Twins Award Series: Twins MVP

27 Sep

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About ten days ago, I sent an e-mail to many of your favorite Twins bloggers, and several members of the media, and asked them three question and asked for their rankings. First, I asked them to send me their “vote” for the Twins MVP, ranking the top eight choices. Next, I asked for their choice for Twins Pitcher of the Year, with them able to rank up to five pitchers. Finally, I asked for them to pick the Twins Rookie of the Year, and they could rank as many as three.

To this point, I have received as impressive 22 responses. A huge Thank You to those who contributed to this:

Today I will discuss the results of the Minnesota Twins Most Valuable Player. Tomorrow, I’ll be back with the Twins Pitcher of the Year.

This year’s Twins Bloggers/Writers/Media Types (SSTBWMT?) Minnesota Twins Most Valuable Player is:


In an honor that I’m sure will mean as much to him as his 2009 American League MVP from the BBWA, Mauer racked up 14 of the 24 first-place votes among our panel. The smooth-swinging left-handed catcher is having another very solid campaign in 2010. In 133 games so far, he is hitting .331/.407/.473 with a career-high 42 doubles. His home run total has dropped from 28 in 2009 to just nine in 2010, but it appears much of that can be blamed on the move to Target Field as little has changed in Mauer’s approach at the plate. Much of Mauer’s value comes from his defense as well, where he has won two Gold Glove Awards in the last two years.

Delmon Young broke out in 2010 and showed more of the potential that fans have been waiting for since the Twins acquired him before the 2008 season. He finished second in the vote and with four first-place votes. Young was terrific from May through July when he kept the team a float. Defense is obviously a question mark in his game, but he is sitting at .298 with 19 home runs and 107 RBI including many big two-out, clutch hits.

Jim Thome came to the Twins on a one year, $1.5 million contract with the understanding that the Twins would limit his playing time in an effort to help him through the season. The Twins limited his playing time appropriately and the now-40 year old Thome has provided far more than anyone could have hoped for, on the field and off. In 105 games, he has hit .280/.412/.631. In 335 at bats, he has 16 doubles, an incredible (for him) two triples and a remarkable 25 home runs. His 1.043 OPS would be his best since 2002. He’s been everything the Twins hoped for, and more. He received two first-place votes.

Pitching is the name of the game, and in the fourth and fifth spots are the Twins co-aces. Francisco Liriano received three first place votes and put together numbers that resembled what he had shown in his ill-fated 2006 season. Carl Pavano provided an incredible consistency for the pitching staff. Through much of the season, he could be counted on for innings and quality starts. He led the pitching staff in innings and complete games, and had a pretty cool mustache.

Despite not playing since that fateful July 7th game, Justin Morneau finished sixth in the voting. He was a leading contender for AL MVP at the time of his concussion. The manager’s choice, Michael Cuddyer finished seventh in our voting. His versatility and willingness to play anywhere when needed was vital to the team. Danny Valencia was promoted in June when Cuddyer was put on the bereavement list. He was expected to be sent back to Rochester three or four days later, but another injury provided him an extended opportunity, and he has been a huge spark plug for the Twins ever since, playing well both offensively and defensively.

Brian Duensing got the remaining first-place vote but still finished ninth. Duensing made the team as a second left-handed reliever, but did so well in that role that he started getting more crucial assignments and he came through. Then around the midway point in the season, the Twins needed an arm in the rotation, and Duensing responded by going 7-2 with a 2.79 ERA.

It was a tough year to crack the Top 10 in this Twins vote. Jesse Crain and his remarkable bullpen work finished out the top 10. Orlando Hudson filled a Twins need in the #2 spot in the batting order and at 2nd base. He played as expected (well) and finished 11th. Jason Kubel hit another 20 home runs and finished 12th.

Seth’s Top Ten Vote:

  1. Joe Mauer – Just so good, so valuable, offensively and defensively. At the end of the day, the numbers are just remarkable.
  2. Delmon Young – Carried the team following Morneau’s injury. Hit great with RISP. Defense is scary, but offensive production more than makes up for it.
  3. Carl Pavano – The term ‘veteran starter’ certainly fit Pavano this year. His consistently quality starting was huge for the team, particularly when they were struggling.
  4. Francisco Liriano – Most dominant pitcher on the team, pitched terrific in the second half.
  5. Brian Duensing – provided tremendous work as a late-inning reliever and as a starter in the 2nd half.
  6. Jim Thome – power production was incredible. Plate discipline was terrific. Everything team could have hoped for.
  7. Justin Morneau – Was tremendous again until the concussion.
  8. Michael Cuddyer – versatility, all about team. Can’t ask for more from a teammate.

The Ballots

Go to are all of the ballots.


6 Responses to “Twins Award Series: Twins MVP”

  1. mike wants wins September 27, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    My votes:

    1. Mauer
    2. Liriano
    3. Thome
    4. Pavano

  2. fred forscher September 27, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    how did you figure out top 1oo firstbsasemen

  3. tborg September 27, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    Wow. Some of these results are surprising, and show that the “blogosphere” isn’t all that different from the mainstream media in terms of voting for these awards. For example, several voters had Mauer not in the top 3??? For a guy playing a tough defensive position and leading the team in OPS (among qualifiers). Several left all of the pitchers off their list. Wow.

  4. JimCrikket September 28, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    I probably wouldn’t have left the pitchers totally off the list of “top 8”, but they would have been toward the bottom. It takes a pretty dominant performance for a pitcher to be MVP (see: Radke when he won about 30% of his team’s victory total in the late 90s). But the most surprising and unfathonable thing I see is a couple of people, who I thought were pretty knowledgeable, completely leaving Young off their top 8. Seriously?

  5. Seth September 28, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    TBorg – I think that is a good thing that the blogosphere doesn’t come to one answer. I think that’s positive because if we all thought the same, then why bother?

    JC – 100% agree. DY’s D may not be pretty and may have had a negative affect, but not enough to make up for his .295 with nearly 20 HR and 110 RBI. I definitely don’t understand.

  6. JimCrikket September 28, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    Parker explained over at the Strib comment section that leaving Young off his ballot was unintentional. Likewise, Betsy, at her site, said the same thing about leaving Thome off hers. I can understand that kind of thing happening.

    I wonder though… if it happens on close to 10% of the ballots among people who closely follow a single team all season, how often does that happen among the voters for the “real” League-wide awards? More often than people admit, perhaps.

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