AL Award Winners

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This year, I’m doing things a little different – I’m using Sabremetric stats to pick the award winners. My formula takes Value Above Replacement Player, Win Shares, Revised Zone Rating, and Win Probablity Added. For pitchers, I switched RZR for Pitching Runs Created. For rookies, I only used VORP – it’s easier to compare hitters and pitchers (for the record, a pitcher must have an increadible season to be up for the MVP; also, I’m not a fan of closers winning the Cy Young – how can a closer win an award for top pitcher when they only pitch if their team is winning by 1-3 runs). The Manager and Executive of the Year were my gut choices.

The definition of each (VORP courtesy of Baseball Prospectus; other definitions courtesy of The Hardball Times):
– Value Over Replacement Player. The number of runs contributed beyond what a replacement-level player at the same position would contribute if given the same percentage of team plate appearances. VORP scores do not consider the quality of a player’s defense.
– Win Shares. Invented by Bill James. Win Shares is a very complicated statistic that takes all the contributions a player makes toward his team’s wins and distills them into a single number that represents the number of wins contributed to the team, times three.
– Revised Zone Rating is the proportion of balls hit into a fielder’s zone that he successfully converted into an out. Zone Rating was invented by John Dewan when he was CEO of Stats Inc. John is now the owner of Baseball Info Solutions, where he has revised the original Zone Rating calculation so that it now lists balls handled out of the zone (OOZ) separately (and doesn’t include them in the ZR calculation) and doesn’t give players extra credit for double plays (Stats had already made that change). We believe both changes improve Zone Ratings substantially.
– Win Probability Added. A system in which each player is given credit toward helping his team win, based on play-by-play data and the impact each specific play has on the team’s probability of winning.
– A new stat, created by our own David Gassko. The notion behind Pitching Runs Created is that a run saved is worth more than a run scored, and PRC puts runs saved on the same scale as runs scored.

AL MVP – Grady Sizemore
VORP 64.6, WS 27, RZR .931, WPA 3.55
This was a close battle, as the AL didn’t have anyone like Berkman or Pujols. Sizemore did what he always does – fields well and hits better. He also heated up for the Indians late season improvement. Mauer was a close second.

2. Joe Mauer
3. Josh Hamilton
4. Carlos Quentin
5. Dustin Pedroia
6. Justin Morneau
7. Milton Bradley
8. Miguel Cabrera
9. Curtis Granderson
10. Ian Kinsler

AL Cy Young – Cliff Lee
VORP 74.6, WS 24, PRC 136, WPA 6.22
There was no contest here – Lee dominated the full season, leading the leauge in Wins and ERA. He’s got to be one of the reasons for the late season surge the Tribe went on. To think, they almost sent him to Arizona for Carlos Quentin.

2. Roy Halladay
3. Ervin Santana
4. Jon Lester
5. Daisuke Matsuzaka
6. John Danks
7. Joe Saunders
8. Zach Greinke
9. John Lackey
10. Felix Hernandez

AL Rookie of the Year – Evan Longoria
VORP 36.0
While Joba did well, Longoria made an instant impression for a hot team. He excelled in hitting and fielding. It was smart to lock him up like they did.

2. Joba Chamberlain
3. Mike Aviles
4. Armando Galarraga
5. Greg Smith

AL Manager of the Year – Joe Madden
While Madden didn’t bring the players in, he did get them to play at the highest level and continue it for a full season – something that doesn’t happen often for such a young team. No one saw them coming.

2. Ozzie Guillen
3. Mike Scioscia

AL Executive of the Year – Kenny Williams
Williams did more than any other GM this year: added Carlos Quentin, Nick Swisher, Orlando Cabrera, Ken Griffey Jr, Octavio Dotel, Scott Linebrink, and Alexei Ramirez this year and John Danks and Gavin Floyd last year.

2. Billy Beane