MVP Elections – 2006 AL

Dr. Doom here, with my final post about re-voting MVPs.  I want to begin by thanking you all for participating in these discussions.  It’s been a lot of fun to write the posts and to read what everyone’s opinions are on these issues.  If/when I have ideas about stuff in the future, I’ll write and see if I can convince Doug to post more stuff.  I’ve been on this discussion board since it was the baseball-reference blog (I’m thinking it was sophomore year of college when I started posting a lot – the 2006-07 school year).  I may be younger than a lot of the commenters here, but I stretch back as far as just about anyone in terms of being part of this community, and it’s meant a lot to me as it’s moved from bbref to blogspot and finally here.  In all that time, I’ve been part of a lot of great discussions in the comments, but it’s been really, really fun to actually contribute some posts.

All of that aside, now the we’ve reached the end of these posts, it’s time to look back.  We began this process in 1960.  We’ve featured the National League 7 times, and the American League 6.  And this week, the Junior Circuit finally pulls even as we have a rather unusual combination:  a lazy (and possibly poor) choice for MVP, coupled with a TON of players having great, but perhaps not outstanding, seasons.  This is the type of year I was most looking forward to debating, because there seem to be almost unlimited “right” answers.  So let’s hop to it!

The four playoff teams in the AL were separated by only four games.  As usual, the Yankees were tops in the league, this time with 97 wins, while the worst finisher among playoff teams was Oakland, at 93-69.  The interesting stuff in 2006 happened in the AL Central, though.  The AL Central always seems to be the most overlooked division in baseball.  I don’t know why this is, but it seems like no one ever wants to talk about all those Midwestern manufacturing towns and their baseball teams.  But 2006 was different.

For the fourth time in five years, the division belonged to the Twins, but they sure didn’t have an easy road.  In late May, the Twins bottomed out, falling 12.5 back in the division.  They were 12 back after 89 games – less than half a year to go, and a LOT of ground to make up.  They were still trailing by double-digit games (10.5 back) as late as the morning of August 8th.  In less than two months – only 51 games – they came roaring back.  At the end of the season, though, both the Twinkies and their rival Tigers faltered.  One game back with five to play, the Twins won only two of those final five (one on a walkoff).  Alas for Detroit, the Tigers lost ALL FIVE of their final five, allowing the Twins to sneak their way to a division title.  Of course, the Tigers got the last laugh by making it to the World Series – which isn’t so bad for a franchise that, a mere three years earlier, had gone 43-119.

Unsurprisingly, the best MVP candidates in 2006 came from that hotly-contested Central Division.  We begin with the division winner and the man who won the MVP title:  Justin Morneau.  Morneau had showed promise as a rookie in 2004 with 19 homers in just 74 games but, given the everyday first base job the next year, he and the Twins regressed, with Morneau slashing only .239/.304/.437 with 22 HR in 141 G, and the Twins sliding to 3rd place after three straight division titles. Then, suddenly, he emerged as a 25-year-old in 2006. In a well-rounded season, Morneau batted .321 (7th), with .375 OBP and a .559 SLG (6th).  The raw power numbers were there, too, as he legged out 37 doubles and mashed 34 homers.  He scored 97 times, but really made his mark by finishing second in RBI, knocking in 130.

The next Twin we’ll look at is Joe Mauer.  Mauer won his first batting title in 2006, the first time ever by an AL catcher.  His .429 OBP was third, to which he added .507 SLG to make the AL’s 7th best OPS.  Being a catcher, Mauer played only 140 G.  Yet still he managed 36 2B and 13 HR to go along with his 86 R and 84 RBI.  These are certainly more modest numbers than many other candidates, but keep in mind that Mauer was among the league’s best defenders at baseball’s most demanding everyday defensive position.

Given Mauer’s season, there were serious questions as to whether Morneau was even the best player on his team.  No one made a fan look harder at that argument than a re-tread from our last AL post:  Johan Santana.  In the final year of his three-year run as the best pitcher in baseball, Santana led the league in wins with a 19-6 record (just .002 behind first for best W-L%) and added leading totals in ERA (2.77) and K (245) for a triple crown season (only Justin Verlander in 2011 has had one since in the AL) and second Cy Young award (the first coming in 2004, our previous MVP post).  Santana’s 0.997 WHIP was best in the league, almost a baserunner better over 9 innings than Roy Halladay in second place. His 233.2 IP were 10 more than anyone else, and his 5.21 K:BB ratio ranked second, behind only perennial leader Curt Schilling. Essentially, Johan Santana was better than every other pitcher in the American League in 2006, by more or less every measure.  Baseball-Reference was publishing a number of advanced stats by 2006, and Johan was leading in all of those, too.  Feel free to look them up, if you need to.  If there was a category to lead in, you can bet on seeing Johan Santana’s name at or very near the top.

But there were many more candidates in the Central than just those on the Twins. Tiger SS Carlos Guillen was one of the biggest reasons Detroit made the quantum leap from historically bad in 2003 to AL champs just three years later.  Although he didn’t make the All-Star team, by the end of the season Guillen couldn’t be ignored.  Ninth in average and eighth in OBP, Guillen batted .320/.400/.519, scored 100 and drove in 85, with 41 2B (9th), 19 HR and 20 SB.

Staying in the Central, the Indians were flush with candidates as well.  Their MVP vote leader was DH Travis Hafner (get used to DHs – you’re going to see a lot of ’em in this post).  Hafner had been a serious MVP candidate in 2004 and 2005, but his position and injury issues limited his vote totals. Same story in 2006, but he kept on hitting, and then some.  Hafner’s dominating .308/.439/.659 slash yielded the league’s best OPS and SLG, and 2nd best OBP by mere thousandths of a point.  He also posted a triple century in R (100), BB (100, 4th) and RBI (117, 6th) to go with 42 HR (3rd).  That he managed all that in only 129 G is both astonishing and disappointing, as one projects what those totals might have looked like had he remained healthy over the full season.

Still, like the Twins, there was this nagging thought: was Hafner even the best player on his own team?  If not, it was Grady Sizemore.  Sizemore had burst onto the scene the year before, but now, as a 23-year-old, he established himself as an elite Major Leaguer.  Playing in all 162 games (160 of them as an outstanding CFer), Sizemore led the league in 2B (53) and R (134). stole 22 bags, and legged out 11 triples (2nd).  To that speed game Sizemore added plenty of pop, with 28 HR and 76 RBI, both outstanding totals from the leadoff spot. His .290/.375/.533 would be a fine slash for any young CFer, but were dazzling marks for an outstanding defender who would be recognized the next season with the first of two Gold Glove awards.

Also with two candidates were the Chicago White Sox.  Former Indian and future Twin, DH Jim Thome smacked 42 HR (3rd), his fifth 40-HR season in six years.  His 108 runs (7th) were the second highest total of his career (not bad for a famously lead-footed 35 year-old slugger), while his 109 RBI was another in a long line of stellar run producing totals; no wonder pitchers gave him a wide berth with 107 walks (3rd), as Thome completed the last of his 8 triple century (R, BB and RBI) seasons, the 5th highest total all-time. With those markers, it’s thus no surprise that Thome’s rate stats were equally as impressive, with .416 OBP (4th), .598 SLG (5th) and 1.014 OPS (4th).

But Thome wasn’t Chicago’s leading vote getter. That honor belonged to Jermaine Dye with a fourth place finish in the MVP balloting. Known as a flashy fielder, the Sox RFer posted the league’s 3rd-best SLG, part of a .315/.385/.622 slash. Dye scored 103 (10th), knocked in 120 (5th), and finished second in the AL with 44 HR.  His 1.006 OPS was one of five AL marks over 1.000 and, of the five, Dye was easily the fleetest of foot and best defender.

We finally leave the Central, but do so by focusing next on one of the White Sox all-time greats, Frank Thomas. After 16 years in Chi-Town, Thomas became a free agent for just the second time following the 2005 season, and did what many thought unthinkable:  he left Chicago and moved on to Oakland where he helped the A’s to a division title after second place finishes the two previous seasons. After injury limited him to just 108 games over his last two years with the Sox, Thomas had a resurgent season, slashing .270/.381/.545 to finish 8th in RBI (114) and 5th in HR (39), and delivering when it counted with a .344/.379/.869 clip and 10 home runs in 15 games to start the month of September.

We now swap coasts and look at our third DH – the man who finished one spot above Thomas in the MVP voting.  David Ortiz, who figured in our 2004 discussion (as he would were we to have a 2016 discussion), had a very… David Ortiz-like year in 2006.  His career bests in HR (54) and BB (119) were both league-leading totals, as were his 137 RBI. His 115 R ranked third as did his 1.049 OPS, coming from a .287/.413/.636 slash, good for 6th in OBP and 2nd in SLG.  Ortiz was the only 1.000 OPS player who managed 150+ games, giving him perhaps a leg up over Hafner (129), Manny Ramirez (130), Thome (143), and Dye (146).

The last of the 12 (!) candidates I’m looking at this go-round is the MVP runner-up and Yankee Captain, Derek Jeter.  Jeter placed second in the league in R (118) and third in H (214), and added 97 RBI from the 2-hole, from 39 doubles and 14 HR.  At age 32, he stole a career-high 34 bases (7th), and he nearly won his first batting title, falling .004 short of Mauer, part of a .343/.417/.483 slash (4th in OBP) that was good for .900 OPS, still the best by a shortstop since 1941 in a qualified, full-length season with fewer than 15 home runs.

So, that does it for our posts.  In this final re-vote of MVPs past, who are you taking?  Is it someone from the NL Central, which seemed to be the BBWAA’s preferred division?  Or are you more interested in the coasts?  Let’s have some lively discussion and a good vote!

DIRECTIONS:  Please list 5-10 players on your MVP ballot (ballots with fewer than 5 candidates will be thrown out).  Ballots will be scored as per BBWAA scoring (14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1).  Strategic voting is discouraged, though unenforceable, so please just don’t do it, as the goal here is to (somewhat) mimic the BBWAA process.  The post will be live for about a week; please discuss and vote whenever you’d like, but there will be no vote changes, so don’t vote until you’re sure you’re ready!

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67 Comments on "MVP Elections – 2006 AL"

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Dr. Doom
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A couple of things; let’s keep this open two full weeks. Last day of voting will be Thursday May 11 at 11:59:59, your local time. I also want to say thanks to Doug. He’s been so kind as to make sure the player links all work, and he proofreads all my posts, AND he’s even added some cool bbref charts and stuff to some of my posts. Doug is the heart of this community, and I appreciate everything he’s done in these posts. This is the last post in this initial series, but I have some ideas for other things… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Grady Sizemore was the runaway leader in runs and XBH while playing 160 games in CF.

ThickieDon
Guest

Should have been the runaway MVP.

Dr. Doom
Guest
In spite of the fact that Sizemore is now known as someone who suffered a lot of injuries, but in his good years, he sure came to the plate a lot. That helps with XBH. Obviously, having good power is the most important thing, but a player like Sizemore in 2006 needs to come up a lot (since his SLG was only 12th in the league). Number of seasons with 745+ PAs: 5 – Pete Rose 3 – Juan Pierre, Grady Sizemore, and Ichiro Suzuki 2 – Dave Cash, Taylor Douthit, Derek Jeter, Paul Molitor, Omar Moreno, Jose Reyes, Jimmy… Read more »
ThickieDon
Guest

Amazing find.

ThickieDon
Guest

Got me thinking about gaudy at-bat totals (not PA).

I always remember seeing listed on his card Juan Samuel’s 701 *at-bats* in 1984 or ’85, but he actually only had 729 PA that year. Willie Wilson had 705 at-bats five years before that but also only 28 walks.

Looking at the top 50 single season at-bat leaders, and due to the obvious fact that a walk is not counted, you don’t see too many pure sluggers on there, but notorious hacker Alfonso Soriano does show up a few times, as does a young A-Rod, shockingly, at #26.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/AB_season.shtml

Paul E
Guest

Jim Thome scored a run in each of the CWS first 17 games? Is this some sort of record to start a season? He had an OPS of 1.4xx or so through the 17 games

Doug
Guest

Yes, that is the searchable record. Next longest is 14 team games by Frank Thomas in 1994.

Paul E
Guest

Doug,
Thanks for the response. Phillies paid a good portion of Thome’s salary for quite a few years. They should have just asked him to stand on 3b for 7 or 8 innings and then moved him to 1b as a defensive replacement for Howard

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Vote:

I’m once again prioritizing premium defensive positions.

1. Grady Sizemore
2. Vernon Wells
3. Joe Mauer
4. Carlos Guillen
5. Gary Mathews
6. Adrian Beltre
7. Chone Figgins
8. Miguel Tejada
9. Carl Crawford
10. Derek Jeter

Doug
Guest

Some idiosyncratic selections there, none more so than Chone Figgins with -12 Rbat and -10 Rfield, good for -1.2 WAA.

Mike L
Guest

Doom, really nice work. Although I don’t vote in the MVP pieces, I do read them, and you did a very good job.

Dr. Doom
Guest

Thanks, Mike! It has been a lot of work, but they’re really fun to write.

e pluribus munu
Guest

I want to second Mike’s comment, Doom. I’ve also been a passive reader for most of your MVP posts, but only because I haven’t had the time to do a good job voting. These have been really good pieces of work!

ThickieDon
Guest
2006 was the first year since I was a kid that I dug deep into all the stats, primarily because the MVP votes seemed off to me. There was a lot of debate online about whether big traditional metrics like RBI should influence the vote as much as it (seemingly) did. Over in the NL, MVP Ryan Howard’s own teammate (Chase Utley) was more “valuable” (by WAR), as were Albert Pujols and Carlos Beltran (my pick for NL MVP). AL MVP Morneau wasn’t even in the top 10 in the AL for WAR. Anyway, on to the AL Top 10:… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Your post got me thinking about Grady Sizemore further. I remember thinking that Sizemore was just going to be HUGE. I mean, he really did it all. From 2005-2008, he had 24.6 WAR, fourth in MLB (Albert Pujols had 34.7, Chase Utley 31.3, A-Rod 30.1). Immediately after Sizemore was a tie between Mark Teixeira and David Wright. Wright is not quite four months younger than Sizemore (same “seasonal age,” though), and the beginnings of their careers followed a remarkably similar path. Both debuted in 2004, with Wright racking up 26.1 WAR through 2008 to Sizemore’s 25.7. From 2009 on, David… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Also the same seasonal age as those two is Joe Mauer, though he’s half a year younger than Wright, being born in mid-April. Mauer also debuted in 2004 at age 21, but was slightly less valuable through 2008, accumulating only 19.5 WAR – but keep in mind, he was a catcher, so he played only 561 G, as opposed to 682 for Sizemore and 708 for Wright. Mauer’s career WAR has done almost EXACTLY the same thing as David Wright’s in the time since, albeit at a more demanding position and with an MVP to show for it. Interesting stuff,… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Yes, injuries in professional sports are a bitch.
I believe both David Wright and Scott Rolen were the superior talents when compared with Adrian Beltre but, guess who is going to Cooperstown?
Grady Sizemore? Same thing – a Hall of Fame talent but never recovered from his microfracture surgery but Carlos Beltran did recover and Beltran is probably headed to Cooperstown as well…..not to mention a hundred million dollars richer 🙁

David P
Guest

Sizemore”s best comp at age 25 and 26??? Barry Bonds???!!!

Would have never guessed that but their stats are quite similar through age 26, including the exact same OPB and SLG.

ThickieDon
Guest

To be fair, Beltran racked up 80% of his WAR prior to the surgery – has been decent but not exactly the same since then. Could be due to age, but he had four MVP-caliber years from 2003-2008 (and was in the middle of another in 2009), and then post-surgery he had a couple of All Star level years and then a bunch of hanger-on seasons. He still hit OK, but his baserunning and outfield play was diminished.

One thing that hasn’t changed – his post-seasons have all been great (except for 2016), before and after surgery.

Paul E
Guest
ThickieDon, “To be fair, Beltran racked up 80% of his WAR prior to the surgery” Yes, but I would venture a guess that 80% of all WAR is racked up by players younger than Beltran (19-32) when he was injured, no? Sizemore was a young man when he incurred his injury and wasn’t even a AAA minor leaguer in his contributions after the surgery. Beltran did manage to stay on ML rosters, earn money in free agency, and did manage an OPS in the 120 – 125 range for several seasons despite his advancing years. FCS, he’s 40 years old… Read more »
ThickieDon
Guest

No doubt – one of my favorite players of all time. The all time greatest post season batter.

Although us Met fans would trade all of his post season homers for just one specific base hit…

Paul E
Guest

hey, I got frozen just watching that pitch on television

ThickieDon
Guest

Nasty. I wouldn’t have swung either.

Looked like a ball from where I was sitting.

Long walk back to the car that night…

David P
Guest
One thing re: Sizemore. He had lots of different injuries in a short period of time so it’s hard to know if there was one particular injury that did him in or if it was the cumulative effect of so many injuries: “Things started to go awry in 2009, when Sizemore suffered multiple injuries and endured a subpar season that ended in September for elbow and hernia surgeries. After 33 games in 2010, he needed microfracture surgery on his left knee. He returned to the Indians for 74 games in 2011, but injured his right knee and suffered another hernia.… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

….and, just when the rest of organized baseball was convinced he could no longer play, the Phillies signed him

Paul E
Guest

Sizemore
Mauer
Jeter
Santana, johan
Hafner
Ortiz
Guillen
Guerrero, vlad
Thome
Ramirez, manny

Special mention to Jason Giambi who had a nice comeback from steroid and authentic/native Japanese sushi poisoning (per Chris Russo: “He looks like Clay Aiken”).

no statistician but
Guest

Some of the other votes have been difficult, but this one seems nearly impossible. In a way it is the reverse of the 2000 NL vote, where so many players had outstanding but nearly identical performances. Here the performances all seem pretty lackluster, but for different reasons. On the surface Grady Sizemore does seem to be a reasonable choice as leader of this pack, but in fact he played for a team that finished 78-84 and underperformed by ELEVEN games according to its runs scored/runs allowed ratio. So how really valuable was he?

I’m still working at the other possibles.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Cleveland was 18-26 in one-run games.
They had 23 blown saves.
That’s not the centerfielder’s fault.

David P
Guest

Yeah, that bullpen was awful. Starters had a 4.31 ERA, relievers 4.73. Which is obviously the opposite of what you expect. The only reliever with 10+ IP and an ERA under 3.00 was Edward Mujica and that was just barely (2.95 ERA in 18.1 IP).

Jim
Guest

I’ve never heard of Jermaine Dye’s defense described as anything better than “adequate,” but I guess he was the best defender in the group that included Ortiz, Ramirez, Hafner, and Thome.

Richard Chester
Guest
This will be tough choice so I will be using my calculations for percentage of baserunners driven in to help me decide. I have mentioned in the past that although sabermetrics ignores RBI I still think it should be considered. For my calculations I do not count PA in which a batter receives a BB with runners on unless the bases are loaded. I have calculated for all batters who received an MVP vote from the writers plus all other batters with 100+ RBI. In the list ROB is the number of baserunners, RDI is the number of runners driven… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Richard, I like your approach very much, but I think you may want to do more to build HRs in as a factor of your % rankings. Not all RDIs are equal (even without considering the game context). An RDI that results from a runner on third with fewer than two outs is far less effortful than, say, an RDI that results from a runner on first. The most effortful RDI is the one that drives in the runner at the plate, that is, a HR. While it is too much to ask that each RDI be assessed according to… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

epm: I liked your suggestion of counting every PA as an ROB, it makes sense to me. Extracting data to enter into my spreadsheet to calculate the RDI/ROB values is a bit of work, if I get the energy I might do it. And as you said running the data taking into account the base-out situation is too much too ask but my intent was to get some sort of general idea of a player’s efficiency in driving in runners.

Richard Chester
Guest

I took epm’s suggestion above and counted each of a batter’s PA as an “ROB” and calculated the ratio of RBI/ROB. Here’s the list. I forgot to mention that I also ignored all PA in which a player was HBP.
ROB …. RBI …. % …. Player
652 …. 117 …. 17.94 …. Travis Hafner
663 …. 113 …. 17.04 …. Jason Giambi
814 …. 137 …. 16.83 …. David Ortiz
641 …. 102 …. 15.91 …. Manny Ramirez
718 …. 114 …. 15.88 …. Frank Thomas
774 …. 120 …. 15.50 …. Jermaine Dye
855 …. 130 …. 15.20 …. Justin Morneau
733 …. 109 …. 14.87 …. Jim Thome
854 …. 121 …. 14.17 …. Alex Rodriguez
824 …. 113 …. 13.71 …. Paul Konerko
760 …. 104 …. 13.68 …. Troy Glaus
913 …. 123 …. 13.47 …. Raul Ibanez
820 …. 109 …. 13.29 …. Michael Cuddyer
883 …. 116 …. 13.14 …. Vladimir Guerrero
720 …. 93 …. 12.92 …. Nomar Garciaparra
850 …. 107 …. 12.59 …. Richie Sexson
841 …. 104 …. 12.37 …. Magglio Ordonez
904 …. 110 …. 12.17 …. Mark Teixeira
918 …. 106 …. 11.55 …. Vernon Wells
745 …. 84 …. 11.28 …. Joe Mauer
768 …. 85 …. 11.07 …. Carlos Guillen
708 …. 78 …. 11.02 …. Robinson Cano
915 …. 97 …. 10.60 …. Derek Jeter
963 …. 100 …. 10.38 …. Miguel Tejada
1013 …. 103 …. 10.17 …. Michael Young
822 …. 80 …. 9.73 …. Johnny Damon
852 …. 79 …. 9.27 …. Gary Matthews
716 …. 64 …. 8.94 …. A.J. Pierzynski
880 …. 76 …. 8.64 …. Grady Sizemore
834 …. 62 …. 7.43 …. Chone Figgins
928 …. 49 …. 5.28 …. Ichiro Suzuki

Richard Chester
Guest

I followed epm’s suggestion above and did another analysis counting each batter’s PA as a “runner on base”. I should add that I also ignored PA in which a batter was HBP. I did not bother searching for catcher’s interference PA. Here’s the list.

ROB …. RBI …. % …. Player
652 …. 117 …. 17.94 …. Travis Hafner
663 …. 113 …. 17.04 …. Jason Giambi
814 …. 137 …. 16.83 …. David Ortiz
641 …. 102 …. 15.91 …. Manny Ramirez
718 …. 114 …. 15.88 …. Frank Thomas
774 …. 120 …. 15.50 …. Jermaine Dye
855 …. 130 …. 15.20 …. Justin Morneau
733 …. 109 …. 14.87 …. Jim Thome
854 …. 121 …. 14.17 …. Alex Rodriguez
824 …. 113 …. 13.71 …. Paul Konerko
760 …. 104 …. 13.68 …. Troy Glaus
913 …. 123 …. 13.47 …. Raul Ibanez
820 …. 109 …. 13.29 …. Michael Cuddyer
883 …. 116 …. 13.14 …. Vladimir Guerrero
720 …. 93 …. 12.92 …. Nomar Garciaparra
850 …. 107 …. 12.59 …. Richie Sexson
841 …. 104 …. 12.37 …. Magglio Ordonez
904 …. 110 …. 12.17 …. Mark Teixeira
918 …. 106 …. 11.55 …. Vernon Wells
745 …. 84 …. 11.28 …. Joe Mauer
768 …. 85 …. 11.07 …. Carlos Guillen
708 …. 78 …. 11.02 …. Robinson Cano
915 …. 97 …. 10.60 …. Derek Jeter
963 …. 100 …. 10.38 …. Miguel Tejada
1013 …. 103 …. 10.17 …. Michael Young
822 …. 80 …. 9.73 …. Johnny Damon
852 …. 79 …. 9.27 …. Gary Matthews
716 …. 64 …. 8.94 …. A.J. Pierzynski
880 …. 76 …. 8.64 …. Grady Sizemore
834 …. 62 …. 7.43 …. Chone Figgins
928 …. 49 …. 5.28 …. Ichiro Suzuki

Dr. Doom
Guest

I find it interesting that you consider RBI as a percentage, but not SCORING runs. It would probably be just as informative to see a list of TOB, R, and the latter as a percentage of the former. Getting around the bases and scoring is at least as much of a skill as driving people in. It makes sense to me that if you’re going to look at the one, that you’d look at the other, too.

Richard Chester
Guest
Here’s the list for percentage of runs scored. TOBwe = times on base including reached on error. TOBwe R % 244 …. 115 …. 47.13 …. Johnny Damon 287 …. 134 …. 46.69 …. Grady Sizemore 228 …. 105 …. 46.05 …. Troy Glaus 234 …. 102 …. 43.59 …. Michael Cuddyer 244 …. 103 …. 42.21 …. Jermaine Dye 256 …. 108 …. 42.19 …. Jim Thome 271 …. 113 …. 41.70 …. Alex Rodriguez 252 …. 103 …. 40.87 …. Raul Ibanez 286 …. 115 …. 40.21 …. David Ortiz 249 …. 100 …. 40.16 …. Travis Hafner… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Richard, I appreciate very much that you were interested in my suggestion and went to the trouble to calculate all these new figures in response to both me and Doom. I don’t entirely agree with Doom that scoring is at least as much a reflection of skill as driving in runs – I think driving in runs requires more skill, in general. My argument would begin by noting that errors produce Runs but not RBIs and that a walk to get on base, while a reflection of skill, generally demands less skill than a hit (my argument here is that… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Thanks for the charitable reading of my post, EPM, although you disagree. I will say this much, though: you think driving in requires less skill, but consider this. You could get on base via a walk. What are the chances that you would score, given first base? What percentage of the time would you be picked off, or thrown out between second and third, or between third and home? I would venture to say that you MIGHT get walked, but that your chances of scoring once doing so would be even lower than the chances that the bases happened to… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Doom, You ask: “What are the chances that you would score, given first base?” I could score if there were a HR, assuming no one objected to the game being delayed for a long period to allow me to jog to second, walk to third, and crawl home – walks to the next three batters would be a more efficient way to get me an R. I neglected to point out that I could also have reached first by a HBP, assuming the pitcher threw in the dirt to the left of the plate, which is where I’d be diving… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Those are all fair points, epm. You’re definitely right that “Runs and RBIs occur in complex, organic contexts in terms of player roles and skills, and game situations.” I just mostly wanted to point out that I think an average American person would probably NOT score, even if they DID get on base, barring a home run (I didn’t mean anything negative about you, personally; I regularly outrun the kids on the track team at the local high school, and I don’t think I’d have any chance of scoring in an MLB game; you have to basically be superhuman to… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Interesting points, Doom. I’d like to think more about the question of how we’d determine the frequency with which above average base running skills make the difference in whether a run scores.It seems to me a key point on this evaluative issue, and I’m not sure stats can tell us. (Does Statcast track base runners? That might provide a database.) As for your tone, it was well within bounds for me and I didn’t take your comment about my inability to score as a personal one, on target as that would have been. (For the record, I did once outrun… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

Totally agree about the Statcast era stuff. How’s about a ten year moritirium? Let’s figure out what’s truly exceptional before we start anointing every home run as the longest, hardest-hit homer in history.

no statistician but
Guest
I’m going to take a little exception to the tenor of Dr. Doom’s remarks. 1) While I agree that scoring runs is the goal of the offensive side of baseball, in specific instances players by talent or happenstance tend to either score or drive in runs at a higher rate. Leadoff hitter score runs, or they should. Batters in the three and four spots drive in runs, or they should. Whether or not leadoff hitters drive in many runs and batters three and four score lots of runs—these things are highly dependent on the hitting and getting on base capabilities… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

1) Hafner
2) Morneau
3) Ortiz
4) Santana
5) Manny Ramirez
6) Jeter
7) Mauer
8) Thome
9) Giambi
10) Guerrero

oneblankspace
Guest

Voting for:
1. JSantana
2. GSizemore
3. DOrtiz
4. JMauer
5. CCSabathia
6. DJeter
7. THafner
8. MYoung
9. JLackey
10. CCrawford

no statistician but
Guest
Time’s dwindling down, so I’m going to try to sort this out, but I know I’m going to be at odds with everyone else who votes. 1) Derek Jeter. Why? In a season where no player or players seem to stand out, Jeter actually does stand out—for high level consistency. To keep this simple I’m just going to use that much beleaguered stat BA to illustrate. At home: .354; Away: .334 First half: .345; 2nd: .342 In wins: .350; Losses: .332 RISP: .381; Men on: .366; 2-out RISP: .369 Further, he lead the AL in oWAR, WPA, and times on… Read more »
ThickieDon
Guest

I had Jeter at #3, behind Sizemore and Hafner.

Definitely one of his better seasons. At the time, the stats community preferred Sizemore, but I remember many on sports radio and the like thinking Jeter should have won over Morneau.

Paul E
Guest

Magglio Ordonez is tied for 15th all-time with 6 career seasons with 316 or more total bases. How’s that for cherry picking?

Dr. Doom
Guest
Had I had a vote in 2006, I was so impressed with Thomas down the stretch that I probably would’ve placed him first. It was a very memorable September. People probably don’t remember, but the White Sox won the World Series in 2005, without Frank Thomas. He got hurt (Big Hurt? Too soon?) early and played only 34 all year, missing the entire postseason. As the White Sox “elder statesman,” that World Series should’ve been a celebration for him. Instead, after the season, the White Sox decided that if they could win without him, why resign him to a massive… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Well, I think my vote’s ready today. Before I get to it, let’s get this out of the way: there’s no good “conventional” choice. Morneau was a good hitter on a division winner, but there’s no way he was the best power hitter in baseball. Ortiz didn’t play defense, Sizemore played for a losing team, Hafner didn’t play defense and got hurt, Jeter didn’t have the numbers, and Santana was dazzling, but not an all-time great season. It’s a compromise no matter whom you pick, so I did my best 1. Grady Sizemore – This is an odd year. It’s… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

Last day of voting, everyone! Remember to get them in today if yours like to vote!

Josh Davis
Guest

1. Derek Jeter
2. Jermaine Dye
3. Grady Sizemore
4. Carlos Guillen
5. Justin Morneau
6. Joe Mauer
7. David Ortiz
8. Vladimir Guerrero
9. Alex Rodriguez
10. Travis Hafner

Scary Tuna
Guest

1. Jeter
2. Morneau
3. Mauer
4. Dye
5. Hafner
6. Sizemore
7. Santana
8. Ortiz
9. Guilllen
10. Suzuki

Dr. Doom
Guest
Final round results, as always with point totals and first-place votes in parentheses: 1. Grady Sizemore, 81 (4) 2. Derek Jeter, 74 (3) 3. Joe Mauer, 61 4. Travis Hafner, 48 (1) 5. Johan Santana, 44 (1) 6. David Ortiz, 44 7. Justin Morneau, 32 8. Carlos Guillen, 27 9. Jermaine Dye, 19 10. Vernon Wells, 14 11. Jim Thome, 9 12. Frank Thomas, 9 13. Vladimir Guerrero, 8 14. Alex Rodriguez, 8 15. Magglio Ordonez, 8 16. Manny Ramirez, 7 17. Gary Mathews, Jr. and CC Sabathia, 6 19. Adrian Beltre, 5 20. Chone Figgins, 4 21. Carl Crawford,… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Doom,
Thank you for your hard work and contributions on this project.
It was a great concept and lots of fun

no statistician but
Guest

I’m amazed. I thought no one else would pick Jeter for the top spot. Equally amazed that I’m the only one who placed Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordoñez on a ballot.

Paul E
Guest

i should have placed Thomas and Morneau on my ballot……….not feeling the Ordonez thing

Dr. Doom
Guest

I regret leaving Thomas off, too. It’s a tough call. But I sure do remember him raking in September. I agree with Paul about Ordonez, though.

no statistician but
Guest

Paul E and others:

In my notes I confused the stats of Ordoñez with those of Guillen. So, yeah, I don’t feel the thing either. If I’d got it right, though, Guillen would have placed higher than Morneau in the final balloting. Mea culpa.

ThickieDon
Guest

At the time, the debate in traditional sports media was Jeter vs. Morneau (though in the stat community Sizemore was the overwhelming favorite, with Jeter a distant 2nd).

e pluribus munu
Guest

Great job, Doom. The posts were engagingly detailed and well written, and the project well conceived. Although I didn’t feel I could contribute much, I enjoyed and learned a lot from the posts and discussion. You’ve strengthened the site.

Scary Tuna
Guest

Agreed. I never seemed to leave myself enough time to contribute much – just getting my vote in under the wire on a few occasions. But I really enjoyed the introductions to each year’s re-vote, and the discussions they generated. Thanks a lot for the work you put into this project, Dr. Doom.

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