Sunday, September 12, 2010

Player of the Fortnight vol. 4

Sunday morning is a good a time as any to paraphrase.  A wise baseball man once said, "Just give me their stats for the last two weeks, and that'll tell me who's going good," or something to that effect.  Thinking of that again on this Sunday morning, I checked the calendar and see it's been more than two weeks since we handed out any Fortnight Awards.  Will any of our most recent award winners, Miguel Cabrera, CJ Wilson, Omar Infante, or Mat Latos, defend their crown?  As usual, all stats mentioned have been provided by our friends at Fangraphs.

AL Hitter of the Fortnight
Hideki Matsui, Angels
This was a tough call, and there were a few candidates who are probably more popular choices: Carl Crawford (13.4 wRC), Ryan Raburn (11.4 wRC), and Mark Teixeira (11.7 wRC).  Matsui gets our vote because of his fantastic and league-leading .553 On-base percentage and .525 wOBA.

AL Pitcher of the Fortnight
Jon Lester, Red Sox
Our first 2-time winner
A quick glance at the advanced numbers made this look like an easy choice.  Lester, who won this award the first time we gave them out on July 9th, leads the league in FIP (1.27) and xFIP (1.95) by wide margins.  Second place in those stats are by his teammate, Josh Beckett (1.67 and 2.60).  Standard stats have Gio Gonzalez, Rick Porcello, Jeremy Guthrie, and Ervin Santana leading the league with three wins.  Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie also lead the league with a 0.81 ERA.  So, that should be enough for old school folks to grant him the title.  I kind of wish I had done this yesterday to give it to King Felix.  Lester went 2-0 but with a 5.25 ERA.  It's not like we're settling the classic battle of ERA vs FIP, but choices have to be made.  We're going with Lester, and if you think it's just to side with new stats, dude also threw 30 strikeouts.

NL Hitter of the Fortnight
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
Amazingly, the Rockies also have the runner-up to this award: Troy Tulowitzki.  The Rockies have been rolling, winning nine in a row, and getting back in the postseason discussion 2.5 games behind the Padres.  There has been MVP, even triple crown, talk about the soon to be 25-year old outfielder.  In the last fourteen days, Carlos Gonzalez led the league with a .442 batting average and 17.5 wRC.  CarGo doesn't walk much, as evident by his 6.1 BB% career - 5.7 BB% this season.  If pitchers now start to pitch around him, he'll have to show more patience.  This screams small sample size, but as the CarGo hype machine has been taking off in the past two weeks, his BB% has improved slightly to 8.6%.

NL Pitcher of the Fortnight
Cole Hamels, Phillies
More and more, I think arguments can be made for a handful of pitchers for who's been the best the past two weeks.  Mat Latos, Carlos Zambrano, Madison Bumgarner, Jonathan Sanchez, J.A. Happ, and five other qualified starters in the National League had ERA's below 1.84.  Hamels is ranked 9th in the league in xFIP and FIP, but he went 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA, and we've learned to respect the 0.00 ERA, especially through three starts.

We're going to try to enjoy the NFL and NL West games today!  See you next week.

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