The last BBA Award for 2010 is for the player who was most valuable to his team during the 2010 season, and there is no clear front runner. Here are my picks:
1st Place: Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers.
Josh Hamilton is the heart and soul of the Texas Rangers. He lead the league in 3 offensive categories (.359 BA, .633 Slug%, and 1.044 OPS) he hit 32 home runs, had 186 hits, and scored 95 runs. Defensively, he had an overall fielding percentage of .985 (1.000 in 40 games at CF). And he did all this while appearing in only119 games. It is clear to most that he is a large part of why the Texas Rangers are playing in the World Series.
2nd Place: Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers. On a team that finished in the middle of the pack in the Central Division, Cabrera was the standout. He led the league in 3 offensive categories (126 RBI’s, .420 OBP, and 179 OPS+) and he was only .002 behind Hamilton in OPS. He batted.328 in 150 games. He hit 38 homers, 180 hits including 45 doubles, and walked 89 times. On a team that was going nowhere, he was the shining light.
3rd Place: Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees. In contrast to Cabrera, Cano was a star among stars. But Cano was the most consistent all-around player on the Yankees, especially when some of the other luminaries on the team were having a lackluster time. He played in all but 1 game this season, batted .319, had 200 hits, 109 RBI’s, 29 homers, and scoured 103 runs. In the field, he committed only 3 errors in 158 games for a fielding % of .996. He’s the consumate 5-tool player.
4th Place: Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins. He would have been higher, but he only played in 81 games. .345 BA, 1.055 OPS, 102 hits, 18 HR, .999 Fielding %.
5th Place: Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox. .312 BA, .997 OPS, 171 hits, 39 HR, .994 Fielding %.
6th Place: Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays. .294 BA, .879 OPS, 22 HR, 169 hits, 104 RBI’s, .996 Fielding %.
7th Place: Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays. His standout stat is 54 HR which led the league. He also led the league with 351 total bases. .260 BA, .995 OPS, 148 hits, 124 RBI’s.
8th Place: Vladimir Guerrero of the Texas Rangers. .300 BA, .841 OPS, 29 HR, 178 hits, 115 RBI’s, mostly at DH.
9th Place: Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox. Only played in 102 games. .307 BA, .975 OPS, 19 HR, 111 hits, 62 RBI’s, .997 Fielding %.
10th Place: David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox. Big Poppy started out slowly but finished strong. .270 BA, .899 OPS, 32 HR, 140 Hits, 102 RBI’s, mostly at DH.
That’s my take on this and the previous awards posted recently. Now we wait until the MLB equivalent awards are announced to see if the BBA bloggers agree.
Young Pitching: The A’s young hurlers are having some successes and failures, and some of the good things don’t show up in the win column. We have to remember they are all under the age of 25, except the “veteran” Dallas Braden, who will be 26 on August 13th. These young guys are learning how to be professional ballplayers in the major leagues, not in the minors where pitchers typically spend 4 or more years before being called up.
Brett Anderson had a terrific complete-game 2-hitter against the Red Sox in Fenway, which was electricfying to watch.
Even the Sox fans acknowledged his feat with respect. The day before, Gio Gonzalez looked great in his 5-2 victory over Cy Young winner Cliff Lee in Cleveland. But those were the only bright spots since Dallas Braden beat Justin Verlander on July 1st in Oakland.
Trevor Cahill struggled mightily in Cleveland, lasting 3.2 innings and giving up 8 runs (5 earned). In Boston, he pitched well for 5 innings, but in the 6th gave up a solo home run to J.D. Drew and a 3-run shot to David Ortiz Maybe Bob Geren needs to pull these young kids when they first get into trouble (like after Drew’s solo homer) until they get used to facing tough major league hitting. In general, I think Geren leaves pitchers in too long.
Unfortunately, Vin Mazzaro pitched too well in his first 2 starts with the A’s. His luck has turned since then.
It didn’t help that twice he had to face the Giant’s Tim Lincecum who is having another career season this year. He has taken the loss in his last 4 starts, although he pitched well in his last outing but got no run support.
I won’t even comment on the Dana Eveland loss. I think the A’s need to cast him adrift or trade him. He has shown us over the last couple of years that he can pitch well at the Triple-A level, but falls apart in the majors. He just doesn’t fool major league hitting and I think the A’s need to wake up to that fact.
I hope that Dallas Braden does well today in Tampa. We need our “veteran” Ace back.
Silent Bats: Mention must be made of the A’s lack of situational hitting. A lot of the losses might have been wins if the A’s could have driven in maybe half of the runners they had in scoring position. It often seems as if the bats don’t come alive until the 8th or 9th inning when they are in the hole, sometimes a deep one. It’s too little, too late.
Jason Giambi has been a real disappointment to the team, the fans and himself. No one wants to win more than the G man. Unfortunately, it looks as if he’s a little late when he swings at fastballs and doesn’t make contact. But he’s not the only one who strikes out or hits into double plays. It’s been happening all too often up and down the lineup. Matt Holliday certainly isn’t helping his chances of being traded to a contender. In short, the A’s just aren’t getting the key hits when they need them.
Scott Hairston: To finish on a brighter note, the aquisition of Scott Hairston was a brilliant move by Billy Beane.
We control him through 2011, and he is a terrific hitter and can handle the center field position very well. Maybe he can ignite the lineup and they can score more runs to help out the young pitching staff. Time will tell. I haven’t given up on the A’s yet. I just hope they don’t finish in the cellar.