I know, I know. It was three years ago. The New York Yankees have a rocket ship roster for 2020 and are poised to wreak havoc on the league. How come I’m still obsessed with this silly award from three years ago?
Because it shouldn’t have even been close. At the end of 2017, I was sad about Aaron Judge not winning the award. However the Yankees were set up to enter a nice championship window, and the Giancarlo Stanton trade the following month was a good distraction. I’m also used to seeing my guys get snubbed.
Derek Jeter-MVP 1999
Hideki Matsui-ROY 2003
Derek Jeter-MVP 2006
Gary Sanchez-ROY 2016
Aaron Judge-MVP 2017
Miguel Andujar-ROY 2018
When something happens so many times, you kind of condition yourself to just accept it. So that’s what I did with Judge. But over the weekend, Cody Bellinger re-lit the fire. For those of you living under a rock, Bellinger was adamant that Jose Altuve stole the award from our man. The crazy part of the situation is that even though Altuve was cheating, Judge was miles ahead of him.
To the numbers:
OBP: .422 for Judge, .410 for Altuve
Slugging: .627 for Judge, .547 for Altuve
OPS: 1.049 for Judge, .957 for Altuve
Homers (LOL): 52 for Judge, 24 for Altuve
RBIs: 114 for Judge, 81 for Altuve
wRC+: 174 for Judge, .160 for Altuve
wOBA: .430 for Judge, .405 for Altuve
Walk %: 18.7% for Judge, 8.8% for Altuve
Defensive Runs Saved: 9 for Judge, 3 for Altuve
Ultimate Zone Rating: 6.1 for Judge, -1.1 for Altuve
fWar: 8.3 for Judge, 7.6 for Altuve
Judge clearly blows him out of the water in pretty much every stat. He was a better hitter, a better fielder, and a better base runner. He played in more games. Judge had better traditional stats and stronger analytics. He’s bigger, stronger, more respected around the league…
I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. Altuve did beat Judge out in two areas. Batting average (.346 to .284) and strikeout %: 12.7%/30.7%. Altuve is better at hitting singles and making contact. That’s it.
One of the most frustrating things about the situation is the ridiculous rationale people used to defend Altuve winning the award:
“He was more consistent.”
Reality: Voters are only supposed to look at the final numbers. Who cares if Judge slumped in July? Why does it matter WHEN he hit the 52 homers? He hit them! Judge was a bit streakier, but the numbers were clearly better.
“Judge won the Rookie of the Year anyway.”
Reality: Last time I checked, there wasn’t a rule against winning multiple awards in one season.
“Altuve was on a better team.”
Reality: Barley. Also, they were orchestrating the biggest cheating operation in sports history.
Maybe if Altuve had edged Judge out by a small margin, it would be easier to swallow. But Judge received only TWO FIRST PLACE VOTES. TWO! I mean seriously, is this a prank? Judge dominates him in pretty much every major stat. The writers take in this information and then decide that Altuve should win in a blowout. Just doesn’t add up.
Maybe writers felt bad for Altuve because he was short. Maybe they liked his undersized underdog story. Perhaps they just all hate the Yankees. But when you look at the data, there’s only one logical conclusion.