Cardinals news from a Sabermetric point of view

2012 Cardinal Blogger Awards ballot

[The United Cardinal Bloggers are voting for their annual Cardinal Blogger Awards. This is our official ballot.]

1. Player of the Year

Matt Holliday turned in another 5-WAR campaign — his third straight as a Cardinal and sixth straight of his career — bolstering his claim as one of the most consistently high-performing players in the game. David Freese and Jon Jay (neither on the ballot) both contributed 4.1 WAR in 2012, tying for third among the team’s batters.But none of them could compare with Yadier Molina and his career year: .373 OBP, .501 SLG and 6.5 WAR — almost 40% better than his previous high WAR.

2. Pitcher of the Year

We’re writing in Adam Wainwright, who led the pitching staff with 4.4 WAR (and it wasn’t even close) and was third overall on the team. In his first year back Tommy John surgery, Wainwright faced 831 batters (second on the team) and led the rotation with a 3.10 FIP and 3.23 ERA — both third-best in the league, better than Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey.

3. Game of the Year

  • 6/13 vs. White Sox (1-0 Lynn win)
  • 7/16 vs. Brewers (9th inning rally)
  • 7/21 vs. Cubs (12-run inning)
  • NLDS Game 5
  • Write-in: ____________

Game 5 of the NLDS was this year’s 2011 World Series  Game 6. It arguably was even more unlikely, given that the win expectancy was even worse when Daniel Descalso rapped his game-tying hit.

4. Performance of the Year

  • Chris Carpenter’s five innings against Chicago
  • Adam Wainwright’s shutout of San Diego
  • Shelby Miller’s first start vs. Cincinnati
  • Carlos Beltran 3-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI vs. Washington
  • Write-in: Carlos Beltran’s 13 total bases

Our write-in vote is for Carlos Beltran’s performance on May 11, in which he knocked the most total bases — 13 — since Albert Pujols had 15 in 2004. If Beltran had singled instead of homered for the second time in the game, the game would be remembered as a cycle. As it was, it was one of the all-time best offensive performances by a Cardinal; Beltran’s 13 total bases ranks tied for fourth in club history:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp PA H 2B 3B HR TB
1 Mark Whiten 9/7/93 STL CIN 5 4 0 0 4 16
2 Albert Pujols 7/20/04 STL CHC 5 5 1 0 3 15
3 Bill White 7/5/61 STL LAD 6 4 1 0 3 14
4 Jim Bottomley 9/16/24 STL BRO 6 6 1 0 2 13
4 Les Bell 4/18/25 STL CHC 6 5 2 0 2 13
4 Johnny Mize 7/3/39 STL CHC 4 4 1 1 2 13
4 Stan Musial 5/2/54 STL NYG 5 4 0 0 3 13
4 Ryan Ludwick 9/4/09 STL PIT 5 5 2 0 2 13
4 Carlos Beltran 5/11/12 STL ATL 6 4 1 1 2 13

5. Surprise Player of the Year

Surely Pete Kozma producing more WAR than Rafael Furcal, on the strength of a .383 OBP and (team-leading!) .569 SLG was utterly surprising, even to the biggest Kozma fanboy (assuming such a person exists). But we’re writing in Matt Carpenter, whom we earlier claimed was the most pleasant surprise of 2012.

6. Disappointing Player of the Year

We were disappointed that Big Puma didn’t play more, but after he kept his body intact for 145 games in 2011, we weren’t surprised that he was disabled for so long (we were more disappointed for our fantasy-league team!).  As for Rzepczynski, he was certainly frustrating, but given that ZiPS projected him to have a 3.62 ERA and he finished with an xFIP of 3.65, we’re not too disappointed there.
Despite playing more games than expected, Rafael Furcal disappointed us the most. That was partly due to his less-than-projected offense — .he hit 325 OBP/.346 SLG, while ZiPS forecasted him at .331/.389 — but more to his worsening play defensively.

7. Rookie of the Year

Matt Carpenter led the club’s rookies with a 1.6 WAR and finished sixth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. Kozma was second on the team with 1.4 WAR, while Kelly tallied 1.0.

8. Acquisition of the Year

Before the deal became a reality, we advocated signing Beltran.  Even though his two-year, $26 million contract was a bit more than some anticipated at the time (e.g., Fangraphs’ Eric Seidman predicted $20 million), Beltran turned in a 3.6-WAR campaign, earning about $16 million of that contract. Not only was he a major component of the playoff team, looking toward 2013, he’ll need to provide only 2.5 WAR to give the Cardinals more than they paid for.

9. Most Anticipated Cardinal

Sure, everyone’s talking about Taveras these days. But that’s only because we’re almost taking Shelby Miller, our write-in candidate, for granted. After all, it’s Miller who made an impact in the playoffs and who figures to be part of the staff next year. We expect Taveras to be the most anticipated next year, but this year, it was Miller.

10. Best Individual Cardinal Blog

  • Write-in: _____________
No vote.

11. Best Team Cardinal Blog

  • Write-in: _____________

No vote.

12. Best Media Blog

  • Bird Land
  • By Gosh It’s Langosch
  • Cardinal Beat
  • Write-in: ______________

No vote.

13. Best Rookie Cardinal Blog

  • CardsBlog
  • Keene on MLB
  • StanGraphs
  • Write-in: ______________

Stangraphs provides incisive commentary and as a bonus goes beyond the Cardinal beat to cover league-wide news.

14. Post of the Year

  • Cardinals Executives Candid With Bloggers (RetroSimba)
  • Darryl Kile’s Final Inning (Aaron Miles’ Fastball)
  • On Life, Love and Baseball (I70 Baseball)
  • STARS for Baby Reesa (Pitchers Hit Eighth)
  • We Don’t Get To Write The Endings (C70 At The Bat)
  • Write-in: _______________

We appreciated the literary qualities of Daniel’s post, “We don’t get to write the endings.” His was a fitting summary of the NLCS.

15. Best UCB Project

  • Buck/Kile Remembrances
  • Roundtables
  • Top 5 Iconic Moments
  • Top 7 Prospects
  • Write-in: Progressive Game Blog

We find the Progressive Game Blog to be the most enjoyable to both participate in and to consume. It’s truly a unique production and displays the varied styles of the group’s talented writers.

16. Most Optimistic Cardinal Blog

  • Write-in: ________________

No vote.

17. Best UCB Podcast

  • Conversations With C70
  • Gateway To Baseball Heaven
  • Pitchers Hit Eighth
  • Redbirds Of A Feather
  • UCB Radio Hour
  • Write-in: _________________

No vote.

18. Best UCB Twitterer

  • Write-in: _________________

No vote.

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