Thursday, April 30, 2015

Awards for Season 25

So, it's that time again: Awards for Season 25.

We'll start with the NL RotY: I'll start with Grover Simon and Michael Lee, two interesting lead-off threats. Lee had more power, but was caught stealing more often Simon doesn't quite have the power, but had a solid but unspectacular start with some speed. McKay Whitehill and Francis Matthews both look like promising starters, and both had impressive rookie campaigns. Matthews put up more captivating numbers, with a better record, better ERA, better WHIP, better control, a better K/9, and lower avgs across the board, though in nearly 40 fewer innings. Angel Lee improved greatly on his Season 24 campaign, but still isn't quite at the level of the starts (and how does a 46 game pitcher in Season 24 keep eligibility in Season 25?). Matthews is my choice.

AL ROTY: Oof. Is None of the Above an option? It's not hideous, but seriously lacking. One could make the argument that almost all of the NL RotY candidates could have won here. Julio Arrojo looks like a nice SS, and is a plus fielder, but the strikeouts are a corncern. Jesus Lecuona was a spectacular threat on the basepaths (42 for 42!), but the lack of OPS and .677 OPS certainly drags him down. His shakiness in the field, split between 2B and the OF corners, doesn't help his case. R.A. Craig definitely helped his club out of the pen, with a remarkable 10-1 record and 6 saves, but is dragged down by a weak ERA, high WHIP, and bad avgs (he allowed a .475 SLG!). Christopher Montgomery broke even with a 12-12 record with an ERA under 4.00 (3.95). He was a solid innings-eater, and was 14th in the AL in strikeouts. However, he was fairly lackluster for a team that did somehow win the division with a record under .500. Fred Morgan was unspectacular as a 2-hole bat, scoring 74 runs and walking more often than striking out. He put up a .857 OPS, and a quite respectable .391 OBP, balancing out 7 negative plays in RF. I might vote for Morgan here - he's my guy - but as an analyst I'd choose Montgomery.

NL Cy: Grant Kelly was probably the most interesting pitcher here, putting up 54 saves and great WHIP, K/9, and BB/9 numbers. However, I always lean towards a solid starter, and we have 4 legit candidates. Barry Woods" and Denard Kinney are both fairly new, RotY eligible last season. Kinney is the only candidate whose team missed the playoffs, and was probably the odd man out with the most losses, the only 3.00+ ERA, and the highest WHIP and OAvg. Of the other three, Woods had the lowest ERA, WHIP, OAvg, K/9, and BB/9. Jared O'Keefe threw the lowest innings, but had the best winning percentage. Luis Pascual had the most innings pitched by nearly 30, and the most wins. I'm going Woods here - his team barely squeaked in the playoffs, he put up a solid 228 innings, and his numbers were that much better.

AL Cy: Similar to the NL, we have 4 starters and a closer. Unlike the NL, the starters were all above 3.00 ERAs. Jack Garcia saved 49, while allowing only a 2.11 ERA. However, he might be the third best of the profusion of Stingers on the list. An aside: the Stingers placed 3 in the top 5 despite pitching in a hitter's park, and finishing out of the playoffs. Anyway, to be honest, none of the four remaining pitchers (Donovan Hines> and Reagan Ford of the Stingers, Charles Steele of the Yankdawgs, and Kyle Cornelius of the High Flyers) stands out. Frankly, Dwayne Stanley of the Mud Hens was probably the best pitcher, but isn't a candidate. I'll eliminate Steele first - he threw the most innings and wass the only candidate in the playoffs, but his 107 runs and 3.55 ERA are well higher than the others. Hines had the most wins, the fewest HRS allowed, and the lowest ERA. Ford threw the most innings of the three, and did allow the most runs and the highest ERA, but also struck out the most. Cornelius had 15 less innings pitched than Hines and 18 less than Ford, and only struck out 115, but allowed the fewest hits and the lowest ERA. Any of the top three are good choices, but I'll go with Ford - he threw more innings and had reasonable numbers.

NL MVP: First, WHERE IS CHAN HO XAIO??? 44 HRS, a 1.071 OPS - he deserves to be a candidate. Virgil Castillo is the only candidate that doesn't play 1B, and was solid in RF. His .819 OPS isn't at the level of the others, but his 64 SBs speaks to a solid leadoff man. Dustan Perez had 27 plus plays at 1B, and put up an .868 OPS with 33 HRs. Raul Picasso played a solid 1B with a net 18 plus plays, and scored 108 runs, but wasn't an thrilling as the two finalists. Sal Becker vs. Dicky Scheffer - is this the final two every season? 7 MVP Awards between them, including four of the last five. Scheffer had 49 HRS and a .983 OPS, but 14 minus plays at 1st. Becker had 41 HRS, 41 doubles, and a stellar 1.107 OPS, with 9 minus plays at 1st. This season, the choice is clearly Becker.

AL MVP: In the AL, we have 4 1Bs and a DH. The DH, Hick White, put up some impressive numbers - 30HRs, 87 RBIs, 96 runs scored, a .461 OPS, and a 1.021 OPS. However, DH. William Barfield>, owner of 7 Sliver Sluggers and 2 MVPs, hit for 36 HRS, a .981 OPS, and added 120 runs scored. Buddy Hollingsworth hit for 53 HRs (his 3rd season with 50+ HRs, and nary an MVP), with 103 runs scored and 141 RBIs, plus a .930 OPS. Second best was Rich Tulowitzki, who coupled power numbers of 41 HRs, 135 RBIs, and 123 runs scored, and a .910 OPS, with a whopping 72 steals! However, credit where credit is most definitely due. Each season, one bat is just an absolute monster. This year, it was Jim Kazmir. 61 HRs, 173 RBIs, 118 runs scored, 209 hits, a .703 SLG, and a 1.141 OPS! Easily Kazmir.

So, I've got Kazmir, Becker, Ford, Woods, Montgomery, Matthews. How about you?

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