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Thursday, September 04, 2008
AL MVP Race - Offense Plus Defense (OPD) - Through Sept 02, 2008
Carlos Quentin? Dustin Pedrioia? Alex Rodriguez? Who is the best candidate for the AL MVP? Has Pedroia’s recent hot streak and media hype lifted him to a top five candidate? He’s certainly played well enough to be the best player on his team. Or has he?
What follows is a discussion of the AL OPD (offense plus defense) leaders and who should be headed for the MVP. Sometimes the month of September can be enough to move players in this ranking when they are tightly bunched. So, while these are the leaders, the rankings are not cemented.
The runs are rated above average at position. The offense is XR, park-adjusted, and specific to the number of outs a player has used up. The defense is DRS (Defensive Runs Saved: ZR converted to runs), explained in my previous work. It is runs, not plays, above average. The units are the same, so I simply add the numbers together. The decimal places are for consistency’s sake, not meant to represent accuracy. There are several runs of give in these (and any) numbers, offense or defense.
In this data, the catcher defense is properly calculated, including all passed ball, stolen base data, as well as incorporating the ZR data. This is different from previous datasets, but the complaining about it was enough to get me to make the effort.
There is some taint in some of the defensive data. If a player played more than one position, I have summed all of his defensive contributions and using that total number for his DRS at his Primary defensive position. There are very few players this affects, and none are impacted significantly. Marco Scutaro is significantly affected. He is a +4 at SS, but plays all over well enough to boost that to a +12 defender. I believe using all the data more accurately reflects his total contribution to his team’s successes. I also include Tony Pena’s and Jamie Burke’s pitching runs. All of the AL, plus team totals is shared in a Google Doc here. The green represents the top mark in a category at a position and the yellow represents the worst mark.
All that done, let’s talk about some players. Scroll to the bottom if you want to see who the AL MVP leader is.
Player Name Team Primary DRS XRa+ OPD Thome Jim CHW DH 0.00 15.79 15.79 Ortiz David BOS DH 0.00 9.88 9.88 Floyd Cliff TBR DH 0.00 7.65 7.65
Well, these guys are out of the running. They have a smaller set to be compared to, so perhaps I should lump them in with 1Bs? No, that drops these guys by three runs.
Player Name Team Primary DRS XRa+ OPD Youkilis Kevin BOS 1B 6.37 23.15 29.52 Huff Aubrey BAL 1B -3.86 31.99 28.12 Morneau Justin MIN 1B -1.30 25.30 24.00 Pena Carlos TBR 1B 2.24 19.04 21.28
Youkilis is a very strong player. He is presently fifth in the league in OPD, with Huff at seventh. Here’s the first Oriole in the top performers list. They had some players with terrific seasons. Some people have suggested Morneau for MVP, but I don’t see it.
Player Name Team Primary DRS XRa+ OPD Pedroia Dustin BOS 2B 8.70 18.88 27.58 Kinsler Ian TEX 2B -0.44 26.29 25.85 Roberts Brian BAL 2B 0.49 23.46 23.95
Pedroia is the best second baseman after his hot streak. It’s hard to say if he’ll be there on October 3rd. His defense gives him an edge, but Roberts and Kinsler are better hitters and Pedroia could lose ground there quickly. He does have lots of home games, so we’ll see. Pedroia is 8th in the AL, three slots behind his teammate Youkilis. I don’t think he’s the MVP. And Roberts - another Oriole.
Player Name Team Primary DRS XRa+ OPD Scutaro Marco TOR SS 12.38 7.11 19.49 Aviles Mike KCR SS 2.85 14.24 17.10 Jeter Derek NYY SS -0.09 11.72 11.62
Marco Scutaro is getting an eight run boost playing defense all around the diamond, so the real leader here is Aviles. Look at Derek Jeter being average at defense! You go, Derek!
Player Name Team Primary DRS XRa+ OPD Rodriguez Alex NYY 3B -3.28 34.73 31.45 Beltre Adrian SEA 3B 13.94 6.23 20.17 Guillen Carlos DET 3B 9.34 10.46 19.80 Longoria Evan TBR 3B 0.12 19.60 19.72
It turns out that Alex Rodriguez is a superior player. His defense isn’t good, but close to average. Adrian Beltre is giving the Mariners what they paid for this year. A great glove and a good bat. What? His OPS+ is 109? That sounds about right. Evan Longoria chased up the charts pretty good. ARod is number four on the AL OPD chart.
Player Name Team Primary DRS XRa+ OPD Mauer Joe MIN C 3.15 29.25 32.39 Shoppach Kelly CLE C 5.07 14.14 19.21
Joe Mauer is just a great player. Too bad he’s too tall to be good for very long. That injury to Victor Martinez is positively Bledsoe-ian. At the end of the page, I extended the top twenty to twenty-two so I could capture Scutaro and Shoppach. Just a little recognition for players that couldn’t possibly be getting the attention they deserve. Mauer is third in teh AL MVP race, and still seeing his teammate get the most attention.
Player Name Team Primary DRS XRa+ OPD Quentin Carlos CHW LF -0.90 29.77 28.88 Scott Luke BAL LF 8.78 13.63 22.40 Damon Johnny NYY LF -2.40 22.53 20.13
Carlos Quentin and Luke Scott. Who? What? Quentin is 6th in the league in OPD, and really been just tremendous all year. Here’s the third Oriole. How is that team so bad?
Player Name Team Primary DRS XRa+ OPD Bradley Milton TEX RF -1.96 36.06 34.10 Markakis Nick BAL RF -2.65 25.56 22.91
The old dinosaur Milton Bradley is having a great year. Not being body-slammed by your coach is helpful. Bradley has the second highest OPD in the AL, but I don’t suspect he’ll see any MVP votes. And another Oriole.
Player Name Team Primary DRS XRa+ OPD Sizemore Grady CLE CF 9.27 35.47 44.74 Grandersn Curtis DET CF 1.01 22.66 23.67 Hamilton Josh TEX CF -4.57 25.03 20.47
Josh Hamilton will get the Texas MVP votes because he has the story, and he’s really helped my fantasy baseball this sason (as has Bradley). Curtis Granderson is having a great season as well. But the league MVP should be Grady Sizemore (if not Cliff Lee). Sizemore has been everything a player can be - top hitter in the league and the best defensive center fielder. That’s a great player. the Indians are staging a furious, albeit futile, comeback, so perhaps he will get some votes.
The Top Twenty (Two)
Player Name Team Primary DRS XRa+ OPD Sizemore Grady CLE CF 9.27 35.47 44.74 Bradley Milton TEX RF -1.96 36.06 34.10 Mauer Joe MIN C 3.15 29.25 32.39 Rodriguez Alex NYY 3B -3.28 34.73 31.45 Youkilis Kevin BOS 1B 6.37 23.15 29.52 Quentin Carlos CHW LF -0.90 29.77 28.88 Huff Aubrey BAL 1B -3.86 31.99 28.12 Pedroia Dustin BOS 2B 8.70 18.88 27.58 Kinsler Ian TEX 2B -0.44 26.29 25.85 Morneau Justin MIN 1B -1.30 25.30 24.00 Roberts Brian BAL 2B 0.49 23.46 23.95 Grandersn Curtis DET CF 1.01 22.66 23.67 Markakis Nick BAL RF -2.65 25.56 22.91 Scott Luke BAL LF 8.78 13.63 22.40 Pena Carlos TBR 1B 2.24 19.04 21.28 Hamilton Josh TEX CF -4.57 25.03 20.47 Beltre Adrian SEA 3B 13.94 6.23 20.17 Damon Johnny NYY LF -2.40 22.53 20.13 Guillen Carlos DET 3B 9.34 10.46 19.80 Longoria Evan TBR 3B 0.12 19.60 19.72 Scutaro Marco TOR SS 12.38 7.11 19.49 Shoppach Kelly CLE C 5.07 14.14 19.21
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