Tag Archives: MVP

Five Phillies have been named the NL Most Valuable Player

Embed from Getty Images

Klein was the National League MVP in 1932 and finished as runner-up in both 1931 and 1933

 

Major League Baseball will conclude the process of handing out hardware to the 2019 award winners on Thursday with the naming of the National and American League Most Valuable Players.

In a televised announcement on the MLB Network beginning at 6:00 pm EST, the official BBWAA award winners will be announced.

As has been the case all week, the IBWAA (internet writers/bloggers) named their winners during the afternoon.

 

This year’s three finalists for the BBWAA honors in the National League are outfielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger of the LA Dodgers, third baseman Anthony Rendon of the world champion Washington Nationals, and outfielder Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers, the latter of whom as last year’s winner.

Over in the American League the finalists are third baseman Alex Bregman of the pennant-winning Houston Astros, shortstop Marcus Semien of the Oakland A’s, and outfielder Mike Trout of the LA Angels. Trout is a two-time AL MVP and four-time runner-up for the honors.

My thought is that Bellinger will win the NL MVP honors. But my pick would be Rendon. The Nationals turned their season around after a miserable first seven weeks, put up the NL’s best record over the final four months, and won the first world championship in franchise history. Rendon’s productive bat and outstanding play at the hot corner were keys.

In the American League, there is little doubt that Trout is baseball’s best all-around player. But this is not the “Most Outstanding Player” award, it’s for the most valuable. The Halos finished 18 games below the .500 mark and in fourth place. Bregman is similarly outstanding, and his club won. But he was surrounded by easily the best and deepest lineup in the league.

Semien is nowhere near as well known in wider baseball circles. However, his value to the NL West runners-up in leading the small-market Athletics to the postseason for a second straight year is worthy of the award: 33 homers, 83 extra-base hits, 92 RBIs, 123 runs scored and outstanding defensive play at shortstop helped add up to 8.1 total WAR. He would be my choice.

The origins of a formal Most Valuable Player in baseball can be traced back to the 1911 season, and an early automobile manufacturer by the name of Hugh Chalmers.

Chalmers company presented a vehicle to the player with the highest batting average after the 1910 season. For 1911 he instituted the Chalmers Award, with a baseball writer’s committee formed to select what was described as the “most important and useful player to the club and to the league“.

The Chalmers Award was handed out following the next four seasons from 1911-14, and the winners are a who’s who of Hall of Famers: Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Walter Johnson, and Eddie Collins. As World War I began and national attention diverted to the effort that summer, the award was discontinued after the 1914 season.

The American League decided to hand out an award beginning in 1922 to “the baseball player who is of the greatest all-around service to his club“. It was voted on by a baseball writer’s committee, and players were only allowed to win one time.

That award lasted for seven seasons. Hall of Famer George Sisler won the first, and Johnson took the honors in 1924. A pair of legendary New York Yankees stars, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, won the award for the 1923 and 1927 seasons. The first Philadelphia ball player, Mickey Cochrane of the Athletics, won the final award in 1928.

The National League followed suit in 1924 with an award that lasted through the 1929 season, but the NL allowed a player to win multiple times. This resulted in Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby winning in both 1925 and 1929.

For the 1931 season, the Baseball Writer’s Association of America (BBWAA) began to hand out the honors that have lasted through today.  In the NL, the Phillies’ Chuck Klein won in 1932 and finished as runner-up in the voting in both 1931 and 1933.

Philadelphia Athletics ball players captured the first three AL awards, with pitcher Lefty Grove winning in 1931 and then slugger Jimmie Foxx taking it in 1932 and 1933. The A’s would get one more AL MVP winner before leaving town, with southpaw pitcher Bobby Shantz earning the honors in 1952.

Foxx would win again in 1938 for his performance that season with the Boston Red Sox. He is one of only four three-time winners in the American League, joining Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Alex Rodriguez. Trout will try to join that list tonight.

In the National League, Barry Bonds captured the award seven times. Next in line are a list of four three-time winners including Stan Musial, Roy Campanella, and Albert Pujols.

The other three-time winner in the NL is the greatest player in Philadelphia Phillies franchise history, Michael Jack Schmidt.

Mike Schmidt won the National League Most Valuable Player award for his performances in the 1980, 1981, and 1986 seasons. Ernie Banks in 1958-59, Joe Morgan in 1975-76, Dale Murphy in 1982-83, Bonds in 1992-93, and Pujols in 2008-09 are the other back-to-back NL winners. Yelich will try to join those ranks tonight. Bonds also had a stretch of four straight wins 2001-04.

A pitcher with the 1950 Phillies “Whiz Kids” National League championship club, Jim Konstanty was honored with the NL MVP that season, and remains the only reliever to ever win the Most Valuable Player honors. Konstanty received 18 of 24 first-place votes that year to win comfortably over Musial.

How did a relief pitcher capture the honors? Well, it would be hard to argue against Konstanty’s value to the NL pennant winners. He won 16 games and recorded 22 saves while tossing 152 innings and allowing just 108 hits across 74 games, all out of the bullpen.

With Klein, Konstanty, and the three Schmidt honors, that leaves two more Phillies National League Most Valuable Players. Those two were teammates who captured the honors in back-to-back seasons.

In 2006, first baseman Ryan Howard, who had won the NL Rookie of the Year award the prior season, won in a reasonably close vote over Pujols. Howard received 20 first-place votes while Pujols got the other 12, with Howard winning the overall vote by 388-347.

The following year, shortstop Jimmy Rollins predicted before the season began that the Phillies were “the team to beat” in the NL East Division. The club had fallen short despite contending over the prior half-dozen years, and had not won a division crown in 14 seasons.

JRoll backed up his prediction with an MVP performance. He became the first player in big-league history to record 20+ home runs (30), doubles (38), triples (20), and stolen bases (41) and scored 139 runs. Despite such an outstanding season, Rollins win was tight, edging out Matt Holliday of the Rockies by 353-336. Rollins received 16 first-place votes to 11 for Holliday.

A pair of current Phillies players have National League Most Valuable Player awards in their home trophy case. Andrew McCutchen won the award in 2013 as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, finishing third in both 2012 and 2014. Bryce Harper was the unanimous winner in 2015 as a member of the Washington Nationals.

Who will be the next Philadelphia Phillies player to take home the NL Most Valuable Player Award? At just age 27, Harper would seem to be the most logical candidate. If he can do it, he would add his name to a list that includes just 11 players in winning the award multiple times during a career.

 

MORE RECENT PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES CONTENT:

 

 

2019 Major League Baseball Awards

Embed from Getty Images

Realmuto was honored with his second consecutive career Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Award

 

Major League Baseball has entered its off-season period, but there is still plenty of action surrounding the game. As teams begin to evaluate their future needs and prepare to shop in the Hot Stove free agent market, the game steps back momentarily to honor the best performances from this past 2019 season.

This past week, MLB continued the process of handing out the hardware to the top players from this past season. Winners of both the Silver Slugger Awards and Gold Glove Awards were announced, honoring the top offensive and defensive performers at each position in both leagues.

2019 GOLD GLOVE AWARDS

Click to enlarge graphic

Winners are listed below with their position and team. Number of career Gold Gloves won are shown in parentheses.

National League: P – Zack Greinke ARZ (6), C – J.T. Realmuto PHI (2), 1B – Anthony Rizzo CHI (3), 2B – Kolten Wong STL (1), SS – Nick Ahmed ARZ (2), LF – David Peralta ARZ (1), CF – Lorenzo Cain MIL (1), RF – Cody Bellinger (1)

American League: P – Mike Leake SEA (1), C – Roberto Perez CLE (1), 1B – Matt Olson OAK (2), 2B – Yolmer Sanchez CWS (1), SS – Francisco Lindor CLE (2), 3B – Matt Chapman OAK (2), LF – Alex Gordon KC (7), CF – Kevin Kiermaier TB (3), RF – Mookie Betts BOS (4)

Arenado (below right) and Chapman (below left) were further honored when they were each named as winners of the National and American League Platinum Glove Awards. This is the second consecutive Rawlings Platinum Glove for each as the overall top defensive performer in their respective leagues.

Rawlings is not the only sponsor of awards for MLB defensive excellence. The winners were also announced for the Wilson Defensive Players of the Year at each position in Major League Baseball.

The Houston Astros were honored as the Wilson Defensive Team of the Year. Individual winners with their number of career Wilson awards in parentheses were:

P – Zack Greinke HOU (3), C – Roberto Perez CLE (1), 1B – Freddie Freeman ATL (2), 2B – Kolten Wong STL (1), SS – Andrelton Simmons LAA (6), 3B – Matt Chapman OAK (2), LF – David Peralta ARZ (1), CF – Lorenzo Cain MIL (4), RF – Aaron Judge NYY (1)

Perez was further honored as the overall Wilson Defensive Player of the Year.

2019 SILVER SLUGGER AWARDS

The Silver Slugger Awards as the top offensive performer went to:

National League: P – Zack Greinke ARZ (2), C – J.T. Realmuto PHI (2), 1B – Freddie Freeman ATL (1), 2B – Ozzie Albies ATL (1), SS – Trevor Story COL (2), 3B – Anthony Rendon WAS (2), OF – Cody Bellinger LAD (1), Christian Yelich MIL (2), Ronald Acuna Jr.ATL (1)

American League: DH – Nelson Cruz MIN (3), C – Mitch Garver MIN (1), 1B – Carlos Santana CLE (1), 2B – DJ LeMahieu NYY (1), SS – Xander Bogaerts BOS (3), 3B – Alex Bregman HOU (1), OF – Mike Trout LAA (7), George Springer HOU (2), Mookie Betts BOS (3)

The overall top hitter in each league is honored with the Hank Aaron Award. Each MLB team’s radio and television play-by-play broadcasters and color analysts vote for three players in each league, and fans are given the opportunity to vote via MLB’s official website. Fans’ votes account for 30% of the final points, while broadcasters’ and analysts’ votes account for the other 70%.

The winners of the 2019 Aaron Awards were Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels in the American League. It was the second career Aaron Award for each, the second consecutive for Yelich. Trout was previously honored back in 2014.

Prior to Game 4 of the World Series, the winners of MLB’s Relief Pitcher of the Year Award in each league were announced.

Taking the award as the Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year was Aroldis Chapman of the New York Yankees, who was honored for the first time.

The Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year was awareded to Josh Hader of the Milwaukee Brewers, who became just the second relief pitcher to be honored two years in a row.

 UPCOMING AWARDS NOMINEES

The winners of the rest of baseball’s official awards will be announced this coming week. Voting was conducted by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

The following is the awards announcement schedule. You can watch as the honorees are named in a live broadcast on the MLB Network each day at 6:00 pm EST.

The nominees were selected based on regular season performance only.

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order with their position and current team, and I have highlighted my pick as the winner in red.

MONDAY: Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award

NL: Pete Alonso 1B NYM, Mike Soroka P ATL, Fernando Tatis JR SS SD

AL: Yordan Alvarez DH/OF HOU, Brandon Lowe 2B/OF TB, John Means P BAL

TUESDAY: Manager of the Year Award

NL: Craig Counsell MIL, Mike Shildt STL, Brian Snitker ATL

AL: Rocco Baldelli MIN, Aaron Boone NYY, Kevin Cash TB

WEDNESDAY: Cy Young Award

NL: Jacob deGrom NYM, Hyun-Jin Ryu LAD, Max Scherzer WAS

AL: Gerrit Cole HOU, Charlie Morton TB, Justin Verlander HOU

THURSDAY: Most Valuable Player Award

NL nominees: Cody Bellinger OF LAD, Anthony Rendon 3B WAS, Christian Yelich OF MIL

AL nominees: Alex Bregman SS HOU, Marcus Semien SS OAK, Mike Trout OF LAA

Other MLB award winners this season included starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg of the world champion Washington Nationals, who was named as the Most Valuable Player of the World Series.

Howie Kendrick of the Nationals took the NLCS Most Valuable Player honors, while second baseman Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros won the ALCS MVP honors.

Carlos Carrasco of the Cleveland Indians was honored with the Roberto Clemente Award in recognition for his many charitable efforts both stateside and in his native Venezuela. The pitcher was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this year and “put in the difficult work to make a return to pitching amid his treatment — all while continuing to give his time, attention and financial assistance to young leukemia patients.”

Mike Trout received the Players Choice Award as the overall Major League Baseball Player of the Year and was also the AL Player of the Year. It was his second American League and first overall honor in voting by his fellow ball players.

Others receiving Players Choice Awards were Anthony Rendon as the NL Player of the Year, Justin Verlander and Jacob deGrom as the AL & NL Pitchers of the Year, Hunter Pence and Josh Donaldson as the AL & NL Comeback Players of the Year, and Yordan Alvarez and Pete Alonso as the AL & NL Rookies of the Year.

On Sunday, November 17 at 8:00 pm EST, the MLB Network will take a final look back on 2019 as it presents the Plays of the Year for this past season. That highlights loaded program will re-air a number of times throughout the month of November.

I suppose that after finishing exactly at the .500 mark and in fourth place this season, the Phillies could not have expected much more in the way of award winners than the Gold Glove-Silver Slugger combo taken by Realmuto.

Hopefully the results in the standings and in the postseason, including award winners, are more substantial for the club in the 2020 campaign.

 

MORE RECENT PHILLIES AND MLB PIECES:

Daniel Murphy Deserves National League MVP

The official announcement of the 2016 winners of the Most Valuable Player Awardin both the National and American Leagues comes on Thursday.
In the American League, the finalists are Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike TroutBoston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts, and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve.
The finalists in the National League are third baseman Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs, shortstop Corey Seager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and second baseman Daniel Murphy of the Washington Nationals.
In balloting for the IBWAA, my first place votes for the two awards went to Trout in the AL, and to Murphy in the NL.
The favorite in the National League, perhaps the overwhelming favorite, is Bryant from the world champion Cubs. Bryant is certainly a worthy nominee, and in fact he would be a worthy winner of the award. I gave him the second place vote on my IBWAA ballot.
In 2016, Bryant hit for a .292/.385/.554 slash line with 39 home runs, 35 doubles, 102 RBI, and 121 runs scored with a 7.7 WAR mark.
Seager, announced as the winner of the NL Rookie of the Year in both the IBWAA vote and in the official MLB voting, also had a fine season. For me, he got the hardware that he deserved, and was the third choice on my ballot.
The rookie hit for a .308/.365/.512 slash line with 26 homers, 40 doubles, 72 RBI, and 105 runs scored. He finished with a 6.1 WAR mark this season.
With Bryant as the runner-up and Seager at #3 on my ballot, that leaves Murphy as my 2016 National League MVP winner. So why did I make that choice?
First the stats, where we find Murphy is a very worthy finalist for anyone to consider seriously. 

He hit for a .347/.390/.595 slash line with 25 homers, 47 doubles, 104 RBI, and 88 runs scored. Those doubles and slugging marks led the NL, as did his .985 OPS mark. He finished the 2016 season with a 4.6 WAR.
With three players like this bunched so closely together, what was decisive for me was the rest of their team, and where they finished. The three players are members of the three division winners, and the regular season is the only consideration for the award.
The Cubs led MLB with 103 victories, the Nationals were second in the NL and tied for second in MLB with their 95, and the Dodgers won 91 games. What I find when examining the three teams is that Murphy, more than either of the other two, had to carry his team.
The Cubs had nine players homer in double digits, six with 25 or more doubles, three drive in 95 or more, and four score 80+ runs. Quite simply, Chicago was a powerhouse, with a number of legitimate offensive weapons, not to mention phenomenal pitching.
I don’t know that the Cubs could have won the World Series without Bryant. But I’m frankly not so sure that they couldn’t have won the NL Central, which they did by 17.5 games.
For me there is a better argument that Seager was more valuable to the Dodgers than Bryant was to the Cubs. But I went with Bryant because of his greater statistical season, and with the idea that Seager was already getting the Rookie of the Yearhonor.
I’m not against a rookie winning both the MVP and the Rookie of the Year honors. However, to get my vote such a rookie is going to have to be a clear Most Valuable Player. That wasn’t the case here.
This left my decision down to Murphy and Bryant. I went with Murphy because I believe that without him, the Nats might not have even made the playoffs, let alone won the NL East by eight games. The Nationals had a bunch of problems this season. The 2015 Most Valuable Player, Bryce Harper, had a down season. Anthony Rendon, fifth in the 2014 NL MVP voting, struggled for much of the season before finally clicking over the final third of the schedule.
Production levels were down from two of the club’s grizzled lineup veterans, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth. The only player who approached Murphy in consistent offensive value was rookie Trea Turner, who didn’t join the lineup for good until just before the MLB All-Star break.
Murphy signed with the Nationals as a free agent in early January after helping lead the New York Mets to the National League pennant a year ago. He was the MVP of their NLCS sweep over the Cubs last season.
It could be argued that it was the best free agent signing of last offseason. Murphy stepped into the Nationals lineup, one that was inconsistent top to bottom for most of the season, and became the lone consistent producer.
Murphy may not get your vote. He may not win the honors with either the official MLB voting or with the IBWAA. But for me, for basically carrying the Washington Nationals to a division crown, Daniel Murphy is the National League Most Valuable Player.

IBWAA 2016 Major League Baseball Awards Ballot

It is MLB awards season, and as Major League Baseball hands out its formal honors, the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America will do the same.

With the 2016 MLB season winding to a close, various individuals and groups, including myself and the full body of the IBWAA (Internet Baseball Writers Association of America) will be honoring players and coaches as award winners for their performances this year.
The IBWAA was founded on the 4th of July back in 2009 “to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as a digital alternative to the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA)” per the home website.
At the end of each regular season, the IBWAA membership receives an awards ballot. Each writer is then asked to vote and return the ballots promptly.
These ballots are then tabulated, and MLB awards winners are determined. The IBWAA is scheduled to begin announcing the winners of its writer balloting in mid-November.
MLB has already begun the process of announcing some its awards winners. For instance, David Ortiz in the AL and Kris Bryant in the NL have been honored with the Hank Aaron Award as the top hitter in each league this season.
Each year, I publicly release my vote. I do this so that any followers get a sense of what I am thinking as far as the game is concerned, but also to spur conversation on our great game of baseball.
I am quite sure that in at least a couple of these selections, you would choose differently. Would love to hear your choices for each of the awards. Feel free to leave a comment with those selections.
So now, on to my ballot. As writers we were asked to provide a Top 10 in each league MVP vote, a Top 5 in the Cy Young Award balloting, and Top 3 in each of the Top Manager, Top Reliever, and Rookie of the Year categories.

MLB 2016 Prediction: AL Most Valuable Player

Our staff at the Fansided blog “That Ball’s Outta Here” (TBOH) has just released our predictions for the final standings in each division, as well as our postseason predictions, including the 2016 World Series winner. 
I released my own predictions for the Phillies in the coming season as well.
Our staff continued by releasing our predictions for some of MLB’s major award winners, including the Cy Young Award in each league, as well as the Rookie of the Year Awards.
We’ll wrap our predictions today by releasing our picks for the front-runners for American and National League Most Valuable Player, as well as our pick for the first manager to be fired this season in Major League Baseball.
A year ago, there was a definite tiered status to the AL MVP voting. The winner was Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays. The 3rd baseman had an outstanding .297/.371/.568 slash line with 41 homers, 123 RBI and 122 runs scored.
Donaldson was followed in the voting by the 2014 AL MVP, Mike Trout, who finished as the runner-up for the third time in his four full big league seasons. 

Behind Trout was outfielder Lorenzo Cain of the world champion Kansas City Royals, who had the breakout campaign that many had been predicting. Cain was followed by young Baltimore Orioles 3rd baseman Manny Machado.
Each of those top four finishers from a year ago is likely to be a perennial contender over the next few seasons as well. 
In TBOH staff voting, we went with Trout as our consensus favorite. The Millville, New Jersey native was named the favorite on half of our eight ballots.
Predictions
Others receiving a vote were phenomenal young Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, 5-tool Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts, slugging veteran Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista, and the man known simply as ‘Big Papi’, David Ortiz, who is beginning his final season as the Boston Red Sox designated hitter and team leader.
As long as he remains healthy, it is always going to be easy to vote for Trout as a Most Valuable Player candidate. 
He is one of the most talented players to step on to a baseball diamond in decades, a Griffey or Bonds-like talent so obvious as to be impossible to ignore.
The problem for him may become the team surrounding him. It can become tough to actually win if your team is struggling, especially when there are outstanding candidates helping carry other teams to postseason berths. 
Trout is going to have to find a way to elevate the performances of those around him if he wants to keep putting MVP trophies on his mantle piece, and not simply finishing among the voting leaders.