NL MVP AWARD:
The nominees are...
Let's start by taking a look at Wilson Truman. The LF posted a huge .338/.412/.732 batting line on the shoulders of a ML leading 62 HR. His defense was less than stellar, but he made up for that with 127 runs scored and an NL leading 162 RBI. Truman missed the NL Triple Crown by only 3 points in batting average to Wiki Galvez. Monterrey proves to be a slight advantage for hitters with a Park Factor of 1.015.
Christian Miller is truly a stud 1B. Three straight seasons with an OPS over 1.100 and 60 HR is very good, and he's only 26. But, how does Season 7 stack up? 61 HR, 118 R, 124 RBI, and 18 more BB than Ks. His batting line checks in at .305/.407/.702; each number a little less than Truman's. Philadelphia calculates to a Park Factor of 0.985 - a slight disadvantage for hitters.
The other Philadelphia star is CF Al Brown. His play in CF was very good (not quite worthy of a Gold Glove) which is a a plus in terms of overal value versus Truman and Miller. Brown's line of .280/.335/.587 is solid, but does not stack up against our first two candidates. However, he did add 52 SB to his 43 HR, 119 R and 123 RBI.
New York's Wiki Galvez completed his third year at 3B recording 230 assists, turned 24 DP and committed only 6 errors for a FLD PCT of .980. Wiki also led the NL in batting average turning in a line of .341/.398/.511. Galvez doesn't have the big power that our first three stars have with only 51 extra bases. He doesn't have speed either stealing only two bases. However, Wiki struck out only 37 times which is second best amongst qualified hitters (Reid Hernandez of Salem registered only 33 whiffs in 549 PA).
Gene Morris rebounded from a sub-par season last year after a huge season 5 performance. The darkhorse in this race from the under-.500 Indianapolis Immigrants, Morris scored 104 R, stole 28 bases, smacked 43 doubles and led the ML with 12 triples. His batting line of .312/.390/.498 doesn't shine as bright as our big hitters, and his defensive play in LF isn't enough to put him in the same class as our big hitters.
So, who receives my endorsement? Based on Win Shares, the results are in:
Truman: 37 WS (35.5 OWS, 1.2 FWS)
Miller: 30 WS (28.3 OWS, 2.2 FWS)
Brown: 27 WS (19.3 OWS, 8.0 FWS)
Morris: 27 WS (24.9 OWS, 2.1 FWS)
Galvez: 26 WS (21.3 OWS, 4.9 FWS)
Truman and Miller were pretty close in their stats. Miller did have an overwhelming edge in BB (83 vs. 63) and K (65 vs. 104), but Truman's OPS edge of 36 points on 5 more extra base hits and 22 more singles offsets that advantage. Ultimately, Truman contributed a larger percentage of his team's offensive output than Miller (26.66% vs. 21.88%), and the offensive output of Philadelphia and Monterrey are quite similar. Philly had one less win and thus three less total Win Shares. The Cheese offense is credited with 46.7% of their value, while the Utley's have a slightly lower percentage at 45.9%. So, 3.5 more OWS are at-stake for Monterrey, and Truman gets a larger percentage of his team's output on a larger base. That makes the difference.
Next post we will review the AL Cy Young race.
Carlton Ernest "Pudge" Fisk (born December 26, 1947) is a former Major League Baseball catcher who played for 24 years with both the Boston Red Sox (1969, 1971-1980) and Chicago White Sox (1981-1993). Known by the nickname "Pudge" due to his 6'2", 220 lb frame, he was the first player to be unanimously voted American League Rookie of the Year (1972). He is best known for "waving fair" his game-winning home run in the 12th inning of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, one of the greatest moments in World Series history. At the time of his retirement in 1993 he held the records for most home runs all-time by a catcher with 351 (since passed by Mike Piazza). A testament to his durability behind the plate, Fisk held the record for most games played at the position of catcher (2,226) until June 17, 2009 when he was surpassed by "Pudge" Iván Rodríguez. Fisk still holds the American League record for most years served behind the plate (24). Fisk was voted to the All-Star team 11 times and won 3 Silver Slugger Awards which is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position. Fisk was known as a fierce competitor, a superb handler of pitchers and a natural on-field leader. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000.