NEW: Award Race Updates

Beginning this evening, I will be posting monthly and cumulative player updates for the MLB season based on the major Award categories in each league (MVP, Cy Young, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger). These updates, however, will be based on one stat, that stat being whichever I deem to be the most encompassing for the given award category. The list is not exhaustive, but it does provide a general understanding of where certain players stand as we progress through the regular season. Rankings will be determined as follows:

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MVP, Top 3 per league, Total fWAR

Cy Young, Top 3 per league, Total fWAR

Silver Slugger, Winner and Runner-up for each league, Offensive WAR

Gold Glove, Winner and Runner-up for each league, Defensive WAR (monthly), Total UZR (cumulative)

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Advanced metrics can be deceiving, therefore I will be giving a brief explanation at the end of each league’s rankings that provides my general thoughts about where this list is/isn’t accurate. Basically, I will use traditional metrics and on-field performance to summarize the area’s of the list to keep an eye on, as certain players could fall off drastically throughout the season, while others may simply have been over or underachieving. For example, David Price of the Boston Red Sox has managed a very respectable 1.5 WAR to this point, but his 5.53 ERA would likely eliminate him from Cy Young contention. Advanced metrics are not perfect, nor is my knowledge, but the balance of the two should provide a decent month-to-month update. To kick off the season, here are April’s award race updates (based on numbers entering play on May 1st). A May update will be posted, along with a cumulative update, during the first week of June.

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AL MVP:

Manny Machado, 3B, BAL, 1.8 WAR

Jose Altuve, 2B, HOU, 1.6 WAR

Josh Donaldson, 3B, TOR, 1.6 WAR

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AL Cy Young:

Jose Quintana, CHW, 1.3 WAR

Chris Sale, CHW, 1.1 WAR

Jordan Zimmerman, DET, 1.0 WAR

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AL Silver Sluggers:

C – Brian McCann, NYY, 1.4 Off

C – Stephen Vogt, OAK, 1.1 Off

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1B – Joe Mauer, MIN, 6.0 Off

1B – Chris Davis, BAL, 4.1 Off

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2B – Logan Forsythe, TAM, 11.2 Off

2B – Jose Altuve, HOU, 9.4 Off

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3B – Josh Donaldson, TOR, 11.1 Off

3B – Manny Machado, BAL, 10.6 Off

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SS – Carlos Correa, HOU, 3.5 Off

SS – Xander Bogaerts, BOS, 3.4 Off

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LF – Colby Rasmus, HOU, 6.6 Off

LF – Michael Saunders, TOR, 5.0 Off

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CF – Mike Trout, LAA, 7.0 Off

CF – Kevin Kiermaier, 2.4 Off

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RF – Mark Trumbo, BAL, 7.6 Off

RF – Jose Bautista, TOR, 6.4 Off

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DH – David Ortiz, BOS, 8.1 Off

DH – Victor Martinez, 7.2 Off

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AL Gold Gloves:

C – Salvador Perez, KCR, 3.5 Def

C – Yan Gomes, CLE, 1.8 Def

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1B – Miguel Cabrera, DET, 0.2 Def

1B – Joe Mauer, MIN, -0.4 Def

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2B – Jason Kipnis, CLE, 2.3 Def

2B – Dustin Pedroia, BOS, 2.1 Def

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3B – Manny Machado, BAL, 2.9 Def

3B – Adrian Beltre, TEX, 2.3 Def

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SS – Andrelton Simmons, LAA, 4.7 Def

SS – J.J. Hardy, BAL, 4.6 Def

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LF – Ian Desmond, TEX, 1.8 Def

LF – Colby Rasmus, HOU, 1.6 Def

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CF – Kevin Pillar, TOR, 4.8 Def

CF – Delino DeShields, TEX, 3.0 Def

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RF – Adam Eaton, CHW, 5.6 Def

RF – Mookie Betts, BOS, 1.6 Def

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P – Corey Kluber, CLE, 0.3 Def

P – Justin Verlander, DET, 0.3 Def

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My Take:

There aren’t really any surprises from April’s numbers, as the usual suspects seem to be making their presence known in the MVP race, while the two White Sox studs lead the Cy Young ranks. Joe Mauer quietly takes the top spot in the Silver Slugger rankings for first baseman, carried by an 18.9% BB%, 8.5 K%, and a .453 OBP. Furthermore, despite Jose Altuve’s strong start to the season, Logan Forsythe manages to take the top Silver Slugger spot at second base, barely edging Altuve’s 1.011 OPS with his own mark of 1.036. Mark Trumbo appeared on both the right field and designated hitter rankings, but I chose to slot him in RF where he spent most of his time in the month of April. In the Gold Glove races, first base had a generally week month in the AL, as Miguel Cabrera was the only one with a positive Defensive WAR. The Texas Rangers’ experiment of Ian Desmond in left field has been surprisingly beneficial, as he has set the pace at his position. Adam Eaton is amazingly 4 Def WAR ahead of second place Mookie Betts after only one month of play. Finally, the sample size for Gold Glove pitchers is so small that no real conclusions can be gained at this point, as four others also came in at a 0.3 Def WAR besides the ones that are listed (Rick Porcello, Ricky Nolasco, David Price, Anibal Sanchez).

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NL MVP:

Dexter Fowler, OF, CHC, 1.8 WAR

Nolan Arenado, 3B, COL, 1.6 WAR

Bryce Harper, OF, WAS, 1.6 WAR

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NL Cy Young:

Noah Syndergaard, NYM, 1.5 WAR

Stephen Strasburg, WAS, 1.4 WAR

Johnny Cueto, SFG, 1.3 WAR

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NL Silver Sluggers:

C – Yadier Molina, STL, 4.2 Off

C – Francisco Cervelli, PIT, 3.0 Off

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1B – Paul Goldschmidt, ARZ, 5.7 Off

1B – Wil Myers, SDP, 5.5 Off

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2B – Daniel Murphy, WAS, 8.2 Off

2B – Neil Walker, NYM, 5.6 Off

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3B – Nolan Arenado, COL, 8.0 Off

3B – Jake Lamb, ARZ, 4.7 Off

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SS – Aledmys Diaz, STL, 10.7 Off

SS – Trevor Story, COL, 5.8 Off

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LF – Michael Conforto, NYM, 10.6 Off

LF – Starling Marte, PIT, 7.7 Off

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CF – Dexter Fowler, CHC, 11.5 Off

CF – Yoenis Cespedes, NYM, 7.2 Off

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RF – Bryce Harper, WAS, 10.2 Off

RF – Giancarlo Stanton, MIA, 6.4 Off

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P – Jake Peavy, SFG, 1.0 Off

P – Joe Ross, WAS, 1.0 Off

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NL Gold Gloves:

C – Derek Norris, SDP, 2.0 Def

C – Francisco Cervelli, PIT, 1.9 Def

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1B – Wil Myers, SDP, 0.3 Def

1B – Justin Bohr, MIA, -0.2 Def

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2B – Ben Zobrist, CHC, 1.9 Def

2B – Cesar Hernandez, PHI, 1.6 Def

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3B – Nolan Arenado, COL, 4.1 Def

3B – Kris Bryant, CHC, 3.0 Def

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SS – Brandon Crawford, SFG, 5.3 Def

SS – Corey Seager, LAD, 4.1 Def

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LF – Angel Pagan, SFG, 1.0 Def

LF – Melvin Upton Jr., SDP, 1.0 Def

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CF – Dexter Fowler, CHC, 2.3 Def

CF – Odubel Herrera, PHI, 0.8 Def

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RF – Gregory Polanco, PIT, 2.1 Def

RF – Jason Heyward, CHC, 2.0 Def

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P – Jeff Samardzija, SFG, 1.6 Def

P – Zack Greinke, ARZ, 1.5 Def

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My Take:

The month of April in the NL was similar to that of the AL. Dexter Fowler is a bit of surprise as the league leader in WAR, and it is equally surprising that advanced metrics managed to leave Jake Arrieta out of the Cy Young race. Two rookies lead the way in the Silver Slugger rankings at shortstop, as Aledmys Diaz has made Johnny Peralta’s injury look like a blessing in disguise. I am sure everyone knows of Trevor Story’s April heroics to this point (I wrote an article analyzing his production about a month ago). It is clearly still too early for Defensive WAR stats to have an accurate sample size, as Derek Norris, typically not regarded for his defense, leads the way at catcher. First base fielding has started slow in the NL, just as it has in the AL, and fans are probably just now hearing second baseman Cesar Hernandez’s name in any significant context for the first time in forever. Zack Greinke, a two-time Gold Glove winner already, makes his appearance on this list, barely trailing Jeff Samardzija of the Giants.

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This concludes April’s award race update. I will be posting monthly updates from here on out, which will be accompanied by the accumulative total’s for the entire season to that point.

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Once again, all stats have been gathered from FanGraphs, who’s link is available in this sites’ menu header.

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