I have had a hard enough time keeping up with with the Cardinals in late 2010 and into the off-season much less trying to watch much “other” baseball. Thankfully, the tools at the disposal of an otherwise occupied blogger (FanGraphs, Baseball-Reference, Twitter) are more than enough to formulate the PH8 ballot for the BBA National League Stan Musial Award, the award for the most outstanding player in the league for the 2010 season.
1. Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds
Votto blossomed into a star for the Reds in 2010. A guy who has battled injury, illness, and the risk of being overshadowed by other teammates (much-hyped Jay Bruce and a resurgent Scott Rolen come to mind, not to mention the attention-seeking Brandon Phillips) put up a consistent, steady, outstanding season at the plate while manning first base quite capably for the Central Division Champions.
2. Albert Pujols, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals
What is left to say about Pujols? Well, for starters, I for one didn’t expect to be listing him below first place in a vote for much of anything for a long time. In what has been called a “down” season for Pujols he still posted 7.3 WAR according to FanGraphs. I can’t wait for a “bounce-back” season from that.
3. Roy Halladay, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
Halladay was his masterful self for the Phillies, and for once found himself playing meaningful baseball late into the season. In the “Year of the Pitcher” Halladay was easily one of the best.
4. Matt Holliday, LF, St. Louis Cardinals
Amidst everything that surrounded the Cardinals this season – underperformance, speculation about Pujols’ next contract, a new hitting coach, false premises that he couldn’t hit in the clutch and/or with runners in scoring position – Holliday quietly earned every penny of the first year’s salary of his new contract and then some.
5. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington Nationals
Is Zimmerman the best player in the National League that virtually no one talks about? If he played for the Phillies, does he win this award? A complete player at bat and in the field, Zimmerman has quietly been among the National League leaders in WAR for the past couple of seasons – if only he could move out of D.C., perhaps he would draw more attention. Sure would look good wearing a Cardinal jersey, would he not?
Best of the rest…
6. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies
7. Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Colorado Rockies
8. Adam Wainwright, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
9. Rickie Weeks, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers
10. Josh Johnson, SP, Florida Marlins
Stay tuned to the Baseball Bloggers Alliance homepage for the announcement of the winners!