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BBA Ballot: National League MVP

Posted on October 22, 2009 at 5:30 PM
Filed Under: Baseball Bloggers Alliance
I never knew.

MVP voting has always been interesting to me, nice to see who wins, interesting to see what the rationale for the voters was (if they share).  Beyond that, though, I'd never given it a lot of thought.

Then, this year, I am one of the official ballots (Mike over at Stan Musial's Stance is the other) for the St. Louis chapter of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.  Which means that I had to sit down and come up with the top 10 players in the National League for 2009.  That's when I had the insight.

This stuff is hard.

I sketched out my list, then went looking for some basic statistical numbers to back up what I was thinking.  Then I'd find one guy that I overlooked.  Then another.  Then maybe this guy should move up.  How do you rank a guy that had great overall numbers on a terrible team.  Where do pitchers fit in.  All of these decisions, just because that jerk of a chapter chairman gave me the MVP vote instead of something like the Cy Young vote.  (Full disclosure: I am the St. Louis chapter chairman.  Never knew I hated myself this much.)

So the following is my best guess, really.  There are players left out that I'd have loved to find room for.  There are players that you probably think should be 5-7 that are 2-4.  I'm sure that there will be plenty of disagreements along the way.  However, I'm pretty sure (especially if you are a regular reader, but most likely everyone) you'll agree with the top of the list.  And that's all that matters, right?



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Honorable mention
Chris Carpenter, St. Louis
Andre Ethier, Los Angeles
Derrek Lee, Chicago
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco
Mark Reynolds, Arizona
Adam Wainwright, St. Louis

Ethier really probably should be in the actual ballot, but I wasn't willing to bump my #10 out of the ranks (it's my ballot, sue me) and wasn't sure who else to replace.  Lee and Reynolds had stellar years, but on teams that didn't go anywhere.  The pitchers were all very valuable to their team's success and my initial ballot had two of them in the top ten, but when it came down to it, they'd have to be content with the Cy Young showings.

10. Matt Holliday, St. Louis
42 R, 13 HR, 55 RBI, 2 SB, .353/.419/.604 (stats w/SL)

Obviously, I watched Holliday from the moment he came over and, to be fair, the Cardinals might have won the division without him.  It's as easily conceivable, though, that they may not have.  His presence gave a jolt to the team, both in the lineup and psychologically, and it helped spur them out to their big lead.  For that, I felt he needed at least token recognition.

9. Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego
90 R, 40 HR, 99 RBI, 1 SB, .277/.407/.551

It's hard enough to put up stellar offensive numbers when you play half of your games in the big ballpark that is Petco.  It's even harder to do so when you are basically the only offensive threat your team has.  Yet Gonzalez was able to put up very good all-around numbers while walking a league-leading 119 times.  That puts him ahead of Lee and Reynolds and gets him on the ballot.

8. Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco
79 R, 25 HR, 90 RBI, 5 SB, .330/.387/.556

I knew Sandoval had had a good year.  What I didn't realize, until looking through some things, that Kung Fu Panda was basically the entire San Francisco offense.  When you think of how far that the Giants went, challenging for the NL West title before fading in September, and they did it with Sandoval's offensive contributions being basically all she wrote, well, it shows you how well Giants pitchers did.

7. Chase Utley, Philadelphia
112 R, 31 HR, 93 RBI, 23 SB, .282/.397/.508

Utley and his teammate named above get a little bit of a downgrade because, while we are looking for stellar performances, we are also looking for valuable ones.  There's no doubt that Utley's contributions helped the Phillies immensely, but he did have quite a bit of help on the offensive side of things.  Definitely valuable, definitely wonderful, but not quite as far up as he might have gotten if there'd only been two or three Phillies driving the offense.

6. Prince Fielder, Milwaukee
103 R, 46 HR, 141 RBI, 2 SB, .299/.412/.602

The Brewers have become a pesky rival to the Cardinals in the last few years, what with the untucking of shirts and the general dislike between the two clubs.  I tried not to let that impact where I put Fielder on the list, though.  Fielder was hurt some by Milwaukee not really living up to expectations.  He did all that he could, of course, but everyone in front of him played on either a pennant-winning team or a team that challenged.  In other years, he probably would have been in the top 5, but this year's crop of candidates is pretty strong, in my book.

5. Ryan Howard, Philadelphia
105 R, 45 HR, 141 RBI, 8 SB, .279/.360/.571

Howard put up another monster year.  While the postseason obviously doesn't count for this voting, he has gotten his team to the World Series and garnered an LCS MVP for his efforts.  As I noted with Utley, though, it's hard to seperate some of his contributions from the gaudy numbers the Philadelphia offense put up as a whole, and of course the ballpark factors have to come into play as well.

4. Hanley Ramirez, Florida
101 R, 24 HR, 106 RBI, 27 SB, .342/.410/.543

Ramirez has continued to develop into a powerful force for the Marlins.  He dropped down in the lineup this year, which cut into his steal numbers, but his overall body of work was in line with what was projected for him when he was dealt for Josh Beckett a few years back.  He may not have been completely well-liked in the clubhouse, but he got the job done on the field.

3. Troy Tulowitski, Colorado
101 R, 32 HR, 92 RBI, 20 SB, .297/.377/.552

Tulowitski was a name that surprised me when I started looking through things.  Probably because he's on a team that I didn't get to see much, I didn't realize how his overall numbers had looked.  Factor in the fact that the team made the playoffs and that gets him a high spot on my ballot.

2. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles
97 R, 26 HR, 101 RBI, 34 SB, .297/.352/.490

I'm probably overrating Kemp, I'll admit. There are people with better categorical numbers, especially.  With Kemp, though, you got the entire package.  A broad range of offensive skills, plus the defense in center field to go along with it.  He hit 15 of his home runs and stole 15 of his bases after the All-Star Break, though he did struggle a bit in September.

1. Albert Pujols, St. Louis
124 R, 47 HR, 135 RBI, 16 SB, .327/.443/.658

What is there to say?  I expect Pujols will be a unanimous selection both among the BBA and the baseball writers.  Why not?  He was the best offensive player in the league on a team that won their division.  By what argument do you say he isn't the MVP?  He was four steals away from being a 20/20 man, so he even brought some speed (or smart baserunning) to the table.  This is the reason I took the MVP vote, because I knew that the top of it, at least, was the easy part.

So flame away.  I know it's not perfect and I look forward to seeing what the rest of the Alliance has in store!


1 Comments

1 Comment | Leave a comment

I think you could do a whole lot worse at #2 than Matt Kemp. He really was the Dodgers spark this year, although Ethier and Manny, of course, got more attention.

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Heroes
Carlos Beltran (6)
Yadier Molina (5)
Matt Holliday (4)
Jon Jay (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Pete Kozma (3)
Shelby Miller (3)
Adam Wainwright (3)
Allen Craig (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Tyler Lyons (2)
Edward Mujica (2)
Jake Westbrook (2)
David Freese (1)
Joe Kelly (1)
Seth Maness (1)
Trevor Rosenthal (1)
Michael Wacha (1)
Ty Wigginton (1)

2012 Top Hero: Matt Holliday (17)
2011 Top Hero: Lance Berkman (24)
2010 Top Heroes: Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols (24)
2009 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (28)
2008 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (25)

Goats
Jon Jay (6)
David Freese (5)
Mitchell Boggs (4)
Joe Kelly (4)
Pete Kozma (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Allen Craig (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Yadier Molina (3)
Matt Adams (2)
Carlos Beltran (2)
Matt Carpenter (2)
Matt Holliday (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Seth Maness (1)
Shane Robinson (1)
Fernando Salas (1)
Adam Wainwright (1)
Jake Westbrook (1)

2012 Top Goat: Rafael Furcal (11)
2011 Top Goat: Ryan Theriot (12)
2010 Top Goat: Brendan Ryan (14)
2009 Top Goats: Rick Ankiel and Todd Wellemeyer (13)
2008 Top Goat: Troy Glaus (13)

Cardinal Nation Approval Ratings (March 2013)
Yadier Molina 96.2% (up 8.8%)
Chris Carpenter 89.8% (down 0.3%)
Derrick Goold 89.1% (up 6.3%)
Matt Holliday 88.4% (up 0.9%)
Allen Craig 88.3%
Adam Wainwright 88.2% (down 3.7%)
Jose Oquendo 87.1% (up 2.4%)
Jason Motte 86.9%
John Mozeliak 86.5% (up 1.1%)
United Cardinal Bloggers 85.2% (up 6.3%)
Bill DeWitt 85.1% (up 5.3%)
Mike Shannon 85.1% (down 0.2%)
John Rooney 84.5% (up 3.0%)
Mike Matheny 84.4% (up 3.3%)
David Freese 82.9% (down 2.6%)
Jon Jay 81.8% (up 10.7%)
Lance Berkman 80.6% (down 8.0%)
Jenifer Langosch 79.5%
Lance Lynn 79.5%
Dan McLaughlin 76.0% (up 8.0%)
Jim Hayes 73.0% (up 1.1%)
Ricky Horton 65.5% (down 2.0%)
Jaime Garcia 64.1%
Albert Pujols 59.2% (up 4.3%)
Ballpark Village 58.3%
Joe Strauss 54.3% (down 13.4%)

2012
Tony La Russa 88.2% (up 17.4%)
Mark McGwire 82.6% (up 20.1%)
Skip Schumaker 73.3% (up 9.2%)
B.J. Rains 69.5% (down 0.9%)
Kyle Lohse 68.9% (up 13.8%)
Al Hrabosky 66.4% (up 3.2%)
Colby Rasmus 46.5% (down 35.3%)

2011
Dave Duncan 87.9% (up 0.9%)
Matthew Leach 85.5%
Pop Warner 76.7%
Ryan Franklin 72.8% (up 3.1%)
John Vuch 68.9%
Jeff Luhnow 66.4%
Dan Lozano 58.7%

2009
Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%


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