Archive for Weekly Awards

FanGraphs Stars of the Month – April 2010

With one month of baseball in the books, it’s time to take a look at who you voted as the FanGraphs Stars of the Month!

The way these rankings are calculated (for the time being) is the sum of the percentage of total stars accumulated for each individual game. Onto the awards! (3 stars is the top spot.)

3 StarsJason Heyward: Baseball’s #1a/b prospect had a monstrous and timely first month. He even had a game where he accumulated over 1 full win in WPA. He was awarded 3-stars, five times.

2 StarsMiguel Cabrera: Leading the month in WPA with 2.04 wins, Cabrera missed out on his third star by just a handful of votes. He was awarded 3-stars, a month-leading six times.

1 StarUbaldo Jimenez: In order to compete in votes with batters who play everyday, you really need to have a pretty special month as a pitcher. Ulbado did just that with 5 wins, a no-hitter, and a major league leading 0.79 ERA to take 3rd place in fan voting this month. In each of his five starts, he was awarded 3-stars.

That’s all for the very first FanGraphs Stars of the Month! Be sure to vote after each game is completed for who you think is the most deserving player of the game.

Game of the Week: 4/20-26

The Philadelphia Phillies and Florida Marlins started their seasons in very different fashions, with the defending champs struggling to prevent runs and the feisty fish jumping out of the gate to an 11-1 record. Prior to Friday, the Marlins were coming off of six straight interesting games, sweeping the Nationals on three consecutive come from behind wins in the ninth inning or later before dropping three in a row to the Pirates. Against one of their divisional rivals this weekend, the Marlins were about to get a little taste of their own late inning magic. The series opener between the Phillies and Marlins last Friday, a battle of both team’s early aces, spotlights the second in our game of the week feature. Observe the game graph:


In summation, the Marlins were cruising towards a relatively easy victory until they apparently boarded the log floom ride in the final frame and plummeted into a defeat.

The action started in the first inning when the Marlins plated three runs off of Brett Myers. After Josh Johnson retired the top of the Phillies order quite easily, Emilio Bonifacio received the first of Myers’ six free passes. His time on the basepaths would be short-lived, though, as he was quickly erased on a pickoff. John Baker singled to left but Hanley Ramirez was caught looking, leaving Myers one out away from escaping the inning unharmed. Ross Gload followed with a single, advancing Baker to third, before Dan Uggla stepped in and launched a three-run homer. Cameron Maybin whiffed to end the inning but the proverbial damage had been done.

Myers, one of the worst first-inning pitchers in baseball, settled down after that and tossed five scoreless innings before clocking out. Unfortunately, Myers’ efforts were exceeded by Johnson, who scattered three hits and two walks over seven scoreless frames while fanning eight batters. At the time of his departure, the Marlins still led 3-0 and had increased their win expectancy to 94%.

Clay Condrey relieved Myers and Leo Nunez took over for Johnson. Both pitched well enough to keep the score 3-0 entering the top of the ninth inning. The Phillies were known for comeback wins over the last two seasons but had struggled a bit with timely hitting through the first three weeks of the current season. Matt Lindstrom toed the rubber looking to end a three-game losing streak and improve his team to 12-4.

Ryan Howard grounded out to start the inning before Jayson Werth doubled to left. The Phillies now had a 4.2% chance of winning the game. Raul Ibanez walked, putting runners on first and second and increasing the Phillies’ win expectancy to 8.5%. Phillies folk hero Matt Stairs pinch-hit for Pedro Feliz and promptly delivered an RBI single to right, plating Werth and advancing Ibanez to third. With the Phillies now at a win expectancy of 18%, Miguel Cairo supplanted Stairs on the bases. Lou Marson then drew a walk, loading the bases and bringing the Phillies to a 28.3% shot at the game.

Lindstrom then fanned Eric Bruntlett in a very clutch situation, leaving the Marlins one out away from victory. Bases loaded, two outs, 3-1 Marlins… and Lindstrom walks Jimmy Rollins, bringing the Phillies within one run, keeping the bases loaded. Shane Victorino, playoff hero throughout their World Series run last year, then uncorked a grand slam giving the Phillies a 6-3 lead and earning himself 0.723 points of WPA in the process. If that weren’t enough, Chase Utley followed with a solo home run. Lindstrom left the game having surrendered seven runs in the top of the ninth inning.

Renyel Pinto entered and after giving up a double to Ryan Howard and walk to Jayson Werth, he struck out Raul Ibanez to end the abysmal ninth. Amidst a double and a walk in the home half of the ninth, Ryan Madson struck out the side, putting an end on quite the unlikely series of late-inning events. The Marlins scored three in the bottom of the first and the Phillies scored seven in the top of the ninth. In between, no scoring occurred whatsoever. The Phillies went onto repeat their late-inning heroics the next night, coming back from a 4-3 deficit in the top of the ninth to a 6-4 win in extra innings.

They swept the fish with a 13-2 win yesterday, leaving the Marlins with a 6-game losing streak and a very slim lead in the division. Things looked mighty different a week ago but I chose this as the game of the week to highlight how quickly things can change in the game of baseball, and how a team that swept a series on late-inning comebacks could find themselves on the losing end of similar events very soon after.

FanGraphs Weekly Awards: 4/14/08

Week two of baseball is officially in the books as of two days ago. Lots of surprises this year including David Ortiz trailing baseball in WPA, WPA/LI, and BRAA. He’s dead last, by a lot. Maybe he’ll land himself a not so coveted Worst of the Week award.

Batter of the Week:

Travis Buck takes top honors this week with .806 wins. His biggest hit of the week was on April 10th where he hit a 2 run double in the top of the 9th worth .391 wins. He hit 6 doubles and 1 triple the entire week and while he may not have hit any home runs or had the best OPS, his consistent hitting was definitely the most timely.

Pitcher of the Week:

Matt Capps narrowly beat out Wandy Rodriguez with .84 wins to become the pitcher with the highest WPA of the week. Capps threw five scoreless innings including two that were very high leverage extra innings.

Worst of the Week:

Joe Borowski’s -0.897 wins was by far the worst of any player. David Ortiz as the worst batter gave him a run for his money with -.565 wins, but Borowski giving up a walk-off grand slam to Torii Hunter was really something special. The way things are going, Borowski could win this award next week too!

The Biggest Hit:

.712 wins – Travis Hafner hit the biggest home run of the season off of Justin Speier with 2 outs, in the top of the 9th, and a man on first to put his team up 4-3. Jake Westbrook closed out the game for the win and his first complete game of the year.

The Biggest Out:

-.347 wins – With the A’s up by 1 and a man on 1st and 2nd in the bottom of the 13th inning, Keith Foulke induced a game ending double play ball hit by Aaron Hill. The Leverage Index in that situation was an extremely high 7.16 and it was the biggest out of the season thus far.

FanGraphs Weekly Awards: 4/7/08

Every week, probably on Monday nights, we’ll be recounting the past week’s top players in terms of WPA and a number of the top plays of the week. I’ll also include whatever else I feel like recapping. Onto the Awards!

Batter of the Week:

Kosuke Fukudome led all players with .95 wins. He’s batting .421 on the season with a 1.279 OPS and couldn’t be off to a better start. His biggest play of the week was on opening day when he hit a three-run home run off Eric Gagne in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game.

Pitcher of the Week:

Felix Hernandez threw 15 shutout innings to start the season but failed to pick up a win. He struck out 9 and walked 5 in his two starts. He almost bested Fukudome’s WPA total with .92 wins.

Worst of the Week:

Brandon Lyon blew two saves this week giving him a WPA of -1.09 wins. Two of the six most valuable WPA plays were off of Lyon. He’s currently allowed 6 hits, 2 home runs, and 4 earned runs in 3 innings of work.

The 3 Biggest Hits:

#1: (.667 wins) – You guessed it, Edwin Encarnacion’s walk-off, three-run, home run takes top honors this week. We covered it when it happened and even have the great video of Jeff Brantley saying how “not clutch” Encarnacion is right before he knocks the ball out of the park. Classic.

#2: (.630 wins) – Josh Hamilton’s two-run, home run off of closer J.J. Putz put the Rangers up 5-4 and denied Felix Hernandez his first win of the season.

#3: (.550 wins) – Mark Reynold hit a two-run, home run off of Rockies closer Matt Corpas, which put the Diamondbacks in the lead 2-1. Brandon Lyon managed to blow the save opportunity, but the Diamondbacks eventually went on to win the game 5-2.

The 3 Biggest Outs:

#1: (-.288 wins) – On opening day, Rafael Betancourt got Jim Thome to ground into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded and the game tied in the bottom of the 8th. His team, the White Sox, went on to lose to the Indians 10-8.

#2: (-.253 wins) – With the a runner on third and one out, Joakim Soria struck out Edgar Renteria in the bottom of the 9th. Soria’s team, the Royals, were up 5-4 against the Tigers and won the game on the very next play. This was just the start of the Tigers’ current six game losing streak.

#3: (-.221 wins) – In a game where the Twins grounded into 4 double plays, Joe Mauer’s game ending double play with a runner on 1st with one out was the most costly.