2011 MVP Award

And finally, the MVP. A lot of guys had great years, so the ordering is really not set in stone by any means.

10. Ben Zobrist, 2B, TBR

.269/.353/.469, 6.6 fWAR, 5.1 brWAR

A good fielding second-baseman who walks, hits for some power, and plays virtually everyday.

9. Evan Longoria, 3B, TBR

.244/.355/.495, 6.1 fWAR, 6.3 brWAR

The .239 BABIP brought his line down, and yet he still could have had an argument for being the MVP if he hadn’t missed a month of the season. Any one season of his career would be enough to justify the entirety of the guarenteed money on his contract.

8. Alex Gordon, LF, KCR

.303/.376/.502, 6.9 fWAR, 5.9 brWAR

KC finally just stuck him in left and let him play, and boy were the results a pleasant surprise. This was the kind of season people expected from Gordon when he was a top prospect. We’ll see if he’s really a plus defensive outfielder and if he can maintain his .358 BABIP.

7. Curtis Granderson, CF, NYY

.262/.364/.552, 7.0 fWAR, 5.2 brWAR

He lead the league in runs scored and RBI – as a lead-off hitter. The defensive numbers didn’t love him though; but still an amazing season.

6. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, BOS

.338/.410/.548, 6.6 fWAR, 6.9 brWAR

He moves from Petco to Fenway and hits his fewest homers (27) since 2006. Go figure. The .380 BABIP helped save his batting line, but was that comes down next year there’s a good chance the power with come back more. And his .406 wOBA was a career high this year to begin with.

5. Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX

.255/.355/.477, 7.7 fWAR, 5.4 brWAR

There’s a fair chance Michael Young finishes ahead of him in the actual MVP voting, which would be a shame. Kinsler managed to stay healthy all year, and put up his second 30-30 season while flashing some leather in the field. One of the game’s more underrated players.

4. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS

.307/.387/.474, 8.0 fWAR, 6.8 brWAR

Kinsler minus some power and speed, but with about 80 points of BABIP this year (.325 to .243). Was even better than in his MVP season (’08).

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B, DET

.344/.448/.586, 7.3 fWAR, 7.1 brWAR

Only 28 years old and already has almost 44 career fWAR. Just an absolute monster at the plate.

2. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF, BOS

.321/.376/.552, 9.4 fWAR, 7.2 brWAR

He had 20 home runs, career, coming into 2011 (29 counting the minors, going back through 2006). Ellsbury hit 32 this year. Who saw that one coming?

1. Jose Bautista, RF, TOR

.302/.447/.608, 8.3 fWAR, 8.5 brWAR

Only hit 43 homers after 2010’s 54, but his BABIP rose 75 points so his .441 wOBA eclipsed last year’s .421. Bautista walked in over 20% of his plate appearances (without even leading the majors in intentional walks), and was tops in baseball in that as well as other offensive categories (homers, ISO, SLG, wOBA, wRC+). He has a good claim on being the best player in baseball (or, at least, the best hitter).

Quick NL Ballot:

10. Shane Victorino
9. Albert Pujols
8. Prince Fielder
7. Andrew McCutchen
6. Justin Upton
5. Jose Reyes
4. Troy Tulowitzki
3. Joey Votto
2. Ryan Braun
1. Matt Kemp