Jump to content
  • Welcome to AngelsWin.com

    AngelsWin.com - THE Internet Home for Angels fans! Unraveling Angels Baseball ... One Thread at a Time.

    Register today to join the most interactive online Angels community on the net!

    Once you're a member you'll see less advertisements. Become a Premium member and you won't see any ads! 

     

Caught Looking: AL MVP Talk


AngelsWin.com

Recommended Posts

53752848e1b033a8c2e4fa71e30f400e.jpg

By Grant Larsen, AngelsWin.com Baseball Columnist - 

For starters, sorry about the delay. My other obligations were a little too demanding over the last couple of weeks.

When trying to determine the MVP of each league there aremany different possible scenarios to consider. Should we consider the bestplayer on the best team? Maybe the player putting up huge numbers on a badteam? Do we focus on old school stats or put more emphasis on the new school thinking?


To me when we are talking about MVP, which is acronym for most valuable player, we are looking forthe player that is the most valuableto their respective team. That’s just my take.


Furthermore, I understand how important it is to have an acein a rotation, a player that can keep winning streaks going and put a stop tolosing ones. There is no doubt that a player like this is important to a team.


That being said, I just have a hard justifying that a playerthat pitches every five days is more valuable that a player that takes thefield every day. More importantly, pitchers have the Cy Young. Again, just mytake.


AL MVP:


This race seems to be much less interesting than the NLrace. It’s really just a matter of Miguel Cabrera vs. Mike Trout vs. ChrisDavis. As impressed as I am with the season Chris Davis has had, the stats justdon’t quite hold up compared to the other two. Or do they. I did try to go outand make a case for each of them. Each of these guys are nearly irreplaceable and are the most valuable piece to their respective teams.


I would have considered either Felix Hernandez and/or Max Scherzerinto this argument until each of them were hammered this week raising each oftheir ERAs dramatically and displacing them realistically from this conversation.


AL MVP:


Mike Trout:

The same argument that was made last year can be made forthe talented outfielder this year. He has the ability to influence the game inmany more ways than either Chris Davis or Miguel Cabrera. When determining theMVP we must seriously consider the all around play of the players on the field.


Why Mike Trout couldwin:

Encompassing all the things he does into one value is his best weapon. He’snear the top in base running, stolen bases, home runs, OPS, walks, RBI, XBH,and the list can go on forever. He does everything very well.

I think the biggest argument for Trout is hisWAR, which is 8.8 at this point and leads baseball. I realize many people arevery hesitant to accept this tool but it allows us to value one player againstanother in a way the takes into account all aspects of the game and year after year it's generally pretty accurate. 


His BsR (base running value) remains in the top 3 and the amount of damage he has the ability to do once on the bases is electric. By taking an extra base, stealing a base, or distracting a pitcher, he can be a disturbance to opposing teams and a major benefit to his. 29 out of 33 attempts stealing bases is quite efficient but the number remains below that of last year.

Why it should besomeone else:

His defense has not been the same exceptional defense fromlast year evidenced by his negative UZR and DRS, number of runs saved/allowedthrough defense and runs above or below average respectively, scores. 

Moreimportantly, he trails Miguel Cabrera and/or Chris Davis in almost all of thecounting stats. He has fewer home runs, RBI, and runs scored (surprisingly). Healso trails them in two of my favorite stats, wOBA and wRC+.


My Take:

His season, albeit very very good, has been less spectacular than last year and last year he lost out to Cabrera. Meanwhile, Cabrera is having ayear that will seemingly be an improvement over last year’s numbers. My guessis, based on this information and the fact that the Angels are less thanirrelevant, it’s going to someone else.

Chris Davis:

Chris Davis is having an extraordinary season and I am trulyhappy for him given the direction his career seemed to be treading when he wastraded away for peanuts a few years ago. He is doing it in the middle of apotent lineup and in the midst of a pennant race in a tough division.


Why Chris Davis couldwin:

For one he leads the MLB in home runs with 47 and rightbehind Cabrera in runs and RBI. Cabrera is banged up and was lifted during agame against Oakland, which may help Davis catch him in these two categories. 

He also leads baseball in WPA, which values how much a player affects theirteam and the probability that they will win the game given events involvingthe player. It’s a complicated stat but what I like about it is the emphasis itputs on important circumstances in a game and plays that make a difference inthe outcome. Fangraphs also has him listed as the number 1 clutch hitter inbaseball.

He is only .001 behind Cabrera in SLG but his isolated power exceedsCabrera by a ton lifted heavily by the amount of XBH's Davis has this year, whichleads the league. To put it into perspective, Chris Davis has as many XBH's to this point in the season as Miguel Cabrera had all of last year, in his MVP season. He is on pace to hit 100 extra base hits for only 16th time in MLB history and the first since 2001 when the feat was accomplished 4 times (huh, I wonder why?).


Why it should besomeone else:

For starters, his WAR is below that of Trout and Cabrera. Heis striking out far more than either of the other two players eliminating opportunities for teammates to make play by balls that could otherwise be put in play (e.g. sacrifices or errors). His batting average pales in comparison to the other two and his patience at the plate needs improvement.

His defense is below average at first base based on statistics but his manager claims that he deserves a gold glove for the work he does digging out balls. Statistics can certainly lie but based on what I have seen his defense is working against him.

My Take:
I like what he has done, and I think subconsciously I hope he wins. Every interview I see he says all the right things, and he's clearly a big fan of the game. He has a great story to accompany this season after struggling early in his career and I think his performance this year makes a great case for him deserving the MVP award. I believe he is currently behind Cabrera in the race but I certainly wouldn't sleep on him. If he catches fire in the process of pushing his team to a playoff berth while Cabrera nurses injuries the award could quickly switch hands. 

Miguel Cabrera:

Look, the bottom line is that we may witness the firsthitter in the history of major league baseball to put together back-to-backTriple Crowns; and would become one of only three players to have two. Iunderstand there is the argument from the stat people around baseball that theTriple Crown is useless, and I find that ridiculous.


Once upon a time this game was a little simpler and itbecame America’s national pastime with simple stats like these. There’s acertain level of historic appreciation that should be given to someone thatcollects a Triple Crown when it has been done so infrequently. I believe itsrarity creates value and will forever be worshipped as a great achievement.


Why Cabrera deservesthe MVP:

Well, it’s simple really he leads the league in runs, RBI,AVG, OPS, wOBA, and runs created plus. He’s also has the most amount of walksin the AL and his walk rate is nearly equal to his K%, which to me isabsolutely amazing. I appreciate guys that get on base and give teammates theopportunity to make plays on the base path by putting the baseball in play.Strikeouts take away any chance of that.


I want to focus on wRC+ because I think this is a compellingargument for his claim on the MVP award. wRC+ measures the percentage of runscreated for a player above the league average, which is an artificially createdvalue. Cabrera leads baseball with a 204 wRC+. That tells us that he creates 104% moreruns than the average player. That is an extremely large and impressivestat. The next closes player is Chris Davis with a 182 wRC+. He is the firstplayer, if you don’t count a few steroid filled McGwire and Bonds seasons, innearly 20 years to post a wRC+ north of 200.


Why someone elsedeserves it:
Surprisingly, I found a few reasons to consider a moredeserving player. His fielding percentage this year is at one of the worstpoints in his career at a disappointing .952. His UZR score of -14.6, thesecond lowest of his career, places him far below the average third baseman.He doesn’t have the excuse of switching positions this year and his fieldingnumbers have fallen well below last year’s numbers. I believe there should havebeen improvement.


From an offensive standpoint it really comes down to baserunning. It is a major weakness. I watch him consistently hit the ball into thegaps in left center and right center and hustle out singles that would havebeen doubles by many other players including Davis and Trout. To me those could turn into lost runs. My theory was backed up by his BsR stat of -1.5. Hisclutch value from Fangraphs is also negative telling us many of his big hitscome at irrelevant points in the game (e.g. blowouts).


My Take:

I seriously believe that Cabrera is a once in a generationplayer and his demeanor and joy on the field make me wish I was there with him.He has a passion for the game and leaves it all out on the field. I think itwould be great for baseball if he could land the Triple Crown again and Isincerely hope he does.



My concern rests with his health. He’s beat up and trying toplay through it but at some point the Tigers are going to have to allow him torest, particularly if they maintain a comfortable lead in the Central. If thathappens, he’s not catching Davis in the Home Run sweepstakes and may lose theMVP in the process. Davis is in the middle of a heated pennant race and will beleaned on heavily down the stretch. If he delivers, we will have a major MVPdebate on our hands. For now, Cabrera is the MVP.


Bottom Line:
I think Cabrera is having a magical season and if he continues to put up the gaudy numbers the MVP award is his. If injuries persist I think Chris Davis will develop a big time case for his claim. If you take either of these guys out of their lineups the playoff picture is dramatically affected. If you take Trout out of the Angels lineup my guess is they are still battling for third or fourth in the West. I think Trout is the most talented player in the world and his time will come. The scariest thing for the rest of the league is I believe he is just warming up. For now, I believe it's between Davis and Cabrera.

The NL column will follow shortly....
MIYj7XOrN40

View the full article
Link to comment
Share on other sites

`

I still think Trout should have won last year and if the Angels won around 85-90 games, he should win it again this year too.

 

It's not to say a triple crown (or near one) isn't anything (hell, it's a MAJOR accomplishment), but when you're only an asset to your team while batting..I'm sorry that just isn't real 'valuable' to me.

 

Who deserves it the most? Trout

 

Who will win it (unless Davis hits 15 more homers)..? Cabrera.

Edited by DW711
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Disagree.

 

Aren't the Tigers 8-2 without Cabrera in the lineup? They would be a better team without him. (JK) I know it's small sample size but the point is that you can't judge a player's value by his team any more than you can judge a team based on a 10 game sample.

 

Also if you took Cabrera out of the lineup you could spend another $20 million and improve other areas of your team. If you take Trout off the Angels you get about $500,000 to spend. The Tigers could replace most of his production. The Angels would be lucky to win 70 games.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unlike last year, this year you can say it's close enough to where Miggy does deserve it. Trout should finish 2nd again in voting ABOVE Chris Davis, though(he won't, however)

 

This is why the results were stupid last year. Miggy was great but you saw quotes from some writers about how this is Miggys' first time winning and that Trout will have "many years to win one". It was like they were sort of just throwing a bone to Miggy for all his years of great play and it aided in their influence of things. Just felt like they were using years of service as part of their voting. Here we are the very next year with Miggy doing even better than last season and likely winning another award

Edited by bloodbrother
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unlike last year, this year you can say it's close enough to where Miggy does deserve it. Trout should finish 2nd again in voting ABOVE Chris Davis, though(he won't, however)

 

This is why the results were stupid last year. Miggy was great but you saw quotes from some writers about how this is Miggys' first time winning and that Trout will have "many years to win one". It was like they were sort of just throwing a bone to Miggy for all his years of great play and it aided in their influence of things. Just felt like they were using years of service as part of their voting. Here we are the very next year with Miggy doing even better than last season and likely winning another award

 

I love when they throw bones to Triple Crown winners.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For most of the season I would have voted for Cabrera, but by the end of the year I have a feeling I'm going to be solidly in Trout's corner. For most of the season it's been debatable as to who was the better player this year, in fact Cabrera was definitely better through the all star break. Trout has been out of this world since then and it's very likely he finishes at least two full wins ahead of him in WAR and close to him in wRC+.

 

Trout's season this year is not 'less impressive than last' it has just been more offensively focused. He has been a significantly better hitter this year than last year.

 

When the best player is up for debate I have no problem giving it to the guy on a competitive team, but by the end of the year, when Trout is once again clearly superior it's going to be tough seeing Cabrera take home another MVP.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most talented = Mike Trout

AL MVP = Cabrera, then Davis, then Trout, then Scherzer, then it's close for 5th between Machado, Beltre, Cano, Donaldson, and Pedroia

 

I hate this 'most talented' business. It sounds like the award our team would've handed out to Garret Richards or Ramon Ortiz. Talent isn't always realized on the field. Rename it to 'Best ****ing Player On The Planet' award and I'll agree with you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last year, it was absolutely trout. This year, I go with miggy.

Ten times out of ten I draft trout before cabrerra, because he's the better (by far) overall. That said, miggys bat this year is insane. For me at least, his bat overall is the equalizer to trouts speed and glove (at least to me).

I still think trouts the better player (by far), I just think mcabs been that good this year. His numbers any year look good. But with offense baseball wide being down, he looks even better.

beltre isn't it, but I agree with TD he should be mentioned. Hes behind the three mentioned, but he's quietly having a great run in texas.

#missedoppurtunities

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's stupid that the criteria changes every year. 

 

It can be determined by factors that have nothing to do with why the award should be won or lost like the players around them, their age or league experience, an arbitrary accumulation of certain stats but not others, voter momentum, the popularity of the team they play for,  etc. 

 

Most Valuable Player.  Which player provided the most value to their team. 

 

There have been defensive minded players who have won, pitchers, offensive players, complete players.  Ones that were clearly better than every other player that year yet on a losing team.  Ones that were clearly worse than several other players that year yet their team won. 

 

It's a completely inconsistent load of crap.

 

In 2011, Justin Verlander won with a 24-5 record, 2.4era, 250k, 250ip.  His team finished in 1st place

In 2009, Zach Greinke was 16-8 with a 2.16 era, 240k, 230ip.  KC came in 4th with 97 losses.  Zach came in 17th with 12 vote points.

 

In 2009, Joe Mauer won with a 7.7WAR and a 1.031ops and his team came in first with 87wins.

that same year, Ben Zobrist had an 8.6WAR with a .943ops.  tampa came in 3rd with 84 wins.  Zobrist finished 8th. 

Tex came in 2nd that year with about the same offensive stats as Zobrist but a WAR of 5.3.  The Yankees had 103 wins. 

 

Trout is the best player in baseball and proved it once again by a performance unmatched by an other player in the league.  Offense, Defense, Base running. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

His season, albeit very very good, has been less spectacular than last year

 

 

 

I strongly disagree with this particular comment.  K rate down, walk rate up, and his OPS in every month but April this year exceeds every month last year save for July.  His April was so uncharacteristically bad that it's unfortunately dragging down his season stats.  His slash since May 1:  .356/.459/.614.  Instead of the sophomore slump like some feared, Mike Trout is actually getting better.  Limit the slash again to just since the ASB and he's at .371/.511/.600.   I'll concede the defense as he's had a few sketchy moments in the field this year, but it's not nearly to the degree that the defensive metrics show, as I think anyone who watches him daily can attest to.

 

All that said, the race will still be close because, mind-bogglingly, Cabrera is also better than last year.  Anyone with a clue would be hard-pressed to argue that Trout isn't the best all around player in the game, but when it comes to MVP voting, the triple crown stats are too rooted in tradition.  Also, "leading your team into the playoffs" is far more glamorous than "carrying your crap team to 10 games below .500 instead of 20."  

 

Davis had an amazing first half, but he's put up a .253/.358/.527 line since the ASB, and I don't think he even belongs in the discussion.  I'd guess it's a 2-man race again, with Cabrera winning out for the repeat.

Edited by markb
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with what many people are saying about Trout. He is the best player on the field every night and the most overall talented player playing today. I think his tools are amazing and he is spectacular in all the things that he does. I just believe that when a team that is battling for fourth or fifth in a fairly weak division it is hard to pluck a player off of that team and name them MVP. Like I mentioned in the article, if you take Trout off of the Angels they are still likely battling for third or fourth in the West. I do feel that there should be more respect for a player putting up gaudy numbers on a bad team because there are fewer opportunities for them. However, winning is the goal for every team and I strongly feel that the MVP award should be handed out to a player that has been the most valuable piece in putting their team in a position to win a championship. 

 

For the record, in any draft real or fantasy if I have the first pick Trout would be on my team. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with what many people are saying about Trout. He is the best player on the field every night and the most overall talented player playing today. I think his tools are amazing and he is spectacular in all the things that he does. I just believe that when a team that is battling for fourth or fifth in a fairly weak division it is hard to pluck a player off of that team and name them MVP. Like I mentioned in the article, if you take Trout off of the Angels they are still likely battling for third or fourth in the West. I do feel that there should be more respect for a player putting up gaudy numbers on a bad team because there are fewer opportunities for them. However, winning is the goal for every team and I strongly feel that the MVP award should be handed out to a player that has been the most valuable piece in putting their team in a position to win a championship. 

 

For the record, in any draft real or fantasy if I have the first pick Trout would be on my team. 

 

My problem with this line of thinking is 2 fold.

 

1. How much winning is able to make up for a player being better? If the Angels were in 2nd place would Trout be more valuable? Can a player who isn't on the best team win? If we are just going based on feelings then it leads to voting for people based on who they like and don't like. If A Rod put up the same stats as Cabrera this year and his team were in 1st maybe more people would be voting for Trout because they feel that Trout was enough better to make up the difference for winning. If people think winning is more important there has to be some objective logical scale to measure the amount of wins vs. performance difference that makes one player "more valuable" than another. Is a player that leads his team to the playoffs as an 85 win division champion more valuable than a better player who's team wins 90 games but misses the playoffs because they didn't qualify for a WC in a tougher division? If winning is the primary factor in how valuable someone is then how can anyone vote for Trout in the top 3? Is he more valuable than Adam Jones? Is he more valuable than a Dustin Pedroia or Robbie Cano?

 

If we take most valuable to mean best player all these questions are answered in a consistent fashion.

 

2. If we take valuable at face value then why wasn't contract money factored in? If you can get nearly identical production for roughly $20 million less then that is far more valuable. The only way around factoring in contracts is to only look at production and Trout has out produced Miggy this season.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you put Trout on the Tigers they do not win any more games. They may even lose ground simply because Trout has yet to become the MOTO rbi hitter Cabrera is.

And you guys are mining fangraphs fools gold if you believe 23 home runs equal the impact of 43 home runs from the #3 hitter.

All excuses aside the production Cabrera provides from the plate would have increased the Angels win totals if he was a substitute for Trout.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...