Brien: Joey Votto: Votto led the NL in OBP, SLG%, and wOBA in leading the Reds to their first playoff appearance since 1995. He also led the league in WAR, according to Fangraphs, and 5th according to Baseball Reference. This is a no-brainer, in my opinion. (Runner up: Albert Pujols)
Larry: Joey Votto: He led the NL in OPS and wOBA. He’s tied with Pujols with 7.4 WAR, but Pujols is disqualified this year because the Cards underperformed while the Reds surprised us all. Votto is clearly the best hitter on the Reds – his WAR on FanGraphs is 2.9 higher than the next best Red, Scott Rolen. I don’t care about Votto’s .360 BABIP. So, he probably won’t hit .323 next year. So what? The Reds’ team BABIP was a league-high .313, and that probably won’t happen again next year either. (Runner up: Adrian Gonzalez)
The Common Man: Albert Pujols: Albert leads in WAR on BR.com and is tied with Votto for the lead on FanGraphs. Just because his teammates let up down the stretch doesn’t mean we should penalize Albert. Votto will win it, but Pujols deserves to…again.
Tamar: Joey Votto
Jason: Albert Pujols. I know Votto’s got the momentum (and equally solid numbers) and his team is actually in the post-season, but Albert’s my guy.
Mark: Joey Votto. Votto and Albert Pujols are neck-and-neck in almost every category. Votto is 12 points better in batting average, 10 points better in OBP, and 4 points better in SLG, which leads to a 19 point difference in wOBA. Votto also leads by 2.1 in UZR/150 (both have been above-average first basemen, so there’s no real discrepancy in the defensive numbers). It’s not much of a difference (there never really is), but Votto is better everywhere. Ryan Zimmerman deserves a mention due to his defense and position, but he still comes up short.
Brien: Roy Halladay: This really isn’t that close. With a 1.08 BB/9, 1.04 WHIP, 7.30 K/BB, 2.44 ERA and 3.01 FIP over 250.2 innings pitched, Doc just completely dominated the National League this year. (Runner up: Adam Wainwright)
Larry: Roy Halladay; Roy Halladay, Adam Wainwright and Josh Johnson are about dead-even in every statistic that matters to me, but I have to decide between these three somehow. So here goes: Johnson won only 11 games and pitched only 28 games, so he’s out. Halladay walked 1.08 guys per nine innings; the next best guy in the NL walked 2 batters a game or more. I hate walks when my team is on defense. Halladay wins. (Runner up: Adam Wainwright)
The Common Man: There’s not an easier call in the awards discussion. 250 innings, 20 wins, great ERA and K/BB. And the perfect game. Halladay was everything Philly could have hoped for.
Tamar: Roy Halladay
Jason: Halladay. Like there’s any other better choice? I’m with TCM here; easiest call in the bunch.
Mark: Roy Halladay. There won’t be an argument against Halladay, and I imagine that this is the easiest of the awards to choose. But Halladay’s ridiculously good season ignores the also impressive seasons of Adam Wainwright, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Josh Johnson. Wainwright was the closest in performance, but Halladay was still better and in 20 more innings. Halladay’s the guy.
Rookie of the Year:
Brien: Jason Heyward: This might be the toughest award to vote on, as there’s no clear winner between Heyward and Buster Posey. Their production was very similar. Posey gets extra points for being a catcher, but Heyward played the full season while Posey was in the minors until the summer months. Add in that Heyward is only 20 years old and I’ll give him my vote, but just barely. (Runner up: Buster Posey)
Larry: Buster Posey: There are lots of terrific rookies in the NL, but I like Posey because he plays catcher and he provided a huge offensive upgrade for the Giants, who desperately needed one. (Runner up: Jaime Garcia)
The Common Man: Jason Heyward: It’s a tight call between him and Posey, but Heyward’s got much more playing time.
Tamar: Buster Posey
Jason: Heyward: I love Posey and the position he’s playing but Heyward has been there from the beginning and was forced to step in and contribute right away.
Mark: Jason Heyward: I was on the fence between Heyward and Buster Posey until yesterday when I tweeted with Peter Hjort of Capitol Avenue Club and Bill of The Platoon Advantage. My question was if Posey should get credit for those two months that Brian Sabean kept him down to make up for the win difference between he and Heyward. Their answer was a definitive no, and I agree. And this is different than the Lee pick. Lee has still been more valuable than Hernandez even with the diminished time, but Posey is still a win behind. I can’t give Posey credit for those two months even if I think his performance would have been roughly as good as it has been. It requires too many assumptions that I’m not willing to make. Heyward wins.
Manager of the Year:
Brien: Bobby Cox: I really hate this award, because it’s really hard to quantify a manager’s impact or aggregate the effect of the decisions they make, so inevitably this just goes to the manager whose team most exceeded expectations (which is ultimately just a way for us writers to cover up for being wrong in the preseason if you ask me). Sure, the Padres were a lot better than we thought they’d be, but that’s more an indictment of poor evaluation on our parts than something Bud Black deserves an award for. On the other hand, the Phillies and Braves had to overcome injuries and ineffectiveness all season, and neither manager should be punished because we thougt they’d be good before the season. I’ll give it to Bobby Cox, with sentimentality accounting for some points as well. (Runner up: Charlie Manuel)
Larry: Dusty Baker: It’s between the skippers of the two surprise teams, the Reds and the Padres. I’ll go with Dusty Baker because of what Rob Neyer said here. (Runner up: Bud Black)
The Common Man: Bobby Cox: I don’t really like that this is a thing. But if it is, I have no problem giving it to Bobby as a going away present. He handled injuries to Chipper, Heyward, and Prado, and ineffectiveness from Glaus, McLouth, and Escobar.
Jason: Bud Black: No team has done more with less or outperformed everyone’s expectations in 2010 moreso than the Padres. That they finished 1 game out of the post-season makes no difference to me.
Mark: Bud Black: I don’t particularly like this pick. It smells of the “came out of nowhere” argument in which the manager may not have done anything. But the Padres played well at the end of last season and this season, and I could understand the “they finally bought in” argument. Dusty Baker might garner some similar votes in another season, but if you like that argument, Black wins the surprise factor. Charlie Manuel did a fine job of getting the team through all their injuries but had plenty of talent to do so, and Bobby Cox could win the spirit award. But he’s won enough of these awards, and I’ll give it to Black.
So looking over the votes, the results of our voting for the NL are as follows:
- MVP: Joey Votto
- Cy Young: Roy Halladay
- Rookie of the Year: Jason Heyward (with Posey a hair behind)
- Manager of the Year: Bobby Cox and Bud Black (tie)
Congratulations to the winners! Your prizes are in the mail.