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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Most Meritorious Player: 2012 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 in the top Negro Leagues or 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 2012, 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 20 December 2012.

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 19 December 2012.

DL from MN Posted: December 12, 2012 at 01:30 PM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: December 12, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4323143)
1) Trout, Mike - could give him minor league credit since just about everyone knew he was better than Vernon Wells in March. Don't need to. Good at everything.
2) Posey, Buster - catcher and postseason bonuses can't quite get him above Trout
3) Molina, Yadier - catcher bonus moves him up this high, biggest surprise for me
4) Cano, Robinson - Carried the rest of the graying Yankees into the postseason
5) Verlander, Justin - best pitcher in baseball, numbers hurt by poor defense behind him
6) McCutchen, Andrew - Excellent season from McCutchen
7) Cabrera, Miguel - Don't care about the triple crown. Defense at 3B washes out positional bump.
8) Wright, David - lots of good seasons from 3B
9) Beltre, Adrian - another
10) Kershaw, Clayton - best pitcher in the National League
11) Braun, Ryan - another solid hitting season
12) Price, David
13) Harrison, Matt - better than I thought, never really considered him a top pitcher before
14) Headley, Chase - good season in a pitcher's park
15) Bourn, Michael - speed and defense numbers are very good

16-22) Sale, Chris; Cueto, Johnny; Zobrist, Ben; Dickey, RA; Votto, Joey; Gordon, Alex; Ruiz, Carlos
   2. DL from MN Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4323731)
Just wanted to emphasize this line in the instructions

Anyone can vote, even if you do not normally participate in Hall of Merit discussions.

If you filled out a mock-MVP ballot anywhere it shouldn't be hard to rearrange it for this.
   3. Qufini Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4323875)
2012 Ballot

1. Mike Trout, CF, Los Angeles Angels: 171 OPS+ combined with stellar defense in center field (+21 fielding runs)

2. Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants: 172 OPS+ to lead majors, plus partial catcher credit (he spent some time at 1B)

3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Detroit Tigers: an outstanding season, 165 OPS+ and 139 runs created, but not the best this year

4. Robinson Cano, 2B, New York Yankees: +15 fielding runs at a tough defensive position and 149 OPS+

5. Ryan Braun, LF, Milwaukee Brewers: second best position player in the NL, which was probably also the case the year before when he won the MVP over Kemp

6. Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pittsburgh Pirates

7. Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals: somehow I lost track of Molina when I merged my separate league ballots into one; fortunately I caught the mistake when transferring my prelim

8. Justin Verlander, P, Detroit Tigers: after running the NL, I realized I was underrating pitchers; the new pitching adjustment helped Verlander leapfrog Beltre

9. Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas Rangers: his all-around game makes him more valuable than most; a 137 OPS+, 122 runs created and +13 fielding runs

10. Clayton Kershaw, P, Los Angeles Dodgers: Dickey is the better story but statistically, Kershaw had the better year

11. David Wright, 3B, New York Mets

12. Johnny Cueto, P, Cincinnati Reds

13. RA Dickey, P, New York Mets: Dickey had the better ERA but Cueto's better ERA+ makes sense considering the park factors of Great American Ballpark and CitiField

14. David Price, P, Tampa Bay Rays: the big beneficiary of my late adjustment to pitchers, Price jumps from 11th to 6th in the Al

15. Chase Headley, 3B, San Diego Padres: I don't use it in my system but I'm impressed that Headley led the NL in RBI while playing in Petco Park (or whatever it's called now)

and the next five:
16. Prince Fielder, 1B, Detroit Tigers
17. Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds- impressive in only 111 games
18. Craig Kimbrel, RP, Atlanta Braves- he was pretty good
19. Edwin Encarnacion, DH, Toronto Blue Jays
20. Jake Peavy, P, Chicago White Sox

   4. lieiam Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:18 PM (#4326357)
I was pondering altering from my prelim, but I'll just throw it down here:

1 TROUT, MIKE 10000
9 BRAUN, RYAN 7235
12 ZOBRIST, BEN 6043
13 RUIZ, CARLOS 6028
14 VOTTO, JOEY 5921

What I was pondering was moving up pitchers because of how my system (uber-stat blender) works what I have access to (at the present) for 2012 has pitcher's lower than what systems I usually have access to in our regular voting... but I'd probably just make things wackier if i did that...
   5. Mr. C Posted: December 18, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4327571)
2012 ballot

WAR framework, with a higher baseline replacement level than "normal", resulting in a reduction in replacement wins (Wins Above Reduced Replacement). All fielding numbers used are an average of UZR and DRS.

1) Mike Trout -- 9.45 WARR An exceptional year particularly for a rookie. No minor league adjustment. He didn't need it.
2) Robinson Cano -- 7.05 WARR Put everything together this year
2) Buster Posey -- 6.95 WARR an excellent recovery from last year's injury
4) Justin Verlander --- 6.75 WARR Best season by a pitcher
5) Andrew McCutchen -- 6.20 WARR Nice to see players live up to expectations
6) David Wright --- 5.95 WARR
7) Ryan Braun --- 5.85 WARR
8) Yadier Molina -- 5.80 WARR good offensive season from best defensive catcher
9) Chase Headley --- 5.80 WARR
10) Adrian Beltre --- 5.75 WARR
11) Miguel Cabrera --- 5.70 WARR
12) David Price --- 5.65 WARR
13) Clayton Kershaw -- 5.55 WARR NL's best pitcher
14) Matt Harrison --- 5.45 WARR
15) Johnny Cueto --- 5.2 WARR

Rest of top 20
Michael Bourne
Chris Sale
Joey Votto Excellent rate stats,but time missed to injury kept him off the ballot
Aramis Ramirez
RA Dickey
   6. Rob_Wood Posted: December 18, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4327939)
My 2012 MMP ballot:

1. Mike Trout
2. Buster Posey
3. Robinson Cano
4. Justin Verlander
5. Miguel Cabrera
6. Andrew McCutchen
7. Yadier Molina
8. Adrian Beltre
9. Ryan Braun
10. David Wright
11. Alex Gordon
12. David Price
13. Clayton Kershaw
14. Michael Bourn
15. Chase Headley
   7. DL from MN Posted: December 19, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4328413)
Hope we get more than five ballots. If we're under 10 ballots I might just cancel the election.
   8. Cassidemius Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4329005)
I hope we don't have to cancel. Here's my ballot, which is unchanged from my prelim.

1. Mike Trout
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Buster Posey
4. Andrew McCutchen
5. Robinson Cano
6. Chase Headley
7. Ryan Braun
8. Adrian Beltre
9. Yadier Molina
10. David Wright
11. Matt Cain
12. Justin Verlander
13. Aaron Hill
14. Joe Mauer
15. Michael Bourn
   9. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:21 PM (#4329091)
This is copied directly from the discussion thread. My explanations of these numbers and acronyms are in comment #33 there.

1. Mike Trout, 22.5 - 15.5, 3.2, 5.0 - He's behind Cano and possibly Posey just taking Player won-lost records as given. I bumped him for two reasons: (1) my system isn't all that impressed with his defense (he's about average) which may be under-rating him, and (2) as I understand the rules of the MMP project, he's entitled to a month of minor-league credit.
2. Buster Posey, 20.6 - 13.8, 3.3, 4.9 - postseason credit and a catcher bonus push him ahead of Cano.
3. Robinson Cano, 24.0 - 18.7, 3.0, 5.1 - Based on Player won-lost records, you can make a case for him over Trout as AL MVP, although that rests in large part on Player won-lost records thinking Trout's an average defender.
4. Justin Verlander, 18.7 - 13.4, 3.1, 4.7 - postseason (pre-WS) pushes him past Kershaw for top pitcher slot.
5. Clayton Kershaw, 15.0 - 11.3, 2.6, 3.9 - best regular-season pitcher in MLB.
6. Miguel Cabrera, 24.4 - 19.6, 2.3, 4.4 - the first Triple Crown of my lifetime might have been the coolest thing to happen in the 2012 season; I'm just not sure that "cool" translates to "meritorious".
7. Ryan Braun, 21.9 - 18.1, 1.3, 3.3 - has a case for #1 based only on eWOPA/eWORL (context-neutral).
8. Andrew McCutchen, 22.0 - 18.0, 1.4, 3.4 - he also looks a lot better in eWOPA/eWORL.
9. Yadier Molina, 16.4 - 12.1, 2.1, 3.5 - catcher bonus to get up this high.
10. Chase Headley, 22.5 - 16.8, 2.4, 4.3 - I agree with Yardape in #32.
11. Yoenis Cespedes, 20.2 - 13.4, 3.2, 4.8 - Cespedes looks much better in context (pWOPA/pWORL) than context-neutral (eWOPA/eWORL).
12. Adrian Beltre, 20.7 - 14.6, 2.9, 4.6 - 2012 was a very good year for 3B.
13. Adam Jones, 24.4 - 18.8, 2.5, 4.6 - like Cespedes, Jones looks much better in context. The Orioles out-performed their Pythag by a lot and Player won-lost records suggest that Jones was a big reason why (factoid: Jones drove in or scored the winning run in 9 of the Orioles' 16 extra-inning victories).
14. Aramis Ramirez, 20.9 - 15.1, 2.5, 4.2 - another player who looks much better in pWOPA/pWORL than eWOPA/eWORL; also the 4th third baseman on my ballot.
15. Kris Medlen, 9.0 - 4.6, 2.4, 3.2 - makes up for a lack of quantity with exceptional quality.
   10. DL from MN Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:14 AM (#4329213)
I'm going to extend until tomorrow. I'm at home with a sick kid and don't have access to my spreadsheet. Hopefully we get one or two more participants.
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4329439)
Official 2012 ballot - no credit for the postseason.

1) Mike Trout - Best ML Player. Not really close, either.
2) Buster Posey - Best ML catcher.
3) Andrew McCutcheon - Best ML center fielder.
4) Robinson Cano - Best ML second baseman.
5) Miguel Cabrera - Best ML third baseman.
6) Yadier Molina
7) Chase Headley - Best NL third baseman.
8) David Wright - Not that far off from being the best in the NL at the hot corner.
9) Ryan Braun - Best ML left fielder.
10) Edwin Encarnacion
11) Ben Zobrist - Best ML right fielder and part-time infielder.
12) Adrian Beltre
13) Aaron Hill - Best ML first baseman.
14) Joey Votto
15) Justin Verlander - Best ML pitcher. Yes, I know. I was surprised to see only one pitcher on my ballot (and at the bottom of my list to boot) when I have had numerous hurlers on my past MMP ballots. While it doesn't affect the way I handle my HoM ballots, pitchers just don't pitch enough today to affect games like they used to. Am I right? Well, I am today. Don't know about tomorrow. :-) FWIW, Johnny Cueto would be my pick for NL Cy Young.
   12. DL from MN Posted: December 21, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4329963)
Eight is pretty light. I want a minimum of 10. Fra paulo would be one. We just need one other contributor to step up and make a ballot (sunnyday?).

Going forward I'm not sure what to do. This level of participation is not what I expected. We're about to head through the 1980s which should be interesting for many folks. I expected more people to jump in when we did the 2012 ballot and it only drove people away. I don't know what is keeping people uninterested. Is it the format?
   13. DanG Posted: December 21, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4330081)
My 2¢:

"If you build it, they will come" works only when you're building something people need. This is merely a fun recreation. To grow a project like this takes marketing, targeting your audience. You have to be a promoter, looking for opportunities to spread the gospel.

Anytime a writer or blogger writes about the MVP, shoot him an email or two inviting him to the project. Or if they aren't specifically writing about the MVP but you like the way they think, say to them, "Hey, love your writing. I want to tell you about a project...." Seek out blogs and discussion boards talking about the MVP and make a pitch for the project. Work with SABR to create awareness of the project among their members. (If you're already doing promotions like this, freely disregard.)

Speaking for this specific election, maybe it's the time of year (or maybe it's the time of man). Another problem may be the sudden shift in emphasis from historic studies to current events.
   14. DL from MN Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4330117)
I guess I figured they were already here (BBTF, Hall of Merit) and this would be an easy thing to add. Like you said, this is fun recreation. Marketing sounds a whole lot like work. I just don't care that much.

The shift in emphasis was an attempt to draw in a broader audience. That didn't happen and I think it alienated some folks who prefer to have years of emotional distance from whatever they analyze. We'll return to 1978 next time.

I am puzzled why you are interested in the process and the outcomes but don't ever put in your two cents. Want to help us out in 2012?
   15. DanG Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4330139)
I'm filling the Paul Wendt chair. I enjoy reading the posts and offering whatever support I can. But the work of preparing a defensible ballot is overshadowed by other demands.
   16. DL from MN Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4330147)
the work of preparing a defensible ballot

The best part of this project is you don't have to do it every year. Jump in when it's interesting.
   17. DanG Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4330275)
Jump in when it's interesting.
True, that is an option.
I guess I figured they were already here
I think the time lag between projects had an adverse effect. What was it, almost three years that the MMP was sputtering on the tarmac before it took off?
   18. DL from MN Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4330321)
I was hesitant to jump in and take over what I always thought of as Joe and John's project. That is part of the time lag. When sunnyday made the statement "MMP or oblivion" it sunk in that someone had to do something or our history project would become history.
   19. Mr Dashwood Posted: December 21, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4330417)
I'm afraid with me it's partly a timing thing. I had end-of-term marking to do, and much of my more limited spare time went into the once-a-year HoM ballot. I'd planned to put something together, but then I had to go get the books I'm going to need for the next two weeks out of the university library, since they will close down as of today until the New Year.

And Monday is Christmas Eve, so the next few days will be planning and assembling food and wine for our usual midnight dinner and our Christmas Day meal.

Going forward I'm not sure what to do. This level of participation is not what I expected.

Well, I enjoy the MMP a lot, especially when I have sufficient spare time to devote to it, but with so few participants it seems a poor return for effort expended.
   20. DL from MN Posted: December 21, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4330469)
So what do we do with this election? Extend it until after new years? I don't have plans to start the next election until then anyway but the election has already gone on longer than normal.
   21. DL from MN Posted: December 23, 2012 at 09:00 PM (#4331697)
Extending until 1/2/2013. Hopefully we get a couple more ballots.
   22. DL from MN Posted: January 02, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4336810)
Is anyone planning on submitting a ballot?
   23. Mr Dashwood Posted: January 02, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4336934)
I will not be able to get a ballot in today. Yesterday, mrs fra paolo decided on inviting people around for dinner tonight, and I have to cook for it. Me not getting enough sleep last night isn't helping, either. Late start, and other deadlines (library books due imminently, can't renew them)are compounding the matter.
   24. DL from MN Posted: January 02, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4336970)
Can you get a ballot posted this week? I'd like all I can get.
   25. Qufini Posted: January 02, 2013 at 08:56 PM (#4337429)
I think the time lag between projects had an adverse effect. What was it, almost three years that the MMP was sputtering on the tarmac before it took off?

The HoM positional ranking votes took place during that time so the gap between projects isn't quite that large.
   26. Howie Menckel Posted: January 02, 2013 at 11:11 PM (#4337608)
I was interested to participate in the more controversial years, both to choose someone other than a lousy choice but also to 'break a tie' when it was a close call.

I very much respect the efforts of the MMP project, but instead most of the years seem to be obvious coronations, with closer calls on who comes in 5th or something. Maybe, working off WAR or whatever, we could have started with the most contentious results, and then gone backwards as far as possible until we got to such obvious blowouts that voting became superfluous.

I still like the idea even in its current format, but to be honest I stopped voting after a couple of years.
   27. Qufini Posted: January 03, 2013 at 08:54 AM (#4337797)
As DL mentioned n post 16, you don't have to participate every year. You may jump in for the years that most interest you- like this one when Mike Trout's big year goes up against Miguel Cabrera's Triple Crown, or the '78 vote that's starting discussion now with the potential to dethrone Jim Rice.
   28. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 03, 2013 at 09:07 AM (#4337804)
I don't know what is keeping people uninterested. Is it the format?

I was going to start submitting ballots, until I visited one of the discussion threads and realized almost every voter had their own novel system of ranking the candidates, based almost exclusively on data alone. I don't have the time or interest to do that, and I honestly don't see the point of voting if its based (practically) solely on data. I'm not saying I will never vote, and I will certainly take it seriously if/when I do, but it doesn't seem like it would be a fun activity for me given all of the number crunching required (or at least expected).
   29. DL from MN Posted: January 03, 2013 at 10:17 AM (#4337836)
most of the years seem to be obvious coronations

1978 should be more interesting.

I was going to start submitting ballots, until I visited one of the discussion threads and realized almost every voter had their own novel system

Sunnyday votes with less data and more intuition and it's welcomed. Just because we're attracting a certain type of voter doesn't mean we aren't interested in other types of voters. The wisdom of the crowd is enhanced by alternate perspectives as long as the crowd doesn't turn into a mob.
   30. DL from MN Posted: January 03, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4337962)
If I get a "no" from fra paulo I'll close out the voting. Maybe we'll re-do it when we get back to 2012.
   31. Mr Dashwood Posted: January 03, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4338035)
I have not finished compiling my ballot (I haven't finished the AL players and haven't even begun to look at the pitchers), but I've already got two players ahead of Mike Trout (both NLers, although one by a whisker, having to go to four decimal places).

Is my ballot too controversial for short-notice posting? Also, not sure yet when I'll get it done. Could be tomorrow.
   32. DL from MN Posted: January 03, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4338056)
No problem with short notice. Like every other ballot I'd like to see the explanation.

Balloting is also open for these previous year voters: OCF, bjhanke, JJ1986, sunnyday

Can you set a deadline for yourself? I want to make sure everyone has a fair shot.
   33. Mr Dashwood Posted: January 04, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4338995)
I ought to have a ballot in at some point today, but maybe not until later tonight. I've actually got fifteen names, but I want to double-check some of the candidates' qualifications in the lower positions. I still do not have Mike Trout at #1, but it is now ALers ahead of him.
   34. DL from MN Posted: January 04, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4339012)
Balloting will close Monday. That gives everyone the weekend if they wish. Time to put this one to bed.
   35. Mr Dashwood Posted: January 04, 2013 at 08:30 PM (#4339393)
This election I have used a version of Runs Created, based on wOBA, to rank the players. Previously I had used Wins Above Average, but I found my revised pitching system seems to be scaled differently from the way I assign wins to position players. Rather than try to fix the problem straightaway, I did a little googling and came across this old Hardball Times article by David Gassko. Using some of his ideas, I got a system of ranking players that compares batting and pitching wOBA against position, and uses Fielding Win Shares Above Bench, converted to runs, to assign defensive values.

Also, this election, for the first time, I have used a very simple system of determining a 'replacement level' for batters and pitchers, as opposed to using league average as I have in previous votes. My RC numbers for hitting and pitching are adjusted for park. In place of comments, I have generally listed the RC totals for each player, with a few additional notes where I thought they were of interest. The decimal points probably give a false air of precision. I regard players within five RC of one another as in a dead heat.

1) Justin Verlander (147 RC) — Kershaw was ahead of him in my WAR system, but under Pitching RC Verlander really rose up the ranks.
2) Robinson Cano (145 RC) — Cano was the original leader of all players once I had done my initial draft ballot using a WAR system. But several pitchers were ranked ahead of him, and I just didn't find that plausible.
3) Mike Trout (143 RC) — Until numbers were adjusted for park, Trout was behind Cano, Cabrera and McCutchen. CFs were the most productive position offensively in the AL by my numbers, which hurt his relative standing.
4) Andrew McCutchen (142 RC) — The first of several NL surprises, which made me wonder how much attention I was paying to Nationals' broadcasts, McCutchen was ranked ahead of Trout in all versions of my ballot until I applied the park adjustment.
5) Miguel Cabrera (137 RC) — One of my favourite players, I really wanted him to be MMP, but I couldn't devise numbers to make it so!
6) Clayton Kershaw (128 RC)
7) Buster Posey (119.3 RC) — I may be underrating catchers a bit by not adjusting enough for their lack of playing time.
8) Aaron Hill (119.10 RC)
9) Gio Gonzalez (119.08 RC) — These two players were big surprises. In my first draft of the ballot, I had Hill with McCutchen, ahead of Trout. Gonzalez was completely unexpected, and I'm surprised he hasn't got much love from the electorate. Although he walked quite a few, he only gave up nine home runs, which is pretty good going for a pitcher with around 200 innings in the major leagues in 2012. That doesn't appear to be a park effect either.
10) Ryan Braun (118.9 RC) — Probably the best hitter in the NL, but hurt in my system by weak defence and the park.
11) Chase Headley (115 RC)
12) R A Dickey (113 RC)
13) David Price (112.32 RC) — The opposite of Trout, he really sank down the rankings once I adjusted his numbers for park.
14) Yadier Molina (112.29 RC) — In an early ballot I had him ahead of Posey. I'm not yet sure the gap between them on this ranking isn't overstated.
15) Albert Pujols (111.5 RC) — As with Trout, benefited from park adjustments. Chris Sale would be here otherwise.
   36. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2013 at 09:46 AM (#4340616)
Balloting is closed.

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