2015 High Heat Stats Award Results

I asked you last week who you thought deserved to win each league’s MVP and Cy Young Awards.  12 of you submitted ballots for MVPs and 13 submitted Cy Young votes. Winners are after the jump:

AL Cy Young- Dallas Keuchel

This one was reasonably contested.  Keuchel finished first on eight ballots, and second on another three.  David Price finished second, with a couple of relievers getting some down-ballot support.

[table id=273 /]

 

NL Cy Young- Jake Arrieta

Second in ERA, second in FIP, second in fWAR, second in rWAR, first in High Heat Stats Cy Young voting. It was no blowout, but Arrieta won by a surprising margin, receiving eight of thirteen first place votes and finishing second on the rest.  Dodgers co-aces Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw took most of the second-place votes, with Greinke being named at the top of five ballots and finishing second overall.  Max Scherzer was almost unanimous as the league’s fourth-best pitcher.

[table id=274 /]

 

AL MVP- Mike Trout

If anyone other than the BBWAA does the voting, Trout wins.  He ran away with this one, taking seven of 12 first-place votes and finishing in the top three on every ballot.  Likely BBWAA MVP Josh Donaldson finished second with four first-place votes.  Lorenzo Cain nabbed the final first-place vote.  27 players received at least one vote, including Yoenis Cespedes, who finished 27th in the AL and 14th in the NL.

[table id=271 /]

 

NL MVP- Bryce Harper

This one was nearly unanimous, with just one voter tabbing Greinke over Harper.  Interestingly, voters seemed to consider Greinke’s offense in this award, as he leapfrogged Arrieta into second place.  Arrieta also trailed Paul Goldschmidt, was only finished in the top three on five ballots, but every voter put him in the top eight.  20 players were named on at least one ballot.

[table id=272 /]

 

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brp
brp
4 years ago

Picked Arrieta because his road ERA was better than his home, and I think that counteracts Grienke’s advantage from pitching @ Dodger Stadium.

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
4 years ago

Thanks so much for doing this! It was fun; definitely something we should be doing every year!

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
4 years ago
Reply to  Bryan O'Connor

Well, we’re 2/2 so far. I think those two wins were easily predictable, though. I imagine that, once the announcement is made tonight, we’ll have finished 3/4, but I think we all knew that as soon as we saw Trout on top of our poll. Nonetheless, I expect this Trout-Donaldson vote to be closer than some of The Millville Meteor’s other 2nd place finishes.

Phil
4 years ago

Good picks. Being from Toronto I’m of course pulling for Donaldson, and I think you can make a strong analytical argument for him, but ditto Trout. Basically a coin toss.

Bob Zherunkel
Bob Zherunkel
4 years ago

I wonder if, at least here, the pendulum has swung too far in favor of advanced stats. I like WAR, I think it’s tremendously valuable. But it’s still a bit of a black box, at least for me. Trout has about half a game lead on Donaldson in WAR. Maybe it’s really a full game, or maybe they should be tied. I don’t know, and don’t have any way of knowing. But I can know, for certain, that Donaldson had more total bases, 18 more runs scored, 33! more runs batted in. I accept that counting stats are overrated, but… Read more »

no statistician but
no statistician but
4 years ago
Reply to  Bob Zherunkel

Bob Z: Don’t know if you’re new to this site or just a follower, but—as my handle may indicate to you—I’m one of those heretics who believes a) that WAR is the most useful tool in evaluation of performance but not the only one; 2) that it is hardly the last arbiter in assessing the intangibles that are supposed to be considered for the MVP; 3) that it is fairly accurate in assessing hitting (90-95 %), somewhat less accurate with pitching (80+ %); and of very limited use regarding defense. Further, it is a general assessment that fails to account… Read more »

David P
David P
4 years ago

NSB – I don’t see anything particularly heretical about your views. I personally agree with much of what you wrote and my guess is that the inventors of WAR would also agree with much of what you wrote. Dave Cameron of Fangraphs said that WAR should be a starting point for discussion, not the end point. Here’s the thing though. I believe it was Tom Tango who said that everyone uses WAR. So for example, Bob Z says that he prefers Donaldson because more total bases, more runs scored and more RBIs, that’s the same thing as WAR. He just… Read more »

Brendan Bingham
Brendan Bingham
4 years ago
Reply to  Bob Zherunkel

Bob, here is my view on Trout vs Donaldson as it relates to counting stats (and remember that WAR, no matter your opinion of its merits, is a counting stat). Donaldson played for a team that produced 242 more plate appearances than Trout’s team. Accordingly, Donaldson had 29 more PA than Trout, despite each of them playing essentially a full season (159 games for Trout, 158 for Donaldson). Donaldson’s additional PAs, which were in large part the product of his outstandingly productive teammates (Bautista and Encarnacion among them) represent an additional opportunity to accumulate counting stats like total bases, runs… Read more »

David P
David P
4 years ago

Now that the official ballots are in, it’s interesting to compare them to ours. The biggest discrepancy was Kiermaier, who came in 6th in ours but 17th in the real one. And the oddest vote of them all goes to George King of the NY Post who had Kendrys Morales 4th on his ballot! None of the other 29 voters had him in the top 10. I wonder if that’s ever happened before, with one voter placing someone that high on the ballot and no one else voting for that player? (and anyone who things that Morales was the 4th… Read more »

brp
brp
4 years ago
Reply to  David P

Morales isn’t even the 4th most valuable Royal… Cain, Perez, Gordon, Wade Davis, Hosmer, etc. That’s crazy.

David P
David P
4 years ago

Here’s another voting oddity. The Cardinals led the majors in wins but had no one higher than 12th in MVP balloting (Carpenter) and 9th in Cy Young (Lackey). I’m guessing that’s never happened before.

Hartvig
Hartvig
4 years ago
Reply to  David P

I’m not sure if it has or not but it does seem really odd that a team that outperformed preseason expectations (at least to my recollection) and it’s Pythagorean expectations and not only got no support for MVP or Cy Young but didn’t win Manager of the Year either.

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
4 years ago

By the way, Mike Trout now has 3.11 MVP shares – 32nd all-time. Another runner-up finish next year (a tall order, but it just seems to be the predictable thing at this point) would put him 18th all-time. His Hall Rating at the Hall of Stats is already 83 – ahead of 32 Hall of Famers. Again, if he has a year comparable to what he’s had the last few years, he’ll move into being Hall-worthy (by that measure, at least) next season. Trout also has as many top-2 MVP finishes (4) as Willie Mays had in his entire career.… Read more »

David P
David P
4 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Doom – Hard to believe that Mays only had 4 top two MVP finishes when he had 11 top two WAR finishes. That’s basically equivalent to Dave Parker who had 4 top three MVP finishes in a league with more teams. Of course, had WAR been around during Mays’ time, I’m sure he would have done much better in MVP balloting.

As for Trout, I tend to be a bit more cautious about what his future will look like. From Griffey to Lynn from Mantle to Sizemore we’ve seen lots of CFers have their careers derailed by injuries.

no statistician but
no statistician but
4 years ago
Reply to  David P

Doom and David P: Mays came into the league as a force in 1954. In 1955, so did Banks and Aaron, while Frank Robinson arrived in 1956. Musial was still around for a while, as were Mathews (quite a while), Snider, and Campanella. So, the competition was pretty fierce, two MVPs were won by pitchers, the Giants only took the pennant twice, and the awards to Groat and Boyer are defensible in terms of their impact in pennant races. Willie was only genuinely robbed once, when Maury Wills’ base stealing in 1962 dazzled the writers. With Mays, Aaron, Robinson, Banks,… Read more »

no statistician but
no statistician but
4 years ago
Reply to  David P

Mays came into the league as a force in 1954. In 1955, so did Banks and Aaron, while Frank Robinson arrived in 1956. Musial was still around for a while, as were Mathews (quite a while), Snider, and Campanella. So, the competition was pretty fierce, two MVPs were won by pitchers, the Giants only took the pennant twice, and the awards to Groat and Boyer are defensible in terms of their impact in pennant races. Willie was only genuinely robbed once, when Maury Wills’ base stealing in 1962 dazzled the writers. With Mays, Aaron, Robinson, Banks, and whoever else was… Read more »

Hartvig
Hartvig
4 years ago

Not only were all of the guys that you mentioned playing in the National League at the same time but for a good chunk of Mays’s career you also head guys like Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda and Juan Marichal sharing the spotlight with him on the Giants.

no statistician but
no statistician but
4 years ago

To everyone at HHS from NSB if this gets through, which I question: My iMac seems no longer able to receive any new postings from the site, and all the old postings except this one seem to be dead, although I doubt that they are. Until this situation revises itself, if it ever does, I won’t be contributing my particular brand of ignorance to exasperate and/or confound, which will be no great loss, but I wonder if there aren’t others who have had to give up contributing to the discourse for the same reason. At any rate, my lack of… Read more »