This will be the last MVP update until the 2005 regular season ends. I just want to post a table with Ortiz, Hafner, and Rodriguez's figures on it before the last week starts, and in the NL Lee, Pujols, Jones, Giles, Ensberg and Cabrera. This should be a great week of baseball in both leagues; watch as much as you can.
Thanks to the little defense Ortiz played, he is ahead of Rodriguez in cumulative NRAA. But Hafner missed time, so this might not be the fair way to assess the situation. Actually, looking at the figures, Hafner is directly behind both of them in that category, but in over 30 fewer games. Travis Hafner has a sizeable lead in Net Runs Above Average. He has actually combusted and gone nuclear over the past few weeks, while Ortiz and A-Rod have just been on fire. Take a look at where Hafner stood in NRAA as of the last MVP update: 35.20 on September 8th, now 38.41. Remember this is a rate statistic, so that is some serious improvement. I'm starting to think give it to Hafner, especially with the Indians possibly winning the division and at the least winning the Wild Card. With those occurences there is no excuse for him not winning. If I had a vote it would definitley be going to Hafner if the season ended today, but it doesn't, so we'll see what transpires from here on out. The only thing that might sway me in a different direction is this excellent piece by James Click (registration required), where he analyzes clutch situations (but not clutch hitters). Let's just say David Ortiz was the far and away leader in it, leaving A-Rod the odd man out in my mind since Hafner controls this category. Of course, Rodriguez leads in WARP (9.7 to Ortiz's 7.5 and Hafner's 6.9). The perils of DH value are inherent in this statistic, because even Rodriguez's below average play at third (Rate2 of 94) gives him value over the two non-defensive players. I'm not complaining; WARP is basically my favorite statistic. Just noting the why, just like Hafner and Ortiz get extra credit in NRAA for not having time to screw up their defensive rates too much.
All I want to say is this: Out of 6 of the top players from possible playoff teams, Andruw Jones is the least worthy of the MVP according to NRAA. In fact, since defense is accounted for, Lee is still miles ahead of Pujols, although offensively they are basically equals at this point. How come Brian Giles EqA is .002 behind A-Rod but the only time I hear his name is when I say it outloud? Rob Neyer thankfully mentioned him in his Insider article this week, stating basically the same thing: has anyone noticed how good his season is going? He has a WARP of 9, better than Ortiz and Hafner who the media has gushed over as of late. Ugh...just another reason for me to try to take over the media I guess. We are also certainly not hearing enough about Morgan Ensberg's season that saved Houston so far. Anyone notice that there are a lot of one-man lineups this year?
Imagine if somebody made an adjustment for games played in the field in order to take a better look at the value of a DH relative to that of an everyday position player...