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2021 Most Valuable Player: Nominations open

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We finish off the ‘Pitties with The Big One. Who should be on the ballot for MVP?

Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

This is a category which is open to both position players and pitchers, which makes it a bit more difficult to compare seasons. The leading player by bWAR for the Diamondbacks this year was Merrill Kelly at 2.5. But he has already been honored by taking home the Pitcher of the Year award. Does he therefore deserve to double-up and win MVP honors as well? There is some precedent. Indeed, last year Zac Gallen was victorious in this category, albeit in a season which was different in a whole slew of ways. Before that, you would need to go all the way back to 2006 and 2007 to find a pitcher winning MVP here, when Brandon Webb did so in consecutive years.

For what it’s worth, here are the top 10 players by bWAR for the Diamondbacks

  • 1. Merrill Kelly: 2.5
  • =2. Eduardo Escobar, 2.1
    Zac Gallen
    Carson Kelly
  • 5. Ketel Marte, 1.8
  • 6. Daulton Varsho, 1.7
  • 7. Madison Bumgarner, 1.5
  • 8. Tyler Gilbert, 1.2
  • 9. David Peralta, 1.1
  • =10. Asdrubal Cabrera, 0.9
    Luke Weaver

If you prefer fWAR as a metric, here you go. Some definite differences in the order, not least Ketel Marte jumping all the way from fifth to a clear number one.

  • 1. Ketel Marte, 2.9
  • 2. Merrill Kelly, 2.4
  • 3. Eduardo Escobar, 2.1
  • =4. Josh Rojas, 2.0
    Daulton Varsho
  • 6. Carson Kelly, 1.7
  • =7. Madison Bumgarner. 1.5
    Zac Gallen
  • 9. David Peralta, 1.1
  • = 10. Joe Mantiply, 0.7
    Luke Weaver

Doing the math and averaging those two, Kelly (2.45) just edges Marte (2.35), with Escobar (2.10) in third, then Kelly (1.90), Varsho (1.85) and Gallen (1.80), all quite close together. But there are other cases to be made, depending on factors like intangibles. Does Marte being made to play center boost his value in a way not recorded by the metrics? Do catchers like Kelly and Varsho deserve extra credit for the importance of the position they play? Usual rules in play, but be interested to hear your nominations and explanation. Normal blurb follows:

As usual, we need to narrow the candidates down to five or thereabouts, for the final poll. This will be done largely on the basis of recs in the comments, though the decision of the judging committee i.e. me, will be final in this regard. Just identify the player in the subject line, and make your case in the body of the comment. If you agree with a choice already made, give it a rec. If you don’t see your choice, post a new comment. I will delete subsequent top-level comments about the same game. Poll to follow on Friday, as we head towards the closing of the year.