Rod’s Replay Insider #30: A point system for determining replay MVP and Cy Young winners

Dave Larson, Apopka, FL, has been an APBA replayer for nearly forty years. Dave oversees the long-running Orlando APBA Association, which is heading into its 30th season in 2018 and has conducted one of the most ambitious replays I have ever learned of—using teams from all 50 states and overseas, incorporating players from all eras of baseball.

Dave has an interesting system for awarding post-season honors for his replay superstars. It’s a different approach and one that goes beyond the obvious stats.

When completing a replay, how do you determine your top performers for the honors that are doled out at season’s end?

Do you look at the final stats to determine who the MVP, Cy Young winner, or Rookie of the Year? Or do you look at other metrics, like how players performed on a game-by-game basis?

I have found that by looking at the year-end numbers, it is easy to overlook someone who might have been more valuable to a team’s performance. For example, player “A” hit .310 with 112 RBIs while player “B” may have hit .275 with 97 RBIs

An example is the argument that Bill James posed back in the ‘70s, “Who is more valuable? Bill Buckner who hits .300, but walks 40 times a year, or Mike Hargrove, who hits .275 with100 walks.”

Forty years ago, traditional baseball analysts said Buckner was the better player due to his higher batting average. But James pointed out that Buckner actually made more outs then Hargrove. While Buckner may have scored more runs and drove home more, he had more opportunities to do so. Much has to do with the lineup of each team.

I have used a system that analyzes game-by-game performance and award points for the most valuable player of each game. I do this at the end of each game. It takes less than a minute. As you total up your stats for the game or series, you note on the player’s sheet each point he has earned.

I award two points at the end of each game for the most outstanding player(s) of the game. I also split the points if there are multiple performances that merit. You could even award four points a game if you didn’t want to split points.

Let’s say you have a game where one player drove home five runs after the game was already decided. There might also be a player who broke the game open early with an rbi single that drove home two runs. Driving home five makes the year-end numbers look good, but it was the player broke open the game who may be over looked.

In this case, I award one half point to each hitter. Now what to do with the other point? Was there a pitcher who had a solid outing? Did someone on the other team have four hits? You might award a half point to the pitcher and opposing player. You might award four half points to players on the winning team who all had multiple hits.

You may have a game where a pitcher tossed a complete game one hitter and wins 1-0. You could award a full point to the pitcher and the player who drove home the winning run. Or the pitcher might get a point, the hitter a half point, and the player who started three double plays gets a half point. Let’s say the pitcher also drove home the lone run in the game. He might get both points.

By awarding points at the end of a game, you can quickly identify the stars of the game. That is something you may not recollect at the end of the year when just looking at totals. I found the point system can bring players to the forefront who can be easily overlooked.

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  1. As always, thought-provoking and helpful. My system? I let my friends vote on it. They are the “baseball writers”!

  2. My system, by no means is perfect, but works for my purposes. I take the league leader boards for each league and each of the 12 stats I track. You get 1 “vote” for a tenth place spot, and 10 “votes” for a first place spot, and whomever gets the most “votes” wins the MVP or Pitcher of the Year award.

    • That’s a good method too, Scott. Question is, do you count stats like triples and BB as high as homeruns and rbis? How about Games and At-bats?

      • Hi Tom,

        I tried weighing stats differently the first year, which turned out to be more work than it needed to be, but yes, a player with 100 walks gets as much credit as a guy that gets 100 RBI. I did that because while some stats like RBI and runs scored are more based on the players around you in the lineup than what you can do yourself, hoping this would bring balance back to an overall performance.

        I haven’t used games/AB’s as a determining factor, because I am trying to leave any “human” factor out and base it on the numbers themselves. Usually the “voting” is not very close in the few seasons I have completed, but there have been two very tight races, and I know you helped resolve my 1901 POY voting results, but my 1915 replay had about a 4 vote difference, but in that case both players had about the same games played so it all worked out.

  3. Glad to see so much interest in how to judge MVP and Cy Young candidates in replays. Lot of good ideas offered, which underlines the interest in how to select the best performers in a replay.

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