Brian Giles. At least, he should be.
We’ve written before on the ridiculousness of this award, and I expect this year to be no different.
That sounds harsh, so let me explain.
If Adrian Gonzalez doesn’t win this year’s M.V.Padre award. I will be greatly surprised. He hit 36 home runs, drove in 119 runs, raised most all of his important numbers, and even won a Gold Glove. He’s a legit player and he hits in one of the most ridiculous stadiums in the league. But he wasn’t the best player on the team this year.
Offensively, it could go either way. Adrian leads the standard categories, jumping above Giles in home runs, RBI, doubles, slugging, and OPS. In the fancier categories, Giles catches back up, leading Adrian in wRAA, wOBA, and EqA, though he’s really not that far up on Adrian in most. Where Giles pulls away is on defense.
When it was announced, I wrote briefly on the ridiculousness of Adrian’s Gold Glove win. Adrian is not the best fielding baseball in the National League. Far from it. Lance Berkman, with a UZR of 11.2, was the best in the National League. Down the list at -7 was Adrian.
Giles, meanwhile, was one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball. And when this is taken into consideration with his offensive contributions, the choice becomes very clear.
Fangraphs has recently added a value section, which includes the following:
Batting – wRAA (Runs Above Average) with a park adjustment.
Fielding – The sum of a player’s UZR.
Replacement – The replacement level adjustment set at 20 Runs / 600 PA.
Positional – The positional adjustment set using Tangotiger’s values (see this link)
Value Runs – The sum of Batting, Fielding, Replacement, and Positional.
Value Wins – Value Runs converted to a wins scale.
Dollars – Value Wins converted to the following dollar scale: 2008 – $4.5m / win
This how is Giles and Adrian stack up:
|Name||Batting||Fielding||Replacement||Positional||Value Runs||Value Wins||Dollars|
I threw in Gerut for some perspective. When all things are considered, Giles was so much the best player on the team that Adrian is closer to Gerut. And this is to take nothing away from Gerut, who had a surprisingly fantastic season.
Adrian is absolutely the face of the franchise. He’s the Padres first transcendent hitter since Petco opened, and he took the Gold Glove away from such players as Berkman and Albert Pujols. That is exceptional company to keep, and I don’t mean to come off as iconoclastic. Giles was simply the Most Valuable Padre in 2008.
(With all due respect to Jake Peavy, the most potent part of the offense.)