2009 MLB Mid-Season Awards

With the 2009 MLB All Star Game tomorrow and the Home Run Derby tonight, it’s time to look at the first half of the season and hand out some hardware. Beginning in the American League:

MVP: Justin Morneau

He is tied for 4th in home runs, 2nd in RBI, tied for 7th in batting average, 10th in OBP, 4th in OPS, and 3rd in Slugging. Morneau’s stats don’t sound like those of an MVP, but the AL is so even this year that no candidate stands out. His biggest competition may be teammate Joe Mauer, but I’m giving the Morneau the edge due to HRs and RBI.

Cy Young: Zach Greinke

He has by far the best ERA in the AL, is tied for 2ndin wins, is 3rd in strikeouts with 129 in 127 1/3 innings, has just 21 walks, is tied for 1st in Quality Starts, and is 2nd in WHIP. Greinke has had a phenomenal year in every facet of his game and is the clear Cy Young award winner for the first half of the year.

Rookie of the Year: Ricky Romero

He is 7-3 with a 3.00 ERA and has 69 strikeout in 87 innings. He has a 1.26 WHIP and has been solid for Toronto all year. The AL doesn’t have any stand out rookies so Romero’s solid stats give him the award for the first half of the year. Continue reading “2009 MLB Mid-Season Awards”

2009 NL All Star Starters

Voting for the 2009 MLB All Star game ended last night, but the results won’t be revealed until Sunday. I already looked at who deserved to start for the American League. Here is the NL:

Catcher: Brian McCann

McCann sports a .309 batting average with a .393 OBP and an .898 OPS. His 8 home runs and 33 RBI are both second among NL catchers and his 14 doubles are tied for first. His 5 errors are a lot at catcher, but he has also thrown out 26.7% of runners trying to steal against him. McCann’s statistics aren’t anything special, but the NL has zero superstar catchers so McCann gets the nod as the starter.

First Base: Albert Pujols

Was there any question here? Pujols leads all first basemen with a .335 average and leads all of baseball with 30 home runs, 77 RBI, and a 1.200 OPS. Those stats are by far the best in baseball. Prince Fielder, who may be the second best player in baseball, unfortunately plays the same position in baseball so even though he would start at any other position, he has to play second-fiddle to Prince Albert here.

Second Base: Chase Utley

Utley is the clear choice amongst NL second basemen as he leads all others with 17 home runs, 52 RBIs, 54 runs, a .436 OBP, and a .982 OPS. He’s third with a .300 average and also has seven stolen bases. His .984 fielding percentage is fifth best in the NL and makes him the clear choice to start for the National League. Continue reading “2009 NL All Star Starters”

Does Money Ball Work?

For years now, Oakland Athletics’ general manager Billy Beane has been hailed the king of GMs, but is he worthy of this title? The Athletics have a resolute philosophy of developing talent in their farm system and not wasting money on over-priced free agents. Beane brought this system to the A’s and it seemed to work, but as A’s fans look back over the last decade, how much success has this philosophy really brought them? Since Beane took over in 1997, Oakland has won a total of one playoff series. If the goal was to reach and win a World Series, then Beane has certainly come up short. That’s not to say Beane’s strategy did not pay dividends. From 2000-2004, the Athletics won at least 91 games every season and made the playoffs four out of those five years. They lost in the first round every one of those years, but nonetheless, they made the playoffs. They developed strong starting pitching from their farm system and they used every inning out of those young arms. Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito are three of the most notable pitchers to come through the A’s system and subsequently be traded away as their free agency approached. Beane knew he could not compete with teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, who have nearly unlimited funds. Thus he did the smart thing and traded his pitchers away right before they hit the open market. He wasn’t going to be able to sign them, but by trading them, at least he got something in return. Continue reading “Does Money Ball Work?”