Even with the baseball season over I'm always looking for an excuse to do a redo and resident Astros fan vivalaultra gave me one while lamenting over the end of Jeff Bagwell's career in Houston:
I feel a twinge of sadness as Jeff Bagwell's career is officially over today. The Astros declined his 2007 option, opting to pay a $7 million buyout, instead. Arguably the best 1st-basemen of the 1990s, Bagwell was the ROY in 1991 and the NL MVP in 1994, and possibly should've gotten it in 1999.
Well god dammit I have to solve this quandry!
Jeff Bagwell finished second in the 1999 N.L. MVP voting but he wasn't even close to winning it. Chipper Jones had the best year of his career hitting .319 with 45 homeruns while helping the Braves to a league best 103 wins and would receive 29 of the 32 first place votes. The tightest competition was for the second place spot as Bagwell finished with only seven points more than the 3rd place Matt Williams. Bagwell had better numbers than Williams almost across the board (including 30 stolen bases which is a ton for a first baseman) except in one category. Guess which one? If you said RBI then you know your baseball writer voting tendencies very well. Williams actually received two first place votes to Bagwell's one I suppose because he was a "gritty veteran" who was the "heart and soul" of the Diamondbacks who shocked the baseball world with a 100 win season in just their 2nd year of exsistence. After those three no other player received any real consideration for the award with Greg Vaughn leading the pack but he was a dubious choice for 4th. Of note in 1999 was also the McGwire/Sosa Homerun Chase II but like most blockbuster sequels it was just more of the same and kind of took away from the memories of the original.
1) Chipper Jones 2) Jeff Bagwell 3) Matt Williams 4) Greg Vaughn 5) Mark McGwire 6) Robin Ventura 7) Mike Piazza 8) Edgardo Alfonzo 9) Sammy Sosa 10) Larry Walker 11) Vladimir Guerrero 12) Craig Biggio 13) Jay Bell 14) Sean Casey 15) Randy Johnson 16) Billy Wagner 17) Carl Everett 18) Luis Gonzalez 19t) Brian Giles 19t) Brain Jordan 21) Mike Hampton 22) Barry Larkin 23) Bobby Abreu 24t) Barry Bonds 24t) Matt Mantei 26t) Jeff Kent 26t) Kevin Millwood 28) Trevor Hoffman
.379/.458/.710, 140 RC, 162 OPS+, .334 EQA, 68.1 VORP, 24 Win Shares
.294/.386/.457, 111 RC, 118 OPS+, .286 EQA, 48.3 VORP, 31 Win Shares
.335/.446/.549, 134 RC, 149 OPS+, .326 EQA, 64.3 VORP, 26 Win Shares
.301/.379/.529, 118 RC, 132 OPS+, .300 EQA, 53.4 VORP, 30 Win Shares
150 ERA+, 1.75 K/BB, 1.29 WHIP, 76.2 VORP, 26 Win Shares
.315/.418/.614, 135 RC, 157 OPS+, .328 EQA, 74.6 VORP, 27 Win Shares
.278/.424/.697, 154 RC, 178 OPS+, .344 EQA, 81.2 VORP, 30 Win Shares
178 ERA+, 5.20 K/BB, 1.02 WHIP, 99.3 VORP, 26 Win Shares
.304/.454/.591, 149 RC, 169 OPS+, .341 EQA, 84.9 VORP, 37 Win Shares
.319/.441/.633, 159 RC, 175 OPS+, .344 EQA, 104.3 VORP, 32 Win Shares
Bobby Abreu a gamer? HA!
So I agreed with the writers here even though Win Shares overwhelming loved Bagwell. I feel real good about the Top 5 but after that I could have gone about 20 different directions with 6 thru 10. Along those five I also could easily put Luis Gonzalez, Edgardo Alfonzo, Sammy Sosa, Andruw Jones (who didn't receive a single vote), and Vladimir Guerrero in the Top 10 as well.