USATSI 18850540

The volume of debate over postseason awards is exhausting, so what is really called for here is the opinion of someone who doesn’t even have a vote on five of them. These are just hypothetical ballots – how I would vote if I had these ballots. I have the NL Rookie of the Year ballot this year, so I won’t discuss that one here, and I just don’t care about the Manager of the Year ballots unless I have to vote for real (which I did once).

When deciding how I would vote on MVP and Cy Young awards, I start with the rational metrics, looking at Wins Above Replacement totals on both Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference, and adjust from there. At the end of the day, I’m more comfortable with what an objective system built off actual run values says than with what my intuition or eyeballs, which are subject to all manner of biases, might say. If I’m going to diverge from what the best available metrics tell us, I’d better have a very good reason.

On Rookie of the Year, however, I consider more than just in-season performance, since the candidates generally don’t spend the same portion of the year in the majors – something exacerbated now by service-time games – and this shouldn’t just be an award given to the guy who played the most. I also consider a player’s age, since the same performances by two players, one of whom is 20 and one of whom is 28, are not equally impressive or indicative of a player’s future potential, and the sustainability of the player’s production. The point of the Rookie of the Year Award is to highlight the next Mike Trout, not the next Pat Listach or Joe Charbonneau.


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