Putting the WAR in Awards

October 2, 2011

Since we necessarily cannot have more than four MLB playoff games in a day, Saturday was at least a tie for the most playoff baseball ever in a day.  The whole extended weekend has been filed with dramatic  MLB baseball.  In honour of this magnificent excuse for laziness, sportsvssports summarizes the leagues’ final ‘advanced’ or ‘new’ overall statistical leaders.  Below is a general survey of the top scores in each major award category according to various metrics and ‘overall ratings.’

4 out of 6 nerdy ranking systems agree: Matt Kemp was the best player in the NL during the regular season.

Rookie of the Year

AL:    Alexei Ogando (FG, TBE tie)

Michael Pineda (IE)  Mark Trumbo (ESPN), Jeremy Hellickson (Elias)

NL: Danny Espinosa (FG, TBE)

Vance Worley (ESPN), Lucas Duda (Elias), Freddie Freeman (IE)

Cy Young Award

AL: Justin Verlander (BR, IE, ESPN, TBE)

CC Sabathia (FG), Jered Weaver (Elias)

NL: Roy Halladay (FG, ESPN, Elias)

Clayton Kershaw (BR, IE), Cliff Lee (TBE)


AL:  Jacoby Ellsbury (FG, ESPN, IE)

Jose Bautista (BR, Elias, TBE)

NL: Matt Kemp (BR, FG, ESPN, IE)

Prince Fielder (Elias), Troy Tulowitzki (TBE)

It should be mentioned that in most cases of disagreement, each site has the other’s top rated player second or tied for second.  NL pitching is the exception, where it seems a fairly even 3 way judgement.  Also, I have given the Baseball Reference MVP to Bautista despite being tied with Verlander because Verlander already gets the BR Cy Young, supplementing the argument which seems to usually hold the day with the Baseball Writers Association voters; that pitchers have their own award and should only win the MVP when their season is transcendent.  Also, to further sooth Blue Jays fans who are about to go into full pout about Bautista winning his second consecutive not-MVP, Brett Lawrie was on track to easily win the AL Rookie of the Year if he had played even most of the season.  What’s truly shocking is that he was actually on a pace to also bump Ellsbury for the FanGraphs AL MVP, as his WAR was 2.7 in only 43 games, putting him on track to produce a league best 10.2 over 162 games.

Abbreviations: BR= Baseball Reference, FG= Fan Graphs, IE= Inside Edge, TBE= The Baseball Encyclopedia