As a proud member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, MCB has a vote this year for the Stan Musial Award. As you might guess, this award names the player in each league that provided the most value to his club, each year. The BBA is set up much like the BBWAA in that blogs that cover American League teams will vote on AL awards only. Each MLB city is broken into chapters, and each chapter will have two official ballots to be cast in each award.
The Musial Award will be voted upon this year by MCB and Switch Hitting Pitchers, where Shelly posted her ballot recently. These are the second annual BBA awards. To see previous winners, visit the BBA homepage. MCB’s official ballot follows after the jump.
The Musial Award ballot requires 10 spots to be filled. In the interest of brevity, I will give you explanations of only our top three selections.
1- Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers- To me, Cabrera personified what “value” is to his team. In a lineup that was largely devoid of capable run-producers, especially in the second half of the season, Cabrera stood like a mighty oak in the heart of the order. His numbers are alarmingly good. He lead the league in OBP, RBI, and OPS+ while pounding 38 home runs, scoring 111 times, and hoisting a .328 batting average. I know he’s not a great defender, but his offensive numbers, combined with his 150 games played, take the cake for me.
2- Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers- We all know the Hamilton story by now and it’s frightening to think he good he is considering how much time he missed during his developmental years. Had Hamilton stayed healthy enough to play in September, he might have been a runaway for our top spot. As is was, Hamilton hit 32 home runs and drove in 100 runs as well, and lead the league in batting, slugging, and OPS. He also is a quality defensive outfielder. One of the most purely-talented players I’ve seen in a long, long time.
3- Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays- Bautista lead all of baseball with 54 home runs and became the biggest thumper in a Blue Jays lineup full of power hitters. Bautista plays capably either in right field or at third base and lead Toronto to a surprising 85-77 record this year. Sure, his batting average isn’t sexy, but Bautista changed the way pitchers had to work through the Jays lineup. His breakout performance is one that will be hard to duplicate, but Bautista is talented enough to sustain his success.
The rest of the ballot
- 4- Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
- 5- Adrian Beltre, Boston Red Sox
- 6- Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays
- 7- Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
- 8- Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox
- 9- Jim Thome, Minnesota Twins
- 10- Brett Gardner, New York Yankees
Because we have four writers on staff here, I polled the contributors before posting this ballot. Some interesting names came up in the discussion, but in the end, theses are the names that made the final cut.