Sunday, October 10, 2010

N.L. MVP 2010

I've been looking at the race for N.L. MVP as a two-man race for most of the summer.

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

1Carlos Gonzalez$459th9th

2Albert Pujols$401st2nd

3Joey Votto$402nd1st

4Hanley Ramirez$33

5Ryan Braun

6Matt Holliday$323rd

7David Wright
8Troy Tulowitzki$316th5th
9Jayson Werth$305th

10Angel Pagan$30

Other VORP Top 10:  Adrian Gonzalez 4th, Jay Bruce 8th
Other Fangraphs Top 10: Ryan Zimmerman 3rd, Richie Weeks 6th, Andres Torres 7th, Kelly Johnson 8th, Aubrey Huff 10th.

The numbers confirm that I'm right.

The surprise for me here is that Matt Holliday ranks as high as he does using various wins-above-replacement models. Because of Pujols (and, to a lesser extent, Tulowitzki's marvelous run) Holliday has flown under the radar, but he's had a pretty great season in his own right.

Tulo got close, but as hot as he was in the beginning of September, his cool down in the second half of the month leaves him on the outside of the Votto/Pujols circle looking in. Fangraphs loves Zimmerman because of his defense, while BP loves him less, so Zimmerman will go where my intuition suggests he belongs: at the bottom of the rankings.

Marc Normandin of BP turned me on to how good Adrian Gonzalez was this year when you factor in park effects. Baseball Reference has Gonzalez third in Adjusted OPS behind Votto and Pujols. I definitely moved Gonzalez up in my rankings, but not enough to alter the two-man race.

In the end, I decided to give Votto the nod over Pujols because it's a close race and Votto's team went to the play-offs. I don't believe that only players on play-off teams can or should win awards, but when it is close it is certainly an intangible to consider.

1) Joey Votto
2) Albert Pujols
3) Adrian Gonzalez
4) Troy Tulowitzki
5) Matt Holliday
6) Carlos Gonzalez
7) Ryan Zimmerman
8) Jay Bruce
9) Aubrey Huff
10) Jayson Werth


steve said...

Your playoff statement is wrong. Remember when Pujols made the playoffs and ryan howard did not and ryan won. Nobody seems to metion the strikouts pujols has almost half less that votto. Also as you said look how good Holliday's number s are that is becasue of pujol.

Mike Gianella said...

It's close this year. If Pujols wins, it certainly won't be a travesty.

And playoffs or no, Pujols probably should have won the MVP in 2006...both he and Carlos Beltran were measurably better than Howard that year.

Toz said...

I agree with 1/2 of that statement. Pujols should have won the MVP without a doubt in 2006. Offensively, Howard is measurably better than Beltran in almost every way other than a 20+ runs scored differential and 18 stolen bases.

The true turner there is defense. Assuming that you are using defense as an equally important measure in the calculation, then I think there is a strong argument to be made that Beltran finishes ahead of Howard (note too that Howard receives an instant minus in the WAR calculation for position).

All things said, Pujols should have another MVP in his pocket - his season was tremendous, and the metrics unequivocally support it.

Mike Gianella said...

Using offense alone, Howard was definitively better. Factoring in defense, Howard still gets a slight edge. Factoring in defense AND positional replacement value (replacing Howard at 1B was theoretically easier than replacing Beltran in CF), Beltran gets the nod.