Now that the post-season is over, its time for the 1st annual Statnutties! The Statnutties consist of 4 awards: MVP, Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Pitcher of the Year.
First up, Rookie of the Year. There are several contenders: Reds first baseman Joey Votto, Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens, Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, and Cubs catcher Geovany Soto. Despite Votto's late season surge that gave him more homers and a higher OPS than Soto, I have to give the Statnuttie Rookie of the Year to Geovany Soto. As a starting catcher on a division winning team, his 23 homers were the most for a rookie catcher since Mike Piazza(1993). Runner up: Votto
Next up, Player of the Year. Player of the Year is different from MVP, in that POY is more about who had the best year, regardless of value to team and team's finish. There are some good candidates for this one, but none better than St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols. Pujols was 2nd in the NL in batting average, 4th in RBI's and 4th in home runs. In fact, he was the only player in the NL to finish top 5 in those three categories. For good measure, he was 4th in doubles and 2nd in walks. A truly amazing player, it seems like he puts up the same numbers every year. Amazingly, he's never had a year where he batted below .314, or hit fewer than 32 homers. He's probably the best Cardinal position player since Stan Musial. Runner up: Chipper Jones, Atlanta. Jones led the National League in batting, but his missed time probably cost him, as he finished with only 22 homers and 75 RBI's.
Next to last we have Pitcher of the Year. The four big contenders are Johan Santana, Tim Lincecum, Ryan Dempster, and Brandon Webb. Santana led the NL in ERA, was 2nd in strikeouts, and 7th in wins. He also led the National League in quality starts with 28. Dempster went from bullpen mediocrity in 2007 to top of the line starter in 2008. He was 4th in ERA, 3rd in wins, and 8th in quality starts. An impressive year from someone that was only being counted on to be a #5 starter. Webb, the 2006 NL Cy Young award winner, won 20 games for the first time in his career, finishing with 22 as the only NL pitcher to win 20. He was in the top 10 in ERA, complete games, and quality starts. But no ones season was not as impressive as Lincecum, the Statnuttie pitcher of the year. Lincecum went 18-5, posting a winning percentage that was .339 better than his teams. He led the National in strikeouts, and was second to Santana in ERA and quality starts. Runner up: Santana
And last but not least we come to MVP. For the MVP, I have devised a little formula. I have not tried it out yet, so this will be an almost live experiment. The formula is thus:
-1 point for playing on a winning team
-2 points for playing on a playoff team
-1 point for being a catcher, shortstop, second baseman or centerfielder
-1 point for a top 5 finish in homers, RBI's, runs, batting average or OPS
-3 points for leading the league in one of those categories.
So lets see who the top 5 are:
5)R. Braun/G. Soto/L.Berkman: 4
4)C. Utley: 5
3)H. Ramirez: 6
2)A. Pujols: 8
Interesting. My formula picked someone I wouldn't pick myself. In Howards favor are: led the league in homers and RBI's, and played on a playoff team. Why I wouldn't pick Howard personally, is how awful he played most of the year. Also, no National League MVP has ever had a batting average lower than .267, and that was during World War II(and Stan Musial should have won that award anyway).
But there you have it. I'll stand by the formula. Ryan Howard is the 2008 Statnuttie MVP Award. I'll be curious to see what others think.