During last night’s podcast, Dave Jordan of Instream Sports discussed the awards system he created for his new site. The “Saber Leaders” tallies the traditional awards like MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year, but also creates additional categories like the Hank Aaron Award (best overall positional player), Ozzie Smith Defensive Player of the Year (baseball equivalent to the NBA defensive player of the year) and the Relief Pitcher of the Year. Jordan uses various metrics, mainly combines the WAR tallies from the three major baseball sites: Fangraphs, Baseball-Reference and Baseball Prospectus, to come up with his MVP award.
I believe this is something that Major League Baseball should consider doing. Heck, they could even steal Jordan’s idea and name the award after Hank Aaron (give the guy some credit though). I have no problem with a pitcher winning the MVP, but the Hank Aaron Award is restricted to just offensive players.
The Instream formula gives Trout the Hank Aaron Award by a full win share over Cabrera (8.84 to 7.81). When calculating the MVP, Trout wins that award, as well, but by an even wider margin (10.35 to 7.95). His nearest competition, however, is Robinson Cano; Cabrera is a distant fourth. Again, stats can’t calculate the significance of winning something that hasn’t been done in nearly five decades. Even the stat-guys can’t argue that Cabrera is in select company. How many players are listed in a group that includes Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle and Ty Cobb. If it’s so insignificant, more than 15 players would have accomplished it over the history of the game.
The point is that MLB should copy the lead of Instream and begin to develop stat-based awards that recognize the shift in thinking that is going on with fans and writers alike. Yes, the BBWAA is changing and many new-age writers are using stats to cast their vote. I doubt you will ever see the “human element” eliminated since many will have a different perspective once they enter the clubhouse and see the athlete as a human being.
Posted: October 06, 2012 at 08:53 PM | 27 comment(s)
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