NL MVP Ryan Howard
Here is the Crystal Ball Review we did for Ryan Howard a few weeks ago. I liked Howard heading into 2006, but I didn't expect an MVP season.
As with the Morneau selection, the pick of Howard is rather controversial given the amazing season that Albert Pujols had.
Pujols: .331/.431/.671,.340 ISO, 137 RBI in 143 games, 92/50 BB/K ratio, 49 homers, OPS+180, .355 EQA, 12.9 WARP3.
Howard: .313/.425/.659, .346 ISO, 149 RBI in 159 games, 108/181 BB/K ratio, 58 homers, OPS +170, .344 EQA, 9.4 WARP3.
From a purely sabermetric standpoint, Pujols had a better year in every department except raw home runs and Isolated Power. According to the numbers at least, the voters got it wrong.
But you know what? In our own MinorLeagueBall poll, I voted for Howard, too. It wasn't the right decision by sabermetric logic, but I wanted to recognize what he did this year. Pujols has won the MVP already and will likely win it again in the future, but this year I felt like honoring the guy with 58 homers. Not logical, probably dead-wrong, but it wouldn't surprise me if many voters made a similar decision.