Tuesday, October 26, 2004

NL Awards Race

I missed out on the Internet Baseball Awards that Baseball Prospectus runs every year, but these would have been my picks.

NL Coach of the Year (should be known as Manager of the Team that the Media Thought Would Suck)

1. Jim Tracy
2. Bobby Cox
3. Phil Garner
Honorable Mention : Dusty Baker

What? No Tony LaRussa!!! Yes, since I think penciling in the same lineup every day, trotting out the same rotation every 5 days and using the same guys out of the bullpen all year require all the skill of a monkey, Tony LaRussa gets no votes from me. Most will laugh that Dusty gets a mention but the team had more injuries than most any other team in the league and he was able to keep them competitive, getting a ton out of a pretty crappy bench and a poorly constructed bullpen. Of course he also continues to use Mike Remlinger against lefties and not righties, so no one is perfect. Tracy gets the overall nod for keeping together a patchwork starting staff, keeping the team focused after the July 31st trades which apparently got rid of the heart and soul in LoDuca, and just general good in game management in my opinion. Cox once again did it with smoke and mirrors this year and Garner kept a team focused that easily could have given up, also utilizing a very patchwork bullpen and starting staff.

NL Cy Young
1. Randy Johnson
2. Ben Sheets
3. Roger Clemens
Honorable Mention: Carlos Zambrano, Oliver Perez, Carl Pavano

I look at only a few things when it comes to Cy Young. First anybody not in the top 10 in ERA is automatically disqualified as ERA usually encompasses enough to get a good idea on who dominated the league this year. Then it's K/BB rate, Total Batters Faced (saving the bullpen), Ballpark Factors and most importantly Quality Starts. The Big Unit led the league in quality starts, 2nd in K/BB rate, 3rd in Total Batters Faced, and 2nd in ERA while pitching about half his games in a hitters park. I don't care that the D'Backs lineup consisted of a combo of AAA and over-the-hill players. Here's a chart in my selected categories of the top 6:

R. Johnson____2.27(2nd)___26(1st)___6.59(2nd)___964(3rd)___Hitter's
B. Sheets______2.70(3rd)___24(3rd)___8.25(1st)___937(4th)___Pitcher's
R. Clemens____2.98(5th)___23(5th)___2.76(13th)__878(17th)__Neutral
C. Zambrano__2.75(4th)___22(7th)___2.32(18th)__887(14th)__Hitter's
Oliver Perez___2.98(6th)___21(12th)__2.95(9th)___805(31st)__Pitcher's
Carl Pavano___3.00(7th)___23(5th)___2.84(12th)__909(9th)___Pitcher's

I also should add that if I could find a good place to get HR/9 inning I'd look at that as well. Jake Peavy who led the league in ERA, just didn't pitch enough to be considered. As you can see by the chart, Johnson and Sheets were easily the two best this year by my own wacky standards, Clemens and Zambrano were a close 3rd and 4th, while Perez and Pavano got too much help from their parks in my opinion.

NL Rookie of the Year
1. Khalil Greene
2. Jason Bay
3. Akinori Otsuka
Honorable Mention: Mike Gonzalez (I think he qualifies as a rookie)

UPDATED:Do I have to pick? Greene played rather good defense and hit the ball occassionally and ranked 5th in Win Shares in the NL at shortsop(behind Rollins, Izturis, Wilson and Furcal). I originally skipped over Jason Bay as he didn't show up when I sorted by rookies as he didn't have enough at-bats to qualify but he did enough when he did play to get him the #2 spot and it would be #1 if he played a little more. I had MIke Gonzalez at #3 but he gets bumped leaving Otsuka there who had an excellent season in middle relief and could easily become an effective closer one day in my opinion.

1. Barry Bonds
2. Albert Pujols
3. Adrien Beltre
4. Scott Rolen
5. Jim Edmonds
6. J.D. Drew
7. Bobby Abreu
8. Todd Helton
9. Lance Berkman
10. Mark Loretta

It always gets sketchy when you near the bottom of the list, but those are my picks. Anyone who thinks Barry Bonds doesn't deserve it should be shot. OPS is a good way to get started on these, I also like to look at defensive win shares, ballpark factors, RBI's(they may not be predictable but they certainly have a ton of value during the season), and if it's close I'll take batting average over OBP. Believe it or not Beltre got the nod over Rolen in defense and not to mention playing half your games in Dodger Stadium on a bad ankle and way too many big hits over the course of the season, gives him the #3 nod. Helton gets dropped cause of the Coors effect as does Berkman and the Juice Box although it played as a neutral park this year. Loretta is probably a surprise but he was 2nd in defensive win shares at 2nd in the NL behind the surprising Jeff Kent (may be worth a call from the Cubs this off-season) and head and shoulders over all other 2nd baseman in offense. He ranked 8th in overall Win Shares in the NL and 16th in OPS, throw in ballpark factors and he's worth the mention.

My AL choices sometime later this week.


At October 26, 2004 at 1:09 PM, Blogger Andy Rutledge said...

If you're interested in finding out HR/9, you can go to your favorite stat site, make sure that both HR and IP are in the table, copy and paste it into Excel (as text), then set up a simple formula for it.

And I'm in complete agreement with you on Randy Johnson:



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