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

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Most Meritorious Player: 2018 Ballot

Here are the specific rules for this election:

Candidate Eligibility: Any North American professional baseball player is eligible for the Most Meritorious Player (MMP) award including players on independent teams. Voters should consider the player’s on-field contribution to Major League Baseball (MLB) team(s) in that season only. If part of the season was spent outside MLB, that value may be considered as well. However, the player’s on-field contribution should be judged in relation to the highest level major league, not relative to a minor league. A season may include playoff or World Series games but does not include spring training or exhibition games. No credit will be given for games not played due to injury, wartime service or contract holdouts.

Ballot Length: For 2018, each voter should rank 15 players.

Voter eligibility: All voters who did not vote in the previous year’s election must post a preliminary ballot in the ballot discussion thread at least 2 days before voting ends. All voters must fill out a complete ballot. Voters must briefly explain their ballot choices. One person, one vote; anyone determined to have voted with multiple accounts will be banned and their votes will be disallowed. The MMP ballot committee has authority to exclude any ballot that does not meet these requirements.

Scoring: Points will be given in descending order with the highest-ranked player receiving 15 points, the second highest 14 points, and so on until the last player on the ballot receives 1 point. The player with the highest point total will be named the Most Meritorious Player. In case of a tie, the tiebreaker will be number of 1st place votes. If the first tiebreaker does not determine a winner the players will share the title of Most Meritorious Player.
Balloting will close at 4pm EST on 5 December 2018.

Anyone can vote, even if you do not normally participate in Hall of Merit discussions. If have never participated in an MMP election, just post a preliminary ballot in the discussion thread by 4 December 2018.

DL from MN Posted: November 20, 2018 at 03:56 PM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: November 20, 2018 at 04:14 PM (#5789803)
2018 Ballot
1) Mookie Betts - tied with Trout at the plate but more glove
2) Aaron Nola - surprisingly close to being #1 on the ballot
3) Mike Trout - another MMP caliber season from Trout
4) Jacob deGrom - 7.8 PWAA for dGrom versus 8.8 for Nola. deGrom hit better but not enough to close the gap
5) Max Scherzer - NL pitcher heavy ballot for me
6) Kyle Freeland - another NL pitcher, good postseason numbers too
7) Francisco Lindor - small postseason bonus
8) Jose Ramirez -
9) Matt Chapman - fantastic fielder, Fangraphs does not agree that he was as outstanding as BBREF believes
10) Blake Snell - top AL pitcher
11) Alex Bregman - good postseason moves him up the list
12) Chris Sale - rate production is outstanding despite limited innings. Postseason bump.
13) Christian Yelich - top NL position player. Best position players were in the AL, best pitchers in the NL.
14) Lorenzo Cain - best NL centerfielder
15) Andrelton Simmons - best glove in baseball

16-20) Javier Baez, Justin Verlander, Manny Machado, Trevor Story, Trevor Bauer
21-25) Corey Kluber, JD Martinez, Nolan Arenado, JT Realmuto, Mitch Haniger
   2. bjhanke Posted: November 24, 2018 at 03:14 AM (#5790580)
Just to make sure, is it safe to assume that this election will occur before the 1949 one? I don't see a 1949 discussion thread, so I'm assuming that it's true. - Brock
   3. bjhanke Posted: November 26, 2018 at 06:23 AM (#5791028)
From the "just plain weird" file. I was going through the 2018 ordinals, and saw a couple of really wild rankings. Charlie Blackmon, who has 24.6 Win Shares, has 0.8 (zero point eight) WAR. For the year. And then Rhys Hoskins, who has 23.0 Win Shares, has 0.5 WAR, even less than Blackmon. I looked on BB-Ref. Those are exactly the rankings they have there. And the issue is the same in both cases. The players' Rfield numbers are -28 for Blackmon and -26 for Hoskins. These are mind-boggling negative numbers, particularly for players who seem to have been starting outfielders (center for Blackmon) for their teams. You'd think that a player with THAT little defense would be a DH or a benchwarmer by Mayday. Anyway, the Rfield numbers are so far out there that they essentially negate the offensive numbers that these two guys put up. No, I have no idea why this happened. It's not standard WS/WAR disconnect. In fact, the numbers are so large that I wonder if the person typing in the component numbers for these two guys just made a typo. Or didn't get a digit entered, resulting in a drop of an order of magnitude. Neither player, although their defensive numbers are not good, has EVER had a season anywhere near this bad. Just FYI, and for the "weird" file. - Brock
   4. DL from MN Posted: November 26, 2018 at 09:37 AM (#5791046)
Yes - our upcoming election schedule is 2018, 1949, 1912. We will be done with the project 3 years from now: 1901-2021.
   5. Carl Goetz Posted: November 26, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5791050)
Looking at Blackmon on Baseball Gauge, this is all DRS defense. DRA seems to think he's around average defensively. I use 75% DRA 25% DRS for my Custom WAR for HoM. By that measure, he's only -0.3 wins on defense which doesn't include the positional adjustment.
   6. Chris Fluit Posted: November 26, 2018 at 04:54 PM (#5791246)
2018 Ballot

1. Mike Trout, CF, Los Angeles Angels: MLB-leading 199 OPS+ and +8 defense in CF
2. Mookie Betts, RF, Boston Red Sox: MLB-leading 156 RC and +26 defense in RF
3. Jacob DeGrom, P, New York Mets: the best player in the NL with 216 EAR+ in 217 IP
4. Blake Snell, P, Tampa Bay Rays: 219 ERA+ leads MLB although the 180 IP doesn't even crack the top ten in the AL
5. Jose Ramirez, 3B/2B, Cleveland Indians: 150 OPS+ and +3 fielding splitting time between second and third
6. Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians: 131 OPS+ and +14 fielding at short
7. Christian Yelich, LF/RF, Milwaukee Brewers: best position player in NL with 164 OPS+ and +4 defense
8. J.D. Martinez, DH, Boston Red Sox: 173 OPS+ and 141 RC
9. Alex Bregman, 3B/SS, Houston Astros: 156 OPS+ is nice, -7 fielding not so much
10. Manny Machado, SS/3B, Baltimore/Los Angeles: 146 OPS+ and 120 RC across both leagues, raised his D to -10 after time in LA
11. Trevor Bauer, P, Cleveland Indians: surprised to see him but 198 ERA+ is hard to ignore
12. Aaron Nola, P, Philadelphia Phillies: 175 ERA+ in 212 IP
13. Max Scherzer, P, Washington Nationals: 168 ERA+ in MLB leading 220 innings
14. Trevor Story, SS, Colorado Rockies: 127 OPS+ and 118 RC while holding his own at short (+1 fielding)
15. Matt Chapman, 3B, Oakland Athletcis: 126 OPS+ and an amazing +29 fielding

16. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies: 133 OPS+ but only +5 fielding this season
17. Matt Carpenter, 1B/3B, St. Louis Cardinals
18. Freddy Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves
19. Justin Verlander, P, Houston Astros
20. Javier Baez, SS/2B, Chicago Cubs
21. Kyle Freeland, P, Colorado Rockies
22. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks
23. Corey Kluber, P, Cleveland Indians
24. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals
25. Mitch Haniger, RF, Seattle Mariners
   7. bjhanke Posted: November 26, 2018 at 10:22 PM (#5791304)
Here is Brock Hanke’s Top Fifteen list for 2018. As usual, I started by collating the ordinals from WAR and Win Shares. Also as usual, the disconnect between the two systems, particularly over pitchers, is even worse than before. Here’s how bad: The #3, 4, 5, and 7 players, as ranked by WAR (Nola, deGrom, Scherzer, and Freeland), do not even make the list of 15, because their Win Share numbers are so low. Aaron Nola actually finished 16th, so I stole Trevor Story’s 15th slot and gave it to Nola. But getting to any of the other three would involve skipping over several players, not one. There’s one disconnect of this size going the other way, Matt Carpenter, ranked 7th in Win Shares, but 33rd in WAR. He’s not on the list of 15, either.

I don’t know WHY this is happening; anything I can come up with is really just a guess. But it is happening, and it’s gotten really bad. Which is a lot of why I collate the two systems to start the ranking process. Anyway, here’s the list:

1. Mookie Betts
2. Mike Trout
3. Francisco Lindor
4. Christian Yelich
5. Alex Bregman
6. Jose Ramirez
7. J. D. Martinez
8. Matt Chapman
9. Mitch Haniger
10. Javier Baez
11. Freddie Freeman
12. Lorenzo Cain
13. Manny Machado
14. Nolan Arenado
15. Aaron Nola
   8. bjhanke Posted: November 26, 2018 at 10:25 PM (#5791305)
BTW, Carl, thanks for the info. I do have one question: What, exactly, do DRS and DRA mean, and where are the sources for them? I'm guessing Defensive Runs Saved and Defensive Runs Allowed, but I don't know where they are different, or where to find them. Thanks, Brock
   9. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: November 27, 2018 at 09:14 AM (#5791335)
Brock-

DRS is indeed Defensive Runs Saved, the defensive metric from Baseball Info Solutions, and for years since 2003, it is the defensive component of Baseball-Reference's version of WAR.

DRA is Defensive Regression Analysis, a defensive metric created by Michael Humphrey's and the basis of his book, Wizardry. It is used as the defensive component in The Baseball Gauge's version of WAR.
   10. Carl Goetz Posted: November 27, 2018 at 09:25 AM (#5791344)
My Ballot
1 Mookie Betts (10.1 WAR) - My DRS/DRA combo WAR at Baseball Gauge rates him at a full win ahead of Trout defensively and only a half win behind on offense. On a per game basis, I think Trout was slightly better, but in total, I'm going with Mookie. In my mind, Betts, Trout, and DeGrom are all reasonable winners with significant overlaps in the WAR confidence intervals.
2 Jacob DeGrom (9.8)
3 Mike Trout (9.1)
4 Max Scherzer (8.9)
5 Aaron Nola (8.7)
6 Alex Bregman (7.9)
7 Matt Chapman (8.2) - I rated Chapman behind Bregman due to my hesitation on relying fully on his defensive numbers. Bregman had a lot more offensive value, which I trust more.
8 Christian Yelich (7.1)
9 Jose Ramirez (7.4)
10 Kyle Freeland (7.0)
11 Francisco Lindor (6.9)
12 Blake Snell (6.8)
13 J T Realmuto (4.9) - Slots in here after my bump for catching.
14 JD Martinez (6.6)
15 Lorenzo Cain (6.5)
16 Mitch Haniger (6.4)
17 Chris Sale (6.6) - Bumped back a little due to a lot of pitchers in top 12. Had he and Bauer not gotten hurt, I believe AL Cy Young was between the 2 of them.
18 Justin Verlander (6.2)
19 Javy Baez (6.2)
20 Andrelton Simmons (6.1)
21 Manny Machado (5.9)
22 Trevor Bauer (5.8)
23 Paul Goldschmidt (5.9)
24 Nolan Arenado (5.7)
25 Corey Kluber (5.6)
26 Trevor Story (5.7)
27 Freddie Freeman (5.5)
   11. Carl Goetz Posted: November 27, 2018 at 09:27 AM (#5791347)
Thanks Michael.
Brock, to add to Michael's explanation, Baseball Gauge has a handy Customized WAR feature that allows you to blend the 2 on defense. It also allows blending of different offensive and pitching measures as well.
   12. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: November 27, 2018 at 09:46 AM (#5791360)
2018 MMP ballot (peak-rate salary estimator/$1M in parentheses):

1. Mookie Betts (28.67)
2. Mike Trout (24.30)
3. Jacob DeGrom (17.41) - NL MMP
4. Christian Yelich (17.28) - NL MMPosition Player
5. Jose Ramirez (14.82)
6. Alex Bregman (14.60)
7. Matt Chapman (14.57)
8. J.D. Martinez (13.78)
9. Francisco Lindor (13.22)
10. Chris Sale (13.11) - AL MMPitcher
11. Max Scherzer (12.50)
12. Aaron Nola (12.28)
13. Javier Baez (11.10)
14. Blake Snell (11.01)
15. Justin Verlander (10.74)

16-25. Lorenzo Cain, Trevor Bauer, Mitch Haniger, Matt Carpenter, Freddie Freeman, Manny Machado, Paul Goldschmidt, Aaron Judge, Andrelton Simmons, Kyle Freeland.

All-Star Team:

c- Yasmani Grandal
1b - Matt Carpenter
2b - Javier Baez
ss - Francisco Lindor
3b - Jose Ramirez
lf - Christian Yelich
cf - Mike Trout
rf - Mookie Betts
dh - J.D. Martinez

sp - Jacob DeGrom, Chris Sale, Aaron Nola, Max Scherzer, Blake Snell
rp - Blake Treinan
   13. lieiam Posted: November 27, 2018 at 11:30 PM (#5791704)
Here's my ballot, same as posted on the prelim thread

1 BETTS, MOOKIE 9809
2 TROUT, MIKE 9335
3 BREGMAN, ALEX 7861
4 DEGROM, JACOB 7619
5 YELICH, CHRISTIAN 7541
6 RAMIREZ, JOSE 7143
7 LINDOR, FRANCISCO 7026
8 CHAPMAN, MATT 6766
9 MARTINEZ, J.D. 6725
10 SCHERZER, MAX 6650
11 NOLA, AARON 6573
12 HANIGER, MITCH 6032
13 CARPENTER, MATT 6018
14 SNELL, BLAKE 5982
15 MACHADO, MANNY 5765

16 SALE, CHRIS 5744
17 BAEZ, JAVIER 5708
18 ARENADO, NOLAN 5687
19 VERLANDER, JUSTIN 5685
20 CAIN, LORENZO 5684
   14. MrC. Posted: November 30, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5792596)
2018 ballot

I had to adjust my procedure because my source for 1 year park factors does not yet have them available.

1 Jacob DeGrom 8.67 WARR
2 Mookie Betts 8.57 WARR
3 Max Scherzer 8.19 WARR
4 Mike Trout 7.79 WARR
5 Aaron Nola 7.79 WARR
6 Alex Bregman 7.25 WARR
7 Matt Chapman 7.13 WARR
8 Christian Yelich 6.58 WARR
9 JD Martinez 6.54 WARR
10 Kyle Freeland 6.16 WARR
11 Chris Sale 6.12 WARR
12 Blake Snell 6.07 WARR
13 Corey Kluber 5.66 WARR
14 Trevor Bauer 5.59 WARR
15 Javier Baez 5.56 WARR

Rest of the top 20

Justin Verlander
Justin Turner
Mitch Hanigan
Jose Ramirez
Manny Machado
Nolan Arenado
   15. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 03, 2018 at 07:45 PM (#5793609)
Official 2018 MMP Ballot (no postseason bonuses):

1) Mike Trout: Best ML player and center fielder.
2) Mookie Betts: Best ML right fielder - pretty close to Trout.
3) Alex Bregman: Best ML third baseman.
4) Francisco Lindor: Best ML shortstop.
5) Christian Yelich: Best ML (for the most part) left fielder.
6) Jose Ramirez
7) Manny Machado: Best player who played in two leagues.
8) Matt Carpenter: Best ML first baseman.
9) J.D. Martinez: Best DH.
10) Blake Snell: Best ML pitcher.
11) J.T. Realmuto: Best ML catcher.
12) Matt Chapman
13) Trevor Story: Best shortstop who played entirely in the NL.
14) Trevor Bauer: Best AL pitcher.
15) Max Scherzer
   16. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:08 PM (#5794319)
From the "just plain weird" file. I was going through the 2018 ordinals, and saw a couple of really wild rankings. Charlie Blackmon, who has 24.6 Win Shares, has 0.8 (zero point eight) WAR. For the year. And then Rhys Hoskins, who has 23.0 Win Shares, has 0.5 WAR, even less than Blackmon. I looked on BB-Ref. Those are exactly the rankings they have there. And the issue is the same in both cases. The players' Rfield numbers are -28 for Blackmon and -26 for Hoskins. These are mind-boggling negative numbers, particularly for players who seem to have been starting outfielders (center for Blackmon) for their teams. You'd think that a player with THAT little defense would be a DH or a benchwarmer by Mayday. Anyway, the Rfield numbers are so far out there that they essentially negate the offensive numbers that these two guys put up. No, I have no idea why this happened. It's not standard WS/WAR disconnect. In fact, the numbers are so large that I wonder if the person typing in the component numbers for these two guys just made a typo. Or didn't get a digit entered, resulting in a drop of an order of magnitude. Neither player, although their defensive numbers are not good, has EVER had a season anywhere near this bad. Just FYI, and for the "weird" file. - Brock


This is why I don't accept any analytical system's numbers at face value, Brock. If it doesn't compute, you must refute! ;-D
   17. DL from MN Posted: December 05, 2018 at 07:59 PM (#5794387)
Election is over, results posted tomorrow

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