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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Greg Zakwin's 2012 IBWAA MLB Awards Ballot (#TeamTrout)

I was able to cast a ballot - for the end-of-season MLB awards - in a vote held by the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America. The full list of 2012 Award Winners, as selected by IBWAA members, can be found here.

*Click either picture to embiggen.*

Thanks to Howard Cole, as always, for the opportunity to participate. Feel free to discuss the ballots and my selections, whether you agree or disagree with them. Mike Trout was by far the easiest decision for me, in both cases.


  1. Sorry Greg. A Triple Crown winner in 4th place just doesn't make sense to me.

  2. I always winder how one team can have three of the ten most valuable players in the league. How valuable to the Tigers can Jackson really be when they already have Cabrera and Verlander?

  3. Cabrera in 4th is a travesty. It's just ridiculous in my book. Different people can disagree on whether Trout or Cabrera was 1 or 2. I have no problem with that. Voting Cabrera 4th seems like an attempt to lower his vote totals just in case too many disagree with you. Not that it matters in the grand scheme, because in five years Miguel Cabrera will still be the 2012 AL MVP.

    RA Dickey in 5th is almost as silly, but I've poked at you enough today.

  4. Scott- Triple Crown is irrelevant. Those stats were deemed to be the most relevant decades ago, and we have so much statistical information now that more accurately reflects player performance.

    Section 36- The notion Miggy carried them is laughable.

    Johnny- Wasn't an attempt to lower. He and Beltre and Cano were close, but Cano and Beltre are SO much better defensively and are also better baserunners. That outweighs the offensive advantage of Miggy to me.

  5. Oh, and Johnny, so that was you. Well-done.

  6. and just to be clear - though I think it's obvious - I filled out these ballots weeks ago well before the BBWAA announced winners.

    Dickey may have been low, but Kersh is my choice regardless.

  7. @Greg

    I wasn't trying to say you were trying to intentionally lower the score of Cabrera or Dickey. And for the record, I don't think you did, but it does look that way. Cliff Lee, really?

    You did mention one thing that I absolutely despise about Trout supporters, that the Triple Crown is irrelevant. These stats have been kept for a helluva lot longer than you and I have been alive and you can't just dismiss them as nothing. Those stats, yes even RBIs, directly affect the goal of the game which is to win.

    Defense and baserunning are important, but you cannot win a game without offense. You can win a game with bad defense, bad pitching, and bad baserunning (though admittedly it is a lot harder) but if you have no offense the best you can do is tie. I think the fact that Cabrera switched positions to help the team should be factored as well.

    All that being said, I have no problem with your choice of Trout or Kershaw or anyone else for that matter, because it is YOUR opinion. Moneyball is one way to view baseball, but it is not the only way.

  8. I'll just say that there's a legitimate argument to put Miguel Cabrera third or fourth.

    I may have been biased a bit by putting him second ahead of Robinson Cano because I got caught up in the media narrative between Mike Trout and him.

  9. The Triple Crown IS irrelevant.

    "These stats are more important than those stats because these stats are older and those stats I don't understand!"


  10. Johnny, it has been proven how team-dependent and not statistically-relevant RBIs are, and in this particular case, they can't be the comparative method even if you put stock in them, as Cabrera is a middle-of-the-order guy and Trout leads-off, so of course Cabrera will drive in more.

    Trout actually capitalized on a larger percentage of his RBI opportunities though.

    And just because something has been the given for a long time doesn't inherently mean it's correct. They used to treat illnesses with blood-letting and chop arms off when an injury was sustained, but better methods were developed.

    We hail doctors as visionaries for these new methods, as we should. Yet somehow people who devise new methods of statistical analysis for baseball are trying to ruin the game, according to so many.

    I get that the Triple Crown is impressive, but again, the stats are arbitrary, outdated, and a player could feasibly lead the league in RBIs by getting every RBI off of ground ball outs and sac flys.

    How impressive is a stat that could come entirely from making outs?

    And Trout bested Miggy in OBP, which is far more indicative than BA for run scoring.

    Trout is THE ONLY player in MLB history with 45 steals, 30 HR and 125 runs scored in a season. So if we're talking historical....

  11. Johnny, you could win with "no offense."

    Trout walks, steals two bases and scores on a weak grounder, then uses his great defense to rob a couple homers, throw a guy out on the bases, and bam.

    No offense.

  12. Oh, and Cliff Lee put up 5 WAR, struck out the same as Dickey while walking just about a full batter less, and had a lower FIP and SIERA.

    He was great again.

  13. Love you, Greg - but wow, I am with a the majority here: I am not sure what baseball season you watched.

    You can say that Trout's capitalized on the RBI opportunities more than Cabrera. It was all for naught because the Angels didn't make the post season. Cabrera's play in the field on at the plate made more of a difference for his team that Trout's play. In that, he is the MVP. You vote for Posey to be the NL MVP but you won't vote for Cabrera. You want stats?

    run every 4.2 at bat
    hit every 3.07 at bat
    HR every 18.6 at bat
    RBI every 6.73 at bat (remember this)
    strike out every 4 at bat
    .329 BA
    .399 OBP
    .564 slugging

    run every 6.79 at bat (worse than Trout)
    hit every 2.9 at bat (better than Trout)
    HR every 22 at bat (worse than Trout)
    RBI ever 5.14 at bat (better than Trout)
    strike out every 5.52 at bat (better than Trout)
    .336 BA (better than Trout)
    .408 OBP (better than Trout)
    .549 slugging (worse than Trout)

    run every 3.7 at bat (better than Trout)
    hit every 3.03 at bat (better than Trout)
    HR every 14.1 at bat (better than Trout)
    RBI every 4.47 at bat (WAY better than Trout)
    strike out every 6.34 at bat (better than Trout)
    .330 BA (better than Trout)
    .393 (wow - Trout won one!)
    .606 slugging (better than Trout)

    And RA Dickey in 5th? I get the vote for Clayton, being your home town boy. But to put the others above him is plain silly.

    You got it wrong. Sorry, but you got it wrong.

  14. Jeff- 1st, Clayton is no hometown vote. I voted him second last year behind Halladay. As I mentioned, Dickey may have been a spot or two low, but Kershaw was the better pitcher. It's not a homer pick.

    Also, I don't take into account RBIs, runs, that junk. Trout contributed in all three phases positively, Cabrera only hit. His baserunning and fielding hurt the Tigers and cost them runs.

    And honestly, aside from the fact that it's an individual award, so team performance means nothing, the Angels were better with Trout than the Tigers were with Cabrera. Of course, the rest of their teammates played a role people seem to ignore.

    The Angels actually won more game than the Tigers, finished stronger than the Tigers too in terms of record.

    So no, Miggy's play did not add more to the Tigers, as their WAR differential indicates, as does logic when watching each play and how they contribute to the team.

  15. One game. The Angels won one single game more than the Tigers did. I could see the Angels winning a dozen or more, but they only won one more game. And the difference in WAR between the players is 4 games (per baseball_reference). Four more games that still wouldn't get the Angels in the playoffs.

    It appears your vote is based on two factors - a player's WAR and their baserunning. Let's go back in history. Hamilton won in '10 with 4 more stolen bases and a WORSE WAR rating. Were the writers wrong then?

    You are entitled to your opinion. And maybe one year Trout will get the MVP award he deserves. He got ROY - he totally earned that by far. More than Harper deserved his. I just think you aren't giving Cabrera his due.

  16. My vote was not based on WAR at all, frankly. It's not needed to see that Trout was FAR better.

    2010, it's close between Hamilton and Longoria. Wouldn't argue against either winning.

    And regarding one game, if your argument is that the Tigers were better because they made the playoffs so Cabrera gets points and should win, it's more than fair to note the Angels won more games and finished better down the stretch.

  17. Not to upset the apple cart more than it already is - and the ballots are kept secret unless a voter wants to publish on his/her own - but one person left Trout off completely.

    With even a second place vote from that person, and one more first place vote, Trout would've won the IBWAA election.

    Also, for what it's worth and not by design, the IBWAA has more members either from Southern California or covering SoCal teams than is mathamatically appropriate. It'll change as we grow.

    Of Trout's first place nods, about 90% of them came from the L.A.-centric voters.

    As much food for thought as the employment of one particular statistic or not, no?

  18. "It's not needed to see that Trout was FAR better."

    Far better where? Cuz I posted the stats at the plate. Are you basing the MVP on their play in the field?

    "...it's more than fair to note the Angels won more games..."

    No - it's not plural, it's singular. Won more game. One single game. Angels finished with 89 wins and the Tigers finished with 88.

    "...and finished better down the stretch."

    You sure of that? Cuz in the 2nd half of the season, the Angels went 41-35 and the Tigers went 43-32. In the last 20 games of the season, the Angels went 12-8 and the Tigers went 13-7. So your "better down the stretch" argument holds no water.

  19. Howard- Someone leaving Trout off the ballot entirely is ludicrous. I really want to know who and why.

    Jeff- The Angels in September/October: 19-11; the Tigers over the same span: 18-13.

    And yes, their respective play shows Trout was FAR better, as he contributed across the board, not just at the plate. Cabrera was a DH, basically.

    Trout also led in OBP, which is more indicative of run-scoring than BA, and led in WPA, which is clutch, basically. Cabrera's advantage at the plate is more minimal than people realize.

    And again, if you use "the Tigers made the playoffs" in your argument, the fact that they only made it because of geography is a more than legitimate counterargument to that point. The Angels were the better team. The Tigers' division enabled them to make the playoffs.

  20. DodgersKingsoftheGalaxyNovember 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Is that dude for real? Won one more game? In the toughest division in baseball! The Tiggers barely made it back to the postseason again crawling over cupcakes.
    Trout had a historic season period, not just for his age and he didn't even play in April! I don't really care where MC ends up on the ballot, Trout should have won.
    Oh yah and where does Comerica (fences in) Park rank in park factors? Where does Angel Stadium?

  21. Trout had 138 RC using 396 outs. Cabrera had 139 RC using 452 outs. Trout was more effective at the plate. Cabrera played a more demanding position, but clearly Trout was better at his position than Cabrera at his, so that's at least a wash. And to give Cabrera credit for making the postseason is to punish Trout for the Rangers and A's being better than the White Sox.

  22. Trout and Miggy a wash defensively? If by wash you mean Trout is miles and miles better haha.


    Not even close.