Monday, September 17, 2012

MLB 2011 MVP Snubs

Because the season is almost over and award season is not far off, let's take a look at last years MVPs. 2011 was the year of MVP snubs. First off Justin Verlander definitely didn't deserve to win MVP. I can name the reason. For starters Verlander's season wasn't even close to one of the greatest seasons of all time. You look at his ERA+ and yes it is above average, but so was Clayton Kershaws', so was Roy Halladay's, but they didn't win MVP. In my opinion Kershaw had a better season. He had a lower ERA and a higher strikeout per nine innings. The reason Verlander won was because he had 24 wins, but Kershaw had 21 wins on a bad team. Don't get me wrong Justin Verlander deserved Cy Young, but If Pedro Martinez, who had the greatest statistical season in MLB history, couldn't win it in 1999, then Verlander shouldn't have won it in 2011. Now if you look at the two position players that deserved it, it was Jose Bautista or Jacoby Ellsbury. Jose Bautista had the highest WAR and OPS+ in the AL. He led the MLB in home runs and walks. If I recall Barry Bonds did that on multiple occasions and he won MVP for doing it. My personal pick though is Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury had a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger and the Comeback Player of the Year. He was also the first Red Sox to go 30-30. Also he had the 2nd most hits, the most total bases and most extra base hits. Two years ago he was a premier base stealer, now he's a five tool player. He had an MVP year, but they gave it to a pitcher.
Second, Ryan Braun shouldn't have won either. Before Braun tested positive he still wasn't the best player, but I'll get into the Braun/PED situation another time. Ryan Braun had a fantastic season, but he had another MVP quality player on his team in Prince Fielder. Now if Prince wasn't on the team and the Brewers made it to the playoffs, Braun would have been MVP. Now take into account Verlander won MVP, which he shouldn't have, then Claton Kershaw or Ian Kennedy should have won MVP. If you look at Brauns numbers and the fact that he had Prince hitting behind him, he shouldn't have won. Now Matt Kemp, he should have won MVP. Matt Kemp was on the verge of the triple crown and a 40-40 season. Matt Kemp made the Dodgers hard to beat. On a statistical stand point, Matt Kemp was better than Ryan Braun in almost every category. Ryan Braun had a higher batting average, but Matt Kemp had a higher WAR, more home runs, more RBIs, more steals, the highest OPS+ in the NL and the most total bases in the NL.
So why did Verlander and Braun win MVP? Because their teams made the playoffs. The writers missed the fact that it was Most Valuble Player in their respective leagues, not Most Valuable Player on a playoff team.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pedro Martinez: Hall of Famer

Let me start off by saying I'm incredibly bias about this subject. As a Red Sox and National/Expos fan watching Pedro pitch was the most amazing thing ever. But does that make him a Hall of Famer...yes. Not only was Pedro fun to watch, he was the best at his craft. By the numbers he had some of the best seasons as a starter and the best season in the Modern Era. 2000 was that year. He had an ERA of 1.74, 284 strikeouts (Lead the American League), a WHIP of 0.737, a strikeout rate of 11.8 per nine innings and a strikeouts to walk ratio of 8.88. His ERA was 3.18 points lower than league average and 1.96 points lower than the second place ERA. You add in the fact that he had an ERA+ of 291, which was the best of the Modern Era. Only one person had a better ERA+ and he only pitch 100 innings in 1884. But one season isn't enough to make the Hall of Fame so let's go over the other achievements. He lead the Majors in ERA five times. Lead the American League in Strikeouts three times. Has three Cy Young awards. He should have had two more, but the writers looked at who had the most wins, not the best overall numbers. But when you watched Pedro he made batters, good batters, look awkward. He wasn't junk pitcher like Greg Maddux or a power pitcher like Randy Johnson, he was his own. He had the electric fastball, the nasty curve, an brutal 2-Seamer and the Bugs Bunny change up. Pedro showed he was the best in 1999 at the All-Star Game when he struck out Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, then struck out Jeff Bagwell two batters later. On multiple occasion he almost threw perfect games, sadly there was always one mistake when he did. But for his overall career he has a below 3 ERA, over 3000 strikeouts, over 200 wins, the highest career starter ERA+ and a strikeout rate of 10.0 per nine innings. Pedro Martinez is a lock for Hall of Fame in my opinion.