Player of the Year Reaction
Before I get to the best choices for Minor League Pitcher of the Year tomorrow, I want to take a second to respond to the comments for my Player of the Year post. First, what’s with both commenters starting with “Uhh?” Is it so hard to gather your thoughts that you have to use a filler while writing. Come on people!
Now, on to the content. First of all, I want to remind everyone that when we hand out our awards, it’s for “Player of the Year” and not necessarily “Prospect of the Year.” Yes, age at a level and upside sometimes does figure into the discussion, but unlike other places (and this is not meant as a condemnation of them at all, just point out that we do things a bit differently here), prospect status isn’t the be-all end all.
So, you won’t get an argument from me that Jason Heyward is the best prospect in the game right now. In fact, he was atop the list we posted in July. And don’t get me wrong, he had an outstanding season, even getting up to Triple-A and playing most of the year at age 19. But, if looking at best player, does his .323, 17 HR, 63 RBIs to go along with a .408 OBP and .555 SLG. Yes, he missed some time, but I have to say just from a numbers perspective (and remember, this is my opinion and not the site’s — that discussion has yet to take place), he’s not the PLAYER of the year.
You can ridicule Clemens being on the list of candidates all you want. Yes, he was in Lancaster and the California League. I’m pretty sure that will mean he won’t get the award. That being said, I don’t care what level you’re in, when you finish fourth in average, 1st in RBIs and in the top three of a few other offensive categories, you need at least to be mentioned. And he’s still only 22, so it’s not like he’s old for the level. Sure, he needs to prove he can do it at higher levels, but for this topic, he belongs in the conversation.
Let’s compare 2 players, looking at stats and levels and not where they are on that overall leaderboard or among their respective league leaders
Player A: 22 years old, played in Double-A Texas League and Triple-A PCL
Double-A: .337, 24 HR, 101 RBI, 13 SB, .435 OBP, .576 SLG, 1.011 OPS in 490 AB
Triple-A: .259, 4 HR, 14 RBI, .293 OBP, .519 SLG, .812 OPS in 54 AB
Totals: .329, 28 HR, 115 RBI, 13 SB, .422 OBP, .570 SLG, .992 OPS
Player B: 22 years old, layed in Double-A Southern League and Triple-A IL
Double-A: .316, 8 HR, 45 RBI, 37 SB, .395 OBP, .486 SLG, .881 OPS in 383 AB
Triple-A: .325, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 15 SB, .419 OBP, .491 SLG, .910 OPS in 114 AB
Totals: .318, 11 HR, 62 RBI, 52 SB, .401 OBP, .487 SLG, .888 OPS in 497 AB
OK, what’s your take here? Here’s what I see. While it’s obvious we’re looking at two different kinds of players here, Player A beats Player B in every category other than stolen bases. Player B did have more success upon his promotion to Triple-A, though I’d maintain Player A’s sample size at that level is too small and it could be noted that Player A homered four times in seven playoff games in the PCL.
Player A is Chris Carter. Player B is Desmond Jennings, the pick by one of the commenters. Again, I love Jennings and think he’s a tremendous prospect. But to me, Carter wins that argument hands down.
Keep the comments coming. It makes for a fun debate.