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Slugg Rock

Over at SI.com, our man Cliff takes a look at how the Award season will play out. AL MVP?

1. Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Tigers (1)

Season Stats: .328/.419/.624, 38 HRs, 126 RBIs

September has been Cabrera’s worst month this season by far, but his extraordinary consistency is starting to win out as he has heated back up over the last week and enters Monday night’s action with an active six-game hitting streak during which he has gone 9-for-23 with four home runs. Cabrera doesn’t do much outside of the batter’s box and plays for a team barely keeping its head above .500, but no other American Leaguer has produced at such an elite level so consistently throughout the 2010 season. Cabrera has also started all but six of the Tigers’ games this season.

2. Robinson Cano, 2B, Yankees (3)

Season Stats: .318/.379/.532, 28 HRs, 105 RBIs

Hamilton has far and away the superior rate stats, but due to their disparate playing time, Cano leads the injured Rangers’ outfielder in RBIs, hits, runs, and walks (!), and is just one double and three home runs shy of Hamilton’s season totals. Give Cano additional credit for playing a far more challenging position, striking out fewer times in more than an hundred extra plate appearances, and for simple reliability (he has started all but three of the Yankees’ games this year), and he slips past the former frontrunner in this race.

Categories:  Baseball  Bronx Banter  Games We Play

Tags:  miguel cabrera  si.com

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1 Mattpat11   ~  Sep 30, 2010 2:06 pm

I still can't give the MVP to a player on non playoff team.

I'll turn my internet baseball fan card in now.

2 rbj   ~  Sep 30, 2010 2:14 pm

I couldn't object to Cabrera or Hamilton, but Robbie at the start of the season made for the suckitude of Teix, and filled in well for A-Rod. If not for him, Yankees might very well be looking up at Boston.

3 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 30, 2010 3:48 pm

Evan Longoria has to be in the discussion. Adrian Beltre too. I also think the metric don't give Cano enough credit for his defense. Robbie is a 2B who plays every day, while Cabrera is a buthcer at 1B and Hamilton has missed many games. I'd probably go with Longoria, Cano, and Beltre.

He shouldn't win it, but Shin-Soo Choo should be commended for an absoltely fantastic season.

4 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 30, 2010 4:00 pm

Beltre and Longoria probably round out my top 5, but the September version of the column only covers the top 3 spots. This upcoming Monday I'll have my final Awards Watch of the season and will likely rank my top 10 for the two MVP awards, so you'll see Beltre and Longoria there.

5 OldYanksFan   ~  Sep 30, 2010 5:44 pm

[1] I disagree. It's MVP, not MVPSTP.
[3] Agree 100%. Cano must get credit for the difficulty of his position AS WELL AS how well he plays it.

I am bothered by the fact that MVP, and 'how good is a player', seems to be based 90% on offense and 10% on defense, arm strength/accuracy, speed and baserunning.

After seeing an OF of Gritner and Gardy, it will make me think twice about OFs of Sheffield and Matsui types. It's obvious the impact that Offense makes, but not so with Defense and other skills. And while Gritner's arm isn't outstanding, the difference over JDs is marked, and has made a difference in games many times.

Let's do some math (but PLEASE check me/give feedback).
Let say over a year, Teix saves 10 singles/errors and 5 doubles because of 'Above average' D. Lets add the bases SAVED to his offense.

15 hits over 600 AB should raise his BA 22 pts, his OBP 22 pts and his SLG 44 pts. So maybe 66 pts of additional OPS?

I don't know if those numbers are accurate, but saving runs is as valuable as making runs.

There needs to be a formula for this.
If you compare Cano's 'A' Offense to Cabby's 'D' Offense, how does that translate? It's no small matter.

6 monkeypants   ~  Sep 30, 2010 6:30 pm

I'd still be tempted to give it to Hamilton despite only playing 130 games.

[5] There needs to be a formula for this.

Isn't there already at least one formula that attempts to quantify this? RLYW frequently runs posts in which they list the BRAA and defensive runs above average (or some name like that), so in theory it's easy enough to add them together and come up with a composite figure.

7 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 30, 2010 7:17 pm

[6] Both versions of WAR combine defense and offense, but not only do this disagree widely, but the underilying defensive data is very suspect. UZR, for example, rates Cano has just above average at 2B, but I trust my own observations more. The flaws with UZR are well documented, so I remain cautious when using WAR and other stats that rely on defensive metrics.

8 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 30, 2010 7:29 pm

Also, Baseball Prospectus's WARP, which predates WAR by a decade or more but has recently been revamped, combines offense and defense. The issue is that we're far better at evaluating offense, so any combo stat becomes suspect by the mere presence of *any* attempt to put a raw numerical value on defensive play.

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