Sunday, October 10, 2010

A.L. MVP 2010

The biggest question in the A.L. MVP race seems to be "Did Josh Hamilton play enough to earn/deserve the award? The numbers say he did.

Top 10 2010 A.L. Hitters, Sorted by Patton $

1Carl Crawford$405th5th

2Josh Hamilton$381st1st

3Miguel Cabrera$384th7th

4Jose Bautista$346th

5Robinson Cano

6Juan Pierre$33

7Paul Konerko

8Alex Rios$32

9Ichiro Suzuki$31

10Adrian Beltre$303rd

Other VORP Top 10:  Evan Longoria 2nd, Joe Mauer 8th, Alexei Ramirez 9th, Nick Swisher 10th.
Other Fangraphs Top 10: Evan Longoria 3rd, Shin-Soo Choo 8th, Brett Gardner 9th, Joe Mauer 10th.

Both the mainstream media and the numbers-oriented baseball community have been wondering aloud whether or not Hamilton deserves the award based on playing time. This is where the commonalities end, though. The mainstream media has been comparing Hamilton to Bautista and Cabrera, while the numbers crowd has been looking at Longoria, Cano and - to a lesser extent - Beltre.

The two biggest knocks on Hamilton's candidacy have been time missed due to injury and his favorable home venue. However, Hamilton's 571 plate appearances put him only 77 behind Cabrera. This should factor in, but it isn't a chasm that should knock Hamilton out of consideration.

As far as his home field advantage goes, Hamilton certainly did much better at home than he did on the road (1188 OPS home/894 OPS road). However, Nelson Cruz is the only other Ranger who has such a radical home/road split (+294 home). While there are some other favorable splits, Hamilton's numbers at home seem to be a combination of a good home venue and a great season. The Rangers +9% run differential at home isn't the same as the Rockies +36% differential.

Hamilton missed 29 games. If he had missed 50-60 games, I think I'd knock him out. But Cabrera missed 12 and Longoria missed 11. While there are some candidates that played almost every game (Bautista, Cano), Hamilton's numbers are still strong enough that I think he deserves the win here.

1) Josh Hamilton
2) Evan Longoria
3) Adrian Beltre
4) Jose Bautista
5) Miguel Cabrera
6) Robinson Cano
7) Carl Crawford
8) Joe Mauer
9) Paul Konerko
10) Nick Swisher

1 comment:

Eugene Freedman said...

Glad to see Longoria ranked #2 on your list despite his lack of dominance in the glamor categories. Very strong ballot rankings.