clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

SB Nation Awards: NL MVP

I was allowed to publish earlier today, but with the new hirings and some basic taking-care-of-business-type things, I wasn't able to get to it until now. The points go 14 for first, then 9 down to 1 for second through tenth.

National League 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Points
Matt Holliday 12 4 1 2 1 - - 1 - - 235
Prince Fielder - 4 9 2 1 2 1 2 - - 148
Jimmy Rollins 4 2 3 2 2 1 - 1 2 1 137
David Wright 1 2 1 3 5 1 2 4 - 1 117
Chipper Jones - 2 2 2 2 2 4 2 1 1 95
Hanley Ramirez 2 - - 3 2 1 2 2 5 - 90
Chase Utley - 2 - 2 3 1 4 3 4 - 88
Albert Pujols - 1 1 3 2 4 - 2 1 2 80
Ryan Howard 1 2 1 1 - 1 3 - 2 2 70
Jake Peavy 1 2 2 - 1 2 - - 1 2 68
Miguel Cabrera - - - - - 3 2 2 1 4 35
Brandon Webb - - - 1 - - 2 - - 1 16
Aramis Ramirez - - - - 1 - 1 - 1 1 13
Eric Byrnes - - - - - 2 - 1 - - 13
Derrek Lee - - 1 - - - - - - - 8
Ryan Braun - - - - - 1 - - 1 1 8
Brad Penny - - - - 1 - - - - 1 6
Jose Reyes - - - - - - - 1 - - 3
John Smoltz - - - - - - - - 1 - 2
Troy Tulowitzki - - - - - - - - - 1 1
Adam Dunn - - - - - - - - - 1 1
Roy Oswalt - - - - - - - - - - 1
Carlos Lee - - - - - - - - - 1 1
Todd Helton - - - - - - - - - 1 1
Barry Bonds - - - - - - - - - 1 1

I was the jerk who put Matt Holliday eighth. So, for those keeping score at home, I've now spurned Holliday, Troy Tulowitzki, and Clint Hurdle - God's going to smite me, I'm pretty sure. (Kidding.)

Anyway, as with Tulowitzki, Holliday has massive home-road splits, and when I see them I can't take him that seriously as a candidate. Holliday had a ridiculous 1.157 OPS at home, but the entire Colorado team - and this includes pitchers - had an .853 OPS at Coors Field. On the road, Holliday hit .301/.374/.485 with eleven home runs, which is perfectly good but is nowhere near MVP caliber. Colorado batters hit 123 OPS points better on the road than they did at home - humidor or not, Coors Field is back, and it's making folks like Holliday and Tulowitzki look a lot better than they actually are.

Instead of Holliday, I picked David Wright for MVP. His OPS was just 39 points behind Holliday's, and he had to put up his numbers in a really tough park. He also plays a much tougher defensive position, and plays it pretty well. (And yeah, Holliday's a good left fielder, but c'mon - it's left field.) And while the Mets fell apart down the stretch, Wright didn't - he had OPSes of 1.173 in August and 1.034 in September. As one blogger suggested on our SB Nation email list, if the Mets had surged in September, Wright would be an easy choice for MVP. Instead, he surged while the rest of his team fell apart.

Here's my whole ballot:

1. Wright
2. Pujols
3. Peavy
4. Utley
5. H. Ramirez
6. Fielder
7. Webb
8. Holliday
9. Rollins
10. Cabrera

Ramirez is a hideous defensive shortstop, but the numbers he put up are ridiculous. Rollins is a trendy MVP choice, and he had a tremendous season, but he finished 23rd in the National League in OPS and only had a .344 OBP to boot. If real baseball were more like rotisserie - Rollins had 30 jacks and 41 stolen bases - he'd deserve the consideration he's getting. For my money, his double-play partner Chase Utley had a much better season. Chipper Jones led the league in OPS but didn't make my ballot because he only played 134 games and finished sixth in the league by grounding into 21 double plays, and also I couldn't help but think he was probably also hurting his team a lot with his defense at third. If I'd had more access to defensive stats when I voted, though, I probably would have put him in at tenth and taken Cabrera out.