Utley > Howard

BBWAA:

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols was a unanimous choice in winning the National League Most Valuable Player Award for the second consecutive season and the third time in his career.

The right guy, again. This time unanimously.

However,

Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies and Price Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers, who tied for the league lead in RBI with 141 apiece, finished third and fourth, respectively. Howard (.279, 45 HR, 108 R) totaled 217 points and Fielder (.299, 46 HR, 110 BB) 203.

[…]

Also finishing in the top 10 were […] Phillies second baseman Chase Utley (.282, 31 HR, 93 RBI, 103 R)

Howard got six second-place votes, Utley got none. Howard got eight third-place votes, Utley got two. Howard got seven fourth-place votes, Utley got two. Howard got five fifth-place votes, Utley got one.

  • Utley: .402 wOBA
  • Howard: .393 wOBA
  • Utley: 11.3 UZR/150 at second base
  • Howard: 1.2 UZR/150 at first base
  • Utley: 5.3 (EQBRR-EQSBR)
  • Howard: -4.5 (EQBRR-EQSBR)
  • Utley: 8 WAR (including base running)
  • Howard: 4 WAR (including base running)

As I mentioned yesterday, kudos to the BBWAA for getting the actual award recipients right. However, some of the non-first-place votes have still been baffling — this being one prominent example. Two Ryan Howards may only be slightly more productive than one Chase Utley.

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5 comments

  1. e

    November 24, 2009 02:40 PM

    Fielder was so much better than Howard it’s not even funny. Howard wasn’t in my top 15

  2. Bob R.

    November 24, 2009 03:12 PM

    If I read it right, 14 voters left Utley off their ballot completely. Incredible.

  3. PhillyFriar

    November 24, 2009 05:01 PM

    I applaud Danny Knobler for explaining his ballot, as I think the process benefits from transparency. I also give him credit for at least putting Utley on the ballot.

    But how you can possibly try to justify Matt Holliday’s 63-game cameo over Utley’s 156 is completely beyond me. I mean, that’s beyond the realm of logic.

  4. hk

    November 26, 2009 07:43 AM

    I don’t know why anyone in the sabremetric community would expect things to change. As long as we keep getting votes like Howard above Utley and Ben Zobrist rarely getting noticed, things have not changed. The old school counting team influenced counting stats (i.e. RBI) are still more important than defense and performance relative to position.

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