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Old 11-04-2007, 06:13 AM
VarlosZ VarlosZ is offline
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2007 Internet Baseball Awards

On Thursday, Baseball Prospectus released the results of the 16th annual Internet Baseball Awards. This is notable because the awards are voted on primarily by BP's readers, who are, themselves, primarily very well informed and math-savvy stat-heads. As a result, this is one of those rare cases in which an internet poll is (much) more accurate than its better-established analog counterpart (in this case the BBWAA, which is composed primarily of traditionalist reporters and journalists who, sadly, tend to prefer RBIs and Batting Average over OBP and SLG, and who usually are either ignorant of or outright hostile to tools such as VORP and WARP.

Here are last year's awards, if you're curious.

The results (rank - name - 1st place votes - total points; for more details click the link):

AL MVP
1. Alex Rodriguez 1354 19527
2. Magglio Ordonez 23 10831
3. David Ortiz 26 8245
4. Jorge Posada 6 5519
5. Vladimir Guerrero 6 5246
6. Curtis Granderson 6 4458
7. Carlos Pena 3 4311
8. C.C. Sabathia 2 3037
9. Victor Martinez 5 2668
10. Ichiro Suzuki 0 2601
11. Grady Sizemore 4 2271
12. Josh Beckett 4 1581
13. Mike Lowell 6 1405
14. Fausto Carmona 3 939
15. Johan Santana 0 529

NL MVP
1. Matt Holliday 407 11859
2. David Wright 299 9180
3. Jimmy Rollins 226 8349
4. Hanley Ramirez 128 6734
5. Prince Fielder 76 6476
6. Chase Utley 41 4639
7. Albert Pujols 25 4386
8. Jake Peavy 40 4024
9. Chipper Jones 16 3465
10. Miguel Cabrera 4 2544
11. Ryan Howard 1 1572
12. Brandon Webb 1 1105
13. Ryan Braun 1 923
14. Barry Bonds 4 646
15. Jose Reyes 1 552

AL Cy Young
1. C.C. Sabathia 819 10830
2. Josh Beckett 292 7439
3. Fausto Carmona 83 4574
4. John Lackey 27 3182
5. Johan Santana 43 2956
6. Erik Bedard 26 1594
7. Dan Haren 10 932
8. J.J. Putz 10 634
9. Chien-Ming Wang 2 356
10. Kelvim Escobar 2 262
11. Scott Kazmir 4 256
12. Jonathan Papelbon 0 168
13. Roy Halladay 4 167
14. Justin Verlander 2 149
15. Rafael Betancourt 1 73

NL Cy Young
1. Jake Peavy 1097 11585
2. Brandon Webb 87 7705
3. Brad Penny 1 2626
4. Roy Oswalt 0 1339
5. John Smoltz 1 1164
6. Cole Hamels 4 1124
7. Aaron Harang 3 999
8. Tim Hudson 2 894
9. Carlos Zambrano 3 644
10. Chris Young 2 558
11. Jeff Francis 1 451
12. Takashi Saito 0 239
13. Jose Valverde 0 209
14. Tom Gorzelanny 1 91
15. Matt Cain 1 79

AL Rookie of the Year
1. Dustin Pedroia 838 10145
2. Daisuke Matsuzaka 138 5457
3. Brian Bannister 57 2927
4. Jeremy Guthrie 66 2672
5. Hideki Okajima 16 2093
6. Delmon Young 34 1826
7. Joba Chamberlain 25 896
8. Joakim Soria 9 773
9. Reggie Willits 4 761
10. Alex Gordon 5 448

NL Rookie of the Year
1. Ryan Braun 666 9871
2. Troy Tulowitzki 487 9127
3. Hunter Pence 16 4210
4. Chris Young 8 1470
5. Tim Lincecum 7 1311
6. Josh Hamilton 2 751
7. James Loney 3 724
8. Yovani Gallardo 1 718
9. Micah Owings 2 428
10. Kevin Kouzmanoff 1 314

AL Manager of the Year
1. Eric Wedge 566 3686
2. Mike Scioscia 166 1917
3. Terry Francona 189 1792
4. Joe Torre 142 1446
5. Mike Hargrove 23 276

NL Manager of the Year
1. Clint Hurdle 339 2735
2. Bob Melvin 337 2490
3. Manny Acta 172 1332
4. Lou Piniella 114 1204
5. Charlie Manuel 78 1009


Thoughts?

Also, this poll being a Basebal Prospectus joint, I wouldn't be surprised if there were some questions about the nature and/or validity of the advanced baseball statistics that they champion. I'm probably not the most knowledgeable Doper on this subject, but if anyone has comments, questions, or criticisms about their approach, I'd be happy to field them.
  #2  
Old 11-04-2007, 06:44 AM
VarlosZ VarlosZ is offline
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Personally, I disagree with two of the winners. One is the NL Rookie of the Year. If BP's fielding stats are to be believed, there was a huge difference between the quality of Ryan Braun's glove and Troy Tulowitzki's. According to them, Tulowitzki was about six games better defensively than Braun. That is, in this case, Tulowitzki's defensive performance could be expected to be worth about three wins more than what you'd expect with an average defensive SS, while Braun cost his team about three games with his glove, relative to a league-average fielder at 3B. To bridge that gap, Braun would have to be in an entirely different class from Tulowitzki as a hitter, and he just isn't that much better.

Admittedly, it is a lot harder to quantify defensive performance than offensive performance, and there are several good systems out there that judge individual defense, and they frequently disagree with each other. Nonetheless, I do think it's fair to say that Troy Tulowitzki was one of the best-fielding regular Shortstops in baseball, while Ryan Braun was one of the worst-fielding regular Third Basemen. Judging by WARP3, which accounts for both offense and defense, it's not even close: Braun was worth 4.4 wins over what a replacement level 3B would provide; Tulowitzki was worth 10.7 wins.


My bigger gripe is with the NL MVP. This may well be because I'm being blinded my loyalty to the Mets in general and David Wright inparticular, but I think that the people who voted for Matt Holliday are blinded by the fact that his team happened to make the postseason in a remarkable fashion. The Mets were right in the middle of their pennant race until the very last day, and even when the rest of the team went into the tank, Wright kept on raking. Offensively they were very close, but I think Wright comes out ahead when you consider that he plays in a pretty good pitcher's ballpark, while Holliday plays in a very good hitter's park.

Of course, Holliday is no slouch on defense (probably about as good at his position as Wright is at his). What sets them apart, however, is the fact that Wright plays a harder defensive postion, and plays it well. To be a good LF you simply must have a big bat; it's part of the job description, because the position is relatively undemanding defensively. There's a relative scarcity of good-hitting 3B. When comparing the merits of two or more hitters, you have to give extra consideration to players who adequately field those positions at which defense is relatively important, since the fact that they're not clogging up LF, RF, or 1B means you have one more spot on your lineup for an unskilled defender who carries a great stick.

Last edited by VarlosZ; 11-04-2007 at 06:48 AM. Reason: Forced to edit at gunpoint -- SEND HELP!!!
  #3  
Old 11-04-2007, 08:15 AM
unwashed brain unwashed brain is offline
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I voted for Braun and Holliday. Like most of the voters, I'm dazzled by big power numbers and believe that the potential to hit a big fly to make up for the error you just committed makes everything square. Braun did amazing things in a short season and I gave him the benefit of extrapolation when considering his numbers.

I ranked Wright 4th or 5th behind Hanley Ramirez and Jimmy Rollins and perhaps Fielder. Much of that had to do with the Mets' ridiculous collapse. The idea that someone should be given an award in that context doesn't jive with my belief system.
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