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.
Last night A’s fans were treated to something very special: Vin Mazarro made his major league debut for the A’s in Chicago.
The 22 year-old pitcher from Rutherford, New Jersey was called up yesterday to join the starting rotation, whose oldest member is a mere 25 years old. That would be Dallas Braden, whose total MLB experience consists of 35 starts over the last 3 seasons. He’s the veteran in the rotation! The next younger is Josh Outman at 24, and Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson are both 21 years old. This is the youngest rotation in all of major league baseball.
Mazarro didn’t disappoint. He struggled a bit in the first 2 innings, but made quality pitches when he needed to and was helped out by stellar defense, including his great wheel and pickoff of Scott Podsednik as the latter strayed off 2nd base in the 1st.
From the 3rd inning on, Vin got his nerves under control and pitched 4.1 innings of shutout ball with ease. Craig Breslow came in and got a double play to end the 7th inning and Brad Ziegler pitched the 8th and 9th innings. Neither gave up a run, preserving Mazarro’s 1st major league win, a 5-0 shutout of the White Sox.
Mazarro was also helped by two great catches in the outfield. Ryan Sweeney did a face plant into the padding in centerfield padding as he caught a long fly ball near the top of the wall, robbing Paul Konerko of extra bases. Matt Holliday made a nice shoe string catch as well.
Vin had a couple of dozen family members and friends from all over the country in the stands to cheer him on. They could be heard making lots of noise with every strike and out that Mazarro rang up. His dad hardly sat down for the 6+ innings his son pitched.
After he settled down, Mazarro’s pitches looked like those of a seasoned veteran, with great movement and velocity in the low to mid 90’s and he located his pitches very well. “He kept us off balance. He had good stuff,” said Scott Podsednik. “You can see why their organization was high on him and brought him up and gave him a shot.”
When manager Bob Geren announced Mazarro’s call up a couple of days ago, he said, “The future is now!” Vin certainly put paid to Geren’s words. In short, Vin Mazarro showed us that he is the complete package, and I am sure that his success and poise on the mound, in what must have been a nerve-wracking pressure-packed situation, will rub off on the other young pitchers on the staff.
Last night was truly special, for Vin, the A’s and the fans. It was a glimpse into what is possible in the very near future, and gave the fans what they need most right now: legitimate hope. Maybe–keep your fingers crossed–it will translate into more butts in the seats at the Coliseum the rest of the season.
On that note, the A’s ran another hit promotion last night, taking a dollar off a plaza-level ticket for Saturday’s game against the Orioles. The A’s got 8 hits last night so a $24 dollar ticket will now cost $16 each. Go to the A’s website to order tickets and use the discount code “Hits” to get the reduced price. Oh, and the game starts at 6:00 pm because there’s a free Jordan Sparks concert immediately following the game. Such a deal!