This ballot is for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, a group of baseball bloggers (duh) who are pooling votes together to give out our own post-season award.
10. Javier Vazquez- Second among NL pitchers in WAR and a full half-win better than third place Danny Haren. His team didn’t make the playoffs, but he had a great year.
9. Ryan Zimmerman- Awesome player on a crappy team. I hope that someday, I don’t have to say the same thing about Pedro Alvarez.
8. Adrian Gonzalez- How does someone hit 40 homers in Petco Park?
7. Troy Tulowitki- He’s 24 and he hit .297/.377/.552 while playing great defense. He’s a superstar in the making.
6. Adam Wainwright- Is it hypocritical of me to put Wainwright ahead of Vazquez on the MVP ballot after not doing it on the Cy Young ballot? I don’t know. I don’t know how to define “value” when it comes to the MVP award when compared to something like WAR. What I do know is the Wainwright had an exceptional season on the mound for a playoff team and that he was certainly the most valuable pitcher on that club. And so that’s why he’s here and Vazquez is up there.
5. Prince Fielder- Prince Fielder had an incredible year this year and he’s really grown into a fearsome power hitter. His .299/.412/.602 line with 46 homers is only made more impressive by his stabilizing strikeout number.
4. Hanley Ramirez- What a player. He hit .342/.410/.543 with 24 homers and 27 steals in 35 attempts. On top of that, his once atrocious defense has actually become an asset. This guy is a franchise cornerstone and he will win an MVP some day.
3. Tim Lincecum- Just silly dominant on the mound. Zack Grienke’s existence means that I can’t call him “the best pitcher alive” without engaging in some serious debate, but he’s the best pitcher in the NL and he was a big part of the reason the Giants were able to unexpectedly stay in the wild card race this year.
2. Chase Utley- You know what’s a crime? The fact that Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard have MVP awards and Chase Utley doesn’t. This season wasn’t even one of his best seasons, but he hit 31 homers with a .905 OPS as a second baseman, while saving his team probably a full win over the course of the season with his glove. I want to put him first. I want to do it. But …
1. Albert Pujols- The best hitter alive. Maybe the best hitter I’ve ever seen (I’ve got all these conflicting feelings about this Bonds guy for several reasons, but we don’t have to resolve those now). Playing at a position with the harshest replacement adjustment, Pujols was still worth almost 8 1/2 wins to the Cardinals this year. He hit 47 homers, drove in 135 runs, and batted .321. He hit five grand slams. He’s a monster. He destroys the Pirates time after time after time and I hate him for it, but we’re all lucky to have a chance to watch him play.