November 2008

Flip Flop

Al is MVP.jpg

November 20, Phoenix – Much has been written from coast to coast about the NL MVP. It is a great debate as we hoped it would be as the season wrapped up. I was one in September almost nightly saying that Howard should win the award as it felt like each night he homered and each of those homers lifted Philly to victory. He had an incredible final month.

So let’s talk months. Just for kicks, here are the season numbers for both Albert Pujols and Howard, month by month. Added to the chart is runners in scoring position and stats within their respective divisions. The first is batting average, then on base percentage and slugging percentage.

Pujols Howard
365/523/594 Apr. 168/298/347
373/454/706 May  238/344/590
302/444/558 June  234/287/439
347/413/564 July 311/366/612
398/491/745 Aug. 213/328/463
321/427/702 Sept. 352/422/852
339/523/678 RISP 320/439/589
365/469/662 In Division 270/343/587

There are 24 total chances for each player to better one another statisically. Pujols does so 21 of the 24 times, leaving three for Howard. Ryan deserves a great deal of extra credit for for his team’s 17 wins in September, but Albert certainly needs at least a pat on the back for the Cardinals 18 victories in April, when little was expected of them in 2008.


The last few weeks meant everything to Philly, while the Cards certainly faded from the the Wild Card race. Does that mean that pitchers eased up on Albert? Or that he would not have had the same level of success if St Louis had been in it until the final Sunday? It is safe to assume that both hitters got the very best out of opposing pitchers every single at bat.

It is what makes baseball great, these great debates. Much like Holliday v. Rollins or Tulowitzki v. Braun (ROY) a season ago.

See you soon.


November 19, Phoenix – Three NL shortstops garnered votes the other day for the MVP Award: Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes and Stephen Drew. Drew was called to task by many of us so called experts heading into the 08′ campaign as a player that needed to improve and he got it done, an improvement of 20 points in on base percentage and a jump of 132 in slugging percentage.


The reason it was so exciting to see Drew rewarded for his efforts was that his efforts never lagged while he was hitting .238 in 07′. Stephen never jogged on a routine fly ball to right or a three-hopper to second base…never. Now effort, ability and experience have teamed up to build a player in a special class.

Drew’s 44 doubles are more than any Dbacks shortstop in a single season, as were his 21 home runs, 76 extra base hits, .502 slugging percentage and .835 OPS.

Only Hanley Ramirez had a higher OPS (.945) as a shortstop than Drew in the entire Major Leagues. But Stephen’s extra base hit total was tops amongst all at his position in the game and also rank in the top 25 single season totals at shortstop all-time.

chris young 2.jpg

Speaking of awards, one would think that Chris Young could have a Gold Glove in his trophy case someday soon. As a matter of fact, the numbers show that he might have been overlooked in 2008. (Note: Visit the websites for explanations of the stats if needed)

Fielding Bible +/- (
1.) Beltran +24
2.) Young +23
3.) Ross +15
4.) Gerut +12
5.) Victorino +10 

The Hardball Times RZR (Based on BIS Data) (
1.) Ross .952
2.) Young .947
3.) Rowand .945
4.) Cameron .943
5.) Beltran .925

The Hardball Times OOZ
1. Beltran 111
2. Young 92
3. Mclouth 87
4. Victorino 83
5. Bourn 82

Stats Inc. Zone Rating
1.) Patterson .901
2.) Victorino .899
3.) Beltran .899
4.) Cameron .892
5.) Young .889

Thanks to the Diamondbacks Bullpen for lighting the flame on this topic and stacking up the numbers to back it up..

See you soon.