Wednesday, November 6, 2013

2013 Team Awards: Texas Rangers



In order to review the 2013 season, the crackpot staff of Off Base is handing out awards to each Major League team. Please send us $19.95 for the shipping and handling of your team's Hello Kitty stickers awards. Here are the Most Valuable Player, Least Valuable Player, Cy Young, Cy Yuck, Rookie of the Year and Reliever of the Year for the Texas Rangers. *Guidelines, prices and participation may vary by author* 

MVP: Adrian Beltre

Team fWAR leader? Check. Team wRC+ leader? Check. Team wOBA leader? Check. And no, it's not like Nelson Cruz would have challenged Beltre all that much had he simply not used PED's to get over the weight loss from stomach bug. Nellie couldn't hold a candle to Beltre defensively, even when Beltre had the worst year of his career on defense. Beltre finished his Age-34 season with a wRC+ of 135, a wOBA of .379 and an fWAR of 5.2. He finishes home runs like this sometimes, he has an issue with people touching his head and has an ongoing troll war with Elvis Andrus. He was the Rangers best position player from start to finish this season, and only Craig Gentry's defense kind of/sort of made it a race. Go get your head rubbed, Adrian, get it rubbed good. 

LVP: Lance Berkman

It might be high-time that the Big Puma finally hang 'em up. Brought in to platoon and provide some lefty thump from the DH spot, Rangers fans watched as a former power hitter was unable to hit for much power in a ballpark designed to increase power. The old man can still take a walk, though, posting a walk-rate of 12.9%. Other than that, his career as a baseball player is pushing up daisies. Stick a fork in it, Nancy, this one is done. 

Cy Young: Yu Darvish

The Whirling Darvish continues to get better, and gets the nod for the Cy Young by besting rotation-mate, Derek Holland in fWAR with a 5.0 mark compared to McCreepy McMustache's Holland's 4.8. But this isn't just about WAR. Darvish's K-rate went from 27.1% in 2012 to 32.9% this season, his walk-rate dropped from 10.9% to 9.5%, and he led the league in being able to deal with A.J. Pierzynski and his shenanigans. If it weren't for his 13-9 record, he might have gotten better support in the actual Cy Young Award race. Unfortunately, some Max guy in Detroit had to go and win all the baseball games. 

Cy Yuck: Derek Lowe

It only took Lowe 13 innings to prove to the Rangers that he wasn't worth having on the roster. in those glorious 13 innings, Lowe pitched his way to a 9.00 ERA (5.97 FIP) and an fWAR of -0.2. Come to think of it, it is actually quite impressive that in what amounted to a game and a half worth of innings, Lowe was able to accrue negative value. Bravo, sir. Bravo. In case you are interested, Derek, the local High School team is looking for a new batting practice pitcher. Should I give them your card? I'll give them your card.

Rookie of the Year: Martin Perez

This could very well have gone the way of Nick Tepesch. But Perez gets it for having 31.1 more innings of impact on the Rangers 2013 season. That, and his advantage in ERA- (85 to 114). It is always a victory to be better than league average when you are a rookie. Especially when you are rookie who is not much for striking out hitters and has a 31.1% fly ball-rate in hitter's park. 

Reliever of the Year: Joe Nathan

Lance Berkman's career may be in the toilet, but the soon-to-be 39 year old Joe Nathan looks as dominant as ever. His 2.5 fWAR was his best mark since he posted a 3.2 fWAR in 2006. If saves are your thing, he had 43 of those. His 1.39 ERA was his best since 2008. His 2.26 FIP was his best since 2006. Basically, he is one of the best "Slamming the Door Shut'ers" that I have seen since I forgot my wife's birthday (Sorry honey). You could make a solid argument for Neal Cotts, but with the numbers as close together as they were, Nathan had a 0.7 point edge in fWAR, and that was what made the difference. 

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