Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sometimes "Player of the Year" means "Player of Last Year"

Our conference, the ACCC, released the All-Region and All-Conference teams for the 2010 season today. I’m proud to say that Pirates Jeff Shields, Derek Varnadore, and Ryan Holland were named to the All-Region and All-Southern Conference squads, while Bronson Gagner and Donte Williams were named to the All-Southern Conference team. We couldn’t be happier for these guys, as they deserve every bit of any accolade they receive.

I also want to say that each player from the other teams around the league was deserving of being named, and they are all outstanding performers. That said, and at the risk of sounding like sour grapes (not to mention that I’m sure I’ll catch some flak for this), I do have to ponder a couple of the omissions. Tom Richardson, in my opinion, was clearly the strongest catcher in the region. His line is compared to the All-Region/Conference selection at catcher below (I apologize for the awkward formatting, for some reason, my tables wouldn't convert properly):

Player             G  Avg    Slg%  AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SO SF SH
All Region C 44 0.346  0.471  136    24  47  5    0   4    35     9     0      8    3    5
Richardson   44 0.358  0.541  159    43  57 12   1   5    43    31    5     22   4    1

 The other guy is a heck of a player, and certainly deserving of recognition for his effort, but I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves. I suppose it is possible to have outperformed someone else despite being outperformed in Avg, Slug, OB%, R, RBI, 2B, HR, BB, HBP and H, I’m just not quite sure how.

The other puzzling decision, was the selection of “Player of the Year”, for the Southern Conference. I feel in this case, the selection would have been more appropriately titled “Player of Last Year”, or maybe “Most Outstanding Two Years”. Again, I’ll post some comparative stats and let you guys decide if my concerns are valid.

 Player          G  CG  SO  W  L   IP    R   ER  ERA  AB    H   2B  3B  HR  HB  BB  SO
POTY          17    5     0      8   2  111   63  46    3.73  445  122  12    2     9    15    38   108
Shields        15   4      4    12   2  95.2  35  17    1.60  367   76   13    1     3     3     35     98
Varnadore   14   3     1      7    1  80.2  43  35   3.90   320   84   15    0     4     9     33   103
Gagner        13    4     2      9    1  70.1  35  21   2.69   272   66     9    2     6     8     17     58

Again, the player awarded the honor is an outstanding player, and particularly in 2009 (though anyone would have had a hard time outperforming Johnny Gunter) he posted phenomenal numbers. I guess I’m just unsure how the selection process works. It clearly isn’t based on Wins, ERA, opponent’s average or any other statistical category. I guess those 5 extra strikeouts were pretty special.

I will say that the players getting the nod did both have outstanding post season performances, but I was under the assumption that we had an All-Tournament team to celebrate post season accomplishment.

Anyway, I do not wish in any way to diminish the play of these two fine ball players, I guess I just feel that perhaps a couple of ours were deserving of a bit more recognition than they received.

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