I think the consensus on Kimbrel as ROY suggests that while Espinosa has certainly been good, great even, for a rookie, Kimbrel’s been on — and I believe this is the scientific term — “some next shit.”
Ellsbury is so overrated it’s ridiculous. Downfalls of WAR are becoming glaringly obvious. When Gardner makes the Top25 with a .260 BA and no power… you know something is wrong with the speed guys WAR numbers.
AL MVP and CY: Verlander
NL MVP and CY: Hallday
AL ROY: Pineda
NL ROY: Kimbrel
can you imagine an all pitchers awards ballot? Won’t happen, but that would be fantastic.
Comment by phoenix2042 — September 22, 2011 @ 1:54 pm
Comment by TheGrandslamwich — September 22, 2011 @ 1:54 pm
As it should.
Comment by GiantHusker — September 22, 2011 @ 1:56 pm
maybe that’s because WAR tends to correlate very well with the best players in the league. maybe not in this exact order, but guys who place high in award races tend to have some performance to back it up. not always the absolute best performance, but at least enough to get a nice place near the top of the WAR leaderboards. would you rather the authors/voters simply ignore WAR or any kind of statistical or performance based leader board and simply vote on gut feeling?
Comment by phoenix2042 — September 22, 2011 @ 1:58 pm
Almost happened back in ’68 (year of the pitcher). Gibson and Maclain doubled up, and Stan Bahnsen (!?!) was the AL ROY. If not for Johnny Bench, it would have happened, as the NL second-place finisher was Jerry Koosman.
Comment by Blueyays — September 22, 2011 @ 1:58 pm
I voted for Trumbo for a few reasons… It came down to him and Pineda for me and I went with the everyday guy. He’s probably going to hit 30 homers as a rookie, and there are only 20 guys in the majors this year that have met or surpassed that mark. That’s pretty big, legit power. Plus, all reports have him as a very good defender, so he’s not a one-trick pony. If he can mature enough as a hitter to get his walk rate up to even 6-7% then he could have a nice future ahead.
As for Sabathia vs Verlander, the numbers are so similar you really could go either way and come out with a worthy winner.
Comment by Marc Hulet — September 22, 2011 @ 2:00 pm
true. kind of an under the radar amazing season. maybe his lack of HR compared to kemp and braun hide his value, even though his OBP is nuts.
Comment by phoenix2042 — September 22, 2011 @ 2:00 pm
Not equally productive; equally valuable perhaps. Lawrie beats everybody on rate stats, and put up a very comparable WAR.
WHY ARE STATS RUIN BASEBALL? I CANT FUCKING BELIEVE ANYONE WOULD TAKE THESE BASEMENT DWELLING ASSHATS SERIOUSLY. HERP DERP THESE NUMBURS SHOW DAT THIS PLAYER SUX WHILE THAT PLAYER WITH A SHITTIER BATTING AVERAGE IS TEH WIN! FUCK YOU SABERMETRICIANS FOR RUINING A SPORT I LOVE. THE HISTORY OF THE GAME NEEDS TO BE PRESERVED, AND THAT IS JUST BY GOING OUT THERE AND SMELLING THE GRASS WHILE HITTING SOME BOMBS INTO THE UPPER DECK. GOD BASEBALL WOULD BE SO MUCH FUCKING BETTER WITHOUT MATH GEEKS AROUND TO RUIN IT.
Comment by sam spade — September 22, 2011 @ 2:22 pm
I just assume some writers wanted to hammer home the (true) point that CC’s season has been ALMOST as good as Verlander’s.
if you press that lit blue button towards the bottom right of your monitor, the stats will go away just like that! also, sam spade would be about as old as murray chass at this point, so i’m picturing murray chass writing that
Comment by juan pierre's mustache — September 22, 2011 @ 2:33 pm
he took a job at grantland on or about 8/8
Comment by juan pierre's mustache — September 22, 2011 @ 2:33 pm
i mean, with 21 people voting, you would expect a few would line up with WAR just coincidentally, and i imagine that in the absence of good reasons to think WAR is off in any specific case you would expect most saber writers to end up voting with it. just because it can be wrong doesn’t mean it always is
Comment by juan pierre's mustache — September 22, 2011 @ 2:37 pm
In other news, Jason Whitlock’s caps lock key is broken.
I’m pretty surprised Bautista went over Ellsbury. Bautista seems like the “stathead” pick to make given how he led in WAR most of the year, but even that fails with Ellsbury now leading the pack. He’s not as heavy with the bat as Bautista but he is the leader of a successful team and offers a much wider array of skills. It’s like, would you rather have the greatest bat or the guy who was great at everything?
Comment by Jonathan Aicardi — September 22, 2011 @ 2:39 pm
What does “punish” have to do with anything? I don’t think it makes him a worse player, but I don’t think a month of play justifies the ROY. In the same way that I wouldn’t vote a hyper-talented player with a few 10 WAR seasons and a six-year career into the HOF.
I am more shocked that Freddie Freeman didn’t get any votes than I am that Espinosa didn’t get any votes. Espinosa is hitting .238/.324/.420……a lot worse than Freddie’s .281/.351/.452.
In any event, Kimbrel does deserve the award.
Comment by JT Grace — September 22, 2011 @ 2:59 pm
Espinosa had 16 HR’s at the all-star break, and, incl. his 2 this week, has 5 since. He’s batting .232 with a .310 OBP since the break. I think Espinosa’s award was making the all-star team, as he’s crashed back to earth since then. No ROY for you!!
Comment by Trotter76 — September 22, 2011 @ 3:01 pm
Competition and park are already accounted for in WAR, try again.
Klaassen is OBSESSED with Bruce Chen. At least 1/3 of his chats are reserved for Chen.
Comment by JT Grace — September 22, 2011 @ 3:03 pm
It all depends on the offensive gap between your theoretical greatest bat and 5 tool player. In this specific case, I think Bautista has built a big enough gap to offset Ellsbury’s speed and defense. It’s not like Bautista is a slouch in other categories either.
I disagree. Yes is OBP is below average but his, currently, 29 HR and 87 RBI’s, have been invaluable to the Angel’s this year. If he wasn’t providing a big chunk of the lost production of Kendrys Morales the Angel’s wouldn’t even be in the Wild Card chase.
Throw in a handful of SB’s and the rookie deserves to be in the top 2 consideration.
Additionally he has 9 steals… He moves well for his size and his defense at 1B is above average. He really deserves more credit than he is getting and I hope that he either wins ROY or is in the top 2.
I feel like this is fairly close to the way things will actually shake down. If I had to guess, I’d say:
Granderson – AL MVP
Verlander – AL Cy Young
Hellickson – AL ROY
Braun – NL MVP
Kerhsaw – NL Cy Young
Kimbrel – NL ROY
For all the exposure WAR has had among mainstream writers in regard to the MVP and Cy Young awards, for some reason I feel like they’ll fall back on more traditional stats for ROY, and Hellickson’s 13-10, 2.90 season seems like something for which they’d vote.
Yeah, I’d vote for both of them over several guys who did get votes – Trumbo, Lawrie, Jennings, Beachy. People will cite WAR on Hosmer and Freeman, but both are downrated because of their dWAR, which is a horrible measure for first basemen.
WAR is obscure and ill defined, even the two major stats sites (fangraphs and Baseball Reference) differ in the value. I like it when it makes Willie Mays look like the greatest baseball player ever (and he was) but I hate it when it makes Bautista look like a great player when he’s not. The traditional stats and the traditional attitudes will make the choices, which is not a bad thing.
Comment by Hurtlocker — September 22, 2011 @ 4:02 pm
Why is “narrative” a bad word? Baseball is a leisure activity for 99.9999999999999999999999% of the world. Let’s denigrate interesting/compelling stories about a GAME.
Ellsbury is NOT a 5 tool player… why in the world does everyone just use an athletic defender with power and 5 tool player interchangeably?.
Or perhaps I’m underestimating Ellbsury’s cannon of an arm?
ESPN not too long ago were talking about how Crawford and Elsbury were two of the top 5 tool players in the game (Crawford at best is a 4 tool player, and depending on how you view his power, he might be a 3 tool player)
Or how Hellickson got votes over Ivan Nova (in addition to Ogando and Britton). I know there’s an aversion to wins, but Nova’s got better advanced #’s than Hellboy. I’m surprised to see ERA having that much weight on this site for some votes, and not so much for others…
I can understand both outlooks but it’s interesting to see the inconsistent application of these outlooks over different awards.
had the same reaction. If FG believes in its stats, then you would think that Espinosa would at least merit a few votes. Currently, he leads Kimbrel in WAR by .4, not an insignificant margin. Moreover, FG writers are constantly telling us that relievers are not very valuable. My guess is that the result has more to do with how these players were perceived coming into the year rather than their actual performances. (See jim’s analysis-free “he isn’t any good” comment below)
This is merely a public masterbation session to fWAR
Comment by Rufio Magillicutty — September 22, 2011 @ 6:32 pm
Because any comment in all-caps is crap.
Comment by Notrotographs — September 22, 2011 @ 6:38 pm
Navin: I now have a voodoo doll of you on my credenza for not voting for Brett Lawrie!
Comment by bluejaysstatsgeek — September 22, 2011 @ 7:19 pm
The stats that have CC as better (just FIP and xFIP by my browsing, and xFIP has no place in awards discussion because it’s predictive rather than descriptive) are marginally different, with the FIP difference being 0.05. The stats that have Verlander ahead often have a pretty substantial difference. Verlander leads in tERA by a huge amount and in SIERA by a larger amount than any of CC’s advantages
The DIPS stats generally favor Verlander, Verlander pitched more innings and if you’re of the mindset that pitchers DO have some control over BIP, Verlander is almost indisputably harder to hit. Hell, even his WPA is better!
It’s really hard to argue in an unbiased way that CC deserves the Cy Young this year.
Easy, the real question is why did CC get so few votes. Compare LOB% and BABIP and one can easily see Verlander has had a lot more luck this season. The additional edge in FIP, X-FIP and the fact the he has been dealing with an awkward 6-man rotation gives the impression CC is undervalued here.
Comment by Cliff Lee's Changeup — September 22, 2011 @ 7:39 pm
Come on. Ok, ROY is one thing, but arguing that Trumbo is ever going to be good is ridiculous.
Among qualifying 1B – Trumbo is LAST in OBP. wOBA he’s above Loney and below Carlos Lee. The guy is also 25. He’s not going to ‘mature’ as a hitter and nearly double his BB% rate.
I’m less surprised by Granderson being omitted by the FG staff, but I really don’t understand how it can be so lopsided in favor of Halladay over Kershaw.
Is it really just as simple as “he leads in (FG) WAR (because of FIP) and therefore he wins” or what? Even the FG glossary page for FIP says it’s a better predictor than descriptor. Shouldn’t other metrics come into consideration for an end-of-season award like the Cy Young?
BATTING AVERAGE AND DINGERS MEAN EVERYTHING AHHH!!!1!1!!11!1!!
Comment by YEAH!!1!!1! — September 23, 2011 @ 2:49 am
I used the phrase “theoretical tool 5 tool player” for a reason. Whether Ellsbury is a 2, 3, 4, or 5 tool player was immaterial to the point I hoped to make. In my opinion Bautista’s offensive performance trumps any argument that Ellsbury is more valuable because he is the more well rounded player.
*So, okay. I think they both need to win, because the similarities will make this impossible. True, we have not witnessed Ryan’s first season without Fielder.
But, like Kemp, Ryan isolates himself and his talent in much the same way a pitcher looks at fip.
They can find ways around some of the worst offensive environments.
They win the thing!
Comment by Jess Lemont — September 23, 2011 @ 6:04 am
I’m probably missing something here, but in all the Halladay for CY/MVP chat that I’ve seen, I’ve not noticed anyone pointing out that his HR rate is unusually low compared to his carrer and say last year (same team)
Is it the case that Halladay is ‘lucky’ that fWAR counts his lucky HR rate in 2011 whereas Verlander (or Kerhaw etc..) is shit out of luck because it is deemed he has no effect on his hit rate.
Thats not to say that I’m not worried that Verlander’s GB rate is low and he won’t sustain quite the low hit rate going forward, iI just i think he deserves (at least some) credit for it this year
So with fWAR having CC = Verlander, and every other advanced stat preferring Verlander, and the fact that he has a great shot of a triple crown, i don’t see how you can pick CC for the AL CY without it being some kind of ‘contrarian attention seeking pick’
because mediocre joke + caps lock = still mediocre joke except more annoying
Comment by juan pierre's mustache — September 23, 2011 @ 9:45 am
Surprised this dead-on comment took so long into the comments. Lawrie, whose defense has been widely panned to the point where some still think he’ll have to move to the OF, has a huge positive dWAR, while Hosmer, whose defense is lauded far and wide, has a huge negative. Lawrie was basically Jesus Guzman.
This particular vote is really embarrassing for FG. Lawrie essentially got a cup of coffee and won based solely on an unreliable and probably fatally flawed WAR component. The BBWAA is laughing, and toasting their long-term outlook.
Hosmer will win this award because baseball writers will see that Hosmer was moved to cleanup over a month ago, is being pitched around, and has completely dominated during that time. Someone here will mock the BBWAA for their ROY vote for Hosmer based on WAR, setting a new high water mark for unintentional irony.
I think it’s just a small sample size issue… if there were 46 fangraphs voters instead of 23, I’m sure the Kershaw/Halladay split would look more normal, and Granderson would get some votes.
Comment by scrumothy, esquire — September 23, 2011 @ 10:32 am
It’s really kind of funny you make a comment about “those who watch baseball” casting their votes, supposedly for your preferred award candidate – Hosmer – because you hate Lawrie and his defense sucks because you read it somewhere.
Apparently you don’t watch much baseball yourself because anyone who has actually watched Lawrie play knows how good his defense at third base has been. Anyone still believing he will need to move to the OF in the near future is wrong.
As for Hosmer, I’d have no serious complaint with him winning, or Trumbo or Pineda for that matter. I haven’t seen Hosmer enough to rate his defense overall – although he did make errors when I did see him play so his defensive rating may be legit. I’ve seen Trumbo make some great plays. All of the candidates have arguments for and against, this award does not have a clear winner so voting will probably be close.
Comment by keyser soze — September 23, 2011 @ 11:33 am
.304/.448/.615 makes him look like a great player. Look Ma no WAR!
Comment by Born in DC — October 2, 2011 @ 12:49 pm
I have thought at length about this, and both “sides” here are wrong.
First, WAR makes a league adjustment, and a park adjustment. The AL is a little tougher, NYY is a slight hitters park and DET a slight pitchers park. The former benefits neither, and Sabathia benefits a bit from the later when WAR is calculated.
However, these adjustments in no way account for “competition”.
Verlander made 15 starts against the AL Central, with a -325 run differential excluding DET. Verlander made his most starts against CHW, which has a -52 run differential and an 89 wRC+. He went 4-1 with 14 ER.
Sabathia made 14 starts against the AL East, with a +61 run differential excluding NYY. TBR and BAL are the 3rd best offense in the Central; TOR is 2nd, BOS is 1st by a country mile. Sabathia made his most starts against BOS, which has a 116 wRC+ and a +138 run differential. They walk more, . Sabathia went 1-4 with 22 ER.
Please indicate where WAR accounts for this difference in “strength of schedule”.