Friday, November 17, 2017

M-V-P Thoughts

Over the year's Topps has produced some manupatches and manurelics and manupins etc.
This year they decided to make miniature MVP awards in their flagship release.

Of course there are various color parallels to chase too.  So far, I only have the base award though.  The black, red, and gold are still out there for me to chase.

With the MVP awards being handed out last night, there seemed no better time to show off my latest piece of Cutch cardboard.

Many thought that the AL race would be very close, but it was actually the NL race that was extremely close, one of the closest of all time in fact.

I have no problems with who won the awards, but the basis of which they won made me do some head scratching.  Let me clarify and say no disrespectful things to Jose Altuve or Giancarlo Stanton, they are both fantastic athletes and superstars in the league.  Personally though, I think voters got it wrong for who is the Most Valuable.

Stanton seemed to have won the award based on the number of homeruns he hit, but Aaron Judge who posted one of the best All-Time Rookie seasons in the history of the game got very little MVP love, amassing only 3 first place votes.

Altuve who exceeds at all aspects of the game got a lot of admiration and received 27 of the 30 1st place votes.  Nolan Arenado who is this generation's best defensive third baseman and is constantly one of the league leaders in homeruns and RBIs continues to get overshadowed because he plays in Colorado got very little 1st place votes.

Here's how the top 5 MVP vote getters played out and how their teams would have done without them according to WAR on Baseball-Reference page.

Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
Altuve had 8.3 WAR and the Astros won 99 games.  With Altuve missing from lineup, the Stros still make the playoffs by winning their division.

Aaron Judge, New York Yankees.
Judge amassed 8.1 WAR and the Yankees won 90 games.  Without Judge, the Yankees don't make the playoffs.

The rest of the AL MVP debate wasn't as close as the NL so I am leaving out the likes of Trout, Ramirez, and Lindor.

Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
Stanton posted monster power numbers, but he did it for a team celebrating their 9th losing season.  Stanton did lead the league in homeruns, but his 77 win Marlins failed to make the playoffs (obviously) despite his 7.6 WAR.  They would still be a non contender without him.

Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
The Reds finished with one of the worse records in baseball having lost 92 games.  Votto and his incredible strike zone discipline and above average defense compiled a 7.5 WAR.  He was just one of a handful of qualifying players who had more walks than strikeouts and did it by a +51 rate.  That's mind blowing in today's age where everyone is so prone to the punch out.

Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
Goldy might be one of those guys that never wins an MVP award but is always deserving of being in the conversation for one.  Without his 5.8 WAR, the DBacks still make the playoffs.

Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
Arenado had 7.2 WAR for the 87 win Rockies.  Without Arenado, the Rox go from being a playoff team to missing the playoffs.

Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies
Chuck Nazty and his 6.0 WAR make the Rockies miss the playoffs, but they still post a winning record which is something that can't be said without his teammate Arenado.

There's many things that goes into the MVP voting.  I don't think anyone will ever give a definitive answer to what makes a player most valuable.

How did Clayton Kershaw who appeared in 16% of the games and only impacted less than 13% of the innings played for the 2014 Dodgers win an MVP award?  Was he dominant for those 13% of the Dodgers innings?  Yup.  Was the other 87% of the Dodgers season that meaningless in comparison to what Kershaw did?   Probably not.

Why wasn't Carlos Correa or Mike Trout who both missed large amounts of time, but still posted above 6.2 WAR each considered more heavily for what they were able to accomplish in a short period of time?  Are they not Valuable to their teams?

I showed this card off after the Astros won the World Series.  This card officially features four MVP award winners now.

Above is another parallel that I have and below is the back.

What are your thoughts on the MVP?
Did the voters get it right?

Personally I would give the awards to Judge and Arenado.


  1. No issues with the ending outcome, but did think it would be closer in the AL. No big deal though.