2009 MLB Awards

Now that we’ve crowned the truly uninspring 2009 World Series Champions, we can move onto the offseason hoping that 2010 offers a little more drama than the richest team in the league winning it all.

Next week, the MLB Writers will announce the 2009 MLB awards, so on that note, I’m posting my ballot (if I had a vote …)

All players listed with their WPA and WAR (from FanGraphs)

Rookie of the Year

American League:

  1. Brett Anderson SP (Oakland) – 0.12/3.8
  2. Jeff Neimann SP (Tampa Bay) – 1.87/3.2
  3. Elvis Andrus SS (Texas) – (-0.66)/3.0

WAR tends to heavily favor starters in these situations and also favors defense, which is why Andrus snuck in at #3 instead of Gordon Beckham (3B CHI).

National League:

  1. Andrew McCutchen OF (Pittsburgh) – 2.02/3.4
  2. Tommy Hanson SP (Atlanta) – 2.04/2.6
  3. Randy Wells SP (Chicago) – 1.64/3.0
  4. Garrett Jones OF (Pittsburgh) – 1.25/2.6

UPDATED 11/13: You know, somehow I completely forgot Tommy Hanson (SP Atlanta). He rolls in with a 2.04/2.6, which puts him very close to McCutchen. My gut says to rank the position player higher than the pitcher, so there you have it.

Amazingly, J.A. Happ’s WAR was only 1.8, below all of the above and guys like Casey McGehee (UT MIL) and Chris Coghlan (OF FLA).

MVP

American League:

  1. Joe Mauer C (Minnesota) – 3.64/8.2
  2. Ben Zobrist UT (Tampa Bay) – 4.10/8.6
  3. Derek Jeter SS (New York) – 1.41/7.4
  4. Franklin Gutierrez OF (Seattle) – 3.72/5.9
  5. Zack Grienke SP (Kansas City) – 6.07/9.4
  6. Kevin Youkilis 1B/3B (Boston) – 2.36/5.6
  7. Miguel Cabrera 1B (Detroit) – 1.59/5.4
  8. Mark Teixiera 1B (New York) – 3.58/5.1
  9. Shin Soo Choo OF (Cleveland) – 2.11/5.0
  10. Victor Martinez C (Boston) – 3.23/4.9

A few surprises, wouldn’t you say? I couldn’t bring myself to putting Zobrist at the top over Mauer – too many questions in my mind about the value of C defense in the WAR calculations. It was also hard to figure where to slot in the pitchers, but Grienke belongs in the list somewhere. Franklin Gutierrez looks like the steal of the year for the Mariners – adequate hitting and remarkable defense = high WAR (yet no Gold Glove … gotta love it). I was also surprised to see the good showing of Shin Soo Choo.

National League:

  1. Albert Pujols 1B (St. Louis) – 8.24/8.4
  2. Chase Utley 2B (Philadelphia) – 4.3/7.6
  3. Tim Lincecum SP (San Francisco) – 4.26/8.2
  4. Hanley Ramirez SS (Florida) – 3.09/7.3
  5. Prince Fielder 1B (Milwaukee) – 7.79/6.8
  6. Adrian Gonzalez 1B (San Diego) – 4.2/6.3
  7. Derek Lee 1B (Chicago) – 3.84/5.3
  8. Pablo Sandoval 3B (San Francisco) – 4.71/5.2
  9. Ryan Howard 1B (Philadelphia) – 6.03/4.8
  10. Ryan Braun OF (Milwaukee) – 4.73/4.8

Nothing too shocking – Pujols wins by a (not as big as I expected) margin over Chase Utley. Tim Lincecum is the on the list as the only starter. This was quite a year for 1B in the NL.

Cy Young

American League

  1. Zack Grienke (Kansas City) – 6.07/9.4
  2. Justin Verlander (Detroit) – 4.19/8.2
  3. Roy Halladay (Toronto) – 3.52/7.3
  4. Felix Hernandez (Seattle) – 3.26/6.9
  5. Jon Lester (Boston) – 2.50/6.2
  6. CC Sabathia (New York) – 2.89/6.0
  7. Andrew Bailey (Oakland) – 2.68/2.4
  8. Mariano Rivera (New York) – 3.99/2.0
  9. Jonathan Papelbon (Boston) – 5.13/1.9
  10. Josh Beckett (Boston) – 2.2/5.3

OK, anyone who says Grienke shouldn’t be the Cy Young should be excommunicated from baseball fandom. There was a steep dropoff in starters after CC, thus the three relievers in a row … and yes, Andrew Bailey was the best of that bunch.

National League

  1. Tim Lincecum (San Francisco) – 4.26/8.2
  2. Javier Vazquez (Atlanta) – 2.41/6.6
  3. Dan Haren (Arizona) – 2.95/6.1
  4. Adam Wainwright (St. Louis) – 3.60/5.7
  5. Ubaldo Jimenez (Colorado) – 3.16/5.7
  6. Josh Johnson (Florida) – 3.05/5.5
  7. Chris Carpenter (St. Louis) – 5.41/4.5
  8. Jair Jurrjens (Atlanta) – 3.35/3.9
  9. Randy Wolf (Los Angeles) – 0.69/3.0
  10. Huston Street (Colorado) – 3.38/1.5

Much like the AL, anyone who thinks Lincecum shouldn’t win the Cy Young (again) is silly. He didn’t get the wins, but everything else was hands-down better. And two Colorado pitchers in the top 10? Go figure.

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AL and NL Cy Young Awards

To continue my look at the 2008 MLB season, here are my picks for the AL and NL Cy Young Awards.

American League Cy Young

Contenders (in alphabetical order)

  • Roy Halladay – SP/TOR – 20-11, 2.78 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 206 K in 246 IP – What can you say about Halladay that hasn’t been said? He might be one of the most underappreciated pitchers of our time, toiling away in Canada. His 2008 is his second-best campaign since his last Cy Young season.
  • Cliff Lee – SP/CLE – 22-3, 2.54 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 170 K in 223.1 IP – Last year Cliff Lee couldn’t even stay in the majors. This year, he had one of the most dominant AL seasons for a lefty this side of Johan Santana in his peak. 
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka – SP/BOS – 18-2, 2.80 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 149 K in 163.2 IP – Daisuke might have had one of the oddest seasons in MLB history. He walked a lot of batters (with a 1.62 K/BB), but he was ridiculously good at not giving up hits (.209 BAA). He didn’t pitch enough – both due to injury and pitch inefficiency – to really be a serious candidate, but he did take a step forward from his 2007.
  • Mike Mussina – SP/NYY – 19-9, 3.47 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 147 K in 194.2 IP – The Moose’s last gasp (most likely) was solid, but not enough to get his first Cy Young.
  • Francisco Rodriguez – RP/LAA – 2-3, 2.27 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 76 K, 62 SV in 67.1 IP – His place on the list was secured by his record 62 saves, but the rest of his season was by no means even in the top 10 of closers in history.
How I’d vote:
  1. Lee
  2. Halladay
  3. Matsuzaka
National League Cy Young
Contenders (in alphabetical order)
  • Ryan Dempster – SP/CHC – 17-6, 2.96 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 187 K in 206.2 IP – Dempster had the best year for a converted closer since Derek Lowe won 20 in his first season starter after being Boston’s closer.
  • Brad Lidge – RP/PHI – 2-0, 1.84 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 91 K, 40 SV in 68.1 IP – A token closer, but the most dominant one in the NL, possibly in all of MLB, this season.
  • Tim Lincecum – SP/SFG – 17-5, 2.66 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 252 K in 220.0 IP – An amazing season for the sophomore player, especially considering the ineptitude of the Giants. Hopefully this is not his career high point.
  • Johan Santana – SP/NYM – 15-7, 2.64 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 197 K in 225.1 IP – Johan has a great second half – something he seems to do often – and put himself back in the Cy Young race, but is hurt by his lower win total.
  • Brandon Webb – SP/ARI – 22-7, 3.24 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 176 K in 219.2 IP – The NL leader in wins, but not the same level of dominance as Lincecum or Santana.
How I’d vote:
  1. Lincecum
  2. Santana
  3. Webb