Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Highest Career WAR For Players Who Never Got Any MVP Votes

Chet Lemon never got any MVP votes despite 4 top 10 finishes in WAR including 1984 on a 1st place team. Dan Hirsch compiled these numbers. Here are the leaders among position players:

Chet Lemon 55.3
Jason Kendall 41.5
Ron Fairly 35.2
Frank White 34.7
Jeff Cirillo 34.4
Ray Durham 33.7
Mark Ellis 33.7
John Valentin 31.6 (Update Jan. 1-John Valentin had 0.15 MVP Shares-it was supposed to be Jose Valentin, probably my fault)

Pitcher Chuck Finley had 58.4 with no MVP votes.

This list may not be a big surprise. 3 are 2Bmen (White, Durham, and Ellis) and a catcher, Kendall, are here. Previous research shows these positions don't do well in MVP voting. See MVP Awards And Award Shares By Position

7 comments:

Phil Birnbaum said...

Very nice, I love this kind of stuff!

Cyril Morong said...

Glad you liked it. Here is something related I posted a couple of days ago

"What is the highest WAR ever for a guy who got no votes at all in the MVP voting, maybe since 1931?

I posted this question on Twitter and Dan Hirsch came up with a short list for position players (some pitchers had higher WAR). Here are the four he gave. I also have each guy's rank in WAR, their team's record, position in standings and how many games out they finished:

W. Davis '64 8.4 (5) (80-82, 6T, 13)
Clemente '68 8.1 (2) (80-82, 6, 17)
E. Mathews '63 8 (7) (84-78, 6, 17)
Bonds '89 8 (3) (74-88, 5 in 6 team division, 19)

These guys were all well known players so it is not like the writers did not know who they were. I know their teams were not even close to being contenders, but no votes at all?

Dan wondered about the RBI totals for these guys.

W. Davis '64 77
Clemente '68 57
E. Mathews '63 84
Bonds '89 58"

Cyril Morong said...

Ken Wood got MVP votes in 1950 (AL) with a -2.2 WAR. Not sure if that is the lowest ever

Cyril Morong said...

This list may not be a big surprise. 3 are 2Bmen (White, Durham, and Ellis) and a catcher, Kendall, are here. Previous research shows these positions don't do well in MVP voting. See MVP Awards And Award Shares By Position
http://cybermetric.blogspot.com/2009/02/mvp-awards-and-award-shares-by-position.html

Ryan said...

Maybe not too surprising. I haven't looked but I'd bet that most of the guys on the list were decent-to-good for a long time without ever being MVP-worthy. Since WAR is cumulative, you can have players like Ellis who are 1-2 win players each year, with occasional peaks in the 3-4 range, over a period of like 15 years, garnering attention and maybe All Star games but not MVP votes. That's one way to get to 30+ WAR without any MVP votes.

Cyril Morong said...

Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Here is how many top 10 finishes in WAR these guys had

Lemon 4
Kendall 0
Farily 0
White 0
Cirillo 0
Durham 0
Ellis 0

So there is some truth to what you say. Looks like Lemon is the real outlier.

In Fairly's case, he had 3.7 WAR in 1965, on a 1st place team. Yet 6 players with less WAR got votes, including 3 teammates (Gilliam, Rosebero, Johnson).

http://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/awards_1965.shtml#NLmvp

Cyril Morong said...

Jose Valentin had no top 10 WAR finishes