Tag Archives: Chris Coghlan

Trade Retrospective: Marlins Firesale Edition Part 3


For the final month of the season, I’ll be posting a slightly different set of trade retrospectives. In 1997, the Marlins, under owner Wayne Huizenga, won the whole thing, taking the World Series in 7 games in a walk-off victory over the Cleveland Indians. The team had assembled quite a collection of talented players, with Edgar Renteria, Bobby Bonilla, Moises Alou and Gary Sheffield anchoring the lineup and Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Livan Hernandez, and Robb Nen anchoring the pitching staff. However, the team was for sale, and had been prior to the championship. From Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun, on the morning after the victory:

The Marlins are in danger of being dismantled. Owner H. Wayne Huizenga put the club up for sale last summer and — even though the Marlins reached the World Series — figures to decrease the payroll this winter.

Well, it didn’t take all that long, and the pieces started falling pretty quickly. These posts will not be just surrounding 1 trade, but rather the whole of the work related to this firesale. You can find Part 1 of the series here, Part 2 here, and this part covers the trades made through the start of the season.

The Trades

February 6, 1998 – The Marlins acquire Robert Stratton, A.J. Burnett, and Jesus Sanchez from the Mets for P Al Leiter and 2B Ralph Millard.

The Moving Pieces

In New York, Al Leiter was slotted into the starting rotation, and Ralph Milliard was slotted in as the starting 2B for their AAA team.

In Florida, A.J. Burnett was sent to the Midwest League to work in the starting rotation. Jesus Sanchez was slotted into the starting rotation for the Major League team.

What Happened Next

In New York, Al Leiter went 17-6 with a 2.47 ERA in 193 innings pitched for the Mets. Ralph Milliard received a late-season call up for the Mets, and appeared in 10 games but only got 1 at bat in 1998.

In Florida, Burnett went 10-4 with a 1.97 ERA and 186 strikeouts in 119 innings pitched. Sanchez went 7-9 with a 4.47 ERA in 173 innings for the Marlins.

The Net Moves

NY Mets – First Level

  • Al Leiter spent 7 seasons in Flushing, posting a 95-67 record with a 3.42 ERA. He threw 1360 innings total, striking out 1106 batters and helping lead the Mets to two playoff appearances in his time there. He left via free agency after the 2004 season.
  • Ralph Milliard only played in 1998 in the Majors for the Mets, and was out of the organization in 1999.

Florida – First Level

  • Jesus Sanchez spent 4 seasons in Florida, mostly in the starting rotation. He posted a 23-34 record with a 5.06 ERA and 368 strikeouts in 494 innings pitched. He was traded on December 11, 2001 to the Cubs for Nate Teut.
  • A.J. Burnett spent 7 seasons in Florida entirely in the starting rotation. He posted a 49-50 record with a 3.73 ERA and 753 strikeouts in 853 2/3 innings pitched. He left via free agency on October 27, 2005, and signed with the Blue Jays. The Marlins received 2 compensation draft picks for this, which they used to draft Chris Coghlan and Torre Langley.
  • I honestly can’t find any information about Robert Stratton, as the Baseball Reference page links to a player who played in the early 1970s.

Florida – Second Level

  • Nate Teut only made 2 major league appearances with the Marlins (or any team for that matter). He was released by the Marlins on 4/15/03.
  • Torre Langley is currently in the minor leagues with the Phillies, after spending the previous 3 seasons in the Marlins minor league system.
  • Chris Coghlan has appeared in 219 games so far for the Marlins, hitting. 299/.367/.428 with 14 homeruns, 75 runs batted in, and 18 stolen bases. He also won the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year award.

Overall Reactions

The clear piece of most value to the Marlins was A.J. Burnett, which is still a lot more of a return than the players that they got in return for a lot of their other stars. Leiter became one of the more famous players for the Mets, and ended up being known for representing the Mets. Burnett gave them 7 seasons with a lot of inconsistency, but a lot of upside as well, and the draft picks he netted the team when he left definitely helped to bring in current talent in Chris Coghlan. This is one of the few trades that went well for the Marlins overall.

The last post in this series will be up next Saturday, and will cover the trades made through the 1998 season and part of the 1998-1999 off season.

Advertisements

Week in Review – August 2 to August 8


If the Playoffs Started Today

Tampa Bay Rays (67-44) vs. Texas Rangers (64-47)
Chicago White Sox (63-48) vs. New York Yankees (69-41)

San Francisco Giants (63-49) vs. Atlanta Braves (64-47)
Cincinnati Reds (64-48) vs. San Diego Padres (64-46)

League Leaders

Batting Average – Josh Hamilton (TEX) – .355
Runs – Mark Teixeira (NYY) – 82
Home Runs – Jose Bautista (TOR) – 34
Runs Batted In – Miguel Cabrera (DET) – 93
Stolen Bases – Juan Pierre (CHW) – 42

Wins – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) – 17
Saves – Brian Wilson (SF) – 32
ERA – Josh Johnson (FLA) – 1.97
Strikeouts – Jered Weaver (LAA) – 171
WHIP – Cliff Lee (TEX) 0.92

Roster Movement

To the Disabled List: Nyjer Morgan, Carlos Pena, Carlos Gomez, Kevin Youkilis, Ryan Howard, John Buck, Kris Medlen, David Hernandez, Aaron Cook, Jason Motte, Russell Martin, Travis Hafner, Jeff Weaver, Carlos Santana, Orlando Cabrera, Carlos Silva, Jesse Litsch, Martin Prado, Mike Cameron,

Return from the Disabled List:  Brett Hayes, Todd Wellemeyer, Reed Johnson, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brandon Inge, Mike Lowell, Orlando Hudson, Jason Marquis, Ryan Doumit, Mike Adams,

To the Minors: Jesus Feliciano, Drew Sutton, Justin Thomas, Jensen Lewis, Wes Hodges, Daniel Nava, Anthony Ortega, Eric Young Jr., 

Called Up: Brad Mills, Fernando Martinez, Ruben Tejada, Kevin Mench, J.P. Arencibia, Felix Doubront, Michael Brantley, Lorenzo Cain, Philip Humber, Chris Nelson, Chris Sale, Peter Bourjos, David Huff, Carlos Torres, Lou Marson, Dan Johnson, Jeremy Hellickson, Thomas Diamond, Mike Minor,

Other Roster Moves:

Top Stories and Weekly Links

  • With the trade deadline past, we are now starting to hear about players who have been placed on waivers, with the hopes of potentially trading them before the August 31st roster deadline. Among the players who went on waivers this week: Adam Dunn and Jonathan Papelbon.
  • In Anaheim, the Angels actually shifted Torii Hunter to RF with the call up of OF Peter Bourjos. It must say quite a bit about Bourjos to move a 9-time Gold glove winner, and Hunter is apparently on board with this as well.
  • Monday was a bad day in Boston for injuries, as Kevin Youkilis and Carlos Santana were both injured in the same game and both will miss the remainder of the season after having surgery for their respective injuries on Friday.
  • Ryan Howard will also be out for a bit after spraining his ankle in Monday’s game. It really seems like all injuries are congregating in Boston and Philadelphia, just waiting for another player.
  • Jeremy Hellickson made his major league debut on Monday, and had a very solid start. They informed him prior to the start that he would be returning to AAA regardless if he threw a no-hitter on Monday, and should be back at some point this season still.
  • J. P. Arencibia had an amazing major league debut on Saturday, hitting 2 homeruns, a double and a single in the slugfest that was the Blue Jays-Rays 18-11 game that day.
  • And of course, Alex Rodriguez finally hit his 600th career homerun earlier in the week as well. I’m just not that excited about this unfortunately, and I’m not entirely sure what would make me excited about it.
  • In Atlanta, the Braves retired Tom Glavine‘s #47 on Friday night, and the team proceeded to lose in extra innings.
  • Chris Sale was the first player to make the Majors from the 2010 draft, making his debut on Friday for the White Sox. This wasn’t too much of a surprise, as it was widely rumored that Sale had signed with the intent that the Sox would bring him up before the end of the season.

From the Twitter Followers and Friends

If you aren’t yet, you can follow me over at Twitter here. These are some of the better reads I found from the previous week.

From Books on Baseball:  Kristi Dosh of It’s a Swing and a Miss posted a very well written article about why MLB is the healthiest of the major sports leagues. Although the NFL is making more money, I’m inclined to agree with a lot of the points he made here.

From Babes Love Baseball: Marea posted (in a post I missed last week it appears) taking Chris Coghlan to task a bit about getting hurt while trying to do the shaving-cream pie celebration. The fact that this happened after the Kendry Morales injury makes it that much worse in my opinion.

Upcoming Posts This Week:

Tuesday and Wednesday: I’ll be continuing on with the Original Draft Series, posting teams #12 and #11.

Friday:  Trade Retrospective of Mark Mulder to the Cardinals. Considering I just looked at the Tim Hudson trade that preceded it by 2 days, I figured it was a good time to look at this one also. Spoiler: This one went a little better for the Athletics than the Hudson trade did.

One Other Thing

Lastly, I wanted to bring up a charity that the Baseball Bloggers Alliance has taken up. Here’s the official word, and what you can do:

Pitch In For Baseball is delighted to have been selected to participate in State Farm’s ‘Go To Bat’ campaign.  Now we need your
help!

‘Go To Bat’ was launched nationally during the State Farm Home Run Derby.  ’Go To Bat’ gives entrants a chance to win tickets to the upcoming World Series and selected charity partners the chance to receive significant financial support.

Here’s how to play and how to help Pitch In For Baseball:

* Go to  www.statefarm.com/gotobat to register for your chance to win World Series tickets.
* As you register, you will get a chance to designate a charity that could win up to $25,000/week.
* To designate Pitch In For Baseball as your charity, select PUBLIC GOOD as the charity category and then choose Pitch In For
Baseball from the drop down list.
* Revisit www.statefarm.com/gotobat each day and play the ‘Go To Bat’ online game to increase your chances for tickets and Pitch In For
Baseball’s chance at financial support

Thanks to all the readers who help out with this. You can find a lot more information about Pitch In For Baseball at their website

Original Draft Series – Team # 21 – Florida Marlins


For those that missed the guidelines I am using for this series of posts, you can find them here.

Team #21: Florida Marlins

General Managers(since 1994)

Dave Dombrowski (1994-2001): 563-666
Larry Beinfest (2002-2007): 406-325
Mike Hill (2008-Current): 171-162

Team Performance

Playoffs Division Finish
WC League Playoff App 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
2 2 2 0 3 5 4 4

The Marlins are an interesting example for this project. They only started their franchise in 1993 really, but have already had 2 World Championships, only to dismantle the team in its entirety after the first one. Realistically, they dismantled a fair amount of the team after the 2003 championship as well, but appear to have gotten a better set of returns that time around. All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Brett Hayes 2005 – 2nd Rd 5 21 gm, .226/.314/.387, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5 R Currently with Org.
1B Adrian Gonzalez 2000 – 1st Rd (1) 3 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to TEX – 7/11/03
2B Luis Castillo Int’l FA – 1992 13 3 All Star Appearances, 3 Gold Gloves
1128 gm, .293/.370/.356, 20 HR, 271 RBI, 281 SB, 675 R
Free Agency – 11/6/03
3B Miguel Cabrera Int’l FA – 1999 8 4 All Star Appearances, 2 Silver Sluggers
720 gm, .313/.388/.542, 138 HR, 523 RBI, 17 SB, 449 R
Traded to DET – 12/4/07
SS Edgar Renteria Int’l FA – 1992 6 1 All Star Appearance
393 gm, .288/.342,/.357, 12 HR, 114 RBi, 89 SB, 237 R
Traded to STL – 12/14/98
LF Chris Coghlan 2006 – 1st Rd (36) 4 2009 NL Rookie of the Year
194 gm, .305/.372/.439, 13 HR, 71 RBI, 15 SB, 127 R
Currently with Org.
CF Mark Kotsay 1996 – 1st Rd (9) 5 468 gm, .280/.322/.411, 31 HR, 179 RBI, 39 SB, 221 R Traded to SD – 3/28/01
RF Jeremy Hermida 2002 – 1st Rd (11) 7 516 gm, .265/.344/.425, 62 HR, 237 RBI, 21 SB, 235 R Traded to BOS – 11/5/09
SP Josh Beckett 1999 – 1st Rd (2) 6 2003 World Series MVP
66-35, 4.22 ERA, 763 K, 222 BB, 837.2 IP, 1.230 WHIP
Traded to BOS – 11/24/05
SP Josh Johnson 2002 – 4th Rd 8 1 All Star Appearance
42-18, 3.13 ERA, 523 K, 201 BB, 581.1 IP, 1.240 WHIP
Currently with Org.
SP Chris Volstad 2005 – 1st Rd (16) 5 19-23, 4.40 ERA, 212 K, 129 BB, 327.1 IP, 1.390 WHIP Currently with Org.
SP Nate Robertson 1999 – 5th Rd 3+1 5-6, 5.18 ERA, 52 K, 35 BB, 83.1 IP, 1.524 WHIP Traded to DET – 1/11/03
SP Livan Hernandez Int’l FA – 1996 3 24-24, 4.39 ERA, 333 K, 199 BB, 469.2 IP, 1.510 WHIP Traded to SF – 7/25/99
RP Chris Leroux 2005 – 7th Rd 5 0-0, 19 gm, 7.89 ERA, 19 K, 13 BB, 21.2 IP, 1.985 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Jeff Fulchino 2001 – 8th Rd 6 1 gm, 0.1 IP, 1 BB, 3.000 WHIP Free Agency – 10/29/07
RP Claudio Vargas Int’l FA – 1995 7 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to MON – 7/11/02
RP Ronald Belisario Int’l FA – 1999 7 No Major League Appearances with Org. Free Agency – 10/15/06
RP Rick Vandenhurk Int’l FA – 2002 8 8-9, 5.96 ERA, 152 K, 80 BB, 155.2 IP, 1.632 WHIP Currently with Org.
CL Taylor Tankersley 2004 – 1st (27) 6 8-3, 4 SV, 4.19 ERA, 113 K, 67 BB, 111.2 IP, 1.513 WHIP Currently with Org.
BN Randy Winn (OF) 1995 – 3rd Rd 2 No Major League Appearances with Org. Expansion Draft – TB – 11/18/97
BN Gaby Sanchez (1B) 2005 – 4th Rd 5 93 gm, .291/.359/.469, 9 HR, 35 RBI, 3 SB, 37 R Currently with Org.
BN Alex Gonzalez (SS) Int’l FA – 1994 11 1 All-Star Appearance
896 gm, .245/.291/.391, 81 HR, 375 RBI, 23 SB, 363 R
Free Agency – 10/27/05
BN Mike Stanton (OF) 2007 – 2nd Rd 3 12 gm, .250/.308/375, HR, 9 RBI, 3 SB, 8 R Currently with Org.
BN Brett Carroll (OF) 2004 – 10th Rd 6 173 gm, .205/.284/.325, 5 HR, 28 RBI, 2 SB, 46 R Currently with Org.
BN Josh Willingham (C/OF) 2000 – 17th Rd 8 416 gm, .266/.361/.472, 63 HR, 219 RBI, 13 SB, 196 R Traded to WAS – 11/10/08

June Amateur Draft

The Marlins have actually done reasonably well in the draft, with Josh Beckett and Josh Johnson being two of the best examples of their development system. Unfortunately, some of the best players that have gone through the system, like Adrian Gonzalez, never made a single appearance with the organization. They have really only missed on 5 of their first round picks to this point, but have only had 21 picks in that time frame. There have also been 4 players who have made a negligible impact in the Majors that were drafted in the first round. Overall, their success in the draft has been reasonable, with quite a few players still incomplete due to a lack of time at the Major League level.

International Free Agency

The Marlins are probably the first team I have reviewed that has been reasonably active in the international markets. Clearly, Miguel Cabrera, Luis Castillo, and Edgar Renteria were all victories for the development system. Unfortunately, the return on these players when they left wasn’t quite the most amazing group of players we have ever seen. But with Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller both still in the system, and 2 World Championships, they’ve done reasonably well with the few players that they have had.

Overall Grade

C. There are some elite players here, one of the first teams with multiple of them. Developing players like Josh Beckett, Josh Johnson, and Miguel Cabrera is good for the overall system ranking, but the bullpen is pretty weak overall, and there are a few players who turned out to play very well, just not for the Marlins themselves.

Prospect Review – Mike Stanton – OF – FLA


Baseball-Reference.com Profile
FanGraphs.com Profile

The Basics
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
How Acquired: Drafted out of Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, CA) by the Marlins in the 2nd round (76th overall)
Age: 20

Statistics
2008 – Greensboro (Sally League – Marlins A) – 125 games

  • .293/.381/.611
  • 39 hr, 97 rbi
  • 58 bb, 153 k

2009 – Jupiter (Florida State League – Marlins High-A) – 50 games

  • .294/.390/.578
  • 12 hr, 39 rbi
  • 28 bb, 45 k

2009 – Jacksonville (Southern League – Marlins AA) – 79 games

  • .231/.311/.455
  • 16 hr, 53 rbi
  • 31 bb, 99 k

2009 Totals

  • .255/.341/.501
  • 28 hr, 92 rbi
  • 59 bb, 144 k

2009 – Mesa Solar Sox (Arizona Fall League – not counted towards totals) – 6 games

  • .478/.538/.609
  • 1 hr, 2 rbi
  • 3 bb, 8 k

Prospect Rankings
Baseball America – #1 (FLA – 2010), #2 (FLA – 2009)
Project Prospect – #2 (Corner OF – 11/2009), #9 (Position Players – 9/2009)
Baseball Prospectus – #2 (FLA – 11/2008)
John Sickels – #4 (FLA – 3/2009)

Anaylsis

In 2008, Stanton truly announced his presence, pounding home runs at a prodigious rate for Single-A Greensboro. He finished the season with 39 of them, along with a .293/.381/.611 line, albeit with a slightly elevated BABIP of .355. And all of this while he is still only 18 years old. Needless to say, expectations of a continuance of this power was expected out of Stanton for 2009. And while he did not hit for quite the same amount of power (28 homers between 2 levels), he still maintained quite a power clip, posting a .501 slugging percentage between the two levels.

Now, I’ve mentioned previously that I think that the ability to draw a walk is critical to long-term success in the Majors. I think that players who draw at least a similar amount of walks to the amount of strikeouts they have will generally be more successful. That said, I believe that as long as a player can at least draw some walks, they should be alright. Stanton posted walk rates of 9% (2007), 11% (2008), and 10% (2009), which are all definitely respectable numbers for many a hitter.

Obviously, the amount of strikeouts he is having each year is of some concern. In 2008, he struck out in 32% of his at bats, and slightly decreased that number in 2009, bringing it to 30%. So I wondered how a couple of high power, high strikeout hitters looked in comparison.

Ryan Howard – Career: 13% walk rate, 33% strikeout rate
Adam Dunn – Career: 17% walk rate, 32% strikeout rate
Jack Cust – Career: 18% walk rate, 40% strikeout rate

All 3 players have had varying levels of success in the Majors, with Howard and Dunn clearly ahead of Cust. While I think it is definitely premature to include Stanton in the same group, I think that they make good comps. I think that Stanton’s walk rate of around 10% in the minors would translate reasonably well to the Major Leagues, and that he needs to try to cut down his strikeout rates ever so slightly. He is probably always going to be a power hitter, and not ever really hit for average in the majors. Not that everyone needs to be a hitter for average.

Stanton was drafted as a first baseman out of high school, but has since been converted to a right fielder. He played there almost exclusively in 2009, and had 10 assists out there during the season. He posted a Total Zone rating of 5 in RF in 2009, which would make him a slightly above-average fielder at the position as well.

Outlook

The future is really bright for Stanton, as he has shown huge flashes of power, and at least a reasonable ability to hit in general. And all of this prior to the age of 20. While I think he is probably a couple of years away still, he should start next season back at AA Jacksonville, and hopefully will spend a majority of the season there. The Marlins are not necessarily known for rushing some of the prospects, and with the Major League outfield having reigning Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan, Cody Ross, and up-and-comer Cameron Maybin penciled in for next season, they won’t really need his bat in Miami for at least another season. I am really looking forward to seeing what Stanton does next year.

Prediction for 2010

.265/.355/.500, 27 hr, 90 rbi (AA)

Expected ETA

Mid-Season 2011, most likely 2012.

NL Rookie of the Year Review


Chris Coghlan was announced as the winner of the National League Rookie of the Year award for 2009 yesterday.

In my predictions, I noted that I thought Andrew McCutchen would win, but that it wouldn’t surprise me if Coghlan won instead. The voting for this award was much more spread out than its AL counterpart:

Votes (first place)

Coghlan – 105 (17)
J.A. Happ – 94 (10)
Tommy Hanson – 37 (2)
Andrew McCutchen – 25 (2)
Casey McGehee – 18 (1)
Randy Wells – 3
Garrett Jones – 2
Everth Cabrera, Dexter Fowler, Gerardo Parra, Colby Rasmus – 1 each

Chris Coghlan
Coghlan joined the Marlins on May 8th, and from there just hit and hit and hit. In 128 games, he hit .321/.390/.460, with 9 homers, 8 steals, and 84 runs scored. This while also learning a new position (LF) that he had never played before. While there were definite growing pains associated with learning this new position, Coghlan’s bat more than made up for it. He should only get better as he matures.

J.A. Happ
Happ really made a huge impact this season, making the roster in the bullpen out of spring training, and when injuries hit transitioning into a starting role. He finished the year with a 12-4 record, a 2.93 era, 3 complete games (2 shutouts), and a 1.24 whip. I doubt highly that the Phillies would have made the postseason if not for the contributions of Happ. Apparently I had completely forgotten about him when making my predictions, because he would definitely have been ahead of McCutchen had I remembered.

Tommy Hanson
Hanson did not make his debut until June 7th, but it was definitely worth the wait. He finished the season with an 11-4 record, a 2.89 era, a 1.18 whip, and 116 strikeouts in 127 2/3 innings. Hanson is the next great Braves starter, and I am really looking forward to what he can do in a full season. A player that I discounted somewhat because of not being up for the full season, but probably should have included as well.

Andrew McCutchen
McCutchen did not debut until early June either, but went on a tear once he was there. He finished with a .286/.365/.471 line with 12 homers, 54 rbi, 22 steals, and 74 runs. While the trade of Nate McLouth was extremely unpopular with Pirate fans, it allowed them to really showcase McCutchen, who didn’t disappoint. I think that he would have won this award hands down if he had been up for the full season. He’s going to be really interesting to watch, and hope that the Pirates can keep him long term.

Casey McGehee
McGehee was actually put on waivers at the end of last season by the Cubs, and they are going to regret letting him go. The Brewers used him as a sort of super-utility, trying to get his bat in the lineup while trying him at multiple positions. He played 2B, 3B, and even 1B for them last season, while hitting the cover off the ball to the tune of .301/.360/.499 with 16 homers and 66 rbi. Hopefully next season the Brewers will pick one position to let him play, and leave him there. But that could prove interesting with the return of Rickie Weeks, and the promotion of top prospect Mat Gamel.

Randy Wells
Wells did well this season, and really helped to solidify the Cubs rotation. He compiled a 12-10 record, with a 3.05 era, 1.28 whip, and 104 strikeouts in 165 1/3 innings. Originally drafted as a rule 5 player by the Blue Jays, he was returned to the Cubs during the 2008 season. While the season for the Cubs was lost, Wells was a bright spot on an otherwise poor starting rotation.

Garrett Jones
Jones was never really considered a top flight prospect, especially since he was 27 when he was called up for his first real length of time in the majors. But he hit. .293/.372/.567 with 21 homers in just 82 games. While it remains to be seen what he can do with a full season, he should be very interesting to watch, especially since he is likely to get consistent playing time in 2010.

Overall, another group where not every top prospect made an impact. At the beginning of the season, Rasmus, Hanson, Fowler, and Cameron Maybin were all mentioned as top candidates, and only Hanson really had a showing worthy of the award.

My Award Winners for 2009


AL MVP – Joe Mauer (C – MIN)

Joe Mauer didn’t play in 24 games (almost a month worth), and still did this:

  • led the majors in batting average (.365)
  • led the majors in on-base percentage (.444)
  • led the AL in slugging (.587)
  • finished second in the majors in OPS (1.031), behind Albert Pujols
  • hit 28 homers, drove in 96 runs, and had 191 hits
  • pieced together a pitching staff decimated by injuries and inconsistency
  • helped lead his team to a division title

No way Minnesota gets where they did without him.

AL Cy Young – Zack Greinke (SP – KC)

Yes, he pitched for a bad team. But the award isn’t given to the best pitcher on a good team.
Zack Greinke:

  • led the majors in ERA (2.16)
  • led the AL in WHIP (1.07)
  • second in the AL in strikeouts (242)
  • Tied for third in the AL in wins (16)
  • second in the AL in complete games (6) and shutouts (3)
  • has 26 quality starts (out of 33)
  • could have had more wins potentially – in his 8 losses he got 15 runs of support, including being on the losing end of a 1-0 and a 2-0 loss.

A truly dominant pitcher throughout the year, in spite of his team’s struggles.

AL Rookie of the Year – Andrew Bailey (RP – OAK)
Andrew was an afterthought in the A’s bullpen at the start of this year, and came out with some very dominant numbers. He took over the closer role early on in the season, and never gave it up.

  • 1.84 ERA
  • 26 saves
  • 91 strikeouts in 83 innings

Yes, I’m biased towards the A’s. But I don’t think that Gordon Beckham coming up until June gives him a better shot at this award.

NL MVP – Albert Pujols (1B – STL)

Do I need to even explain this one?

  • 1st in NL in OBP (.443)
  • 1st in Majors in Slugging Percentage (.658)
  • 1st in Majors in OPS (1.101)
  • 1st in Majors in Runs (124)
  • 1st in Majors in Total Bases (374)
  • 1st in Majors in Homers (47)
  • 2nd in Majors in RBI (135)

And he led his team to the playoffs. Without any particular backing in the lineup until the arrival of Matt Holliday. We’re all going to look back in 20 years and marvel at how much better Albert Pujols was than every other player in this generation.

NL Cy Young – Tim Lincecum (SP – SF)

I actually saw Lincecum pitch against Philadelphia on August 1st. He was dominant that night, striking out 8 and scattering 7 hits in a 2-0 win.

  • Led the majors in strikeouts (261)
  • 3rd in the majors in ERA (2.48)
  • 4th in the majors in WHIP (1.05)
  • 1st in NL in Complete Games (4) and Shutouts (2)
  • 23 quality starts (out of 32)
  • Got a no-decision or a loss in 10 of those quality starts

He appears to me that in spite of his team, he pitched ridiculously well.

NL Rookie of the Year – Andrew McCutchen (OF – PIT)
When I first started writing this, I had Chris Coghlan down as my rookie of the year. But after looking at McCutchen’s stats, I was surprised at how much better they appeared than Coghlan’s.

  • 12 homers (Coghlan 9)
  • 22 steals (Coghlan 8)
  • 54 rbi (Coghlan 47)

And those are with a month less. (Coghlan was called up early in May, McCutchen in June). Coghlan definitely outhit McCutchen overall (Coghlan – .321, McCutchen – .286). It’s very close, and I think that McCutchen had a slightly better rookie season. But honestly, either choice would be a good one.