The Cubs 2008 MVP

Be sure to vote on the poll below...


Now that the Dodgers have been rightfully ousted and played like the team I expected them to play like (bad defense, no one hitting besides Manny, overrated starting pitching), I can go about acknowledging baseball again. I know, sounds like a bunch of sour grapes and I don't really care. The Dodgers weren't a good team, the Cubs just beat themselves and I have always had a healthy distaste for the Dodgers and their fans.

Before I start looking forward to 2009 later in the week, let's take a look at 2008 and revisit the Cubs MVP talk. Bold indicates team leader...

Name
WARP-1
OPS
League OPS @ Position
HR
RBI
R
Soto 7.0 .868 715 23 86 66
DeRosa 8.0
.857 746 for 2b/788 for RF 21 87 103
Ramirez 6.6 .898 776 27 111 97

There is a write-in option in the poll as well, so you may want to also consider the following. Soriano led the team in HR's with 29 and Theriot lead the team in batting average (.309) and OBP (.387).
I imagine they'll be some sentiment for the Jim Edmonds/Reed Johnson
platoon. Combined they were good for a 6.5 WARP-1, 22 HR's, 85 RBI's
and 86 Runs scored and a rough back-of-the-envolepe batting line of
.294/.382/.506.

Name WARP-1 ERA
W-L
HLD
SV
K/9
K:BB
Dempster 7.6 2.96 17-6 -- -- 8.31 2.16
Marmol 3.9 2.68 2-4 30 7 11.75 2.78

A reliever, no matter how dominating, isn't likely to get much love in any cumulative stat, but they are counted on when it supposedly matters most. Reader "Real Neal" did the legwork for me (although I swear I was going to mention it), but here are the WPA numbers for some of the Cubs.

Marmol 3.77
Ramirez 3.31
Dempster 2.37 (-1.17 due to batting)
Lee 1.81
DeRosa 1.80
Harden 1.65
Edmonds 1.63
Soriano 1.41
Soto .95
Theriot -.22

I usually don't get too caught up in who meant more to the team or who defied expectations when it comes to my MVP vote. To me, it's pretty much a rough formula of 95% whomever had the best season statiscally and 5% for everything else. On that note, I don't like to put all my stock in one number like WARP-1, but a range of stats that cover offense and defense. Right off the bat, I'm going to knock Marmol and Ramirez out of the race. When you're only contributing 6% of a team's innings, I don't think you can afford to slip much and Marmol had that brutal stretch in late June/early July. It was a small hiccup in his season in retrospect, but he wasn't nearly overwhelming enough after that for me to truly consider him. Ramirez had another solid season with the bat, arguably one of his best as a Cub, but the 22 runs he saved with his glove last year looks to be the anomaly, as he gave back three this season. A matter of fact, he's put up negative fielding numbers at third base every year of his career except last season.

That leaves DeRosa, Soto and Dempster and I'm pretty tempted to wuss out here and call it a three way tie. I think statistically there's solid arguments for each, so that means it's time to argue everyone' favorite topic, intangibles. Soto seems to be maturing into the field general quite nicely as the pitching staff seemed to have nothing but good things to say about him. DeRosa' s defensive flexibility helped the Cubs overcome injuries and ineffectiveness. Dempster's remarkable consistency helped lead one of the better pitching staffs in the league.

In the end I gave my vote to Geovany Soto. I think it's harder to find a catcher who can hit and not be a disaster behind the plate (paging Michael Barrett) than it would be to find replacements for what Dempster and DeRosa did last year. 

And he has the most important intangible...great hair.

Comments

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=2...

to infer from that article...

Dempster will be staying, Kerry might stay as long as he isn't expecting a very long or expensive contract.

Also, everything was Fukudome's fault.

talks about Pie being out of options and finding left-handed bats.

I like Soto.

I'm glad he has a great supporting cast, I hope it never comes down to him being the best hitter on the team.

Catcher is such a wear a tear position.

Am I nuts?

Am I nuts?

Yes. What does that have to do with anything? :)

Geo Soto will never be the best hitter on a championship caliber team.

He shouldn't be. If he was then Hendry's not doing his job.

Quick, someone tell the Devil Rays they don't have a good enough hitter to be a championship caliber team!

Quick someone tell neal that they do!

What the hell does that mean?

he's implying that soto would be the best hitter on the rays and that if so, my assertion would be wrong.

Ok, now I see. I don't see, but I see.

by OPS:

Longoria - .874

Pena - .871

Soto: - .868

when you throw in park and league factors, the Rays do even a little better (OPS+ of 132, 130 compared to 122 for Soto)

Counting stats...

Longoria - 27 HR, 85 RBI, 67 R in 508 PA's drove in 16.2% of runners on base

Pena - 31 HR, 102 RBI, 76 R in 607 PA's drove in 15.8% of runners on base

Soto - 23 HR, 86 RBI, 66 R in 563 PA's, drove in 15.1% of runners on base

close, but the Rays top 2 hitters were definitely a bit better than Soto, although I'd definitely say Soto had the better overall season since those number came from the catching position.

But Chad was just mentioning offense, so he's still got this one....until the next example.

If you make Soto the D-Rays DH or 1st basemen - he puts up better numbers in 2008 than those two guys. Regardless, he's approximately as good as those two were, so Chad's ascertion is wrong. I could go back through the years and find examples, but proving Chad wrong is such an easy thing to do, there's no need to put that much effort in.

no no no no. You can't do that. He must play catcher only for a direct comparison. If you believe that he would hit better as a position player (perhaps he would) then it would show in the numbers and I wouldn't have made that statement.

You said:

"Geo Soto will never be the best hitter on a championship caliber team."

I don't see anything conditional about it saying, while playing catcher.

it was conditional on his actual real life statistics. not what stats he 'could' put up.

if you'd take soto in the middle of your lineup over longoria going on bat alone...damn.

clearly not what Chad was saying though...

but I am sure there is an example somewhere down the line where Soto would have been the best offensive player on a WS team.

Recent comments

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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 55 min 39 sec ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 58 min 13 sec ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 8 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 1 hour 50 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 6 hours 36 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 6 hours 37 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 16 hours 18 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 19 hours 16 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 19 hours 28 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 19 hours 37 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 19 hours 42 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 20 hours 1 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 20 hours 37 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 20 hours 54 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 20 hours 56 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 21 hours 14 min ago view