Troy Tulowitzki: NL MVP?

On Friday, we recorded our latest version of the podcast, which focused on the postseason awards. During the discussion, I suggested that I’d lean toward voting for Troy Tulowitzki, and that was before he launched two more home runs on Saturday. His numbers in September are just crazy good(.357/.407/1.000, .577 wOBA), and he’s a big reason why the Rockies are right back in the NL West race. But I’m not throwing my support behind him just because he’s bashing the baseball of late; I think there’s a pretty decent argument to be made that he’s been the league’s best player, even after accounting for the time he spent on the disabled list.

I think we can probably all agree that he’s been the best player in the NL on a rate basis. His .420 wOBA ranks second to Votto in the NL, and he’s a shortstop. Yes, his numbers get a boost from Coors Field, but his park adjusted wRC+ is still a fantastic 158, and translates out to 42 runs above average per 600 plate appearances. Votto’s 174 wRC+ translates out to 53 runs above average per 600 PA, leaving a gap that is easily overcome by the difference in scarcity between SS and 1B.

Of course, Votto actually has 600 PA (611, actually), while Tulowitzki has racked up just 476 trips to the plate this year. While Colorado’s shortstop has been the league’s best player when he’s been on the field, Votto has a significant edge in playing time, which is why he’s right there with Ryan Zimmerman at the top of the WAR leaderboards, and why he’s likely to win the award.

Even with Votto holding a +1 win advantage by WAR, I still think a vote for Tulowitzki is justifiable. WAR is more blunt hammer than precise chisel, so while it does a great job at telling you whether a player is good or bad, it is not designed to be used to separate out small differences among players having similar seasons. Votto’s +7.0 WAR isn’t so much better than Tulowitzki’s +6.1 WAR that we should definitely say that Votto has been more valuable. The best interpretation of those two numbers is that both have been fantastic, and that there’s room for discussion about which one has been better.

While we’re obviously big proponents of the usefulness of Wins Above Replacement, we do not encourage the use of it as a definitive ender of discussion when the subjects are within the margin of error. It’s one thing to use WAR to declare that Votto has clearly been better than, say, Aubrey Huff, but its another to state that it is perfectly accurate down to the decimal point. Votto and Tulowitzki are both good candidates, as is the always overlooked Ryan Zimmerman. To me, it is not nearly as clear cut which one should take home the trophy as it is over in the American League. I think reasonable cases can be made for all of them, and given the level to which Tulowitzki has been performing, it’s likely that the gap between he and Votto will decrease even more before the season is over.

Quantity or quality? Tulowitzki has the latter, having shown himself to be the NL’s best player when healthy. Does the time spent on the DL hurt his value? Certainly. But I think he might be the NL MVP anyway.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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andy s.
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andy s.
6 years 4 days ago

But what happens when you regress tulo to votto’s pas? It’s naive to think that tulo would keep up this production

The Duder
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The Duder
6 years 4 days ago

I think you missed the point a bit.

The MVP shouldn’t be (and isn’t) based on your xFIP or ZiPS or or UZR/150, it’s what you’ve done this season on the field to help your squad.

Which brings us to the question Dave raises: Votto has been a stud every single for the Reds this season, yet Tulo has been even better… but was hurt for a bit. Do we hold that against him? Of course we do, to a degree, but by how much? Whether he would regress or not (which he would likely, and so would Votto (slightly)) isn’t the issue.

The Duder
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The Duder
6 years 4 days ago

Oops, didn’t mean to include UZR/150, that’s just a rate and not a projection, so it’d be somewhat useful for MVP.

Andy S
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Andy S
6 years 4 days ago

I most certainly did not miss the point.

Dave is trying to argue that we should reward him because of his rate stats. He may have missed some time, Dave argues, but he was clearly the best player if you measure by rate. But this is a fallacy because value is quantitative and must be measured over an entire season, so in order to suggest that we can use rate based stats, you must be either suggesting that the value added in the shortened time is equal to another player’s extended season. So you in no way, shape, or form, can argue that Tulowitzki was more valuable than Votto, because here you should go by WAR.

Dave suggests then that WAR is not perfect. This should be obvious. But it’s the best we have, and if we’re not going to go by the best we have, then why go by it? The biggest complaint with WAR is that UZR has inaccuracies, but Tulo’s being further rewarded for his defense than Votto. At any rate, at such low magnitude UZRs, you would assume the variance to be low as well. wRC+ has been consistently shown to be a good stat.

So this brings me to the only conclusion I can possibly imagine – that Dave is rewarding Tulowitzki not off value, but because he sees him as a better player (based off rate). But even that’s not true, because that would assume that Tulowitzki would continue to perform at his current level outward – but instead, that is a level that we should regress since it is much, much higher than he had performed in the past.

Should Tulo be on voters’ ballots? Probably. Is there ANY logical argument for Tulo over Votto or Pujols (esp. when you throw in WPA or WPA/LI)?

Quite obviously, no.

The Duder
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The Duder
6 years 4 days ago

Well, now that you’re all worked up I’m not sure if you’ll be much fun talking to, but I’ll give it one more whirl.

If you looked at just their rates and nothing else, Tulo would hands down be the MVP. He has a .420 wOBA from SS, with plus defense. It’s not even a question. The issue is their WARs are 7.0 and 6.1. This is cumulative, not a rate. This is also close enough to say that while Votto seems to be ahead, this isn’t precise enough to close the book on the conversation.

What Dave is saying is that Tulo producing at 99% for 80% of the season could be more deserving of Votto producing at 95% for 95% of the season.

The question is……….

Look at their cumulative contributions alone, without rates, who is the MVP? They are very close. It’s just part of the story line that Votto has more playing time and Tulo has better rates.

Andy S.
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Andy S.
6 years 4 days ago

But that’s where the WHOLE definition of replacement comes in. You assume that if a player is not playing, the contribution is that of a replacement player. So th idea of a player not being there for part of the season is factored in. Again, why preach a statistic on a website if you’re not going to use it (especially, again, when removing/regressing the component of defense, the sketchier factor, still keeps Votto ahead)?

Now, I understand the argument that having a high standard deviation in performance could be more valuable than a low standard deviation. But is it so large to overcome one WAR after accounting for all the other factors? I think that’s highly unlikely.

B N
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B N
6 years 4 days ago

In my opinion, if he missed time the team hurts as a result. You count that missed time fully. Imagine if the time that he missed was flipped: instead of missing some time earlier in the season, Tulo was out for the last 6 weeks of the stretch run. Would he have a chance at MVP? No way in hell. They needed him to win games in that case and he wasn’t there.

Well, if they had been able to win more games by having him off the DL earlier in the season- they wouldn’t need to win so many now. Same difference. And same reason why his missed production is just that: missed.

In my opinion, for the purposes of MVP- rate stats mean nearly nothing. You only get points for what you contributed, not what you coulda-shoulda-mighta over more appearances.

vivaelpujols
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6 years 4 days ago

Agree with Andy 100%.

saberbythebay
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6 years 4 days ago

Yeah, agree with Andy. If the question is who’s the best hitter in the NL, I think it’s Pujols without a lot of argument. The MVP isn’t for the player who has the most to potentially contribute. It’s the player who has provided the most to his team on the diamond that season. I’d like to see Zims get a little more talk, but unless the Nats are a true playoff contender in the next few years it’s not gonna happen.

Matt Zakrowski
Member
6 years 4 days ago

I agree with the point that WAR shouldn’t be taken as a pure representation of player value (I thought Mauer should win the MVP over Zobrist, despite a ?.3 WAR difference at the end of 09), but one of the main ideas behind fWAR and similar stats is the “over replacement player” aspect. Tulowitzki missing large amounts of playing time cannot be ignored, because it serves as time that the Rockies had to find another player to fill in for him. Ryan Zimmerman has no shot, but Joey Votto is still a better candidate than Tulo in 2010.

cantregister
Member
cantregister
6 years 4 days ago

No. Pujols or Adrian Gonzalez are more deserving.

asdf
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asdf
6 years 4 days ago

How do you separate even Tulo from Cargo? Because of Tulo’s September?

Small Sample Theater…

Bluecaboose
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Bluecaboose
6 years 4 days ago

also, Tulowitzki is hitting .341/.407/.635 at home and .308/.372/.545 on the road for a pretty reasonable .135 OPS split. Carlos Gonzalez is hitting .392/.439/.766 at home and .288/.319/.443 on the road for a .442 OPS split.

Oh. And Tulowitzki is currently hitting better than Gonzalez overall on the year.

Wally
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Wally
6 years 4 days ago

That is just a ridiculous split, even for Coors.

newsense
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newsense
6 years 4 days ago

Shouldn’t WPA come into the discussion? Votto’s at 6.47 while Tulo is at 1.38

Wally
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Wally
6 years 4 days ago

I think it absolutely should, at least if you’re trying to say their WARs are not significantly different. I mean what else do you have? I guess you could go look at the other WARs and see if they give a similar or larger difference, which would increase your confidence that Votto is better (though you run into problems that the WARs are not hugely different in their construction so they will correlate to a high degree no matter what, and thus can’t be treated as completely independent data points, but what ever). So, at some point you should at least mention what actually happened when. While the players obviously don’t control for the context in which they hit/field, nor be “clutch” or “unclutch” to any noticeable degree, those events did happen.

biondino
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biondino
6 years 4 days ago

Even as a Rockies fan I’m struggling a bit with this. We’re talking about “most valuable player” and that’s got to be at the very least partly made up of counting stats. “Best player” would be a closer one, and my homer instincts would probably vote for Tulo without too many worries.

Tulo is a better player than Cargo, though – his power’s about the same, his average is about the same, he walks more, he’s the team leader and he plays the premier defensive position. So yes, September is what makes him stand out from cargo – it’s not a SSS when you incorporate it in with the rest of the year’s efforts.

asdf
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asdf
6 years 4 days ago

Cargo’s had a pretty damn good September as well, and he’s played in 25 more games than Tulo, or about a month’s worth. Cargo’s helped keep the Rockies within striking distance all year, but for some reason people place extra emphasis on September. All wins matter, not just those in September.

Brandon
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Brandon
6 years 2 days ago

Cargo also spent most of his time toiling in LF or RF, with some starts in center when Fowler is out. Tulo is a plus SS, which given their offensive contributions cancels out the difference.

Mr. Sanchez
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Mr. Sanchez
6 years 4 days ago

What is Coloraado’s record with Tulo in the lineup vs. without (and does it coincide with a home/road split).

Don Headly
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Don Headly
6 years 4 days ago

I didn’t do the home road split but with Tulo in the lineup the Rockies are 61-49 with a .555 winning percentage. With Tulo out of the lineup the Rockies are 21-18 with a .538 winning percentage.

Not a big difference. Not nearly as big as I would have thought.

Chris
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Chris
6 years 4 days ago

Jonathan Herrera was great as a fill in for Tulo, so I can see why it worked out that way.

Jeff
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Jeff
6 years 4 days ago

Those 18 losses with Tulo out include the 9 game losing streak the Rox endured post all-star break, so they have played well without him too.

Darren
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Darren
6 years 4 days ago

I agree with newsense, there is a 5 win difference in WPA, which is essentially hitting. My opinion only, but ‘value’ in terms of a single season to me is not context neutral.

RichardL
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RichardL
6 years 4 days ago

I am a simple minded baseball fan. I look at the teams that made the playoffs and those that won the eventual championship and world series title. The question that I ask myself is the following: over the course of the season, which player on the playoff teams should be the MVP and because of his contribution, the team made the playoffs. Will the team have the success that it had, if the said player was not on the team? That is what makes the player a MVP because without him, the team will not be where it is at the end of the season. If the Rockies win it all, sure we should consider both Gonzalez and Tulowitzki for the MVP position. This will be a tough choice.

Christian
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Christian
6 years 4 days ago

Except voting happens before the playoffs are resolved.

Conshy Matt
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Conshy Matt
6 years 4 days ago

Zimmerman for MVP is a joke. Sorry Dave. I don’t care what his WAR is. He has (ballpark) 25 hr’s and 25 doubles. His OPS is barely over .900. Most of his WAR value comes from his UZR. While he is a terrific fielder, his throwing arm is an issue and I’m not ready to take a perfectly sucktastic team’s best player as the NL MVP.

Regarding Tulo – again, no chance. Great player, but I’d argue that if he had spread out his production over the course of the season more evenly I’d be more inclined to make him a legitimate candidate. He had just over 10 HR’s entering September. Being valuable (even ridiculously so) over 1/10 of the season just isn’t enough, IMO.

The MVP should be one of the 1B having great offensive seasons. I’d also say that Cargo is a legit candidate.

dutchbrowncoat
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dutchbrowncoat
6 years 4 days ago

for the record, being ridiculous for a month and pretty good for the rest is what won mauer his mvp last year. he hit 11/28 hr on the season in may, and had a 544 wOBA over the month. and his ridiculous slash stats were a little easier to maintain playing 25 games short of a full season.

The Duder
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The Duder
6 years 4 days ago

“The MVP should be one of the 1B having great offensive seasons. I’d also say that Cargo is a legit candidate.”

That’s an opinion your certainly entitled to… but I don’t think it’s based in very good logic.

Conshy Matt
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Conshy Matt
6 years 4 days ago

“While he is a terrific fielder, his throwing arm is an issue and I’m not ready to take a perfectly sucktastic team’s best player as the NL MVP.”

caveat – unless he’s having such a ridiculously good season (offensively) that he cannot be ignored. Zimmerman isn’t.

CircleChange11
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CircleChange11
6 years 4 days ago

Simply put, it takes too much mental gymnastics for Tulo’s case of MVP.

Imagine this …

Suppose that …

Naw, Votta has been the front-runner (along with Pujols) for the whole season; Tulo doesn’t have enough ABs to qualify for the Batting Title.

Missing a month of baseball killed Pujols’s chances of an MVP a few years ago. It happened to Tulo this year. It’ll happen to someone else in the future.

The big knock against Mat Latos and Liriano is their fewer number of IPs, same thing applies to Tulo in regards to ABs.

Tulo for MVP will be the ESPN slogan for the past month as he lights up the highlight reels. But, that’s ESPN … they forget what happened last week, let alone last month, or the month before that, etc.

Trebecois
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Trebecois
6 years 4 days ago

Tulo is qualified for the batting title and has been since early september

Pete
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Pete
6 years 4 days ago

“it’s likely that the gap between he and Votto will decrease even more before the season is over.”

Why is it “likely”? Tulo’s OPS in September is 1.407, bringing his OPS for the year up to .980, higher than any month this year previously. Votto, on the other hand, has an OPS of .940, lower than all but 3 months over the past 2 seasons.

If anything is likely, it’s that each will perform more closely to their true abilities, which would move Votto further ahead, not closer to, Tulo.

Pete
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Pete
6 years 4 days ago

To clarify, Tulo’s .980 OPS for the year is higher than his OPS in any month previous to September.

Trebecois
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Trebecois
6 years 4 days ago

but he did put up four consecutive 1000+ ops last year to close out the year

Chris
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Chris
6 years 4 days ago

To be fair, Tulo missed 6 weeks and never really got hot during the year up until now. He’s obviously making up for lost time, but he’s in a groove and will finish the year with numbers that support his true abilities while the early part of the season did not.

B N
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B N
6 years 4 days ago

Totally. Gambler’s fallacy is always right. He didn’t get hot before, so he’s due- right? Right guys?

Trebecois
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Trebecois
6 years 4 days ago

The Gambler’s fallacy applies to recovering from a broken wrist? Tulo got hurt and was only abe lto get his natural swing going in mid-August. Go back and look at his post June stats last year

Boomer
Member
Boomer
6 years 4 days ago

“given the level to which Tulowitzki has been performing, it’s likely that the gap between he and Votto will decrease even more before the season is over.”

Tulo .383 wOBA for the ROS.

Votto .405 wOBA for the ROS.

Are you saying that Tulo’s D/position more than make up for that pretty wide difference in hitting? Or are you implying he’ll keep hitting at his torrid September pace…

Aaron
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Aaron
6 years 4 days ago

At this point you can’t take too much stock in ROS due to small sample sizes and massive rounding errors: http://www.3-dbaseball.net/2010/09/zips-ros-projections-as-estimates-of.html

Bronnt
Member
Bronnt
6 years 4 days ago

You’re right, when we’re talking about a 12 or 13 game sample, you really just need to throw your projections right out the window. There’s enough variance that anything could happen over the season’s last two weeks-Votto could bust out big time while Tulowitzki skids to a halt, or we could see a repeat of the previous two weeks where Tulowitzki is on fire and Votto has not quite been as good.

What gives Troy the chance to close the WAR gap before the end of the season is the fact that he’s also a good defensive shortstop, which could give him the advantage of a couple of runs even if he doesn’t hit quite as well as Votto during that time period.

NEPP
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NEPP
6 years 4 days ago

MVP of September maybe. MVP for the season? Not so much. Those games that get played from April-August unfortunately count in the standings too…at least last I checked.

Chris
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Chris
6 years 4 days ago

Tulo out hit Votto in April despite being in a ‘slump’. He kept pace with him in May. Those months count too.

Pete
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Pete
6 years 4 days ago

???

Despite playing in the most extreme hitter’s park in the majors, Tulo’s OPS was 120 points lower than Votto in April and 50 points lower in May; on June 1, Votto already had an OPS 86 points higher than Tulo. How, exactly, did he “outhit” Votto in April and “keep pace” in May?

dutchbrowncoat
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dutchbrowncoat
6 years 4 days ago

the talk that you can’t give him the mvp for just one hot month is ridiculous. first off, he has been solid for the rest of the year, playing time is his real issue. second, this is precisely what joe mauer did last year. he followed up a ridiculous may with a pretty good rest of the season and easily won the mvp.

every player has hot and cold streaks, you can’t fault the guy for having a hot streak better than most. if anything, credit the guy, as the games are being played in the home stretch for a playoff contender.

Pete
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Pete
6 years 4 days ago

???

Mauer’s 3rd best month last year (.958 OPS) was the same as Tulo’s 2nd best this year (.961); Mauer’s worst month (.845) was 60 points higher than Tulo’s two worse months (.785). After May, Mauer had an OPS of .958 in 484 PA; before September, Tulo had an OPS of .889 in 395 PA.

Again, remember that Tulo’s hitting in a park that inflates offense by 20%.

dutchbrowncoat
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dutchbrowncoat
6 years 4 days ago

i have no idea what your comparisons mean, but you sure do love your “???” and talk on park factors. i am not comparing mauer’s 09 and tulo’s 10, mauer was obviously better. i am saying that mauer rode a ridiculous may to his mvp award, and it is crazy to me that people are saying that you “don’t win the mvp award with one good month”.

i would bet every mvp winner has had one month with a wOBA over say 480, with the examples of mauer and 06 howard sticking out in my mind.

Pete
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Pete
6 years 4 days ago

Mauer didn’t have a “ridiculous May and pretty good rest of the year”. His OPS in August was 1.1; his OPS in September was .958. His August was crazy-good and his September was great.

dutchbrowncoat
Member
dutchbrowncoat
6 years 4 days ago

as most other fangraphs readers can tell you, OPS is a flawed statistic. wOBA is a far better judge of a hitter’s ability. that being said, during his ‘ridiculous’ may he hit to the tune of a 544 wOBA. he followed that up with monthly wOBA’s of 388, 360, 485, and 414. those are all good (and the 485 is very good) but they all still pale in comparison to the ridiculous 544 he hit in may.

that is the same may where he hit 2 more hr than he has all of this year.

Trebecois
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Trebecois
6 years 4 days ago

Did Mauer spend a month on the DL with a broken wrist?

Jim Lahey
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Jim Lahey
6 years 4 days ago

I was thinking the same thing as Dave after looking at Tulo’s season numbers yesterday. Say Tulo hits 5-7 more home runs (lol at that September and my optimism), can you really vote against a SS hitting over .330 with 30hr 100rbi and true gold glove defense despite missing a few weeks on the DL when he’s propelling his team to the playoffs? Especially in a situation where they really can’t afford to lose games anymore?

I think he’s carrying the Rockies more right now than Votto/Pujols/Gonzalez can say for their respective teams even during their hottest streaks

Conshy Matt
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Conshy Matt
6 years 4 days ago

dutch – really? entering september, he had 12 hr’s (2.4/month) and averaged 11 rbi’s/month. those are marco scutaro type numbers. his september has put him on par with the game’s best, but it’s skewed what was a relatively uneventful 5 months of baseball.

Chris
Guest
Chris
6 years 4 days ago

Only in his injury shortened 2008 campaign had Tulo not hit 20+ HR’s. His 2009 saw him knock in 32. You can’t take away his power just because it came late this season. He’s clearly shown that he can put up those numbers when healthy.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
6 years 4 days ago

That doesn’t negate the fact that he had 12 entering September.

Obvoiusly he has power or he wouldn’t be putting up a ridiculous September.

What the discussion boils down to is ….

[1] Whether Tulo’s other stats overcome the differential in ABs?

[2] Whether a monster month, even September, trumps an entire season.

IMO, the answers or “no”, and “it might”. We are a very “what have you done for me lately” crowd. last year, had mauer been injured late in the season instead of early, the MVP probably goes to Cabrera.

I just want consistency. last year, the big reason why carpenter “couldn’t” win the CYA was because of his deficit in IP. But, a similar deifcit doesn’t prevent Tulo from winning?

We often thump our chests in bragging of our objectivity … but I ain’t seeing it. We start with the conclusion and then work our way backwards, mining for evidence … often times just to go against the grain (sometimes seemingly saying things that we’d bash if it were said by someone else). We use the same methods as the casual fan and even the morons … we just use different metrics that make us feel as though we’re more intelligent. “We” really ain’t that much different from “them”, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves. We might as well accept it. We’re wrong as much as the next guy. We’re biased as much as the next guy. We talk out of the wrong end as much as the next guy. The difference is they admit it, we don’t.

Chris
Guest
Chris
6 years 4 days ago

No one is saying that he SHOULD win it, just that he should get votes because quite frankly, he deserves them. Carpenter also got votes last year. What killed him wasn’t the 33 IP that he came up short on Lincecum it was Lincecum’s additional 120 K’s that cost Carpenter a Cy Young. Even if Lincecum had been eliminated from CYA voting Wainwright would have beaten out Carpenter (40 IP more, 70 K’s more and 19 W’s despite the .39 ERA difference).

This isn’t about Carpenter, Wainwright or Lincecum in 2009 though, this is a stud SS performing like everyone knew he could and deserving a few MVP votes. If Colorado upsets in the NL West you can bet that both he and CarGo get more votes than people are willing to give them now, and they both deserve it for their monster years and the contributions they have given to their clubs offensively and defensively.

BTW, you really shouldn’t be pointing fingers like that when you’re obviously showing bias in your support for Carpenter when he was easily the 3rd most impressive pitcher in the Cy Young race. You going to champion Buccholz for the AL Cy Young next?

Matt Pullman
Guest
6 years 4 days ago

What’s funny is that I wrote a similar article last night. I agree completely, Troy Tulowitzki has hit like Joey Votto while playing shortstop. Imagine if Joey Votto could play great defense at shortstop, how incredible of a player he would be. Everyone wants him to be the MVP at first base, he could win three MVP’s in one year if he was a shortstop!

But really, mine is more from a fantasy-stat aspect, just pure, incredible numbers that are astounding. How does one average a home run a game for a 14-game span?
thefirstblackpunter.blogspot.com/2010/09/httpthefirstblackpunter.html

Ivdown
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Ivdown
6 years 4 days ago

He hasn’t hit like Votto, Votto has a full 2 wins more with the bat than Tulo. Tulo has a 1.5 win advantage in WAR in terms of positional value, and obviously Votto’s bat has still more than made up for that gap.

My echo and bunnymen
Guest
My echo and bunnymen
6 years 4 days ago

I’m usually on your side Dave, but I respectfully disagree with Tulo for MVP. I’m in the Zimmerman camp ftr.
The reasons I disagree with Tulo is because of the fact that even if he’s injured I’ll penalize him for that time, if in a year he’s simply not as valuable as say a Votto or Zimmerman than I believe he is not the MVP. He’s an amazing player and undoubtedly makes the Rockies one of the best teams in teh NL, and playing a premier position at great defense (to boot) deserves commends. However, Zimmerman has done both for the Nationals (Votto as well to less of an extent on the defensive side) and over more time. Accumulation (sp?) should be the main concern for awards (for GMs it’s another thing).

My echo and bunnymen
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My echo and bunnymen
6 years 4 days ago

I have Tulo 3rd, if that means anything.
Zimmerman, Votto, Tulowitzki

fredsbank
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fredsbank
6 years 4 days ago

seriously, if you voted for mauer last year, you have to extend that logic to tulo this year, or you’re a hypocritical douche

Pete
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Pete
6 years 4 days ago

As long as you ignore the fact that Mauer, despite the loss of playing time, was #1 in the AL in bbref’s WAR (by nearly a win) and #2 in fangraph’s (trailing Zobrist by .3 win), while Tulo is 5th in fWAR (a win behind Votto/Zimmerman) and #4 at bbref (a win behind Gonzales).

Bob
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Bob
6 years 4 days ago

Part 10 in Dave’s continuing attempts to change the narrative on WAR so that Felix can be voted CY this year.

T
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T
6 years 4 days ago

If you believe this you’re an idiot.

fredsbank
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fredsbank
6 years 4 days ago

and, if the nats dont have zimmerman… how different is their season, really?
they’re 62-87 right now, with the best player in the league on their team? how freaking sad is that? barring an absolutely torrid season (larry walker ’97 comes to mind), the mvp should be from a good team, certainly not one that is going to finish last in their division by a significant margin (11+GB from 4th place florida)

if you’re actually in favor of zimmerman for MVP this year, you need to do a major overhaul of how you think about baseball

Rich
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Rich
6 years 4 days ago

Without Zimmerman?> They’re probably somewhere around 54-95.

The idea that the MVP has to come from a playoff team is ridiculous.

Conshy Matt
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Conshy Matt
6 years 4 days ago

fred – couldn’t agree w/ u more (stated as much earlier in this thread). zimmerman isn’t elite in any offense metrics you can use. i’m not prepared to trust defensive metrics enough to say that his defense is MVP worthy. he’s a great player, but he’s no MVP. methinks that Echo is THE nationals fan.

dutchbrowncoat
Guest
dutchbrowncoat
6 years 4 days ago

not sure what you would call ‘elite’, but he is 10th in the NL in the hitting component of WAR. it is not as if he is a light hitter. throw in any defensive metric (or a composite average) and a positional adjustment and he is still near the top. his elite glove should not be ignored just because we don’t have a perfectly precise metric for it yet.

Andy S
Guest
Andy S
6 years 4 days ago

I get the feeling that Dave sometimes writes things to be controversial. There’s other reason you would put up a site where every number supports the logical arguments for Votto, and then write that the MVP must be Tulo.

Conshy Matt
Guest
Conshy Matt
6 years 4 days ago

andy, in fairness, he said that there’s a case to be made for Tulo, not that he should be.

btw, zimmerman would be about 10th in my voting. i’d go Votto, Cargo, AGonz, Pujols, Halladay, Tulo. Guys like Zimmerman should probably be in the next batch.

Andy S
Guest
Andy S
6 years 4 days ago

Right, but my point is he isn’t even in the same league as Votto.

And there’s this line, which suggests Dave thinks that Tulo is one of the best candidates:

“But I think he might be the NL MVP anyway.”

q
Guest
q
6 years 4 days ago

How is he not even in the same league as Votto?

Maybe Dave’s definition of MVP gives some weight to “best player” and not simply “player who has played the best.” Rate stats would then have some role, perhaps enough to make up the .9 WAR difference.

Andy S.
Guest
Andy S.
6 years 4 days ago

Why though? There’s no justification given for that being a criterion.

Max
Guest
Max
6 years 4 days ago

Also included in the argument should be how how his team did. The Rockies have been making up ground in the NL West at an alarming rate, largely because of Tulowitzki. If they do ultimately make the playoffs, he should be considered. It should come down to Pujols, Votto, Tulowiztki, and both Gonzalezes, and the winner should be from a guy whose team makes the playoffs, as all of those players are in tight races, and have big roles to play on whether their team makes it.

This is a good argument for Tulowitzki to be a candidate, especially considering his position. But I don’t think it’s enough to say he’s the outright MVP. Deserving of votes, possibly 1st place votes, but not anywhere near unanimous. It should be a tight race, possibly even tighter (albeit less meaningful) than their respective playoff races.

kennv
Guest
kennv
6 years 4 days ago

“It’s one thing to use WAR to declare that Votto has clearly been better than, say, Aubrey Huff, but its another to state that it is perfectly accurate down to the decimal point.”

Fun with decimal points.

Votto – .9 = Tulo
Tulo -. 8= Huff

Get rid of the decimals and Votto=Tulo=Huff. Science!

Andy S.
Guest
Andy S.
6 years 4 days ago

Okay that is an abuse of mathematics.

B N
Guest
B N
6 years 4 days ago

Actually, I think it’s technically just abuse of the floor(x) function.

Wally
Guest
Wally
6 years 4 days ago

Error bar fail.

vivaelpujols
Guest
6 years 4 days ago

Even with Votto holding a +1 win advantage by WAR, I still think a vote for Tulowitzki is justifiable. WAR is more blunt hammer than precise chisel, so while it does a great job at telling you whether a player is good or bad, it is not designed to be used to separate out small differences among players having similar seasons.

Disagree. WAR is designed to tell you *exactly* how much better one player is over another. Now you could argue about the inputs of WAR (for example, the fielding metrics, baserunning runs, clutch hitting, etc.), but by itself WAR tells you exactly how good a player was worth.

In this case, if you look at the two players in question and determine that there is no reason that WAR would underrate or overrate one, than you should definitely use it as a definitive measure of the statistical difference between players.

Trebecois
Guest
Trebecois
6 years 4 days ago

But the Idea of replacement is important here right? How close are the 2nd or 3rd best 1B to Votto? How close is the 2nd or 3rd best SS to Tulo?

vivaelpujols
Guest
6 years 4 days ago

I don’t see why that should be relevant. The real question is how good the replacement player in Tulo’s absence was. You could either do a real answer (and a Rockies fan would have to clue me in on that) or a theoretical standardized replacement level player.

Trebecois
Guest
Trebecois
6 years 4 days ago

It was Clint Barmes +Defense 18.3 UZR/150 at SS 66 wCR+
or a theoretical SS this year I would use the NL SS line but would have to split Tulo’s numbers out to get an accurate average.

CubsNine
Member
CubsNine
6 years 4 days ago

Dave, last line of your next-to-last paragraph: make that “the gap between *him* and Votto,” not “the gap between he and Votto”. Hopefully this is one thing we can all agree on. :-)

Ivdown
Guest
Ivdown
6 years 4 days ago

Isn’t Votto’s 7+ WAR more impressive at 1B than Tulo’s 6+ WAR because Tulo gets that boost from playing SS while Votto has to overcome the fact that he plays 1B?

Let’s say both players end at 6.5 WAR. Votto will have to do more on offense and defense to overcome the positional value in WAR than Tulo will to get to that point.

As it stands Tulo’s positional value is at 4.9, and Votto’s is at -10.5. The fact that Votto is so far above Tulo right now is so damned impressive to me.

That being said, I think Tulo may have a great shot at the MVP. I think 2 days ago I put it as 1. Votto 2. Tulo 3. Pujols 4. Cargo 5. Zimmerman (not what it will be, but what it should be, Zimm will be lucky to get top ten I’d guess, which is kinda bs).

dutchbrowncoat
Guest
dutchbrowncoat
6 years 4 days ago

there are 7 first basemen with WAR over 4. there are 2 shortstops.

Ivdown
Guest
Ivdown
6 years 2 days ago

And? I know having better offensive numbers from SS is more impressive than from 1B, but when a 1B is at the same or better WAR than a SS it means he’s really beating the shit out of the ball, much moreso than the SS. Which is exactly what the case is now.

indydoug
Guest
indydoug
6 years 3 days ago

2010 NL MVP- J. Votto. End of story.

indydoug
Guest
indydoug
6 years 3 days ago

VOTTO- (NL RANK) 1st- OPS; OBP; RC
2nd- Slugg%; HR
3rd- Avg.; Runs; RBI (1 behind co-leaders)
Has his team 7 games ahead of the highly-favored STL. Cards in NL Central; consistently excellent ALL YEAR both home & away from GABP
The vote won’t be close!

grey classic uggs
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

strongzz Thank you, I’ve just been searching for information about this subject for ages and yours is the best I have discovered so far. But, what about the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?

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