the player with most first-place ballots, but the one with the lowest average rank. [This could open the door for tactical voting, where you place your favorite first, then put his rival in fifth, to drive down his average ranking. But I'm hoping no-one thought of that. :-)] Having duly crunched the numbers, the final positions are as follows:

5. Justin Upton: 4.11

4. Daniel Hudson: 3.48

3. Stephen Drew: 2.79

2. Chris Young: 2.43

1. Kelly Johnson: 2.18

Congratulations to Johnson, though I'm beginning to wonder if there is some kind of curse to the MVP 'Pittie, given that the previous winners have been Mark Reynolds, Conor Jackson and Brandon Webb... Hopefully, Johnson can break that streak in 2011.