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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, January 06, 2014

Most Meritorious Player: 2013 Results

Congratulations to Mike Trout on winning back-to-back MMP awards.

Player Name	pts	ballots	1sts
Mike Trout	158	11	7
Andrew McCutchen	134	11	0
Miguel Cabrera	129	11	1
Clayton Kershaw	120	10	1
Matt Carpenter	87	9	1
Robinson Cano	82	11	0
Josh Donaldson	81	11	0
Chris Davis	74	9	0
Yadier Molina	73	10	0
Paul Goldschmidt	67	9	0
Max Scherzer	54	8	1
Carlos Gomez	39	6	0
Joey Votto	35	7	0
Shin-Soo Choo	31	5	0
Cliff Lee	19	4	0
David Ortiz	16	3	0
Chris Sale	13	2	0
Shane Victorino	11	1	0
David Wright	11	2	0
Adam Wainwright	10	3	0
Anibal Sanchez	10	4	0
Hisashi Iwakuma	9	2	0
Buster Posey	9	1	0
Evan Longoria	9	3	0
Justin Verlander	8	1	0
Jose Fernandez	7	3	0
Matt Holliday	7	1	0
Troy Tulowitzki	5	1	0
Manny Machado	4	1	0
Freddy Freeman	4	2	0
Carlos Santana	2	1	0
Andrelton Simmons	1	1	0
Dustin Pedroia	1	1	0
DL from MN Posted: January 06, 2014 at 05:33 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: January 06, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4631662)
McCutchen - NL MMP
Kershaw - NL MMPitcher
Scherzer - AL MMPitcher
   2. DL from MN Posted: January 06, 2014 at 05:38 PM (#4631663)
Most names ever on an MMP vote.
   3. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 06, 2014 at 07:22 PM (#4631798)
Most names and you could have argued for Matt Harvey, Felix Hernandez and Hanley Ramirez pretty easily
   4. fra paolo Posted: January 06, 2014 at 07:33 PM (#4631809)
I didn't really follow the discussion, but I don't understand why Scherzer didn't do better. He was over 10 K/9 on a team generally held to provide poor support with the glove, and also posted the lowest HR/9 and BB/9 of his career. 214.3 innings is also not on the low side for a season's total for a 21st-century pitcher, which is something one could hold against Sanchez.

He finished with two fewer BB-ref WAR than Kershaw, despite pitching in the tougher league. Twenty extra innings does go far in justifying a two-WAR difference, although Scherzer was a bit more wild, it's only .4 bb/9 better, which is about 9.5 walks over the course of 214 innings, or about three runs. Kershaw pitched in a more pitcher-friendly ballpark, so his lower HR/9 needs to be balanced against that. Kershaw is a run better on ERA, in a league where starters were about 0.3 runs better on ERA, so he needs to give back about a third of any of that value. Park also comes into effect, as Dodger Stadium had a PPF of 95 against Comerica's 105. The Tigers' DER was .694, against LA's .706.

I just don't trust WAR as much as everyone else around here. I find it gives results like this that don't fit with my 'baseball sense'.
   5. Davo Dozier Posted: January 06, 2014 at 07:40 PM (#4631813)
I'm wondering if this kind of "flattening" of the MVP vote is part of the limited creativity when it comes to pitching rotations. Every ace who stays off the DL all year is going to pitch between like 200 and 230 innings a season, so the only variance in the amount of value they can provide is going to be in terms of how good they are at preventing runs.

This is just a "feeling" thing--I haven't actually looked it up to see if this has gone up over time.
   6. fra paolo Posted: January 06, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4631819)
Actually, that should say 'twenty innings does not go far in justifying a two-WAR difference'. That's about three starts.

EDIT: EG, see the difference between Sanchez and Scherzer, pitchers in the exact same context, but Scherzer threw thirty more innings, and is only 0.4 WAR better.
   7. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 06, 2014 at 09:36 PM (#4631887)




Every ace who stays off the DL all year is going to pitch between like 200 and 230 innings a season, so the only variance in the amount of value they can provide is going to be in terms of how good they are at preventing runs.

This is just a "feeling" thing--I haven't actually looked it up to see if this has gone up over time.


In 1972, 13 of the 24 Opening Day starters had 35 starts or more, with IP ranging from 376 2/3 IP (Wilbur Wood, in 49 starts - which was something of a special case) to 248 2/3 IP (Montreal's Bill Stoneman). IP per start went from 8.5 (Gaylord Perry) to 7.1 (Stoneman and Ken Holtzman). Range was 35 to 49. Standard deviation was 0.5 IP/start.

By 1980, 13 of the 26 Opening Day starters started at least 32 times, with the most starts being 38. IP went from 304 (Steve Carlton) to 205 2/3 (Burt Hooton), IP per start went from 8.7 (Rick Langford, again a special case) to 6.2 (Hooton). Standard deviation was 0.68 IP/start.

In 1990, 14 of the 26 Opening Day starters started at least 31 times, with the most starts being 36. IP went from 267 (Dave Stewart) to 188 2/3 (Minnesota's Allan Anderson). IP per start went from 7.4 (Stewart) to 5.6 (Montreal's Melido Perez). Standard deviation was back down to 0.5 IP/start.

In 2000, 16 of 30 Opening Day starters started at least 31 times, with the most starts being 35. IP went from 249 1/3 IP (Greg Maddux) to 189 (Hideo Nomo, then with Detroit). IP per start went from 7.3 (Livan Hernandez) to 6.1 (Nomo). Standard deviation was 0.4 IP/start.

In 2013, 16 of 30 Opening Day starters started between 30 and 34 times. IP went from 241 2/3 (Adam Wainwright) to 180 2/3 (Yovani Gallardo), IP/start went from 7.15 (Kershaw) to 5.8 (Gallardo). Standard deviation was again 0.4 IP/start (about 1/3 IP/start without Gallardo, who was a third of an inning below anyone else).

So yes, there's been some compression.

-- MWE
   8. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 06, 2014 at 10:35 PM (#4631921)
I just don't trust WAR as much as everyone else around here. I find it gives results like this that don't fit with my 'baseball sense'.

I don't think "everyone else around here" votes strictly or even primarily based on WAR either.
   9. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 06, 2014 at 10:51 PM (#4631944)
Actually, that should say 'twenty innings does not go far in justifying a two-WAR difference'. That's about three starts.


The 50 points of ERA+ probably does a lot.
   10. Davo Dozier Posted: January 06, 2014 at 11:02 PM (#4631960)
#7--Excellent post, thanks Mike.
   11. Chris Fluit Posted: January 07, 2014 at 12:10 AM (#4631991)
Mike Trout joins Willie Mays ('64-'65), Joe Morgan ('75-'76) and Cal Ripken Jr. ('83-'84) as back-to-back winners of the MMP Award. That's some pretty select company. Mays and Morgan each have a third MMP as well (Mays in '62 and Morgan in '73).

   12. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4632127)
Moeball - you've missed two votes now while having a prelim. Do you want me to autopost your prelim in the ballot thread if you don't do otherwise?
   13. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4632130)
Best player to not get a vote - Hanley Ramirez. Best pitcher - Jhoulys Chacin
   14. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 07, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4632163)
#7--Excellent post, thanks Mike.


You're welcome. I cut off at the midpoint because once you get below the midpoint you start getting into movement for one reason or another - for example, in 2013 Bud Norris and Ricky Nolasco were traded, and guys like Jared Weaver, Tim Hudson, Johnny Cueto, and Jason Hammel got hurt.

2011 is pretty striking: 17 of the 30 teams had their Opening Day starter make either 33 or 34 starts, four more were at 32, and four more were at 31. The standard deviation of IP/start is pretty high (over .5 IP/start), but largely because of three pitchers: Ryan Dempster, Derek Lowe, and Mike Pelfrey, all of whom were under 6 IP/start.

-- MWE

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