Tag Archives: Buster Posey

SF Giants prove you can win a World Series without a league MVP front-runner

SF Giants catcher Buster Posey

SF Giants catcher Buster Posey

 

When the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2012, catcher Buster Posey was the National League’s MVP. When they won the World Series this past season, Posey was the highest ranking Giant player in the MVP voting when he finished sixth (Giants outfielder Hunter Pence finished 11th, the second-highest finish for a Giants player) in the National League voting. Go back a few more years to when San Francisco won the 2010 World Series, and you’ll see that Aubrey Huff was the Giants player who finished the highest in the voting with a seventh-place finish.

What does all this mean? Well, based on past history we can see that no longer does it take a front-runner for the league MVP Award to lead his team to the World Series.

This year was the 11th time since 1990 that the World Series champion did not have a player finish in the Top 5 for the league MVP Award. Here’s a look at those 11 teams.

World Series champ, highest finish for the league MVP Award

1990: Cincinnati, Barry Larkin (7th)
1991: Minnesota, Kirby Puckett (7th)
1996 N.Y. Yankees, Mariano Rivera (tie for 12th)
1997: Florida, Moises Alou (10th)
1999: N.Y. Yankees, Derek Jeter (6th)
2000: N.Y. Yankees, Derek Jeter (10th)
2003: Florida, Juan Pierre (10th)
2005: Chicago White Sox, Paul Konerko (6th)
2010: San Francisco, Aubrey Huff (7th)
2013: Boston, Dustin Pedroia (tie for 7th)
2014: San Francisco, Buster Posey (6th)

Prior to the 1990 season, there was never a season where the World Series champion had a player finish lower than 5th in the league MVP Award balloting. In fact, from 1923 to 1989, only seven teams won the World Series with the highest player finish in the league MVP Award being third or lower. Those seven:

1989 Oakland (Dennis Eckersley, 5th); 1987 Minnesota (Kirby Puckett, 3rd); 1986 N.Y. Mets (Gary Carter, 3rd); 1981 L.A. Dodgers (Fernando Valenzuela, 5th); 1977 N.Y. Yankees (Graig Nettles, 5th); 1959 L.A. Dodgers (Wally Moon, 4th); 1928 N.Y. Yankees (Tony Lazzeri, 4th).

From 1923 to 1984 (60 seasons), 41 of the World Series champs also had the player who won the league MVP Award in their league, with another 15 World Series champs having the player who finished second in the balloting for the league honor. Since 1985, only two teams that won the World Series had the player who won the league MVP Award: Posey in 2012 for the Giants, and in 1988 when N.L. MVP Kirk Gibson led the Dodgers to a World Series title.

Is there a lesson here? Probably that it no longer takes a team with a front-runner for the league MVP to win the World Series.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

 

SIX STATS Trivia: MLB’s MVP Award winners

English: Miguel Cabrera at Dodger Stadium.

Miguel Cabrera (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Detroit‘s Miguel Cabrera and Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutcheon were selected as the A.L. and N.L. MVPs for the 2013 baseball season. How well do you know trivia about MLB’s most valuable players? Take this quick quiz. Answers appear at the end of the column.

1. Since 1983 there have been 16 occasions when the league MVP and the Manager of the Year came from the same team. It has not, however, happened since 2001. Can you name the player and manager from the same team that won those honors in 2001? Hint: The team was the Seattle Mariners. Can you name the National League player and manager from the same team that won those honors last in the N.L. (it happened in 2000). Hint: The team was the San Francisco Giants.

2. Both of this year’s MVPs did not see their team advance to the World Series. Name the last year that the A.L. and N.L. MVPs also appeared in the World Series that season.

3. With Cabrera winning the A.L. MVP this year, it was the third consecutive year that a Detroit Tiger won the award (Cabrera won in 2012 and Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander was the A.L. MVP in 2011.) Since the beginning of the MVP awards, the MVP has come from the same team in three (or more) consecutive years nine times. The 1975-77 Cincinnati Reds were one of those teams. Here’s the question: From 1970-77, a player from the Reds won the N.L. MVP six times in those eight years. Can you name the four Reds players who won an N.L. MVP from 1970-77?

4. Cabrera this season became the 30th player in MLB history to win the MVP more than once. Of those 30 players, 22 are currently in the Hall of Fame, three (Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols and Cabrera) are still active players. Can you name the remaining five players who won multiple MVP awards who are not in baseball’s Hall of Fame?

5. Since 1970 only five catchers have won a league MVP. Name the five.

6. Going back to 1990, there are nine current MLB franchises that have not had one of their players win a league MVP. Can you name those nine teams?

SIX STATS Trivia answers.
1. Seattle Mariners manager Lou Piniella and player Ichiro Suzuki won the honors in the A.L. in 2001. Giant’s manager Dusty Baker and infielder Jeff Kent were the N.L. honorees in 2000.

2. The last time the league MVPs squared off in the World Series was in 2012 when the Giants faced the Tigers. Giants’ catcher Buster Posey was the N.L. MVP; Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera was the 2012 A.L. MVP.

3. The four Cincinnati Reds players who won N.L. MVP honors from 1970-1977 were: Johnny Bench (1970, 1972), Pete Rose (1973), Joe Morgan (1975, 1976) and George Foster (1977).

4, The five multiple MVP winners (non-active players) who are not in the Hall of Fame are Barry Bonds, Juan Gonzalez, Roger Maris, Dale Murphy and Frank Thomas.

5. The five catchers selected as league MVPs since 1970 are Johnny Bench (1970, 1972), Thurman Munson (1976), Ivan Rodriguez (1999), Joe Mauer (2009) and Buster Posey (2012).

6. The nine teams/franchises that have not had a league MVP since 1990: Arizona, Cleveland, Kansas City, L.A. Dodgers, Miami, N.Y. Mets, Tampa Bay, Toronto and Washington.

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Lucroy making a run at Brewers’ RBI mark for catchers

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Jonathan Lucroy

Jonathan Lucroy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy had a pair of RBIs last night in the team’s 9-3 win over the Cubs. Those RBIs give Lucroy 42 for the season, which places him first on the team in that category.

In looking at the Brewers history, there has been only one Brewers catcher who has led the team in RBIs in a season. Dave Nilsson did it in 1994 when he had 69 RBIs. If Lucroy maintains this pace, he could become the second backstop to lead the team in runs batted in.

Lucroy has 42 RBI in 64 games played. The Brewers have 87 games left on their schedule, and should Lucroy play in all 87 games (not likely) he is on a pace to drive in 99 for the season. Only one Brewers catcher has ever driven in 100 or more runs in a season; that was Ted Simmons in 1983 when he had 108 RBI while catching in 86 of 152 games that season.

Here’s a look at Brewers catchers who finished in the Top 3 in team RBI for a season (players must have caught 50% or more of the season’s games to qualify):

1973: Darrell Porter, 67 RBI (third on team)
1975: Darrell Porter, 60 RBI (tied for second on the team)
1981: Ted Simmons, 61 (third on team)
1983: Ted Simmons, 108 (second on team)
1994: Dave Nilsson, 69 (first on team)

Here’s a look at the most RBI by a Brewers catcher in a season (caught 50% or more of the season’s games to qualify)

1. Ted Simmons, 1983… 108
2. Ted Simmons, 1982… 97
3. Dave Nilsson, 1994… 69
4. B.J. Surhoff, 1991… 68
5. B.J. Surhoff, 1987… 68

Note: Through games of June 25, Lucroy ranks tied for second in the majors for catchers with 42 RBI  (he is tied with Cards’ catcher Yadier Molina). Buster Posey leads all MLB catchers with 43 RBIs.

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Yadier Molina could challenge all-time batting average mark for catchers

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Yadier Molina

Yadier Molina (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina through games of June 20 leads the majors with a .366 batting average. This mark is 81 points above Molina’s career batting average of .285 and 51 points above his best season when he hit .315 last year. This 2013 MLB season is a little short of being half complete, but Molina could be approaching some historic numbers if he keeps up this pace.

If Molina finishes the season above .350, he would become the ninth catcher in major league history to have a batting average of .350 or higher for a season. But what’s even more interesting is what Molina could accomplish if he can raise his average a few points and end the season at .368 or above: If he finishes at .368 or above, he would have the highest batting average for a catcher in a season in baseball history. (Note: This is based on the player playing 50% or more of his games as a catcher and having enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title.)

Here’s a look at the catchers who have had the highest single season batting averages in baseball history.

Batting Average, Catcher, Team, Year
.367 Babe Phelps, Brooklyn, 1936
.365 Joe Mauer, Minnesota, 2009
.362 Mike Piazza, Los Angeles, 1997
.362 Bill Dickey, N.Y. Yankees, 1936
.358 Chief Meyers, N.Y Giants, 1912
.357 Mickey Cochrane, Philadelphia A’s, 1930
.354 Gabby Hartnett, Chicago Cubs, 1937
.353 Bubbles Hargrave, Cincinnati, 1926

Let’s widen the parameters a bit. If we drop the batting average down to .320 or better, Molina would become the 38th catcher to finish the season with a batting average over .320 if he can keep that mark. A catcher batting .320 or above in a season has happened 77 times in baseball history by 37 different players. Mickey Cochrane had the most seasons with a .320 or above batting average with seven. He is followed by Bill Dickey with six, Ernie Lombardi, Joe Mauer and Mike Piazza with five each, and Spud Davis, Gabby Hartnett, Jason Kendall and Ivan Rodriguez with three each.

Since 2000, there have been 11 times when a catcher finished the season with a batting average of .320 or above. So far this season, we have three catchers above .320: Molina, Mauer and Buster Posey.

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