MLB awards week – MVP, Cy Younger, Rookie of the Yr consultants’ picks, outcomes and evaluation

We have been heading on this route over the previous decade, however it’s now official: The Most Useful Participant Award has change into, to the delight of analytics aficionados throughout baseball land, the perfect participant within the league award. Historically, the writers primarily based MVP honors on some kind of undefined fusion of on-field efficiency and crew efficiency. The MVP winner normally — however not all the time — got here from a playoff crew.

This season, not one of the six finalists reached the postseason. That is particularly evident with the Nationwide League finalists, as Bryce Harper’s Phillies completed 82-80, Fernando Tatis Jr.’s Padres completed 79-83 and Juan Soto’s Nationals went 65-97. No less than the Phillies completed with a successful report — barely. That is the primary time since 1987, when Andre Dawson of the Cubs and George Bell of the Blue Jays received, that each MVP winners failed to achieve the postseason. The one different two instances this occurred for the reason that Baseball Writers’ Affiliation of America started voting in 1931 have been 1977 (George Foster and Rod Carew) and 1978 (Dave Parker and Jim Rice).

So the talk is basically over. That does not imply it makes it any simpler to pick out the winner.

Listed below are all the outcomes and evaluation from awards week, together with our ESPN MLB consultants’ picks. — David Schoenfield

Bounce to … :
MVP: NL | AL
Cy Younger: NL | AL
Rookie of the Yr: NL | AL
Supervisor of the Yr: NL | AL

Nationwide League MVP

AP Photograph/Matt Slocum

Winner: Bryce Harper, Phillies

Last tally: Harper 348 (17 first-place votes); Juan Soto, Nationals 274 (6); Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres 244 (2); Brandon Crawford, Giants 213 (4); Trea Turner, Nationals/Dodgers 185 (1)

ESPN MLB consultants’ picks: Harper 8, Soto 4, Tatis 1

Bradford Doolittle’s take: On this race, the highest contenders — notably the three finalists, Harper, Soto and Tatis — have been so tightly bunched {that a} pure metrics-based argument merely would not get it performed. It additionally means it is laborious to quibble concerning the closing outcome: a reasonably shut tally wherein 5 totally different gamers (a gaggle that occurred to even be AXE’s prime 5) acquired first-place votes.

Harper would have gotten my vote, however not with out a great deal of deliberation. When there isn’t a clear distinction within the worth metrics, you begin context and narrative. The Phillies did not make the playoffs, however they stayed within the race so long as they did largely due to Harper’s big end to the season, together with the work of Zack Wheeler on the mound. That context reveals up in probability-added metrics: Harper led the NL in each win chance added and championship chance added.

Even in a high-powered race like this one, Harper was a deserving winner. When he received his first MVP at age 22, it appeared like he would possibly properly reel off a string of them, turning into the NL’s counterpart to the AL’s Mike Trout. It took a number of years, however Harper now has two MVP awards earlier than turning 30 and is constructing what will change into a really sturdy case for Cooperstown.

This is how my AXE leaderboard had it:

1. Harper (140.9)
2. Soto (140.6)
3. Tatis Jr. (139.8)
4. Turner (138.6)
5. Crawford (135.2)

Notice: AXE is an index that creates a consensus ranking from the main worth metrics (WAR, from Fangraphs and Baseball Reference) and contextual metrics (win chance added and championship chance added, each from Baseball Reference).

Extra: Phillies celebrity Bryce Harper wins second profession MVP

American League MVP

Michael Owen Baker/AP Photograph

Winner: Shohei Ohtani, Angels

Last tally: Ohtani 420 (30 first-place votes); Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays) 269; Marcus Semien (Blue Jays) 232; Aaron Decide (Yankees) 171; Carlos Correa (Houston Astros) 163

ESPN MLB consultants’ picks: Ohtani 13 votes (unanimous selection)

Doolittle’s take: Regardless of a comparatively sluggish end and regardless of enjoying on a noncontender, Ohtani’s season was simply too historic for the voters to disregard. And, contemplating the unanimous vote, nobody did. It was historic not simply due to the novelty of Ohtani turning into the perfect single-season two-way participant in MLB historical past, however for the actual worth he contributed in his twin position. He wasn’t simply good at each hitting and pitching, he was excellent — and the identical was true of his baserunning, as properly. It is ridiculous.

Among the many prime 5 AL contenders by AXE, which incorporates the three finalists, solely Guerrero created extra runs than Ohtani (144 to 122), although he additionally made 21 extra outs in creation of these runs. Nonetheless, Guerrero cannot make this declare: Ohtani was additionally 41 runs above substitute as a pitcher and had a person wins-above-average proportion in that position of .630, which compares favorably to the three AL Cy Younger finalists. Robbie Ray, the winner, was at .657, Lance Lynn at .645 and Gerrit Cole at .630.

The magnitude of what Ohtani completed this season is staggering. His 156.1 AXE rating is the perfect in baseball since Albert Pujols put up a 157.1 in 2006. It is the perfect by an MVP since Barry Bonds’ monster 174.2 season in 2004.

Guerrero was nice, however he simply picked the mistaken yr to emerge as a celebrity, no less than if racking up MVPs is considered one of his goals. Because it was, his 141.2 AXE was higher than that of 56% of all gamers who’ve received an MVP award. He did not win the distinction this season, however Guerrero very a lot had an MVP-caliber season. Since he is simply 22, will probably be no shock if there are much more of these to return.

This is how my AXE leaderboard had it:

1. Ohtani (156.1)
2. Guerrero Jr. (141.2)
3. Jose Ramirez, Indians (139.0)
4. Semien (137.7)
5. Decide (137.5)

Extra: Shohei Ohtani unanimously wins AL MVP

Nationwide League Cy Younger

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports activities

Winner: Corbin Burnes, Brewers

Last tally: Burnes 151 (12 first-place votes); Zack Wheeler, Phillies 141 (12); Max Scherzer, Nationals/Dodgers 113 (6); Walker Buehler, Dodgers 70

ESPN MLB consultants’ picks: Wheeler 6 votes, Scherzer 4, Burnes 3

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Doolittle’s take: Wow, that was shut. On one hand, it’s important to be thrilled for Burnes, who was 1-5 with a 8.82 ERA simply two years in the past and was left off the Brewers’ postseason roster. Since then, he is change into a Fielding Unbiased Pitching (FIP) celebrity, main the NL in each strikeout fee and homers allowed fee this season, whereas permitting simply 1.8 walks per 9 innings.

However, you may have a look at this final result as a potential tipping level the place the analysis of beginning pitchers has tilted fully away from quantity to effectivity. Wheeler produced one of the vital priceless seasons of any participant in baseball this season, not simply with elite run prevention, but additionally by main the majors with 213 1/3 innings pitched — 46 1/3 greater than Burnes.

That is actually why I do not agree with the end result of the vote. Wheeler confronted hitters for a 3rd or fourth time 126 extra instances this season than Burnes did. You’ll be able to say that it is a philosophical distinction between the Phillies and Brewers, or an announcement concerning the respective strengths of these groups’ bullpens. For me, that 46 1/3-inning hole is an excessive amount of to disregard, greater than sufficient to account for the hole in per-inning run prevention.

This is how my AXE leaderboard had it:

1. Wheeler (144.3)
2. Burnes (138.8)
3. Buehler (136.4)
4. Brandon Woodruff, Brewers (130.6)
5. Kevin Gausman, Giants (130.3)
6. Scherzer (129.6)

Extra: Brewers’ Burnes edges Wheeler for NL Cy Younger

American League Cy Younger

AP Photograph/Steven Senne

Winner: Robbie Ray, Blue Jays

Last tally: Ray 207 (29 first-place votes); Gerrit Cole, Yankees 123 (1); Lance Lynn, White Sox 48; Nathan Eovaldi, Crimson Sox 41; Carlos Rodon, White Sox 34

ESPN MLB consultants’ picks: Ray 10 votes, Cole 2, Lynn 1

Doolittle’s take: In a season the place there was not a no brainer AL Cy Younger candidate, AXE nailed a tightly-packed prime 5, however favored Cole over Ray for the highest spot. Trying on the season as an entire, it is a very shut race. Cole had a 12-inning deficit, however higher numbers in all of the fielding-independent classes. Ray was extra constant, with a better high quality begin proportion and common sport rating.

Given how shut the numbers have been, it is laborious to quibble with the number of Ray. The one shock right here is that he garnered all however one of many first-place votes. The trajectory of their respective seasons possible performed into this closing hole within the balloting. Cole had a 2.68 ERA earlier than the All-Star break however a 4.14 mark after. Ray improved from 3.13 to 2.53 from one half to the subsequent, although he was solely so-so during the last three weeks because the Blue Jays unsuccessfully challenged for a wild-card slot.

All in all, Ray was a deserving selection in turning into Toronto’s first Cy Younger winner since Roy Halladay in 2003.

This is how my AXE leaderboard had it:

1. Cole (133.5)
2. Ray (130.3)
3. Lynn (129.2)
4. Eovaldi (129.0)
5. Rodon (128.5)

Extra: Jays ace Ray caps profession yr with AL Cy Younger

Nationwide League Rookie of the Yr

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports activities

Winner: Jonathan India, Reds

Last tally: India 148 (29 first-place votes); Trevor Rogers, Marlins 86 (1); Dylan Carlson, Cardinals 22; Patrick Knowledge, Cubs 5; Ian Anderson, Braves 3

ESPN MLB consultants’ picks: India (11 votes), Rogers 2

2 Associated

Doolittle’s take: As anticipated. The metrics have been shut between the three NL finalists, however in the long run, the ultimate tally mirrors that of the AXE system from spots 1 to 4, and the Cardinals’ Edmundo Sosa edged out Anderson for the fifth spot by a fraction. India and Rogers have been shut sufficient statistically that it is a slight shock India took 29 of 30 first-place votes. Rogers threw solely 23 innings after July 31, and it was after that time that India caught and handed him on the ROY pecking order.

As Johnny Bench talked about whereas saying the outcomes of the NL balloting, India is the eighth Cincinnati participant to win Rookie of the Yr. He is the primary place participant to do it for the Reds since Chris Sabo in 1988. Of the eight Reds Rookies of the Yr, solely Frank Robinson (128.8 in 1956) posted a greater AXE whereas successful the distinction. In order that’s rarefied air for a participant who must be a fixture on the keystone in Cincinnati for years to return.

This is how my AXE leaderboard had it:

1. India (121.4)
2. Rogers (119.5)
3. Carlson (112.6)
4. Knowledge (110.1)
5. Sosa (108.7)

Extra: Reds 2B India, 24, named NL Rookie of the Yr

American League Rookie of the Yr

Julio Aguilar/Getty Photographs

Winner: Randy Arozarena, Rays

Last tally: Arozarena 124 (22 first-place votes); Luis Garcia, Astros 63 (2); Wander Franco, Rays 30 (2); Adolis Garcia, Rangers 27 (3); Emmanuel Clase, Indians 11 (1)

ESPN MLB consultants’ picks: Arozarena 10 votes, Franco 3

Doolittle’s take: If there’s one rookie in the entire huge leagues this season whom you’d tab for future superstardom, it is Franco. But it surely’s the Rookie of the Yr award, not the Prospect of the Yr award, and Arozarena is a deserving winner. The voting mirrored AXE’s computations for spots 1 to 4, with AXE preferring Boston’s Garrett Whitlock to Clase for the fifth spot. That Clase earned a first-place vote was the most important shock from the balloting outcomes, however it’s nothing to get in a snit over.

Arozarena is mostly a Rookie of the Yr for the time … an odd time. You consider successful the award as the primary nice second of a participant’s profession, however in Arozarena’s case, there have been fairly a number of earlier than that. For instance, he performed in 25 postseason video games for 2 totally different organizations within the seasons previous to his ROY marketing campaign, and was MVP of the 2020 American League Championship Sequence. It is unusual and distinctive, and whereas Franco most likely would have run away with the award if he’d been referred to as up earlier, he wasn’t.

Arozarena and Luis Garcia stuffed key roles on division champions from begin to end, and it is comprehensible that the voters wished to reward that.

This is how my AXE leaderboard had it:

1. Arozarena (120.5)
2. Franco (116.0)
3. Luis Garcia (115.1)
4. Adolis Garcia (114.7)
5. Whitlock (113.5)

Extra: Rays OF Arozarena named AL Rookie of the Yr

Nationwide League Supervisor of the Yr

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Photographs

Winner: Gabe Kapler, Giants

Last tally: Kapler, Giants 143 (28 first-place votes); Craig Counsell, Brewers 75 (1); Mike Shildt, Cardinals 25 (1); Brian Snitker, Braves 21; Dave Roberts, Dodgers 6

ESPN MLB consultants’ picks: Kapler 13 votes (unanimous selection)

Doolittle’s take: The Giants used the overall lack of respect prognosticators had for his or her possibilities this season as a rallying cry. However let’s be actual: Nearly nobody noticed San Francisco as a playoff crew when the season started, a lot much less as a crew that might win extra video games than another within the marquee franchise’s historical past.

Kapler wasn’t only a figurehead in all of this. He really did stuff, maybe greater than any skipper when it comes to pinch-hitters, pitching modifications and all of the issues concerned with getting essentially the most out of your lively roster on a day-in, day-out foundation.

The underside line is that the Giants entered the season with an over/beneath for wins of 74.5, per Caesars Sportsbook. They received 107. No, it wasn’t all Kapler, however that is as slam dunk of a Supervisor of the Yr selection as you are going to get.

That mentioned: Certainly one of these years, Counsell must win this award, as a result of he is on the shortest of lists as the perfect supervisor within the sport. That is his third time ending second.

This is how my EARL leaderboard had it (EARL is an estimate of how a crew’s win whole pertains to its run differential and projected power of roster):

1. Kapler (14.5)
2. Shildt (5.8)
3. Counsell (5.2)
4. Joe Girardi, Phillies (2.6)
5. David Bell, Reds (2.4)

Extra: Giants’ Gabe Kapler named NL Supervisor of the Yr after 107-win season

American League Supervisor of the Yr

Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Photographs

Winner: Kevin Money, Rays

Last tally: Money, Rays 109 (19 first-place votes); Scott Servais, Mariners 71 (5); Dusty Baker, Astros 33 (2); Charlie Montoyo; Blue Jays 23 (3); Alex Cora, Crimson Sox 16 (1); Tony La Russa, White Sox 15; AJ Hinch, Tigers 3

ESPN MLB consultants’ picks: Money 5 votes, Servais 5, Baker 3

Doolittle’s take: At any time when I trot out the EARL metric, I all the time underscore that it must be taken with a grain of salt. The reality is, we do not have an effective way to quantify what a supervisor does and even with the award, there is not a number of readability about what we’re really voting on.

Money is a good supervisor and now the primary back-to-back Supervisor of the Yr winner since Bobby Cox in 2004-05. He will get a lift from the Rays’ uncanny means to win on a shoestring finances, and he deploys his roster sport by sport to use each benefit he can uncover.

The Rays had a number of turnover from their 2020 AL pennant-winning squad, particularly on the pitching workers, and that is one other increase to Money’s case. Nonetheless, the very fact of the matter is the Rays do an excellent job of discovering expertise and bettering expertise. It isn’t like Money was successful with Triple-A gamers.

Given the place the Mariners completed in relation to their preseason expectations, and when it comes to their total run differential, it is shocking, to me no less than, that Servais didn’t get greater than 5 first-place votes within the balloting.

This is how my EARL leaderboard had it:

1. Servais (13.0)
2. Cora (5.5)
3. Hinch (4.5)
4. Money (3.8)
5. Aaron Boone, Yankees (1.3)
Additionally: 12. Baker (-2.3)

Extra: Rays’ Kevin Money repeats as AL Supervisor of the Yr

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