Thursday, August 10, 2006

Joe Mauer for MVP

At this point Joe Mauer is the AL MVP.

He is 3rd in VORP (Value over Repacement Player) behind Hafner and Vernon Wells. He is slightly ahead of Jeter, Manny, Ortiz and Thome and he is way ahead of Morneau.

VORP is good stat to determine how good a player is, offensively (and at the Major League Level), compared to other players at the same position. For example, even though Thome is having a better year offensively than Mauer he should be compared to how much better he is than other DH’s. Mauer is at an important defensive position while Thome doesn’t even play defense. Thome is about as good offensively as 2 or 3 other DHs. He doesn’t really stand out against Hafner and Ortiz.

So it is better to look at a player compared to others at his position before comparing him to all other players.

Mauer leads the league in OBP and is 5th in the league in Runs Created per game. He is nearly as good as any player in the league offensively.

But Mauer plays a prime defensive position and he plays it better than nearly all other catchers in the league. According to he has saved more runs, defensively, than any other MVP candidate. He really is the only one who adds anything defensively and he does so while playing the hardest position to play.

But Ortiz is the best clutch hitter in baseball, shouldn’t he be MVP? Well for one thing I don’t believe that clutch hitting is something a player controls much. I do think there is something to it but not nearly as much as most people think. This is waht studies on clutch hitting have shown.

This year Ortiz is hitting great in Close & Late situations with an OPS of 1.264, but Mauer is no slouch at .980. And with runners in scoring position Mauer is slightly better with an OPS of 1.060 and Ortiz is at 1.033, very close.

So yes Ortiz may be the better clutch hitter. But do we base it solely on clutch hitting? If so then Gary Matthes Jr should be MVP.

When you look at the big picture and look past the RBI’s of DH’s and firstbasemen who do not add anything to the team defensively it is easy to see why Mauer is the choice, at this time, for AL MVP.


At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Chicago Twinkie said...

Very insightful and interesting article. Unfortanetly most MVP voters aren't going to consider VORP in there voting but the traditional statistics like HR, RBI, Runs and etc.... In my opinion you give Mauer the Silver Slugger award and Ortiz the MVP.

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Todd said...

VORP isn't looked too much yet but 10 years ago who ever heard of OPS.


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