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November 9, 2012

Internet Baseball Awards

American League

by Dave Pease

For full results of this year's AL IBA voting, look here.

Awards

American League Player of the Year

The most compelling media storyline of this year's awards seasons is the race between Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout for the BBWAA MVP award.

If Cabrera wins, it won't be the first time that the BBWAA will have chosen the veteran slugger over a rookie campaign for the ages. In 1996, Juan Gonzalez edged Alex Rodriguez for the BBWAA American League Most Valuable Player award. Baseball Prospectus' all-in-one value stat WARP had Gonzalez tied for 39th in the AL with a 3.7 WARP in 1996, well behind Alex Rodriguez' league-leading 8.6. One narrative at the time concerned Rodriguez' youth. Rodriguez had displayed a potent combination of average and power while playing a premium defensive position, all in his age-20 season. He could have been reasonably expected to go on to win MVP awards in the future, and indeed he did, three times.

Rodriguez was 21 years, three months, and 19 days old when he won the 1996 Internet Baseball Awards AL Player of the Year going away. (Gonzalez, who took home the BBWAA hardware twice, never won an IBA POY award.) But Rodriguez is now the second-youngest IBA AL POY in history, as Internet Baseball Awards voters have voted Mike Trout 2012 American League Player of the Year. Trout wins the award at 21 years, three months, and one day of age.

Trout made a huge difference for the Angels in 2012. He spent most of the season at a premium defensive position, and by all accounts he played the position well. He was also a dangerous baserunner, racking up 8.7 runs on the bases and 49 stolen bases at a high rate of success.

Trout received nearly three times the first-place votes that Miguel Cabrera, 2012's Triple Crown winner and the second-place finisher, did. But he wins by less than Rodriguez won in 1996.

Rnk

Name

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

B

P

1

Mike Trout

472

140

22

3

4

0

1

0

1

0

643

8095

2

Miguel Cabrera

166

357

94

21

3

1

0

0

0

0

642

6459

3

Robinson Cano

1

87

207

118

53

21

8

3

1

0

499

3745

4

Justin Verlander

4

32

99

120

111

38

21

14

8

3

450

2977

5

Adrian Beltre

3

19

88

140

105

42

19

4

6

1

427

2838

6

Josh Hamilton

1

3

46

49

68

38

27

33

20

16

301

1613

7

Adam Jones

1

1

12

30

39

39

23

20

11

12

188

944

8

Edwin Encarnacion

0

2

12

16

29

20

27

21

18

26

171

733

9

Yoenis Cespedes

0

2

17

22

22

18

12

22

9

8

132

670

10

David Price

0

2

8

10

16

34

27

24

21

10

152

650

78

TOTAL

654

654

654

654

654

432

361

321

272

240

4896

34127

All Internet Baseball Awards American League Player of the Year results

American League Pitcher of the Year

Number of search results:

"Justin Verlander" + "best pitcher in the world" 253,000
"Felix Hernandez" + "best pitcher in the world" 169,000
"Jered Weaver" + "best pitcher in the world" 121,000
"David Price" + "best pitcher in the world" 118,000
"Chris Sale" + "best pitcher in the world" 28,200

Justin Verlander was at the helm of a pennant-winning rotation and had another strong season en route to a commanding victory among the Internet Baseball Awards voters. Verlander repeats as Internet Baseball Award Pitcher of the Year winner, the first time that has happened since Johan Santana's three-year run from 2004 through 2006. Verlander's 4.8 WARP led all American League pitchers in 2012. David Price had a better ERA than Verlander, but he finished a distant second in IBA Pitcher of the Year balloting. Felix Hernandez, 2010's IBA Pitcher of the Year winner, rounds out the top three.

Rnk

Name

1

2

3

4

5

B

P

1

Justin Verlander

490

87

30

2

1

610

5666

2

David Price

87

248

133

30

12

510

3373

3

Felix Hernandez

15

144

137

103

44

443

2196

4

Jered Weaver

13

55

83

68

66

285

1200

5

Chris Sale

3

28

101

132

72

336

1199

6

CC Sabathia

0

11

38

38

63

150

444

7

Fernando Rodney

2

12

20

46

46

126

388

8

Max Scherzer

1

19

22

26

33

101

364

9

Yu Darvish

1

5

20

33

46

105

290

10

Jim Johnson

2

4

5

7

10

28

104

36

TOTAL

619

619

619

535

463

2855

15686

All Internet Baseball Awards American League Pitcher of the Year results

American League Rookie of the Year

Leading an outstanding crop of rookie-status American League players, Mike Trout added the Internet Baseball Awards Rookie of the Year award to his Player of the Year award. Trout hit 1.5 times his age in home runs, if you round with a generous nature, and he finished well ahead of second-place finisher and fellow AL West outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

Cespedes has had a remarkable journey, starting with his signing with Oakland as a free agent in February and ending by leading the surprising Athletics to a playoff berth. Cespedes also crashed the IBA AL POY top 10 along with Trout, finishing ninth in the voting.

Third-place finisher Yu Darvish finished ninth in IBA Pitcher of the Year voting. Most rookie leaders don't get that kind of respect across the Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year balloting.


Rnk

Name

1

2

3

4

5

B

P

1

Mike Trout

579

5

1

0

0

585

5830

2

Yoenis Cespedes

8

294

176

31

6

515

3117

3

Yu Darvish

4

229

205

41

4

483

2795

4

Jarrod Parker

1

24

74

136

49

284

1005

5

Matt Moore

0

6

30

74

49

159

463

6

Will Middlebrooks

0

5

15

19

34

73

201

7

Wei-Yin Chen

0

2

15

22

23

62

178

8

Tommy Milone

0

4

10

17

43

74

172

9

Manny Machado

0

7

14

10

16

47

165

10

A.J. Griffin

0

1

8

9

10

28

84

55

TOTAL

594

594

594

413

321

2516

14628

All Internet Baseball Awards American League Rookie of the Year results

American League Manager of the Year

Against long odds, Buck Showalter managed the Baltimore Orioles to an ALDS Game Five in his second full season with the team. In light of a payroll lagging behind the league average, intense competition in the megabucks American League East, and a new (old) general manager in Dan Duquette, the Orioles weren't expected to contend for anything. Showalter, traditionally a popular manager among the more statistically-inclined voting base of the Internet Baseball Awards, was rewarded for his steady hand with the Internet Baseball Awards Manager of the Year award in 2012. This is Showalter's second Manager of the Year award—he also won in 2004 with the Texas Rangers.

Rnk

Name

1

2

3

B

P

1

Buck Showalter

345

170

16

531

2251

2

Bob Melvin

179

215

21

415

1561

3

Joe Maddon

24

60

122

206

422

4

Robin Ventura

8

51

143

202

336

5

Jim Leyland

15

50

89

154

314

14

TOTAL

578

578

451

1607

5075

All Internet Baseball Awards American League Manager of the Year results

Dave Pease is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Dave's other articles. You can contact Dave by clicking here

27 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

jdeich

In other news: Jordan Danks and Bobby Korecky received first-place votes for the AL RoY. Brandon Gomes, Brad Mills, and Adeiny Hechavarria got third-place votes. J.P. Arencibia got a first and second place vote for AL MVP. J.A. Happ and Bruce Chen received first-place Cy Young votes.

Nov 09, 2012 07:15 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Dave Pease
BP staff
(2)

The system is troll-able.

Nov 09, 2012 07:36 AM
 
Michael
(736)

Some Blue Jays homer had fun with his/her ballot. The occasional down ballot votes can be pretty nonsensical.

Nov 12, 2012 09:38 AM
rating: 0
 
jalee121

Re: Jordan Danks: Who knew Hawk Harrelson had a vote in these things?

Nov 12, 2012 10:14 AM
rating: 1
 
Brian Kopec

Why does the IBA give out a manager award?

Nov 09, 2012 08:25 AM
rating: -1
 
IvanGrushenko

Why not? Internet people have an opinion on this. My question is what makes a year for a manager greater than another year? It looks like Showalter won because the Orioles won lots of close games and their perceived talent level was a lot lower than their win total. So if they go 75-87 next year does that mean Showalter will have done a 19 games worse job? I don't really get the MOY criteria.

Nov 09, 2012 09:49 AM
rating: 2
 
Brian Kopec

That's my point. The MOY criteria seems to be 'which team surprised everyone the most.' So why not give out that award? What evidence do we have that Buck was the best manager this year? A surprising number of MOYs get fired shortly thereafter.

Nov 09, 2012 11:14 AM
rating: 2
 
danteswitness

Poor Jack McKeon.

Nov 09, 2012 13:44 PM
rating: 1
 
Pat Folz

Joe Girardi was fired the very year he won it, wasn't he? (In Florida)

Nov 10, 2012 14:55 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Dave Pease
BP staff
(2)

Because Greg Spira wanted to, essentially.

I don't disagree with your point that the best way to get MOTY is to manage a surprise contender.

Nov 10, 2012 14:13 PM
 
juiced

If only the BBWAA voters were this good. The net voters nailed the correct top choice in all 4 categories. Wisdom of crowds indeed...

Nov 09, 2012 09:25 AM
rating: 3
 
JohnChoiniere

Only twelve of the fourteen current AL managers got votes; of the two that didn't, one was the manager all season and the other got hired after the season ended.

Without looking, then, can anyone guess which one manager who did manage in-season last year received no votes at all?

Nov 09, 2012 13:26 PM
rating: 1
 
IvanGrushenko

It's not the one I thought it would be

Nov 09, 2012 19:44 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Dave Pease
BP staff
(2)

Actually, *this* is why we run Manager voting--so we can have questions like this.

Nov 10, 2012 14:19 PM
 
thegeneral13

I nailed this, but had an advantage since I'm a fan of the team whose manager failed to secure a vote. I agree wholeheartedly with his omittance, but it is funny to note that he is a very recent winner of the actual MOY and has finished in the top 3 in 70% of his managerial seasons.

Nov 12, 2012 10:01 AM
rating: 0
 
Ironhorse

Color me one of Miguel Cabrera's 166 votes; and no, I'm not "averse" to the use of advanced metrics as one BP writer suggested in writing about the likely Trout-Cabrera BBWAA outcome. I've been filled with the spirit as part of SABR from the early 80s and the first BJ Abstracts. While I generally embrace WARP and other value unimetrics and acknowledge that "most valuable" is well measured by WARP, it's still not the whole story.

One tired, overwrought preseason prediction that hundreds of pundits eagerly put forth was how bad the Tigers were going to be with MC moving to 3B. Any of us can check out the 3 strong fielding metrics: They don't show a disaster. As a KC resident, I had never seen MC play 3B until 2012, and he was much better than the alarmists hooted last spring. Verlander and Scherzer seemed not to mind. And yeah, I know it's anecdotal. Still, I think there's a lot to be gained from actually going to the park and watching ball instead of pontificating from a cellar or garret.

Plus this, an argument I've not seen anywhere, but a salient point in the Tigers' season and in my vote. Moving from 1B to 3B WAS WHAT THE TIGERS NEEDED after Victor went down and they signed Fielder. MC did that, happily, without the drama that has surrounded similar position changes. The Tigers come to town, and out strides MC, big smile on his face, easy does it. Umpires glad to see him, opposing basemen charmed when he's on, just a good-natured guy whose attitude seems to settle over a team. That's value, subjective as it is.

We didn't get to see non-division foe Trout as much here, but I'll never forget watching MC those last four games of the year with the batting title on the line. WOW. That's the subjective sum. So many aspects of baseball confer value for a team. I wish all of you could have been here to see those games.

Just a tough, tough choice for me and for anyone UNLESS they rely only on metrics. Nothing against Trout or the "strictly stats" adherents. Not at all.

Nov 09, 2012 14:43 PM
rating: 3
 
juiced

The limitations of WARP and Cabrera bring poor defensively but somehow exceeding low preseason expectation are not arguments for his candidacy. Neither is a willingness to move to a more important defensive position which enhances his market value.

Nov 09, 2012 16:24 PM
rating: -1
 
juiced

Bring=being

Nov 09, 2012 16:25 PM
rating: 0
 
DetroitDale

I have to respectfully but strongly dissent. The fact that the move to third enhances his market value does not mean it can be dismissed as a factor enhancing mbps candidacy. You could just as easily dismiss trouts ability to run fast as something that enhances his market value. Anything that enhances a players market value enhances his mvp credentials and vice versa.

Also, stating that poor but better than expected defense is flatly wrong as ironhorse eloquently explained. It was something the tigers needed him to do and he did it, and while no one would say he was great there, he performed adequately, something no one expected him to do, and that performance allowed them to avoid giving another year of at bats to branding inge a brilliant third baseman but useless as a hitter.

Just because a team spends equal time on offense and defense doesn't make the two skills equally important. In inge versus cabrera you have the perfect comparison of the best hitter and worst fielder vs the best fielder and worst hitter and the step down from inge to cabrera defensively is dwarfed by what cabrera bring to the plate offensively. For that matter, the difference in total value offensive, defensive, and intangibles between cabrera and inge dwarfs the parrallel difference between trout and the next angel corner of who would have replaced them. Warp is fine for assessing comparative talent but an mvp calculation the more relevent factor is wins above the player who actually would replace him. In cabreras case that player is a replacement level player. In trouts case the gap is significantly smaller.

The trout vs cabrera debate is not just warp vs old school stats, there's also a bias towards the young, new, and fast paced over the big, slow and steady but solid and reliable. Warp is preferred because its a new stat that allegedly covers everything while batting average homers and rbis are outdated stats. Similarly trout is young new and flashy while cabrera is big slow and been around for awhile.

While trout adds base stealing and speed to power, the sum of all those tools doesn't produce as many runs as cabreras power without speed. If you add the total of runs scored and runs batted in and subtract homers ( to avoid double counting) cabrera comes out ahead. Ratio stats may be better for comparing talent because they equalize games played, the player who plays more games and produces more runs is more valuable. For these reasons, I conclude that trout is the more talented player, but cabrera is the more valuable one.

Nov 10, 2012 19:15 PM
rating: 0
 
Pat Folz

"While trout adds base stealing and speed to power, the sum of all those tools doesn't produce as many runs as cabreras power without speed."

Yes it does, like 20 runs more -- Trout VORP: 76.6, Cabrera VORP: 59.4. Think the position adjustment is too kind to Trout? Trout TAv: .357, Cabrera TAv: .332, and that's before ANY position adjustment or defense. Also, I'm not sure if this is included in VORP and TAv or not, but Trout's speed advantage manifests not only in base stealing but in base *running* -- scoring from first, going first-to-third on singles, etc. Over the season that adds up to many extra runs (Trout: 8.7, Cabrera: -5.5).

If you want to argue that Cabrera was more "valuable" due to the particulars of his team context, fine. But relative to MLB as a whole, even disregarding defense, Cabrera had an awesome, MVP caliber season worthy of praise and song......and Trout crushed it.

Nov 11, 2012 03:13 AM
rating: 3
 
IvanGrushenko

"If you want to argue that Cabrera was more "valuable" due to the particulars of his team context, fine"

He wasn't really. Trout had 5.5 WPA to Cabrera's 4.8 and that's not counting defense and baserunning. It's not at all close.

Nov 11, 2012 10:46 AM
rating: 2
 
Yarky1

It's weird that Trout vs. Cabrera is about "advanced metrics." When I started following baseball, it was the statheads who tended to overlook defense and baserunning and judge guys just based on their bats and the old-school types who arguably tended to overrate those things. Now I guess "sabermetrics" are so old that we have old-school statheads who reject newer analysis that highlights the importance of things besides power and getting on base (not that Trout is any slouch in those areas).

I really don't see a case for Cabrera over Trout under any view of the game, except the view of naked partisanship or disproportionate valuing of RBIs or something. I think Cabrera over Trout would be just as bad as if voters had given the 1990 AL MVP to Cecil Fielder over Ricky Henderson or as bad as the actual 1996 voting.

Nov 09, 2012 18:14 PM
rating: 3
 
thegeneral13

The case for Cabrera is as simple as feeling compelled to vote for the player who accomplished a statistical feat that hasn't been achieved in 45 years, one that has historically been considered the ultimate domination of one's offensive competition. If voters are uncertain enough about the proper quantification of speed and defense I can see them voting for Cabrera out of deference to the "known" property of having won the Triple Crown. I guess what I'm getting at is voters whose reputations are at risk (key difference b/t voting behavior in the BBWAA vote vs. the online vote) might be motivated by fear of regret, and they probably view voting for a Triple Crown winner as leaving less room for criticism than choosing Trout.

Nov 12, 2012 09:56 AM
rating: 0
 
IvanGrushenko

Color me one of Mike Trout's 472 votes; and no, I'm not "averse" to the use of game watching as one commenter suggested in writing about the Trout-Cabrera IBA outcome. I've been filled with the spirit as a baseball player and spectator from the early 70s and the black and white TV. While I generally embrace subjectivity and other nuances not covered by most data, and acknowledge that "most valuable" is well measured by asking umpires whom they're most glad to see, it's still not the whole story.

Nov 09, 2012 19:52 PM
rating: 4
 
Michael
(736)

I think the advanced metrics (fWAR, b-refWAR, WARP, and Win Shares), all of which say that Trout is the AL MVP, don't factor in everything that contributes to being valuable. In my opinion, Cabrera's shift to 3B and his superior performance late in the season help his candidacy although his clutch performance in terms of timing his batting to create more actual runs (measured on Fangraphs) hurts Cabrera's evaluation. Factor that all in, and Mike Trout still was the AL MVP. (I'm a Tiger fan, so I'm definitely not biased against Miggy.)

I don't know why one would characterize Trout as merely a stathead candidate. He's also a WebGem candidate. He's also the "check out his team's record when he was in the starting line-up compared to when he wasn't" candidate. Trout also is the unexpected surprise candidate and the more complete player candidate. There may be lots of reasons why the IBA voters preferred Trout on the whole.

Nov 12, 2012 09:51 AM
rating: 1
 
juiced

Trout is a full 2-3 wins superior to Cabrera. There is zero argument to be made that Cabrera had the better year. Cabrera wasn't even the second best player in the league, Cano was

Nov 12, 2012 18:56 PM
rating: 1
 
cdt719

Cabrera's shift to 3B is already included in that the positional adjustment for 3B is a lot better for him than the adjustment for 1B would be. To give him "bonus credit" for selflessly agreeing to move to 3B ignores that he always wanted to play 3B and was only moved off 3B because his defense was inadequate. If Trout had always played 1B and moved to CF to accommodate Pujols, would we give him the same credit? To not do so effectively punishes Trout for always being good enough to play CF.

And it's a bit much to call a player "selfless" who was arrested in a drunken stupor the morning of what was essentially an elimination game. I usually ignore character issues but it's strange to consider Cabrera a person of high character given past behavior.

Nov 15, 2012 03:25 AM
rating: 0
 
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