The final of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance awards is the Stan Musial Award. The Musial is presented to the top player in each league. Point are awarded as 14 for 1st, 9 for second, 8 for third and on down to 1 for 10th. There were four BRM staffers which cast ballots for the Musial.
And Blog Red Machine’s top NL player is…
1. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
Surprise! Not really though. Hard to go against this even though Kemp received two of the possible four first place votes and was mentioned on all four ballots. All Kemp did was lead the National League in home runs (39), RBI (126) and runs scored (115). He was also second in stolen bases (40, almost a 40/40 year), hits (195) and slugging percentage (.586). Kemp ranked third in batting average (.324)
2. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
Braun was BRM’s NL Central Player of the Year and was the top nod on one ballot, two of the second place votes, and a third. He lead the NL in slugging (.597). He also ranked second in batting (.332). Braun was fourth in RBI (111) and fifth in on-base percentage (.397) and hits (187).
3. Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers
Fielder, also mentioned on all four ballots, received the final first place vote. He added a third, a fourth, and a tenth. Prince was second in the NL in homers (38), RBI (120), walks (107) and OBP (.415). He also ranked third in slugging (.566)
4. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
Votto followed up his 2010 NL MVP season with a respectable year. He led the NL in OBP (.416), walks (110) and doubles (40). The Reds first baseman was fifth in batting (.309) and runs scored (101). Votto was the last player to be named on all four ballots receiving a pair of 3rds, a 6th and a 7th.
5. Justin Upton, Arizona Diamondbacks
From an offensive standpoint, Upton was the catalyst for the upstart D-backs. Upton was second in doubles (39), ninth in HR (31) and 10th in slugging (.529). Upton was named on three ballots (two 4ths and a 6th).
6. Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
Pujols was extremely instrumental in the Cards quest to the NL Wild Card. Of the three ballots on which his name appeared, he received a pair of 5ths to go along with a 6th place vote. The Machine just fell short of another .300-30 HR-100 RBI season (.299-37-99). The 37 homers ranked third in the NL
7. Jose Reyes, New York Mets
Reyes was the NL leader in batting (.337) and tied for the league lead in triples (16). His 39 thefts was sixth in the league. Reyes was mentioned on three allots accounting for a 5th, a 6th and a 7th.
8. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies
Tulo received two mentions, a 5th and a 9th. His 105 RBI was 5th in the NL while his slugging of .372 was 6th.
9. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles
The only pitcher to crack our top 10…with good reason, too. Kershaw led all NL starters in ERA (2.28), strikeouts (248), WHIP (0.98) and batting average against (.207). He also tied for the league lead in wins (21). Oddly enough, Kershaw received mention on only one ballot, but that 4th place vote propelled him into the top 10.
10. Lance Berkman, St. Louis Cardinals
Berkman was reborn in 2011. His swing reacquainted itself with the former Astro ending the balloting with a 7th and a 10th place vote. His OBP of .412 was 3rd in the NL.
Here’s a summary of the complete balloting…