Pine Tar And Pocket Protectors Gives Out Annual Awards – American League Edition

17 10 2010

Posted by Brady

We all love the annual awards. Rookie Of The Year, MVP, and Cy Young. And this year has been a doozy for all 6 of them. Today, we are focusing on the American League.

American League Rookie of The Year: Austin Jackson


Austin Jackson posted a 5.4 UZR, and had a catch that saved Armando Galarraga's not-quite-perfect-game.

Is there any award that is more sewn up then the AL Rookie of The Year? A 3.7 WAR, batting .293. Sure, he was on pace to break the all time single season strikeout record set by Mark Reynolds. But, he didn’t. He still lead the AL in getting K’d. He tied for second in triples behind Twins centerfielder and lead off hitter, Denard Span, with 10 (Carl Crawford hit 13). He ended up hitting .293/.345/.400.  He walked 7% of the time, which is right in line with

his career in the minors. Sure, he has no power, but you don’t really need power out of the lead off spot. On the defensive side of the ball, Jackson has been very rangy. A 5.4 UZR, and a catch that saved Armando Gallaraga’s not-quite-perfect-game. Sure, his .396 BABIP is unsustainable, and while Jackson had a great year, look for him to have a major sophomore slump.

Runner ups: Netali Feliz (TEX), Danny Valencia (MIN)

American League Cy Young Award: Felix Hernandez (SEA)


Hernandez was the picture of domination. He's one of the few pitchers in the league that I will watch to just watch.

The AL Cy Young Award is by far the most controversial. And you have two basic schools of thought when it comes to this award. Ability versus results. What should’ve been versus what was.  Here at Pine Tar and Pocket Protectors we tend to throw things like “wins” and “losses” to the wind. We let that old, senile, Hall of Famer, 2 time MVP, and 2 time World Series champion, who has Jon Miller as a broadcast partner talk about it. He shall remain nameless.

We here at PTAPP we like to believe that ability makes you the best. And the best gets the award. Is there anyone who out pitched King Felix this year? A 6.2 WAR, a 2.27 ERA, and he pitched 249.2 innings. Sure, his win-loss record is rather lackluster, but so was Zack Grienke’s last year. Hernandez was the picture of domination. He’s one of the few pitchers in the league that I will watch to just watch.

Runner ups: Cliff Lee (TEX/SEA) David Price (TBR)

American League MVP: Josh Hamilton (TEX)


Josh Hamilton put on the illusion that he was just hitting off a tee this year.

Just like the 2009 MVP, Joe Mauer, Josh Hamilton put on the illusion that he was just hitting off a tee this year. When Hamilton came up to the plate, if he didn’t get a hit, I was in shock. He hit .359 and had an OBP of .411. But he did it with power, posting an ISO of .273. Which ranked 3rd in the AL behind Jose Bautista and Miguel Cabrera. Hamilton got it done with more than just his big bat. He gave Texas solid defense in the outfield with a 7.9 UZR, and an ARM rating of 6.3.  Hamilton was the man this year, and with a WAR of 8.0. He lead baseball with that mark. Hamilton is the MVP this year. No question.

Runner ups: Miguel Cabrera (DET), Joe Mauer (MIN).





2010 American League Rookies

3 09 2010

Netali Feliz, as of right now, is my favorite to win the Rookie of The Year award.

Posted by Brady

Last year’s award season was pretty cut and dry. 3 of the award winners were known without even thinking. Mauer. Pujols. Greinke. No question, no issue, no need to second guess. This year, there are no sure things. Especially when it comes to the American League rookies. There are a few guidelines when deciding on the Rookie of The Year. 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched. The qualifications are simple enough, but, what do you vote for?

Results? What you see on the field. The quantifiable, visible, obvious contributions. Hits, steals, strikeouts, home runs, batting average, shutouts.

Or ability? The things that you can’t quite see, but it makes a player special. UZR, BABIP, FIP, blah, blah, blah.

I don’t really know how to answer that question, but, I do know this: Only a few rookies have really stepped up, and made the most of their first full year in the big leagues.

My Favorite

Netali Feliz, as of right now, is my favorite to win the Rookie of The Year award. No matter what baseball belief system you subscribe to Feliz is impressive. His fastball whizzes by at about 96 mph, and his change up loose 10 mph. Add that to a curve ball that goes 80. His slow stuff is fast. And it’s not just what he does with his pitches, its that hitters don’t hit him. His WHIP is at a staggeringly low 0.966. His 34 saves shouldn’t hurt him. What could hurt him? Andrew Bailey, another closer won last year.

Not A Bad Choice

Austin Jackson, the young center fielder who came over to Detroit in exchange for Curtis Granderson, is tied with Carl Crawford with 8 triples in the American League. He has speed to boot, with 21 stolen bases. He leads all

Austin Jackson, the young center fielder who came over to Detroit in exchange for Curtis Granderson, is tied with Carl Crawford with 8 triples in the American League.

American League rookies (who qualify in batting average)at .305. But a lot of that is luck. He’s riding a .417 BABIP, and he’s leading the AL in strikeouts. He’s a solid defender posting a UZR of 1.6 in center field. He’s come back down to Earth after a start that nobody had ever seen before, and everybody knew it wouldn’t last. But, back to Earth for Austin Jackson is still impressive.

A Very Dark Horse

The Twins seemed to have found their long term man at the hot corner in Danny Valencia. He is doing everything that Austin Jackson is doing, including posting a better WAR (2.1 for Jackson, 2.2 for Valencia) and he’s done it in fewer plate appearances. Every time he comes up he hits the ball hard. Almost 30% of hits hits have

The Twins seemed to have found their long term man at the hot corner in Danny Valencia.

been for extra bases. He hasn’t been up very long, but he is absolutely raking. .332/.375/.447. Not only that, but, there are a lot of cool things about him. His first big league home run? A grand slam. Off Zack Greinke. To the opposite field. His second home run? it broke up a duel shut out between Scott Baker and Jered Weaver. And that’s it for the young third sacker, as far as home runs go. The power is there. In the minors he defintley flashed a big stick from time to time. But, not only is there potential power, he flashes the leather quite well. UZR of 5.1. He hasn’t shown any signs of cooling down either. If Valencia can continue this incredible hot streak through the rest of the season, he’ll end up with about 360 plate appearances. If he is still batting around .320 at that time, it is going to be very hard to vote against this young man.