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Carlos Ruiz, Perpetual MVP

Posted By Paul Boye On November 15, 2012 @ 9:35 pm In MLB,Philadelphia Phillies | 3 Comments

I’m not really a fan of slightly disingenuous blog titles myself, so I’ll get my apology for the one above out of the way right now: no, Carlos Ruiz is not always deserving of top-tier MVP consideration.

Boy, way to start on a downer, Paul. Alright, here’s what caught my eye early Thursday evening:

twitter.com/BoopStats/status/269231350047969281

That’s Bob Vetrone of the Philly Daily News dropping a fun bit of trivia. Who would have expected Carlos Ruiz to be one of three players included in such a list?

In reality, Chooch has never come all that close to actually winning the award, even in this, the best season of his career. The nature of the catching position often requires more days off Рor, in the case of Joe Mauer and Buster Posey, the availability of first base or the DH slot Рthan can really be afforded in such an award race. His MVP finishes since 2010, thanks to a smattering of downballot votes, reads tied for 17th, tied for 23rd and now tied for 28th.

Since 2010, Ruiz has a cumulative .303/.388/.454 batting line, with 83 doubles, 31 homers and 161 RBI. He’s walked 132 times against 152 strikeouts, a .868 ratio that only 17 other batters can claim in at least 1,000 plate appearances during that time:

Rk   BB SO PA Age G
1 Albert Pujols 216 210 2021 30-32 460
2 Alberto Callaspo 145 149 1657 27-29 425
3 Carlos Lee 154 168 1917 34-36 459
4 Carlos Ruiz 132 152 1326 31-33 367
5 Chase Utley 145 153 1327 31-33 301
6 Chipper Jones 169 178 1341 38-40 333
7 Daric Barton 171 181 1102 24-26 272
8 Dustin Pedroia 171 183 1705 26-28 375
9 Ian Kinsler 205 218 1914 28-30 415
10 Jeff Keppinger 87 91 1393 30-32 351
11 Joe Mauer 187 179 1558 27-29 366
12 Joey Votto 295 339 1842 26-28 422
13 John Jaso 140 126 1038 26-28 306
14 Jose Bautista 291 290 1737 29-31 402
15 Juan Pierre 111 115 1884 32-34 448
16 Lance Berkman 183 197 1165 34-36 299
17 Miguel Cabrera 263 282 2033 27-29 472
18 Prince Fielder 306 328 2096 26-28 485
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/15/2012.

That list has its highs and lows, but the highs are pretty consistent.

An additional nugget that may not necessarily make Ruiz’s 2012 be any more impressive or contain some hidden meaning: Chooch hit .327/.399/.542 when defensively designated as catcher, which encompass all but 15 of his 421 total. Posey, this year’s recently coronated National League MVP, had 480 PA when designated as a catcher and hit .329/.398/.540. Particularly insightful that is not, amusingly similar it is.

Long story short, Ruiz’s emergence as a top-tier catcher (his 34.02 caught stealing percentage was good for 10th in the Majors this season, oh-by-the-way) may never stop being amazing, and any chance to give the man a little extra dap is one we should all take.


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