PI’s MLB Awards Part II – The Aces
Posted by Jason A. Churchill on October 4, 2006
This wasn’t too tough at all. The American League Cy Young Award belongs in Minnesota, and should have never left for Los Angeles last Fall.
Johan Santana is among the elite pitchers to step on the field over the past few decades. He has yet to pile up the numbers, but he’s right there with the Randy Johnson’s and Pedro Martinez’s of the world. Perhaps only Roger Clemens is unreachable for Johan.
Santana led baseball in ERA (2.77), strikeouts (245), WHIP (1.00) and K/BB (5.21) in a year that nearly duplicated his 2005 output in every category – really, go look, it’s uncanny.
The voters will vote for Santana because he was 19-6 with that 2.77 ERA, or possibly his 245 whiffs, but none are the reason he should get it.
The 27-year-old went at least five innings in all 33 starts he made this year, going six or more in all but six. He pitched into the seventh frame in 23 outings and left with the lead 24 times.
The Twins won 27 games when Santana started, dropping just six. Of Santana’s 24 quality starts, 15 came versus teams that ended the year with better than a .500 record, including eight against playoff teams.
His fastball is a mid-90s heater with late life, tail and sink. His slider is among the best southpaw slide pieces in recent memory and his change is silly… truly silly. But his command is what makes him the best pitcher in baseball.
He walked 45 batters in 233 2/3 innings this season. He’s issued 92 walks in 465 1/3 innings over the past two. As one long time scout and personnel says about guys with control like this, “he can hit a fly’s ass from a 1000 yards,” and that makes Johan Santana the Albert Pujols of pitching.
Don’t forget, he pitches in a hitter’s park, but he’s proven to be as intelligent as he is talented. He’s figure out how to pitch in the homer dome.
Only nine of 24 home runs allowed were served up at home, and his ERA was more than a run better wearing the home whites.
He’s simply the best, and this should be his third straight Cy Young Award, if not for the ridiculous fact that the writers decide.
2006 American League Cy Young: Johan Santana, LHP – Minnesota Twins: 19-6, 2.77 ERA, 3.16 FIP,233 2/3 IP 245 K, 45 BB, .216 BAA
2. C.C. Sabathia, LHP – Cleveland Indians: 12-11, 3.22 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 192 2/3 IP, 172 K, 44 BB, .247 BAA
3. Roy Halladay, RHP – Toronto Blue Jays: 16-5, 3.19 ERA, 3.65 FIP, 220 IP, 132 K, 34 BB, .251 BAA
4. John Lackey, RHP – Los Angeles Angels: 13-11, 3.56 ERA, 3.41 FIP, 217 2/3 IP, 190 K, 72 BB, .246 BAA
5. Joe Nathan, RHP – Minnesota Twins: 7-0, 1.58 ERA, 68 1/3 IP, 95 K, 16 BB, .242 SLGA, 36-39 Sv, .158 BAA
Before someone wonders how Mariano Rivera made my top 5 MVP but not the Cy Young list, think about the difference in the two awards. One is about value, and I personally put more weight to players on contending teams, and the other is purely about the best… Nathan was better this year than Rivera, yet had less value to the Twins and their run, than Rivera did on that wretched Yankees staff.
In the National League, there isn’t much analysis needed to realize it’s a three-way race between Arizona right-hander Brandon Webb, Houston Astros righty Roy Oswalt and St. Louis Cardinals northpaw Chris Carpenter, although Bronson Arroyo had a fantastic season.Here’s the tale of the tape –
Webb – 3.10 ERA, 3.20 FIP, 235 IP, 178 K, 50 BB, .246 BAA, 15 HR
Carpenter – 3.09 ERA, 3.47 FIP, 221 2/3 IP, 184 K, 43 BB, .235 BAA, 21 HR
Oswalt – 2.98 ERA, 3.32 ERA, 220 2/3 IP, 166 K, 38 BB, .263 BAA, 18 HR
Why don’t you tell me who the winner should be, and present an arguement for your choice, and against the other two?
Best argument wins.
Rock on, people.