Tuesday, October 05, 2004

My vote for A's MVP in 2004

Well, now that the season is over officially for the A's, it is time to review the players and decide : Which players put in the best performance ? Which players were the worst ? Who gave it their all and who didn't give enough ?

Oakland A's MVP : Mark Kotsay
There was much wailing and complaining when the A's packaged off budding star Ramon Hernandez with Terence Long to San Diego for an outfielder who suffered through an injury riddled season with 7 HR and 38 RBI from limited at bats. A lot of A's fans were raising eyebrows and scratching their head trying to figure out what kind of impact this guy Kotsay would have with the A's.

Well, there is no more head scratching or questioning any more : Kotsay has emerged as a strong leader, someone who has gone out of his way to lead his team by example and in deeds. He has gone out of his way to be helpful and available to the media and his fans, he has been there to provide guidance to our younger players. He played through pain during the month of September without allowing his performance to diminish.

But enough of his character and personality : the real data lies in the numbers :

Offensive Stats
BA - 0.314 - 8th in the AL
OBP - 0.370
SLG - 0.459
OPS - 0.829
Hits - 190 - 5th in the AL
2B - 37 - 15th in the AL
HR - 15
RBI - 63
RC - 103.4 - 18th in the AL
RC/27 - 6.39
*BA - Batting Average, OBP - On Base Percentage, SLG - Slug Percentage, OPS - On Base + Slugging, 2b - Doubles, HR - Home Runs, RBI - Runs Batted In, RC - Total Runs Created, RC/27 - Runs created per 27 outs (Estimates how many runs per game a team made up of nine of the same player would score)*

Defensive Stats
Put Outs - 347 - 2nd in the AL
Assists - 11 - tied for 1st in the AL
Double Plays - 4 - 1st in the AL
Fielding Percentage - 0.984 - 6th in the AL
* Defensive rankings as compared to other AL center fielders

Looking at the splits, you can see how Kotsay got off to a rough start and then shined in June and July, struggled a bit in August, and finished off with a great September :

March and April : 0.256 BA / 0.316 OBP / 0.291 SLG / 0.607 OPS
May : 0.308 BA / 0.353 OBP / 0.372 SLG / 0.725 OPS
June : 0.340 BA / 0.405 OBP / 0.530 SLG / 0.935 OPS
July : 0.352 BA / 0.419 OBP / 0.556 SLG / 0.975 OPS
August : 0.264 BA / 0.299 OBP / 0.445 SLG / 0.744 OPS
September : 0.347 BA / 0.404 OBP / 0.500 SLG / 0.904 OPS

Keep in mind that the last month of September he played with a severely bruised knee.

Our biggest weakness in 2003 was our outfield. Their defense was questionable, their lack of offense was laughable. Billy Beane made it his top priority to fix the outfield during the off-season and he did it with Mark Kotsay. Kotsay is arguably one of the best defensive CF in the game, if not the best defensive CF in the game. He backs it up with a solid offense, leadership, and determination. For these reasons, I think Kotsay deserves the award of Oakland Athletics Most Valuable Player.


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