…. Larry Granillo, over at Baseball Prospectus agrees with me:
…. Ryan Braun is not going to win the MVP award this year. Even with the Brewers surging in
to the playoffs thanks to an unprecedented triple swoon by the other National League Wild Card contenders, there are, ahem, reasons that Braun won’t walk away with the trophy. One of those reasons plays catcher for the San Francisco Giants.
…. In 50 fewer plate appearances, Posey has only eight fewer hits than Braun. That’s enough to help put Posey’s .333 batting average at third in the league. He also has six more doubles than Braun despite the fewer at-bats and a respectable-unto-itself 22 home runs. Posey’s .409 on-base percentage is also 20 points higher than Braun’s .389, while his 73 runs scored and 93 RBIs complete the all-around great season Posey has put together.
Braun’s numbers seem to be the easy winner at first-glance. However, the run-scoring environments between the two players’ home parks are very different, making a straight comparison a bit more complicated. Looking at True Average, which takes these factors into account, the picture changes. Posey’s .348 TAv is a clear leader over the .334 from Braun. Both are excellent, but Posey’s numbers playing for the Giants are the superior set. (Other
whole-value batting metrics you may
see around the web have similar findings.) When you couple this with the fact that Posey plays the large majority of his games as a catcher—a position still starved for offensive talent—while Braun plays the offense-heavy left field, it makes perfect sense that Braun won’t be repeating as the league’s Most Valuable Player.