The NL MVP

Since I looked at the NL Cy Young race yesterday, let’s look at the NL MVP Race today. Here was how I approached this question. I used Dan Szymbroki’s wonderful Zips projections to find projections for the likely backups of Andruw Jones, Derrek Lee, and Albert Pujols. I prorated those numbers based on the number of outs each player made and added in defense (again, based on what Szymbroski’s projections say) to come up with a super linear weights-type number. Then, I looked at the linear weights and defense for the three starters, and subtracted their potential replacement’s super linear weights from their own, to come up with a value over replacement type stat. This, in my opinion, is actually how valuable a player has been to his team. So who was the winner? Derrek Lee, far and away, with a 56 VOR (I’ll leave the “P” to BP). Pujols and Jones were tied at 43.

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10 Responses to The NL MVP

  1. Mike says:

    The NL MVP for 2005 has got to be Andruw Jones.
    The only thing Lee and Pujols have on him is batting average. They’re not even close on Home Runs or Runs Batted In. As a matter of fact, Lee and Pujols aren’t even in the top five in the National League in Runs Batted In. Production is the key…especially when your team needs it the most (crucial situations, etc.). You can throw out slugging percentage, on-base percentage, etc. (those are just mathematical creations to represent some new kind of statistics).
    Another critical consideration is Jones’s outstanding performance in center field (numerous gold gloves). Lee and Pujols both play first base. Good at first base, they may be, but almost anyone can play first base (as you see your elderly, slow players often at that position).
    It’s got to be Andruw Jones.
    M.H.

  2. Andy Wink says:

    While I agree with Mike’s mention that Jones’s defense should count, since he is the game’s premiere CF… his RBI defense is kind of funny – especially being on a site devoted to stats. RBI’s are a function of your teammates ability to get on base and in scoring position, more often than not. Good hitters don’t choke just because a guy is on second, and if they get pitched around… then the pitcher is just playing with fire and giving the next guy a better chance to drive in runs. Driving in runs is important. The stat itself isn’t that important because unless you hit a homerun, it takes a teammate to help you score, or be on base to score on your base hit.
    As David points out, VOR(P) is probably the best indicator of success. As for the MVP, I could see it going to anyone of these guys. That said, I’d still vote for Jones, even though he trails Lee in the VORP catagory. Why?
    1. He does play a demanding position – and plays it better than anyone (w/ the exception of Torri Hunter, maybe).
    2. Atlanta needed everything Andruw Jones could give them this year, with the injury to Chipper and all the rookies – Andruw was the difference between another division championship and ending that streak.
    3. These 2 things make up for the difference in VORP.

  3. ben says:

    1)RBI’s are almost entirly a function of runners on ahead of you
    pujols actually has a better avg. with runners in scoring position (.329 compared to .207) than jones, the reason jones has more RBIs is that he had 503 runners on base when he came up compared to 451 for pujols.
    2) Adruw Jones is essentially an avgerage centerfielder at this point in his career coming in at 2 fielding runs above avg compared to 23 in his prime (clay davenport’s stat from Baseball prospectus)
    3) the injury argument doesn’t really fly either when you consider that the cardinals lost walker, sanders, rolen, and molina at various points this year. you can say what you want about the losses the braves had but they never had to play anyone half as bad as einar diaz (.208/.248/.277) or as his espn scounting report states “In an era of inflated offense, Diaz shows no significant offensive skills”.
    4) meanwhile Andruw would have the lowest batting average ever for an MVP winner beating out a shortstop from the ’40s whose nickname was “the octopus”. under no circumstances should an mvp in the current offensive era bat lower than a defensive shortstop back when that term meant something.
    if pujols (or lee) doesn’t win it will be a travesty

  4. Rob Bonter says:

    Welcome back, David. Been missing your column.

  5. David Gassko says:

    Thanks, Rob. I’ll try to update at least a couple times a week now. Again, there will be another writer joining in (I don’t want to reveal who quite yet), which means that there should be quite a bit of updating going on in the near future.

  6. joey says:

    bullshit

  7. joey says:

    my name isn’t really joey…

  8. dan says:

    Pujols all the way. Derrick Lee has been around too long to have just had his first premier season and Andrew Jones was not much better than any other year, although he is great. Albert has just had the best first 5 seasons of anyone ever in the history of baseball. For him not to get 1 MVP during those 5 seasons would be a crime….and it’s not like he played for the old Expos or something, he has been the best player on the best regular season team in baseball for the last two years…and they weren’t too shabby years before that, either. Pujols or bust!!!

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