The Hank Aaron Award goes to the most outstanding offensive performer in each league, every year. “Outstanding offensive performer.”
Sounds a lot like Paul Goldschmidt, doesn’t it?
Apparently, Major League Baseball agrees. Bud Selig announced the winners of the award yesterday before Game 4 of the World Series, conferring the award on Goldy in the NL and Miguel Cabrera in the AL.
There is little doubt that Goldy was a deserving winner of the award; as the D-backs organization thoroughly illustrated, he was (and is) a strong candidate for the NL MVP award. His strong defense is part of his MVP candidacy — although Goldy rates just 10th among 19 qualified first basemen in UZR/150 with 4.4, he finished the year second in Defensive Runs Saved at the position (13). Indeed, Goldy was announced last week as one of three D-backs finalists for Gold Glove Awards, along with Patrick Corbin and Gerardo Parra. The fact that that defense comes at first base, however, has caused many to conclude that Andrew McCutchen is the better candidate. The identity of the NL MVP has yet to be revealed, but with the players’ positions taken out of the equation, Goldy walked away with the Aaron Award.
Apparently, Goldy was outside the country and couldn’t collect his award in person; he was in Australia, helping to promote the game and the two game Dodgers/D-backs set to be played on March 22 and 23 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. But he did have some thanks to extend personally, giving credit to the front office, the number of players on the 2013 D-backs squad and those from previous years, and the Arizona field staff.
Now, about that field staff… as we noted last week, the D-backs cut ties with pitching coach Charles Nagy and first base coach Steve Sax. They also saw Don Baylor walk away from the hitting coach gig for the corresponding one in Anaheim. Although it’s not yet official, it looks like third base coach Matt Williams will now be headed out of Phoenix to take over as skipper for the Washington Nationals. Check out this excellent article by the Post’s Adam Kilgore. I think what Adam writes about Randy Knorr is fascinating.
It does look like the only reason that the Williams hire hasn’t been announced is the MLB fiat that no major news be released during the World Series. That leaves Kirk Gibson was just Adam Trammel among his top 2013 lieutenants (no disrespect to Glenn Sherlock). That’s really an odd situation for Gibson, whose contract runs through 2014 with a couple of one year club options.
Best of luck to Williams (but not too much luck), who was helpful for the Arizona club in a number of ways, marketing not least among them. If you’re curious, the next time you’re likely to see Matt Williams at Chase Field is May 12, when the Nationals open their next series with the D-backs.
From around the internet:
- Matthew Pouliot at Hardball Talk was among the first to say that Williams will now have to answer for his past connection to steroids (or, to here it from Williams, just HGH). I don’t feel too strongly about that and don’t really disagree, but I’m not sure why Pouliot jumped to throwing “those late-90s/early-aughts Diamondbacks clubhouses” under the bus.
- Here’s more from Goldy on the Aaron Award, courtesy of Jim McLennan of AZ Snake Pit.
- Jim started the first half of a look at the 2013 D-backs’ defense. Good stuff.
- Earlier, Jim wrote on what could be a tough non-tender decision re: Tony Sipp. I recently touched on that in a roster breakdown of the bullpen, but I think we’ll circle back during non-tender season.
- Thomas Lynch listed some former D-backs on the two World Series teams. I was actually a little surprised there were not more.
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FanGraphs Stats Glossary
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Previously on The Pool Shot, the guys explained some of their favorite advanced stats. Hitting, including wRC+, HHAV and batted ball; pitching (38:00), including FIP, xFIP and SIERA; and baserunning and defense, including UBR, UZR and DRS (58:00).