04/07/2005: This is the year for Albert the Great, Part II....
From Baseball Prospectus's daily newsletter, you've got to love this handicapping if you're a Cardinals fan. Projecting the National League MVP race for this season according to sabermetric indices:
Player BA OBP SLG VORP WARP
Albert Pujols .334 .419 .633 91.3 12.1
Jim Edmonds .287 .395 .592 71.4 10.7
Scott Rolen .293 .386 .545 58.9 10.4
Barry Bonds .339 .532 .687 86.0 10.3
Todd Helton .331 .437 .584 59.2 9.9
From: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=3877 (I think; the article referenced in the newsletter is a "premium" article (i.e., ya gotta pay for it), and I haven't subscribed to BP's premium services).
For those of you who don't regularly play the home game (all definitions from the BP Glossary):
BA = Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.
OBP = On-base percentage. Times batter reached base (H + BB + HBP) divided by batter's plate appearances (AB + BB + HBP + SF). In plainer English, OBP measures the rate at which a batter gets on base (via a hit, walk or being hit by a pitch) relative to his total plate appearances (his at bats plus his walks, times hit by pitches and sacrifice flies--statistically, the last three outcomes are not counted as "at bats", so we add them back to the denominator in order to calculate his plate appearances).
SLG = Slugging percentage: Total bases divided by at-bats. SLG measures (roughly) the number of bases which a player takes per at bat.
VORP = Value Over Replacement Player. The number of runs contributed beyond what a replacement-level player at the same position would contribute if given the same percentage of team plate appearances. Roughly, a "replacement-level" player represents the production of a major-league bench player or call-up from AAA, which is usually less than that of a "league average" player.
WARP = Wins Above Replacement Player. The number of wins this player contributed, above what a replacement level hitter/fielder would contribute.
What does all this mean? Pretty much this: if BP's statistical projections for this season are accurate, based on level of performance the Cardinals' "big three" (Pujols, Edmonds, Rolen) would "deserve" to finish 1-2-3 respectively in the balloting for National League MVP. Of course, even if the projections are accurate, that doesn't necessarily mean that they would, since the MVP balloting is done by sportswriters, and occasionally their voting seems to be a bit, um, idiosyncratic.
But as long as the boy stays healthy, this could be Albert Pujols's year.... and his teammates may well be nipping at his heels.
Len on 04.07.05 @ 06:52 AM CST