Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Controversial (But Justifiable) Pick For AL MVP

Time for one of the Season's biggest arguments (rivaled perhaps by Hall of Fame): who should win the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year races in each league?  Park effects, the value of wind for pitchers, more innings vs. more quality, where does defense fit?  ALl make for an enjoyable debate.  Who are your favs this year?

Let's warm up with the AL MVP, where it looks like Fire Blitz 2B B.C. Alfonzo had a commanding season, but some dissent is possible.

The case for Alfonzo:  Led the league in hits, RBI (by a mile), runs created, and tied for 3rd in HR's.  Won the 2B Gold Glove (.990 fielding %, 24 + plays) and played all 162 games. And his team lapped the field with 118 wins.

The case against Alfonzo:  pretty meager.  Huntington was probably the 2nd-friendliest park for hitters this year (next to Santa Fe).  RBI are somewhat circumstantial - with a league-leading .359 OBP, the Blitz clearly had a bunch of guys reaching base ahead of Alfonzo.

The others:  Monahan seems to always be on the ballot.  He won a Gold Glove of his own this year, and plays in the most hitter-suffocating park in the league.  Does anyone doubt that if Monahan had played in Huntington this year...and Alfonzo in Burlington...that Monhan would be our odds-on MVP favorite?  Here are their respective stats AWAY from their home parks:  Alfonzo:  .867 OPS, 21 HR's;  Monahan: .957 OPS, 25 HR's.

From this more-level-playing field comparison, it looks like Monahan had the better offensive season.

Walton and Itou (even in a down year for him) both had killer years, but when IF's put up comparable offense in addition to GG defense, well, they're the favorites.

Who should win?  Monahan  Runnerup:  Alfonzo

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