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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  • Just read that when Hendricks starts the Cubs have won 33 times in his first 50 games which is the best for any Cubs starter since the 1940s. So he might not be getting a ton of wins but he's at least leaving the team in a winnable spot

    That and we've had a lot of terrible teams.

  • I agree, but just wanted to point out that Hendricks didn't really have a significant difference between his first and second half like Hammel did. Instead he had alternating good and below average months last year, without much fluctuation in his peripherals except a BB-heavy August and some up-and-down in opp avg. Mostly the team just couldn't win games for him in the months he pitched well. His 16 starts in May, July, and Sep/Oct (in which he limited opponents to OPS+ of 88, 75, and 44) resulted in a 4-2 record.

  • I think with Hammels and Hendricks struggles the 2nd half we forget how dominate of 1st halves they had and how many games they won us as the offense was struggling. We also forget they are back of the rotation guys and we can't be expecting ace quality there.

  • Maybe it's just Werth & Ross I'm noticing. Weird.

  • CRAIG: Jose Albertos is not chunky like Fernando. He's built more like Dylan Cease. Exact same body type. And his delivery is free & easy. He's definitely not a "max effort" guy.   

  • Hendricks after 50 MLB starts: 17-11, 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP. Not bad for a #5 starter. He may be a 6-inning max guy, but, if he can keep those stats up, I will gladly take it.

    Speaking of WHIP -- last year, he was tied for 11th in the NL. Tied with Hammel.
    Last year's NL rank in WHIP: Arrietta 2nd, Lester 9th, Haren 10th, Hammel T11th, Hendricks T11th. Wow.

  • I went to a Nats game in DC two years ago while looking at colleges with my son -- it's a fun park, worth a visit if you are in the area.

    I also saw the "slowness" thing -- particularly Werth, who would mosey out of RF about 5 seconds before the inning started.

    Weird.

  • It's Dusty's fault. It'll be the end of them.

  • Speaking of how teams "look", my take on the Nats- It's really weird, but the pace of the entire team seems slow. Slow walking to the plate, slow on the mound, even on some routine groundouts, it looked as if there wasn't a ton of hustle. Don't get me wrong, when the ball is hit to their outfielders, they get after the ball, I'm really referring to non-critical action- they mosey around. It's kind of odd. Maybe that "calm power" is part of the Nats ethos, idk.

  • My favorite moment of Hendricks' performance last night was the last strikeout he rung up- the cajones it took to throw a high, 86MPH fastball to Zimmerman on a 0-2 count. And he swung the bat like it was a 96MPH heater. I literally laughed out loud.

  • In listening to Maddon's post-game, he is interested in how these other teams "look" to him. He is assessing for today...and tomorrow. I love this guy.

    One observation from last night: Joe Ross is incredibly slow. 20-30 seconds between pitches at times. Hendrix had a nice, peppy rhythm which is great to see.

    I know there are plenty of purists here which I applaud, but the game just will not sustain itself unless change of pace rules come into play. Pitch clock, improve the shit-ass reviews, mound visits (there is a clock for this), batter time outs, etc.

  • Thanks, Phil. Albertos at 17, and having gotten a good signing bonus ($1.5, even though as Mexican prospect I think his team gets half of that?), throwing in the 90's and showing some command of a curveball sounds pretty interesting, even if that control is only for a dozen-pitch sample.

    What kind of a frame does he have? Is he on the stocky and short-ish side (I'm recalling Fernando Valenzuela!), or somewhat taller? A lot of 17-year olds have projection, "when he fills out" projection. Would that apply at all for Albertos?

  • A-Team

  • Ha

  • I definitely hang around here looking to reply to your comments as noticed by my nearly year long absence.

    there's a fine line between posting something relevant, useful or at least humorous versus posting something irrelevant, useless or unfunny...actually it's rather quite a thick line and easy to see for most people not named crunch.