Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Eastern Heroes

Bill James' Win Shares estimates how many wins a player contributed to his team from all apsects of his performance, and thus can be a useful metric for picking the real most valuable player during a season. Here are the Win Shares MVPs in the National Leage East each season since the NL East took on its current alignment in 1994:
2007 David Wright, NY
2006 Carlos Beltran, NY
2005 Carlos Delgado, FLA
2004 Bobby Abreu, PHI
2003 Gary Sheffield, ATL
2002 Chipper Jones, ATL
2001 Scott Rolen, PHI
2000 Edgardo Alfonzo NY
1999 Chipper Jones, ATL
1998 John Olerud, NY
1997 Scott Rolen, PHI
1996 Gary Sheffield, FLA
1995 Greg Maddux, ATL
1994 Greg Maddux, ATL

In 14 seasons, that's 2 for Chipper, 2 for Maddux, 2 for Sheffield (two different teams), 2 for Rolen, plus 4 for the Mets and one each for Abreu and the pre-Mets Delgado.

David Wright this season is the first NL East player since the 1994 divisional re-alignment to lead the entire NL in Win Shares. On those on the above list, only Chipper Jones in 1999 actually won the real-life MVP. Perhaps David will win it this year.

Bonds, Bagwell and Pujols won 10 of the last 14 NL Win Shares MVPs. Besides Wright this year, the other winners since 1994 have been Jeff Kent and Mark McGwire plus pre-Mets Mike Piazza and Tony Gwynn, who tied for NL Win Shares MVP in 1997.

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