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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Neyer: Red Sox Rich In MVP Candidates

And good luck to ya, Woody Rich!

image

Which is how the Red Sox list looks like this:

Pedroia: 6.7 fWAR
Ellsbury: 5.9
Gonzalez: 5.1

...Pedroia doesn’t have Gonzalez’s power, or for that matter his batting average.

Pedroia doesn’t have Ellsbury’s power, either. Not this season, anyway.

What Pedroia does have is almost Ellsbury’s power, plus a better stolen-base percentage, other baserunning skills, and a fantastic glove at second base.

The numbers really aren’t precise enough to tell us which of these guys has been the best ... and Win Player Average drops Pedroia below Ellsbury and Gonzalez. But regardless of which metrics you prefer, it’s pretty hard to avoid conclusion that the Red Sox already have three legitimate MVP candidates. Which is why they’re where they are.

Of course, I would vote for José Bautista.

Repoz Posted: August 09, 2011 at 02:20 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, projections, red sox, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Austin Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:16 PM (#3896239)
"Win Player Average"? Goodness gracious, what on earth has happened to Rob? I assumed that he would at least know something as basic as what WPA is, or could at least spend five seconds looking it up.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:27 PM (#3896250)
I'm continually disappointed that all the supposed independent baseball minds have bought in whole-hog to the awards madness.

This Sox fans just hopes they make a respectable playoff run, regardless of some external group of people's voted ordering of the players after the fact.
   3. The District Attorney Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:36 PM (#3896258)
I assumed that he would at least know something as basic as what WPA is, or could at least spend five seconds looking it up.
Wait, so you think that because he spells out the name of the stat, that means he doesn't know what it is? I don't think that's at all logical. Bill James believes that abbreviations should never be used, unless the stat has become "part of the language" (and I'm not sure James thinks anything except for "RBI" qualifies for that exception.) Perhaps Rob is abiding by that principle. Or maybe he just thinks that WPA isn't a commonly known abbreviation. Which would be correct.
   4. Famous Original Joe C Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:48 PM (#3896273)
Wait, so you think that because he spells out the name of the stat, that means he doesn't know what it is?

Well, he *did* spell out the wrong name...but isn't WPA basically the same thing as the Mills Bros. "Player Win Average". I'm guessing that's where Rob was going.
   5. Famous Original Joe C Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:48 PM (#3896275)
This Sox fans just hopes they make a respectable playoff run, regardless of some external group of people's voted ordering of the players after the fact.

Also, as far as the MVP goes, this is how I feel. It's fun to see one of your team's guys win the award, but I'll take the successful team season 100 times out of 100.
   6. BDC Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:53 PM (#3896277)
Have there been more of these MVP stories earlier than usual this season? I think it's always fun to wonder "if a comet hit the earth tomorrow, who would be MVP?" – even in mid-April – but actual concerted discussion of awards is going to become a little tiresome if it goes on for another three months. Maybe it's the lack of an AL East race that is causing writerly minds to wander. The AL West is a little too close for me to worry much about awards yet :)
   7. Famous Original Joe C Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:58 PM (#3896284)
Have there been more of these MVP stories earlier than usual this season?

Feels like it to me too. I agree it's mostly fun to wonder, but it's also silly to take the debate seriously at this stage, given how much of the 2011 narrative still remains to be written.
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: August 09, 2011 at 04:05 PM (#3896291)
Have there been more of these MVP stories earlier than usual this season?


But only in the AL. There was a Reyes thing a few weeks back, but otherwise that particular trophy run (or either Cys, for that matter) has not fancy caught.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: August 09, 2011 at 04:10 PM (#3896295)
but actual concerted discussion of awards is going to become a little tiresome if it goes on for another three months.


but it's also silly to take the debate seriously at this stage


You guys might find my ideas intriguing and wish to subscrible to my newsletter. Although I would take out the "at this stage" and "going to become" qualifiers.... maybe I should pen some "Awards Manifesto"
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: August 09, 2011 at 04:11 PM (#3896297)
maybe I should pen some "Awards Manifesto"


You haven't already?
   11. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 09, 2011 at 04:23 PM (#3896306)
But only in the AL. There was a Reyes thing a few weeks back, but otherwise that particular trophy run (or either Cys, for that matter) has not fancy caught.

SI just posted a Cy Young piece
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: August 09, 2011 at 04:24 PM (#3896309)
haha, not in one centralized long-form. But don't worry, I will generally stay out of the thousands of awards threads on BBTF that are on the way, so people can freely enjoy their in-depth discussions of the voting habits of Scoop Scooperson of the Gotham Beagle without my sour criticisms.
   13. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 09, 2011 at 04:37 PM (#3896314)
I think what makes the AL MVP situation so interesting is that there are many different candidates. You have;

great player on losing team (Bautista)

traditional candidate (Gonzalez)

out of nowhere star (Ellsbury)

generalist having a great year (Pedroia)

star players carrying contenders (Granderson/Cabrera)

It's not just a "who's better?" discussion but a bit of a referendum on "what" people think the award is.
   14. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: August 09, 2011 at 04:53 PM (#3896322)
From that SI piece:

"A year ago, in the supposed Year of the Pitcher, there were 4.38 runs scored per game in the major leagues. Thus far this year, there have been just 4.24 runs scored per game in the majors."

This was not worded well.
   15. plink Posted: August 09, 2011 at 04:56 PM (#3896324)
Calling the Jays a "losing team" is a bit disingenuous. "Out of contention" might be better.
   16. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 09, 2011 at 05:02 PM (#3896328)
They've gotten a little hot. I didn't realize they were back over .500. You're right, "out of contention" is a better wording.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: August 09, 2011 at 05:45 PM (#3896347)
I think what makes the AL MVP situation so interesting...

It's not just a "who's better?" discussion but a bit of a referendum on "what" people think the award is.


That's it, your newsletter subscription has been cancelled!
   18. Dale Sams Posted: August 09, 2011 at 05:54 PM (#3896352)
That 'traditional candidate' is about to be overtaken by Casey Kotchman on batting average. So other than 'really good with a crapload of RBI's' is pretty much all he'll have going for him soon. If Bautista continues to fall off and Ellsbury remains hot, he (Ells) has a real shot at this where before I saw it as "Awww how cute, they're saying Ellsbury can win MVP".
   19. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: August 09, 2011 at 06:12 PM (#3896359)
Wow - Ellsbury is having a HELL of a year! Being an Angel fan and knee-deep in raising my kids, I barely keep up with the Angels like I should, so Ellsbury has COMPLETELY flown right under my radar. I had no idea he has 19 homeruns...

Good for him. As much as I detest the Sox, he was pretty fun to watch a couple of years ago when he first came up but I didn't see him slugging north of .500 ever. Amazing.

Sorry, go about your normal business now. I'm all caught up.
   20. pikepredator Posted: August 09, 2011 at 09:10 PM (#3896492)
For my money Neyer's year (or however long it's been) has been just as surprising as Ellsbury's, just in the opposite direction.
   21. SteveF Posted: August 09, 2011 at 09:42 PM (#3896505)
I read somewhere that Neyer is the 234th baseball writer to reach 2000 columns. That's like 1 out of every 3 people on earth, right?
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: August 09, 2011 at 11:01 PM (#3896542)
That 'traditional candidate' is about to be overtaken by Casey Kotchman on batting average. So other than 'really good with a crapload of RBI's' is pretty much all he'll have going for him soon. If Bautista continues to fall off and Ellsbury remains hot, he (Ells) has a real shot at this where before I saw it as "Awww how cute, they're saying Ellsbury can win MVP".


has it ever been about actually leading the league in categories? or is it just being up among the leaders, on a contending team while putting up numbers across the board.
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: August 09, 2011 at 11:24 PM (#3896556)
I'm continually disappointed that all the supposed independent baseball minds have bought in whole-hog to the awards madness.

This Sox fans just hopes they make a respectable playoff run, regardless of some external group of people's voted ordering of the players after the fact.


What is wrong with the whole-hog madness? This is a baseball board what should we be discussing...Soccer? or Tiger Woods? Even this early in the game it's fun to see what people are thinking about awards. Heck it's nationwide baseball talk(even if two of the players are from Connecticut-- Yankees/Red Sox) that as pointed out deals with the different methods that people like to look at the MVP.


I do have to question Rob's use of WPA, I know that over the past two seasons the stats guys who have gotten to vote on the awards have put up the worse ballots out there consistently, but I hope even those guys recognize that WPA is a crap stat for determining MVP, and think it's funny that many times people miss that the A stands for Added, and that it's a stat to be used as an added piece of evidence, but should never be used in the first, second or third points during a discussion of MVP.

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