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Monday, November 17, 2014

Most Meritorious Player: 2014 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 2014, 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 3 December 2014.

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 1 December 2014.

DL from MN Posted: November 17, 2014 at 12:50 PM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: November 17, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4844362)
Post early and enjoy your holiday or do your evaluation while enjoying your holiday.
   2. Qufini Posted: November 17, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4844535)
2014 Ballot

1. Mike Trout, CF, Los Angeles Angels: 167 OPS+ and AL-leading 137 runs created; 6 months of Trout are more valuable than 5 months of Kershaw...
2. Clayton Kershaw, P, Los Angeles Dodgers: ... but 5 months of Kershaw are more valuable than 6 months of anyone else; 197 ERA+ in 198 innings
3. Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pittsburgh Pirates: NL-leading 168 OPS+ and 130 runs created
4. Felix Hernandez, P, Seattle Mariners: 170 ERA+ in 236 innings
5. Jonathan Lucroy, C, Milwaukee Brewers: 132 OPS+ and 101 Runs Created with +11 from behind the plate
6. Johnny Cueto, P, Cincinnati Reds: 160 ERA+ in 243 innings
7. Giancarlo Stanton, RF, Miami Marlins: 160 OPS+ and 120 Runs Created despite an early end to his season
8. Victor Martinez, DH, Detroit Tigers: while the mainstream press focused on his pursuit of the batting title, Martinez put up an AL second best OPS+ of 168 and RC of 126
9. Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros: beat Martinez for the batting title, but makes the ballot on the strength of 134 OPS+, 114 RC and +8 baserunning
10. Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas Rangers
11. Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox: Altuve, Beltre and Abreu ended up tied after my initial ranking so they're listed on the ballot based on position
12. Adam Wainwright, P, St. Louis Cardinals: 154 ERA+ in 227 innings
13. Michael Brantley, LF/CF, Cleveland Indians: I called him this year's most underrated player before he finished 3rd in the MVP vote; I guess maybe he was overrated after all as I have him 7th among AL players; 154 OPS+ and 122 runs created
14. Corey Kluber, P, Cleveland Indians: another Cleveland player who did better in the BBWAA awards than I would have expected; 152 ERA+ in 235 innings
15. Jose Bautista, RF, Toronto Blue Jays: beats out Tulo for the last ballot spot based primarily on playing time; of course a 159 OPS+ is nothing to sneeze at

16. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies: a 171 OPS+ in little more than half a season
17. Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants
18. Robinson Cano, 2B, Seattle Mariners
19. Jon Lester, P, Boston/Oakland
20. Chris Sale, P, Chicago White Sox
21. Anthony Rendon, 3B/2B, Washington Nationals
22. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs
23. Wade Davis, RP, Kansas City Royals- a better year for set-up men than closers (see also Betances)
24. Russell Martin, C, Pittsburgh Pirates
25. Josh Donaldson, 3B, Oakland Athletics
   3. bjhanke Posted: November 18, 2014 at 01:44 AM (#4844892)
This is Brock Hanke’s FINAL Ballot for 2014. It's directly copied over from the Discussion Thread, because I'm hip-deep in the Hall of Merit analysis right now. Thanks to DL for having this 2014 ballot precede the 1960 ballot, which I would not have had time to work out. NOTE: Over in the Discussion Thread, shoewizard asked a VERY good question about postseason credit - he asked whether postseason positive credit is given, but postseason negative debit is not. I do both, although I give more positive credits than negative, because there's only so little you can hit, while the positive amount you can hit is much higher. For this year, I didn't give postseason credit/debit at all, because I had to do the ballot before the postseason started. If I had, Baumgardner would certainly have looked better, but Kershaw might have fallen off the ballot entirely, because he had the bad luck to pitch in the postseason against the only team he had trouble with all year - the Cardinals. I think that's why there are more credits given then debits - it's easier to see that players had trouble with one opposing club, and they just happened to get that team in the postseason. No one really wants to give out a debit for luck. It's usually harder to isolate one team that a player played much better against than against other teams. Usually, there are a few to several.

As probably everybody knows by now, I start by taking the lists that DL puts up in the Discussion thread header, sort them by WAR and then by Win Shares, add together the two ordinals from those sorts, and then tweak. I’ve been complaining for some “years” now about WAR ranking pitchers much higher than Win Shares does, because I agree with Win Shares on this topic.

My general opinion is that I think there have been two trends throughout baseball history that affect pitchers. One is that the value of pitchING has slowly increased, tracking Three True Outcomes. The other is that the number of innings that ONE pitcher can handle in a season has been going down. I am firmly of the opinion that the trend lowering individual innings has overtaken the trend towards pitching having more value, all of which is stolen from fielding. WAR does not seem to agree with me.

There are other differences between the two systems, and this year, they were as wide as ever, perhaps even wider. WAR, for example, has Clayton Kershaw tied for the MVP award in all of baseball, with Mike Trout. That would make Kershaw the NL MVP. Unless I’ve just missed someone (possible), the last pitcher to win a MVP was Dennis Eckersley, with Oakland, in a decision that I think no one agrees with any more. Before that, there is Roger Clemens, who does have a case because he pitched boatloads of innings, Vida Blue, whose case is much dicier, and then Bob Gibson. Gibson holds an odd record that year, 1968. Most people think the record is for lowest ERA by a non-19th century full-time starter. This is false. That record belongs to Three-Finger Brown. Gibson’s record is for the lowest ERA by a non-19th century player PITCHING OVER 300 INNINGS. Kershaw pitched nothing like 300 innings, since it is no longer the late 1960s or the early 1970s. In fact, Win Shares, which places more value on IP than WAR does, ranks Kershaw right behind Adam Wainwright and Johnny Cueto. Kershaw certainly pitched better than those two per IP, but both of them had significantly more IP than Kershaw. I do think that Win Shares has gone wrong a little here, and that Kershaw did have more impact than Wainwright or Cueto, but large season IP differences are hard to ignore. WAR says that Chris Sale is the 8th best player, at any position, in all of baseball this year. Sale pitched 174 innings all year. They were one hell of a 174 IP, but still, that’s a REALLY light workoad to be competing with Jonathon Lucroy and Andrew McCutcheon, who bookend Sale.

There are some equally wide splits among position players, but I’m not willing to go down through the whole list. Instead, as I’ve done before, I’m going to make my list, and follow each player’s name with his Win Shares ordinal, his WAR ordinal, and the sum of those two. Might make for fun disagreements, but those will have to wait until the HoM ballot is done. Anyway, enough of this: here’s the ballot.

1. Mike Trout 1+1 = 2
2. Andrew McCutcheon 2+9 = 11
3. Michael Brantley 6+5 = 11
4. Giancarlo Stanton 5+10 = 15
5. Josh Donaldson 15+3 = 18
6. Robinson Cano 3+15 = 18
7. Jonathon Lucroy 13+7 = 20
8. Adrian Beltre 16+6 = 22
9. Jose Altuve 4+20 = 24
10. Anthony Rendon 17+11 = 28
11. Kyle Seager 10+22 = 32
12. Jose Bautista 11+23 = 33
13. Clayton Kershaw 35+2 = 27 (best NL pitcher)
14. Jose Abreu 7+30 = 37
15. Corey Kluber 34+4 = 38 (best AL pitcher)

The next ten would be, in order: Victor Martinez, Alex Gordon, Adam Wainwright, Yasiel Puig, Buster Posey tied with Johnny Peralta, then Johnny Cueto tied with Howard Kendrick, then Jason Heyward, and Felix Hernandez. NOTE: Win Shares REALLY doesn’t like Chris Sale’s IP, and it REALLY, REALLY doesn’t like Cole Hamels, for reasons I’m not sure of, compared to where WAR has him (14th).
   4. bjhanke Posted: November 18, 2014 at 05:03 AM (#4844903)
Typo alert: Kershaw's ordinal sum should be 37, not 27. You can see that in the numbers that got added up. Just a typo on my part. - Brock
   5. DL from MN Posted: November 18, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4845152)
Unless I’ve just missed someone (possible)

You missed Kershaw winning the NL MVP just last week.
   6. Qufini Posted: November 18, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4845161)
You also missed Verlander a couple of years ago.
   7. bjhanke Posted: November 19, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4845794)
DL - I'm not sure how you got this. Right before my "Unless I've just missed someone" quote, there are a couple of sentences that I thought made it clear that I was looking for MVPs BEFORE Kershaw. The context is that I made the original post before the postseason. I did, however, miss Verlander, who pitched 250 innings, led in wins and ERA, and might well have been the MVP on merit. I have no time right now to compare Justin to the hitters of 2011. - Brock
   8. DL from MN Posted: November 21, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4846942)
2014 MMP Ballot

1) Clayton Kershaw - best P. Even a lousy postseason start couldn't sink him. Trout's defense was adjusted down after my prelim.
2) Mike Trout - closer to the pack than the last two years but still the best position player in baseball
3) Jonathan Lucroy - Any larger C bonus makes him #1. Very close to Trout because of Trout's middling CF defense
4) Corey Kluber - lots of IP
5) Josh Donaldson - good D
6) Adrian Beltre
7) Cole Hamels
8) Chris Sale
9) Felix Hernandez
10) Russell Martin - slides down with Fangraphs fielding
11) Michael Brantley - never heard of this guy before this year
12) Andrew McCutchen
13) Anthony Rendon - small postseason bump
14) Madison Bumgarner - huge postseason bump
15) Johnny Cueto

16-20) Adam Wainwright, Alex Gordon, Robinson Cano, Buster Posey, Giancarlo Stanton
21-25) Max Scherzer, Jhonny Peralta, Troy Tulowitzki, Steve Pearce, Jason Heyward
   9. lieiam Posted: November 22, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4847413)
2014 Final Ballot:

1 Trout, Mike 9969
2 Kershaw, Clayton 8075
3 McCutcheon, Andrew 8065
4 Brantley, Michael 7779
5 Kluber, Corey 7733
6 Lucroy, Jonathan 7569
7 Stanton, Giancarlo 7551
8 Cano, Robinson 7478
9 Donaldson, Josh 7259
10 Posey, Buster 7226
11 Hernandez, Felix 7178
12 Bautista, Jose 7165
13 Beltre, Adrian 7138
14 Abreu, Jose 7024
15 Altuve, Jose 6991

16 Rendon, Anthony 6856
17 Rizzo, Anthony 6838
18 Wainwright, Adam 6836
19 Martinez, Victor 6757
20 Gordon, Alex 6622
21 Cueto, Johnny 6567
22 Sale, Chris 6423
23 Puig, Yasiel 6396
24 Cabrera, Miguel 6357
25 Scherzer, Max 6352
   10. MrC Posted: November 23, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4847973)
2014 Final Ballot

Batters: start with RAA (using value added runs), adjust for park, position and defense (using average of DRS and UZR) Convert adjusted RAA to wins. Add 60% of normal Runs above replacement to get WARR (wins above reduced replacement)

Pitchers: Calculate RAA using a pitchers FIP and calculate RAA using a pitcher's value added runs.

Calculate RAA, using a blend of RA9 and FIP from above, adjust for quality of opposition and park. Convert adjusted RAA to wins. Add 60% of normal runs above replacement to get WARR (wins above reduced replacement). Add Hitter WAR for overall WARR.

1. Mike Trout 6.92 WARR Trout and Stanton essentially tied. Gave the nod to Trout; he had toe most playing time.
2. Giancarlo Stanton 6.91 WARR
3. Jose Bautista 6.88 WARR
4. Josh Donaldson 6.76 WARR
5. Clayton Kershaw 6.59 WARR
6. Adrian Beltre 6.48 WARR
7. Felix Hernandez 5.87 WARR
8. Miguel Cabrera 5.87 WARR
9. Mickey Brantley 5.72 WARR
10. Andrew McCutchen WARR 5.68 WARR
11. Cory Kluber 5.66 WARR
12. Anthony Rendon 5.62 WARR
13. Russell Martin 5.54 WARR
14. Jhonny Peralta 5.47 WARR
15. Jason Heyward 5.36 WARR

Rest of top 20

Adam Wainwright
Jonathan Lucroy
Victor Martinez
Troy Tulowitzki
Steve Pearce
   11. DL from MN Posted: November 25, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4849463)
In case you missed it on the front page the site will be up and down for the next few days for maintenance.
   12. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: November 25, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4849496)
2014 Final Ballot:

I use a combination of WAR systems to get an average WAR for each player. I use that number to get a Dan R-style peak-rate salary estimation. I divide that salary by $1 million and add 3 times the average WAR to that dividend. I use a 20% bonus for catchers and do not credit postseason except as a tiebreaker.

1. Clayton Kershaw (40.35) – The 2nd closest gap between 1st and 2nd so far for me (only 1950 – Stanky/Berra was closer)
2. Mike Trout (40.07) – AL MMP
3. Corey Kluber (37.86) – AL MMPitcher
4. Russell Martin (33.50) – NL MMPosition Player. My system is pretty rate-heavy. Most WAR systems only had Martin about 1 WAR behind Lucroy despite only playing 70% of Lucroy’s PAs. DRA and Clay Davenport even had Martin with a higher outright WAR than Lucroy, so my overall War for Martin was only .32 behind Lucroy.
5. Josh Donaldson (32.60)-
6. Giancarlo Stanton (32.44)
7. Andrew McCutchen (32.29)
8. Jonathon Lucroy (31.63)
9. Adam Wainwright (29.97)
10. Jose Bautista (29.90)
11. Michael Brantley (29.61)
12. Robinson Cano (29.40)
13. Felix Hernandez (29.36)
14. Kyle Seager (29.27)
15. Buster Posey (28.89)

16-20. Gordon, Sale, Cueto, Pearce, Scherzer
   13. toratoratora Posted: November 30, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4851372)
1-Trout-The Prince is finally officially anointed as the best player in baseball in his worst year as a pro.
2-Kershaw-I give postseason bonus, so, as to maintain consistency, I also count negative against the player (Not that Trout was any good either). Low IP hold him back. Top NL pitcher
3-Kluber-Great stretch run propels him to surprise CY and higher than expected standing on my ballot. Lots of K, lots of IP. Crushing slider. Best pitcher in AL.
4-McCutchen-Hank Aaron to Trout's Willie Mays-the 2nd best position player in MLB and NL MMP
5-Lucroy-Catcher bonus lifts him on the ballot. Completely drinking the Kool-Aid on framing numbers would have him MMP. I buy framing, just not that much
6-Donaldson-Good defense propels him.
7-Brantley-A much predicted breakout year for a fine all around player.
8-Stanton-Sigh. Mike Fiers.
9-Rendon-The out of nowhere season of 2014.
10-Seager-Good glove. Good bat. Tough position. Seager enters his prime with the best season of his career.

The best of the rest: Beltre, Cano, Sale, Bautista, Gordon
   14. Qufini Posted: November 30, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4851383)
Toratoratora, it's a 15 person ballot for 2014 so you might want to turn your "best of the rest" players into official votes.
   15. toratoratora Posted: November 30, 2014 at 06:37 PM (#4851434)
The Best of the Rest were in order so #11-15 are easily derived.

Revised BotR, sequentially: Martin, Wainwright, King Felix, Cueto, Altuve
   16. DL from MN Posted: December 01, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4851748)
Only 7 voters so far. Ballot is scheduled to close Wednesday
   17. DL from MN Posted: December 02, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4852924)
We usually have a dozen voters. This is light.
   18. Qufini Posted: December 02, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4852953)
I suggest extending the ballot so that we can get at least 10 voters. With the holiday last week and the HoM vote this week, people could probably use the extra time.
   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 02, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4853007)
Official 2014 MMP Ballot (no postseason bonuses):

1) Mike Trout: Best ML player and center fielder - nobody else even close.
2) Robinson Cano: Best ML second baseman.
3) Andrew McCutchen: Best NL center fielder.
4) Giancarlo Stanton: Best ML right fielder.
5) Jose Altuve: Best NL second baseman.
6) Buster Posey: Best ML catcher.
7) Josh Donaldson: Best ML third baseman.
8) Jose Abreau: Best ML first baseman.
9) Kyle Seager
10) Jonathan Lucroy
11) Jose Bautista: Best AL right fielder.
12) Michael Brantley: Best ML left fielder.
13) Victor Martinez: Best ML DH.
14) Wade Davis: Best ML pitcher and reliever.
15) Clayton Kershaw: Best NL starting pitcher.
   20. DL from MN Posted: December 02, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4853033)
An MLB general manager would get fired if they traded Clayton Kershaw for Wade Davis
   21. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 02, 2014 at 07:19 PM (#4853103)
An MLB general manager would get fired if they traded Clayton Kershaw for Wade Davis

Maybe, but it doesn't mean Wade wasn't (very slightly) better than Kershaw for 2014, IMO.
   22. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: December 02, 2014 at 10:03 PM (#4853223)
There is a decided shortage of Bumgarner on these ballots. How can you just ignore the postseason?
   23. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 03, 2014 at 08:00 AM (#4853335)
There is a decided shortage of Bumgarner on these ballots. How can you just ignore the postseason?

I ignore it the same way MLB does when it doles out its MVP and CY awards. If we had postseason awards, however, then that would be different.
   24. DL from MN Posted: December 03, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4853389)
The difference between Davis and Kershaw is 126.3 IP and 34 runs (or a 2.42 RA). Wade Davis + Danny Duffy might be a little better than Kershaw but not just Wade Davis.

Best Dressed Chicken - if you want to submit a ballot let me know and I'll extend the balloting.
   25. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 03, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4853999)
The difference between Davis and Kershaw is 126.3 IP and 34 runs (or a 2.42 RA). Wade Davis + Danny Duffy might be a little better than Kershaw but not just Wade Davis.

Yeah, I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one, Dan.
   26. lieiam Posted: December 04, 2014 at 12:04 AM (#4854221)
@ Best Dressed Chicken In Town:
I'm the same as expressed in post 23, I don't include the postseason in my ratings.
Looking at my spreadsheet, Bumgarner is 41st (again, just the regular season).
   27. DL from MN Posted: December 04, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4854335)
Balloting should be closed but we only have 8 ballots. I'd like at least 10 but there are no extra prelims or people who have expressed an interest in voting.
   28. DL from MN Posted: December 04, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4854717)
Balloting will close tomorrow if I don't get an extension request
   29. DL from MN Posted: December 05, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4855373)
Balloting is closed

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