October 9, 2015

2016 National League All-Star team



The Cubs, who won 24 more games than last season, take home three of my National League awards, while the Mets pick up two. The Giants missed the playoffs — because it’s an odd year — but still put three players on the All-Star team.

Babe Ruth Award | Bryce Harper, Nationals. 42 home runs, 99 RBIs, .330 average, .460 on-base, .649 slugging, 118 runs, 124 walks, 38 win shares, 9.9 WAR. The best offensive season since Barry Bonds and the best age-22 season since Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941. Harper led the league in home runs, runs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Jonathan Papelbon doesn’t think Harper hustles. He actually hustles more than two-thirds of major league players.

2. Jake Arrieta, Cubs
3. Zack Greinke, Dodgers
4. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
5. Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks

Pee Wee Reese Award (or Teammate of the Year) | Yoenis Cespedes, Tigers-Mets. 35 home runs, 105 RBIs, .291 average, .328 on-base, .542 slugging, 101 runs, 42 doubles, 27 win shares, 5.1 WAR. The Mets were 53-50 when they acquired Cespedes on July 31. They finished 37-22 and won their first division title since 2006. Cespedes slugged .604 with 17 home runs and 44 RBIs.

Walter Johnson Award | Jake Arrieta, Cubs. 22-6, 1.77 ERA, 236 strikeouts and 48 walks in 229 innings, four complete games, three shutouts, one no-hitter. Arrieta vs. Greinke vs. Kershaw is too close to call. But the Cubs right-hander had the best second half of all time: 12-1, 0.75 ERA in 15 starts.

Jackie Robinson Award | Kris Bryant, Cubs. 26 home runs, 99 RBIs, .275 average, .369 on-base, .488 slugging, 30 win shares, 6.0 WAR.

2. Matt Duffy, Giants
3. Jung Ho Kang, Pirates

Connie Mack Award | Joe Maddon, Cubs. 97-65.

2. Mike Matheny, Cardinals
3. Terry Collins, Mets

Tommy John Award (or Comeback Player of the Year) | Matt Harvey, Mets. 13-8, 2.71 ERA, 188 strikeouts and 37 walks in 189.1 innings, 14 win shares, 4.3 WAR. He missed last season with Tommy John surgery.

Catcher | Buster Posey, Giants. 19 home runs, 95 RBIs, .318 average, .379 on-base, .470 slugging 29 win shares, 6.1 WAR. Best fielder | Posey



First base | Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks. 33 home runs, 110 RBIs, .321 average, .435 on-base, .570 slugging, 103 runs, 36 win shares, 8.8 WAR. Best fielder | Goldschmidt

2. Joey Votto, Reds
3. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs

Second base | Dee Gordon, Marlins. 4 home runs, 46 RBIs, .333 average, .359 on-base, .418 slugging, 205 hits, 58 stolen bases, 26 win shares, 4.9 WAR. The first player to lead the National League in hitting and stolen bases since Jackie Robinson in 1949. Best fielder | Gordon

Third base | Kris Bryant, Cubs. 26 home runs, 99 RBIs, .275 average, .369 on-base, .488 slugging, 30 win shares, 6.0 WAR. He had 199 strikeouts, eighth on the all-time list. Best fielder | Nolan Arenado, Rockies.

2. Nolan Arenado, Rockies
3. Matt Carpenter, Cardinals

Shortstop | Brandon Crawford, Giants. 21 home runs, 84 RBIs, .256 average, .321 on-base, .462 slugging, 11 HBPs, 20 win shares, 5.6 WAR. Best fielder | Andrelton Simmons, Atlanta.

Left field | Yoenis Cespedes, Tigers-Mets. 35 home runs, 105 RBIs, .291 average, .328 on-base, .542 slugging, 101 runs, 42 doubles, 27 win shares, 5.1 WAR. Best fielder | Starling Marte, Pirates.

Center field | Andrew McCutchen, Pirates. 23 home runs, 96 RBIs, .292 average, .401 on-base, .488 slugging, 12 HBPs, 35 win shares, 4.8 WAR. Best fielder | A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks.

2. A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks

Right field | Bryce Harper, Nationals. 42 home runs, 99 RBIs, .330 average, .460 on-base, .649 slugging, 118 runs, 124 walks, 38 win shares, 9.9 WAR. Best fielder | Jason Heyward, Cardinals.

2. Curtis Granderson, Mets
3. Jason Heyward, Cardinals

Starting rotation | 1. Jake Arrieta, Cubs. 22-6, 1.77 ERA, 236 strikeouts and 48 walks in 229 innings, 4 complete games, 3 shutouts, 1 no-hitter, 27 win shares, 8.6 WAR.



2. Zack Greinke, Dodgers. 19-3, 1.66 ERA, 200 strikeouts and 40 walks in 222.2 innings, 1 complete game, 26 win shares, 9.3 WAR. His 45.2 scoreless innings streak was the sixth-longest of all time.

The lowest single-season ERAs since Bob Gibson’s 1.12 in 1968:

1.53 Dwight Gooden, 1985
1.56 Greg Maddux, 1994
1.63 Greg Maddux, 1995
1.66 Zack Greinke, 2015
1.69 Nolan Ryan, 1981

1.74 Pedro Martinez, 2000
1.74 Ron Guidry, 1978
1.76 Tom Seaver, 1971
1.77 Jake Arrieta, 2015
1.77 Clayton Kershaw, 2014

Three of those — the two by Maddux and Ryan and 1981 — were in strike-shortened seasons.

3. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers. 16-7, 2.13 ERA, 301 strikeouts and 42 walks in 232.2 innings, 4 complete games, 3 shutouts, 22 win shares, 7.5 WAR.

Fan Graphs’ version of WAR rates Kershaw as the top pitcher in the league, mostly because he ranks first in Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP). Kershaw had 301 strikeouts and 42 walks and gave up 15 home runs in 232.2 innings. Only two pitchers who qualified for the ERA title have ever had a higher strikeout rate — Pedro Martinez twice and Randy Johnson five times.



4. Max Scherzer, Nationals. 14-12, 2.79 ERA, 276 strikeouts and 34 walks in 228.2 innings, 4 complete games, 3 shutouts, 2 no-hitters, 18 win shares, 7.0 WAR.

He struck out 27 and walked none in his two no-hitters, and he was one hit batsman and one throwing error away from two perfect games. He also threw a one-hitter — with 16 strikeouts and one walk — against the Brewers on June 14.

He received the fourth-lowest run support in the league.

Half of his seven-year, $210 million contract — a record for a right-handed pitcher — is deferred.

5. Madison Bumgarner, Giants. 18-9, 2.93 ERA, 234 strikeouts and 39 walks in 218.1 innings, 4 complete games, 2 shutouts, 17 win shares, 4.9 WAR.

He stared down Joe West, and it wasn’t his idea to walk Paul Goldschmidt. Bumgarner also hit five home runs — including one off Clayton Kershaw — and drew a pinch-hit walk against Aroldis Chapman. The legend continues …

6. John Lackey, Cardinals
7. Gerrit Cole, Pirates

Relievers | Jeurys Familia, Mets. 2-2, 1.85 ERA, 43 saves, 86 strikeouts and 19 walks in 78 innings, 15 win shares, 2.7 WAR.

Mark Melancon, Pirates. 3-2, 2.23 ERA, 51 saves, 62 strikeouts and 14 walks in 76.2 innings, 17 win shares, 1.9 WAR.

3. Trevor Rosenthal, Cardinals
4. Hector Rondon, Cubs
5. Aroldis Chapman, Reds

These five relievers were essentially interchangeable.
— Kevin Brewer

This story originally appeared on Raleigh & Company.

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