The MLB award season concluded Thursday with the announcement of the Most Valuable Players, so it’s time to grade the performance of the BBWAA voters.
It was uneven. In most cases, voters performed brilliantly. They parsed some of the toughest contests (notably AL MVP and AL Manager of the Year) in arriving at the correct conclusions.
In at least two, however, they whiffed badly. Their selections for both NL Manager of the Year and NL MVP were underwhelming less for who they chose than for who they did not even deem worthy of consideration.
Grading the MLB award winners and ballots
MLB analysts rated most of the 2022 contests as straightforward. Just to cite a couple of examples…
The selection of Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez was widely heralded as cut-and-dried, mostly due to the fact that Rodriguez produced a superb slugging average while lifting the M’s to their first post-season appearance in two decades.
Sandy Alcantara was similarly anointed winner of the NL Cy Young Award well before he actually received the award Wednesday night.
In reviewing how well voters performed this award season, we’re using the same letter grade system you probably survived in high school: A for an exemplary voting performance, F for failure to pay attention.
Voters managed to avoid earning any Fs this year, although there were a couple of close calls.
In deciding who actually should have won each award, we’re not relying on predetermined criteria. For some awards, such yardsticks as WAR or Win Probability Added are relevant. For others, notably the managerial contests, Pythagorean performance may be relevant. In still others, the criteria could be subjective.
For the record, the composite ‘GPA’ of voters in the eight contests works out to an even 3.0. So they solidly passed, if not with honors.