Saturday, April 25, 2009

End-of-season awards

The major awards have been posted. The number in parenthesis indicates the number of votes received.


Most Valuable Player

1. Osvaldo Johnson, San Juan (19)
2. Nate Cox, Salem (5)
3. Sean Simpson, Chicago (3)
Bernie Soriano, Chicago (3)
5. Stan Starr, Atlanta (2)

My vote: Johnson

Why: Yes, I've heard the argument that a 1B shouldn't win the award over a CF if both are nominated- I just don't buy it. I believe the 1B can win it, but his numbers have to be well beyond the CF's numbers to make up for the difficulty of the defensive position, and I think that's what happened here. Johnson's .307-66-141 was just too much for Cox, who did put up excellent numbers himself (.338-43-109). Cox is no hack in CF, but he's not a Gold Glove winner, either.

Cy Young

1. Javier Henriquez, Fargo (22)
2. Jerome Oliver, Houston (4)
3. Alex Javier, Fargo (3)
4. Manny Christians, Fargo (2)
5. Steven Michaels, Atlanta (1)

My vote: Henriquez

Why: Oliver won 1 more game (19 to 18), but a look inside the other stats reveal that Henriquez was just more dominant. From his 1.86 ERA to his .207 OBA to the 251 strikeouts (almost a 5-1 SO/BB ratio), he's simply the best pitcher in the NL.

Rookie of the Year

1. Lonny Gates, Houston (20)
2. Enrique Guttierez, Cheyenne (4)
3. Vasco Lopez, Trenton (3)
Bert Pierre, Trenton (3)
5. Mark Bong, Cheyenne (2)

My vote: Gates

Why: Being assigned to the Trenton office, I would have liked to have voted for either of the hometown guys. Gates, however, won 17 games with a 2.81 ERA and was a key member of the Riverdogs team that won its 5th straight division title.


Most Valuable Player

1. Luis Martinez, Milwaukee (15)
2. Julio Diaz, Buffalo (10)
3. Burt Stevenson, Milwaukee (4)
4. Pete Duvall, New York (3)
5. Ismael Polanco, Louisville (0)

My vote: Martinez

Why: It was a tough call between Diaz and Martinez. Diaz led the league in HRs and RBIs while hitting over .300, which is usually a good recipe to win an MVP. But Martinez was more well rounded (stealing 64 bases, going 40-40, playing CF, having a higher OPS) and therefore earned the award from the league. By the way, I don't remember the last time I saw a player garner 0 votes for a major award- that was Polanco's fate here, despite putting up numbers fairly similar to Diaz's.

Cy Young

1. Albert Gonzalez, Monterrey (15)
2. Garry Wright, Jackson (7)
3. Woody Hiller, Milwaukee (5)
4. Tony Howell, Scranton (3)
5. Tom Beltran, Louisville (2)

My vote: Gonzalez

Why: You could make a pretty good case for Wright or Hiller here. Even though some of Hiller's numbers (WHIP, OBA) are better, I think Hiller loses out to Gonzalez because of fewer losses (4 to 10) and he was far more prone to give up the long ball (35 HRs allowed to 17 for Gonzalez). As for Wright, he was obviously the best closer and had a phenominal season. The starter vs. closer debate is always tough- I just think a starter is more valuable based on the number of innings normally. Therefore, I think a closer would have to be far better than any of the starters; to be fair, Wright's season was close to that point.

Rookie of the Year

1. Rick Anderson, Monterrey (18)
2. Pedro Medrano, Boise (6)
3. Odalis James, Anaheim (4)
4. Jacques Puffer, Seattle (2)
5. Quilvio Sanchez, Seattle (1)

My vote: Anderson

Why: Wait, did I just agree with all 6 picks? I don't think that's ever happened before. Anyway, the 22-year-old Canadian backstop stepped right into the Monterrey offense, going .344-30-96 in just over 400 at-bats. He's not terrible behind the plate, throwing out about 24% of runners (not great, but not Mike Piazza, either). . Medrano's 15 wins was a significant achievement on a 69-win Boise team, but his ERA (4.23) is a bit high to overcome Anderson's great rookie campaign.

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