On Thursday, the DC Internet Baseball Writers Association released its 2011 player achievement awards. Below you will find the results as well as my votes and analysis.
Goose Goslin Most Valuable Player
(Player most valuable to the success of the Washington Nationals):
1st: Michael Morse (108 points, 19 first place votes)
2nd: Ryan Zimmerman (41 points, 2 first place votes)
3rd: Danny Espinosa (32 points, 3 first place votes)
Others receiving votes: Tyler Clippard (24-one first place vote), Jordan Zimmermann (11), Drew Storen (4), Stephen Strasburg (3), Wilson Ramos (3).
1st: Michael Morse
2nd: Danny Espinosa
3rd: Wilson Ramos
My MVP vote was basically a choice between Morse and Espinosa for #1/2 and between Ramos and Zimmerman for #3. Morse edged out Espinosa, who semi-surprisingly held the team's WAR lead (3.5 to Morse's 3.3, Ramos' 3.1 and Zimmerman's 2.5). Still, I think Morse's .387 wOBA with "meh" defense trumps Espi's .325 wOBA with awesome defense. This year it does, at least.
Ramos and Zim were essentially a toss-up, but I picked Ramos for his slight edge in durability with similar other factors. While the difference between Ramos and Zim's games played were not that great (113 for Ramos to 101 for Zimmerman), I felt that a catcher playing in 7/10 of the team's games is pretty normal whereas a third baseman missing 60 games is not.
Walter Johnson Starting Pitcher of the Year
(Excellent performance as a starting pitcher):
1st: Jordan Zimmermann (125 points, 25 first place votes)
2nd: John Lannan (51 points)
3rd: Livan Hernandez (18 points)
Others receiving votes: Stephen Strasburg (13), Ross Detwiler (9), Jason Marquis (5), Chien-Ming Wang (2).
Zimmermann was obviously the #1 choice here, so I won't bother even discussing that. The choice between Lannan, Livo and Marquis for #'s 2 and 3. At the end of the day, I feel that Lannan pitched the most and the best out of the 3, with Livo pitching the second most and Marquis the second best. Since Livo put up 9 more starts than Marquis, I decided to go with him, but it was closer than most would think. While Stras, Detwiler and Wang were all pretty solid, I couldn't consider a pitcher with less than 100 IP one of the top 3 starters.
Frederick "Firpo" Marberry Relief Pitcher of the Year
(Excellent performance as a relief pitcher):
1st: Tyler Clippard (121 points, 23 first place votes)
2nd: Drew Storen (79 points, 2 first place votes)
3rd: Todd Coffey (11 points)
Others receiving votes: Henry Rodriguez (6), Ryan Mattheus (3.5), Tom Gorzelanny (1.5), Sean Burnett (1), Collin Balester (1).
The first two were easy; Clippard put up sick numbers and Storen put up slightly less awesome but still awesome ones. The third one was tough, but I felt that it was a choice between Coffey and MPH-Rod. Their ERA's and FIP's were similar (3.56/3.24 for Rodriguez and 3.62/3.41 for Coffey), but the difference came in the fact that Coffey thrived most in high- and medium-leverage situations while Rodriguez's best numbers were in low-leverage spots.
Sam Rice Hitter of the Year
(Excellence in all-around hitting, situational hitting and baserunning):
1st: Michael Morse (103 points, 18 first place votes)
2nd: Ryan Zimmerman (64 points, 6 first place votes)
3rd: Danny Espinosa (23 points)
Others receiving votes: Wilson Ramos (14), Ian Desmond (9), Laynce Nix (6-one first place vote), Jayson Werth (5), Jerry Hairston (1), Roger Bernadina (1), Rick Ankiel (1).
Morse, once again, was head and shoulders above the rest of the team, so that was an easy choice. Zimmerman was a pretty clear-cut second choice to me given his "Mr. Walk-Off" performances. Not sure why I went with Nix here, to be honest. His OBP dropped below .300 by the end of the season and his baserunning was nothing to write home about. Now that I think of it, I should have gone with Espinosa here.
Frank Howard Slugger of the Year
(Excellence in power hitting):
1st: Michael Morse (120 points, 24 first place votes)
2nd: Danny Espinosa (56 points)
3rd: Ryan Zimmerman (19 points)
Others receiving votes: Laynce Nix (9), Wilson Ramos (5), Jayson Werth (4).
Morse was 1st for obvious reasons (31 HR, .247 ISO). Nix finished solidly in second for me, with a .201 ISO and 16 HR despite only having 351 PA. Espi and Ramos were neck-and-neck in ISO, but Espi ended up passing the magic number of 20 HR, so I went with him as #3. And as much as I love Zimmerman, I don't see 12 HR and a .154 ISO as competitive with Morse, Nix, Espinosa or Ramos (or probably even Werth, who had 20 HR and a .157 ISO).
Joe Judge Defensive Player of the Year
(Excellence in fielding):
1st: Danny Espinosa (74 points, 11 first place votes)
2nd: Rick Ankiel (62 points, 8 first place vote)
3rd: Ryan Zimmerman (47 points, 4 first place votes)
Others receiving votes: Wilson Ramos (15-one first place votes), Roger Bernadina (6-one first place vote), Adam LaRoche (6), Michael Morse (5), Jayson Werth (4), Ivan Rodriguez (4), Ian Desmond (2).
I toyed with putting Ankiel 2nd and felt that Ramos had at least an argument for top 3 consideration, but Espinosa and Zimmerman are both elite defenders with game-changing skills. Ankiel's arm is elite, but his range in CF is not amazing and I feel that 2B and 3B are much more valuable defensive positions than the corner OF's.
Mickey Vernon Comeback Player of the Year
(Player who overcame biggest obstacle in the preceding season to contribute on the field):
1st: Jordan Zimmermann (57 points, 8 first place votes)
2nd: Chien-Ming Wang (55 points, 6 first place votes)
3rd: Stephen Strasburg (52 points, 7 first place votes)
Others receiving votes: Jesus Flores (15-one first place vote), Jason Marquis (5), Rick Ankiel (5-one first place vote), Laynce Nix (3), Roger Bernadina (3), Michael Morse (3), John Lannan (3), Ross Detwiler (1), Ian Desmond (1).
1st: Jordan Zimmermann
2nd: Chien-Ming Wang
3rd: John Lannan
My reasoning here was a bit jarbled; Zimmermann got my #1 vote for recovering from injury to play a full, awesome season. Wang got #2 because he recovered from years of injury to contribute at all. Lannan got #3 because he struggled enough last year to get sent to AA and rebounded for a full, successful year. Marquis would have likely taken spot #3 had he finished the year with the Nats and Detwiler got more consideration as the season's final month carried on.
Josh Gibson Humanitarian Player of the Year
(Player who meritoriously gave of himself to the community):
1st: Ian Desmond (65 points, 10 first place votes)
2nd: Ryan Zimmerman (50 points, 8 first place votes)
3rd: John Lannan (20 points)
Others receiving votes: Drew Storen (14-one first place vote), Ivan Rodriguez (12, one first place vote), Livan Hernandez (9-one first place vote), Danny Espinosa (4), Stephen Strasburg (3), Matt Stairs (2), Brian Bixler (1), Tyler Clippard (1).
I did not vote here because I did not feel like I could contribute anything more than simply a wild guess as to who was most involved with the community. Zimmerman would have been my #1 due to ZiMS, but I had nothing to contribute after that, so I abstained.
Minor League Player of the Year
(Minor league player most destined for big league success):
1st: Bryce Harper (74 points, 13 first place votes)
2nd: Brad Peacock (73 points, 7 first place vote)
3rd: Steve Lombardozzi (26 points, 2 first place votes)
Others receiving votes: Tom Milone (17, one first place vote), Chris Marrero (7), Roger Bernadina (5), David Freitas (3), Derek Norris (3), Tyler Moore (1), Sammy Solis (1), A.J. Cole (1).
1st: Tom Milone
2nd: Bryce Harper
3rd: Matt Antonelli (didn't end up in the tally I suppose?)
I mis-read the description; obviously if future major league stardom was the definition, I would have gone with Harper first. Still, Milone had a great year, Harper had a nice one as well and I wanted to point out how good Antonelli's season was for Syracuse.
SURVEY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. What player was the biggest surprise for the Nats this season? Michael Morse (10.5), Wilson Ramos (4), Ryan Mattheus (2), Rick Ankiel (2), Brad Peacock (1), Danny Espinosa (1), Chien-Ming Wang (1), Laynce Nix (.5).
1/2 Nix and 1/2 Morse were my votes.
2. What player was the biggest diappointment for the Nats this season? Jayson Werth (15), Adam LaRoche (4.5), Jim Riggleman (1), Sean Burnett (1), Ryan Zimmerman's injury (.5).
Werth's struggles trumped LaRoche for me.
3. Will Ryan Zimmerman sign a contract extension before the end of the 2012 season? Yes (16), No (6).
I said no, but he will sign one in that offseason.
4. Which players on the 40-man roster at the end of the season are least likely to return in 2010? Alex Cora (13), Ivan Rodriguez (13), Jonny Gomes (12), Doug Slaten (12), Laynce Nix (10), Livan Hernandez (9), Todd Coffey (6), Tom Gorzelanny (5), Collin Balester (5), Yunesky Maya (4), Chien-Ming Wang (3), Brian Bixler (3), Elvin Ramirez (3), Rick Ankiel (2), Chris Marrero (2), Roger Bernadina (2), Atahualpa Severino (2), Craig Stammen (1), Henry Rodriguez (1), Adam LaRoche (1), Corey Brown (1), Ross Detwiler (1), Jesus Flores (1), John Lannan (1), Steve Lombardozzi (1).
Todd Coffey, Elvin Ramirez, Doug Slaten, Pudge Rodriguez, Alex Cora, Rick Ankiel, Jonny Gomes and Laynce Nix were my choices.
5. Who is your favorite professional Nationals writer? Mark Zuckerman (12), Adam Kilgore (6), Dan Steinberg (1), Dave Kindred (1).
Mark Zuckerman was my choice.
6. Who is your favorite non-professional Nationals writer? Harper Gordek, Nationals Baseball (5), Dave Nichols, Nats News Network (4 1/3), Patrick Reddington, Federal Baseball (3), Andrew Kinback, Nationals Inquisition (2), Sue Dinem, Nationals Prospects (2), Nats Daily News Staff (1), Capitol Baseball (1), Nats GM (1/3), Brian Oliver, Nats Farm Authority (1/3).
I went for Sue Dinem, but am also feeling Brian from NFA could be the 201? comeback blogger of the year if he comes back soon!