Saturday, April 23, 2011

Player of the Fortnight

We're sufficiently into the season now to aptly resume our favorite sporadicly recurring Player of the Fortnight series.

The background of the Player of the Fortnight Award is recapped in its inception post.

To recap the winners from last season:

July 9: Rafael Furcal, Josh Johnson, Ian Kinsler, and Jon Lester
July 31: Rickie Weeks, Brett Myers, Jose Bautista, and Cliff Lee
Aug 26: Omar Infante, Mat Latos, Miguel Cabrera, and C.J. Wilson
Sept 12: Carlos Gonzalez, Cole Hamels, Hideki Matsui, and Jon Lester

These shouldn't really be called "awards". It's more like a Player of the Fortnight Spotlight, or something. As with good homemade cooking, whatever we come up with will at least be fresh. This is an accurate pulse of who's at the top of their games.

NL Hitter of the Fortnight
Lance Berkman, Cardinals
When looking at wOBA on Fangraphs, no-one approaches Lance Berkman. Aided by his league-leading 6 homeruns, the difference in Slugging Percentage between Berkman and the rest of the National League is staggering:

"I still got it!"
Slugging % last 14 days
Lance Berkman: .923
Troy Tulowitzki: .750
Ryan Roberts: .727
Chris Denorfia: .696
Freddie Freeman: .694

Although Berkman's was on the Cubs' division rival Astros and has moved on to the dreaded Cardinals, we've always liked him and even wrote in this space that we wanted the Cubs to give him a 1-year deal, which would have also been less expensive than the alternative they chose. Perhaps, they could have kept Larry Rothschild with the difference. Sorry, only three sentences in, and we must digress.

Honorable mention: Matt Holliday, Joey Votto, Ryan Braun, and Matt Kemp

NL Pitcher of the Fortnight
Josh Johnson, Marlins
You're welcome, Josh
He won the first PofF spotlight last season and defends that crown again now.

In the past two weeks, Johnson went 2-0 in 2 starts, throwing 14.3 innings, giving up no runs on 3 hits, with 4 walks and 18 strikeouts. He lead the league with an 11.3 K/9.

Honorable mention: Cole Hamels, Jason Marquis, Aaron Harang, Kyle Lohse, and Randy Wolf - If we have more time in the future, I would LOVE to discuss the ridiculousness of the non-Hamels portion of our NL Pitcher Honorable Mention.

AL Hitter of the Fortnight
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
Gimme an 'H', gimme a 'G', gimme an...
Well, look who we have here. What are we supposed to believe? Should we be asking this for every player in baseball, or just the busted cheaters who rise to prominence again? The discussion is beyond tired, at this point, but as a fan all we can hope is that the game is on the level. I suspect that Rodriguez is playing clean, including no HGH, and his true talent is showing. The Yankees look like a good team again. They need to add some pitching, but their lineup looks good again. Cashman and the appropriate scouts and coaches should receive more credit for bringing in Russell Martin and putting him in a position to succeed. Manager and former backstop, Joe Girardi, probably knows what Martin needs to succeed more than anyone.

Honorable mention: Jose Bautista, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Quentin, Curtis Granderson, Jed Lowrie, and Sam Fuld

AL Pitcher of the Fortnight
Jered Weaver, Angels
"Yes, I won a BAseball Reality Tour
Player of the Fortnight Award!"
The early season success of the Angels's 1-2 punch of Weaver and Haren, or is it Haren and Weaver, has been highlighted on numerous platforms over the past week. They were the first teammates to start the season 4-0 in a long time, I guess. Over the past two weeks, Weaver went 3-0 in 3 starts. He threw 123 pitches over 7 2/3 innings at home against Toronto on April 10th. Weaver struck out 15 Blue Jays and followed that performance with 7 victorious innings in Chicago and a Complete Game at Texas. He struck out 12 and walked 0 batters combined over the last two starts in those hitters' paradises.

Honorable mention: Josh Beckett, Dan Haren, Bruce Chen, and Michael Pineda

Speaking of pitching and stuff, over the past 2 weeks, Kyle Davies leads the American League with a 1.29 FIP, but he has a 5.73 ERA. I wish someone who knew how to talk to algorithms would explain that one to me.

We'll take another look at fortnight leaders in about 15 to 29 days.

In the meantime, enjoy the games and feel free to join the discussion in our comments section below, our facebook page, or my nonsequitorial twitter feed.

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