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Mvp Newsbeat

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Bill James Online: Strong and Weak MVP Classes

1.    2004 American League, Vladimir Guerrero. 

The memory of the American League in 2004 is very special to me, and it hurts me to put down the league in any way, but facts are facts.  Vladimir hit .337 with 39 homers, 126 RBI, a .989 OPS, and those are very good numbers and deserving of an MVP Award; he also had 206 hits, and led the league in Runs Scored.  But the steroid era abounds in big, BIG numbers, so it took a very large number of runs to win a game.  If you compare Vlad’s numbers in 2004 to the other MVPs of that era, you can see that those are actually not fantastic numbers for that era.  He had 27 Win Shares, 5.6 WAR, both pretty weak totals for an MVP; the other MVP candidates (Gary Sheffield, Miguel Tejada, A-Rod, David Ortiz) all had about the same kind of numbers.  I wish David had won it, but I wouldn’t want to take anything away from Guerrero.  I’m just saying that 2004 was no better than any other season he had between 1998 and 2002, but it won the MVP Award because the competition wasn’t as strong as it had been in the National League in the late 1990s.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 20, 2020 at 09:28 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: mvp

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The AL MVP Battle Could Come Down to Philosophy

Absent an incredible final week that eliminates any doubts about who the MVP ought to be, there are a bunch of philosophical choices that voters will have to make. How much does it matter that Anderson and LeMahieu missed time? If we look at the White Sox candidates, Anderson has been the better player when he’s played, but Abreu has 20% more playing time and that’s tough to ignore. LeMahieu’s case is similar to Anderson’s given the time missed from injury….

There’s a decent possibility that the two best players in the AL this year are playing on a 24-31 Angels team, which some will opt to hold against them. It doesn’t take much to convince me that Mike Trout is having the best season of any player in the AL, and his track record indicates that his performance this season isn’t some small-sample fluke. Should that matter in a 60-game season when it doesn’t as much over 162 games? I wouldn’t fault anyone for voting for Trout because they know this performance is real. He also might not be having the best season on his team. Meanwhile, the White Sox are a great story — Anderson’s emergence over the last few seasons has been incredible, while Abreu is having a great year after turning in two average campaigns before this one. Does Anderson’s trajectory and potential future put him ahead of Abreu’s great couple of months? After last night’s games, Ramírez is the AL WAR leader and would be a deserving winner. It wouldn’t necessarily be a copout to avoid the discussion entirely and just go with Bieber, though some reserve the MVP for pitchers in a truly difference-making season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2020 at 11:40 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: mvp



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