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Quick Hitter: My Twins Awards Ballot


Matthew Lenz

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blog-0206123001569889930.jpgSoon enough the 2019 Twins Daily Twins Awards will be published. I was excited to be part of the balloting process and wanted to release by ballot with quick explanations behind my decisions.

 

Rookie of Year:

1. Arraez

2. Littell

3. Harper

 

I'll be shocked if Arraez isn't the unanimous first place vote. Littell definitely made his case, especially late, but Arraez was the spark plug in one of the best offenses in The League. The fact that Ryne Harper, who actually did okay, got my 3rd place vote shows how little the Twins relied on rookies this year.

 

Most Improved:

1. Garver

2. Polanco

3. Max Kepler

 

In my opinion, this is a toss up for the three above. You could easily add Duffey to the mix here too. You'll see this reflected in my MVP voting but I was a catcher growing up and believe it's the most important position on the field, so Garver gets my vote. Kepler showed signs last year of big improvements, so I had Polanco over him.

 

Pitcher of the Year:

1. Rogers

2. Duffey

3. May

4. Pineda

 

Man, this was tough but throughout the year Rogers was the most consistent pitcher, and no I'm not just talking out of the bullpen. Duffey and May were two of the best relievers in baseball when it mattered most but if it wasn't for his suspension, Pineda probably would have been at number two for me.

 

Most Valuable Player:

1. Garver

2. Kepler

3. Polanco

4. Cruz

5. Sano

6. Rogers

 

Did I tell you have I a bias towards catchers? Honestly, my 1-4 could have been in any order but ultimately landed with Garver on top for reasons previously mentioned. Kepler over Polanco and Cruz because of the the defense he added and Polanco over Cruz for his defensive contributions although he had some really tough stretches this year. Sano would have been higher for me, probably #2 or #3, but just missed too many games at the beginning of the season. Rogers makes the list but that could have been recency bias as Eddie was in the midst of an ugly month of September. In general, I find it hard to give an MVP vote to a player who plays in so few games compared to offensive players.

 

Would love to hear what your ballot would look like and what you think of mine!

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    I agree about Arraez as Rookie of the Year, Garver as Most Improved, and Rogers as Pitcher of the Year.

     

    With all due nods in Garver's direction, though, I have to pick Cruz as most valuable. The missing defensive contribution as DH is more than compensated for with the power hitting in meaningful situations and the well-attested intangible of clubhouse leadership.

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    With all due nods in Garver's direction, though, I have to pick Cruz as most valuable. The missing defensive contribution as DH is more than compensated for with the power hitting in meaningful situations and the well-attested intangible of clubhouse leadership.

    Yea, 1-4 was tough for me. And absolutely admitting my catcher bias :)

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    Interesting...thanks for this!

     

    You really do have a bias for catchers :)...you discount Sano as an MVP because he missed too many games...but give team MVP to Garver who played in significantly fewer games than did Sano. The top 3 MVP are Polanco, Cruz, and Kepler...almost any order, IMO.

     

    You’re pretty hard on Berrios. 200 innings pitched alone has to have him near the top.

     

    Sano belongs above Kepler in most improved. From .679 OPS in 299 PA to .923 in 439. He’s probably ahead of Polanco here, as well.

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    Interesting...thanks for this! You really do have a bias for catchers :)...you discount Sano as an MVP because he missed too many games...but give team MVP to Garver who played in significantly fewer games than did Sano. 

    Yep, fair point. I don't think the catchers defensive contribution (more than just blocking, framing, and throwing out runners) can be overstated. Catchers, outside of Realmuto, aren't expected to play everyday. Only 7 played more than 120 games next year.  Garver will get a lot closer to that number next year with Castro, assumedly, gone.

     

    You’re pretty hard on Berrios. 200 innings pitched alone has to have him near the top.

    My opinion of Berrios fell drastically this year and could admittedly by biased with his second half, but I just don't think he'll ever be "the guy". Solid #2 but not the ace we heard so much about. 200 innings is great, but I need something more than quantity to get him on my list.

     

     

     From .679 OPS in 299 PA to .923 in 439. He’s probably ahead of Polanco here, as well.

    Ultimately he had one bad year (2018) after having two and a half good years (2015-2017) and now a career year (2019). Sure there's a case but I don't know that anyone should have been super surprised by this year.

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    I think my MVP actually goes to Cruz, slightly over Kepler just because of Kepler's recent injury. 

     

    "Player we would have least liked to lose for the full season" would be Taylor Rogers. Remember how bad our bullpen was before the all star break? He was the only consistent guy in the pen. 

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