Blog Red Machine is proud to present its ballot for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance’s Stan Musial Award for the National League. The Stan Musial Award is the BBA’s version of the MVP. For the Musial Award, Blog Red Machine, in accordance with BBA guidelines, will select ten NL players it deems worthy of the honor.
Here’s just a bit on each player…
1. Votto – May seem like a homer choice, but we honestly do not feel so. Some believe that Great American Ball Park is a hiter’s haven when in fact, it really isn’t. According to Baseball Reference, GABP is not as it rates slightly below 100 at a 99. Anything above that number is deemed a hitter’s park. In comparing Votto’s road numbers to those at GABP confirm this. He was better on the road on enemy territory.
2. Pujols – Albert just keeps getting it done. He led the NL in home runs (42) and RBI (118). The main thrust on why we voted Votto first is the reason we didn’t select Pujols. His home numbers are well beyond his road numbers.
3. Holliday – Sure he started off slow. After Cards skipper Tony LaRussa shook up the batting order for a short period of time, Holliday got back in the groove. Ask the Reds. Issuing that intentional pass to Pujols wasn’t such a given. You had to at least pause for a moment to wonder what you could be getting into.
4. Prado – Where would the Braves have been without their best overall player? Not in the playoffs, that’s for sure. Prado was the starting second baseman in the All-Star game, due to an injury to Philly’s Chase Utley. Prado should have been the starter anyway if you compare the numbers. Prado also played some at third base proving his value even more.
5. Gonzalez – No question Gonzalez had an excellent season. He is probably a little higher on some ballots considering he led the NL in batting average (.336), was second in RBI (117) and fourth in home runs (34). But when you compare how friendly Coors Field was to Cargo as opposed to his offense on the road, it was a plain fact that the air played a major role in his season. The consistency factor also applied here.
6. Huff – The same can be said for Huff that was said about Prado. Without a doubt, Huff can be viewed as an absolute free agent steal. No one really wanted him. Giants GM Brian Sabean took the chance for a mere $3 million. It paid off. Where are the Giants now?
7. Werth – With the likes of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins, Werth is often overlooked. More noted for his facial hair than his play, it’s time baseball fans must recognize how valuable Werth is. He finished fourth in runs scored (tied with Votto) and held a higher on-base percentage (.388) than Gonzalez (.376) and Huff (.385).
8. Braun – The Brewers may be Braun’s team especially with the unknown future of Prince Fielder. Braun has produced back-to-back seasons of 20+ HR, 100+ RBI and .300+ batting average. Considering all the offense the Brewers have, he does stand out.
10. Hallday – The only hurler on the list. For the regular season, Halladay made Phillies fans forget about the “Cliff Lee Experience”. For the regular season anyway. He even toseed a no-hitter in the NLDS, not that his no-no has anything to do with his inclusion here. It’s well deserved.