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Is Yoenis Cespedes the NL MVP?

from: Epic Walllpapers Cespedes spent time in Oakland, Boston , and started this season in Detroit before a deadline trade to the New York Mets.

from: Epic Walllpapers
Cespedes spent time in Oakland, Boston , and started this season in Detroit before a deadline trade to the New York Mets.

There is some precedent for a mid-season acquisition being considered for a season-long award like the National League’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award – in fact, it was two players in the same year.

In 2008, Manny Ramirez played 56 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers and garnered enough votes to finish 4th in the NL race, and C.C. Sabathia finished 6th after turning around the Brewers’ pitching staff over the 130 innings he threw.

Sabermetricians will tell you that there is no MVP race and that you should hand the award to Bryce Harper because statistically, he has had the best year.

They will use the ridiculous statistic WAR and cite that Bryce Harper leads the league in that category.

What is WAR?

The short answer is “wins above replacement”, the idea being that the player is responsible for X amount of wins over a replacement player.

Harper’s WAR is currently 8.99 (as of 9/10/15), which means if he was replaced in the lineup, the Nationals would in theory have a record of 63-76 without him should he be replaced by a role player.

Cespedes’s is 4.1 overall and roughly 2 since he joined the Mets on July 31st.

Let’s delve into this statistic.

Even the most ardent sabermetrician (stat person) will state that this is an “attempt” to judge a player’s value based on wins and it is supposed to be ballpark neutral, lineup neutral, and makes adjustments for pitchers and catchers – in short, it’s a flawed statistic.

The very fact that it doesn’t take into account lineup, position, team position in the standings, history, and when the player is contributing to me, negates the value of this stat.

In a vacuum, WAR does tell you how good a player is, or even a pitcher, but baseball is not played in a vacuum.

Yoenis Cespedes has not only settled down a lineup in need, he carried the team with players such as Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda, and Michael Cuddyer nursing injuries, and Matt Harvey creating a major distraction.

The WAR statistic is most concerned with runs which sabermetricians say is the most important stat when determining team wins i.e., run differential between runs scored and runs conceded should be a good indicator of team wins.

That has for the most part run true.

However, what the WAR stat doesn’t take into account is when the runs are scored.

Last night, when Cespedes launched the 2-run homerun, he essentially won the game for the Mets, and that wasn’t the first time.

Cespedes has kept redefining his defining moment game after game for New York since his arrival and that’s why he deserves a lot of consideration for MVP.

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