Saturday, December 2, 2017

A cool card of a guy who didn't deserve the vote in 2012

WAR isn't a perfect stat, but in general a player with a good WAR score is a player people think is pretty good.  So when you look at rankings for MVP and Cy Young, you expect some high WAR scores, especially these days since sabermetrics have a bigger hand in things.

Recently, this HAS been the case.  For instance, on this year's MVP and Cy Young ballots, over 50 players got votes of some kind.  The lowest WAR of any of those players was 2.5 by Khris Davis, which is still pretty good.

Back in the day, however, before WAR and sabermetrics ruled the scene, some weird names popped up on ballots.  And when I'm bored, sometimes, I ponder over them.  So starts a possible semi-regular segment where I pick a year and find the guy(s) that didn't really belong on the ballot.  And then I share a card of theirs that I found cool looking.

Why start with 2012?  I just looked at the Baseball Reference leaderboards starting at 2017 and went backwards until a statline stuck out.

The name:  Raul Ibanez.

Ibanez got one tenth place vote in 2012 for a 0.5 WAR season with the Yankees.  That ranked him 24th in the MVP rankings in the American League, essentially declaring him the league's 24th most valuable player in a season where he hit .240/.308/.453 with 19 homers in 130 games.  Definitely a tribute vote if I've ever seen one, and it apparently came from John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press.

The card:

TIL Raul Ibanez started out as a catcher.  Muy interesante.

A random rookie from that year more deserving of the vote (Since Baseball Reference lists the Rookie of the Year vote getters as well): Jarrod Parker, who had 3.8 WAR and a 3.47 ERA across 29 starts.


  1. I remember when Ibanez was clutch in like every situation lol.

    1. He certainly came up big at times, just maybe not MVP votes big.

  2. Yeah, the Yankees basically made the playoffs that year because of a bunch of clutch HRs and hits from Ibanez in September. So he may not have been one of the 25 best players that season, but he was easily one of the 25 most valuable.

    1. A lot of his biggest clutch moments were in the playoffs, which was after the voting.

      He did have a 1.5 WPA in the regular season and some big games for sure, but the league leader was Mike Trout with his 5 something it's not like Ibanez was that close.

      That all said, I kind of get the Ibanez vote based on "clutchness," but it's weird it came from a voter in Detroit.