First off, I want to congratulate Buster Posey on winning the 2012 NL MVP Award. Posey had one heck of a 2012 and coming back from that devastating ankle injury he suffered in May 2011 was not easy, especially for a catcher. While I have no real problem with Posey winning, I still want to make a case for Ryan Braun. Some people say Braun got cheated out of it, others say Braun had no room to even be in the race. My personal take is that while I’m happy for Posey, I don’t believe he should have won by the landslide margin that he did. Now that it’s all over, we can take a closer look at both players’ 2012 stats and try and see exactly what the baseball writers saw.
Whether it’s a matter of how much you mean to your team or how much your presence scares the rest of the MLB, both Posey and Braun demonstrated that in 2012. Here’s a comparison of both players’ offensive numbers:
- Posey: 149 games, .336/.408/.549 slash line, 24 HRs, 103 RBIs, 78 runs scored
- Braun: 154 games, .319/.391/.595 slash line, 41 HRs, 112 RBIs, 30 stolen bases, 108 runs scored
As you can tell, both men had tremendous success this season, but it’s not really clear as to how Posey had such a commanding lead in the vote. Aside from slight edges on Braun in batting average and on-base percentage, Braun handled Posey pretty easily.
Perhaps one thing that may have gone in Posey’s favor is that he didn’t strike out too much. Posey struck out 96 times this season and walked 69 times whereas Braun struck out 128 times and only walked 63 times. I’m not too sure how those numbers fit into the race at all, but maybe it was the edge Posey needed.
Defensively let’s compare both of them.
Posey: 973 innings, 114 games, 8 errors, 69 assists, 9 double plays, .991 fielding percentage,
Braun: 1318 innings (151 games), 6 errors, 6 assists, 1 double play, .979 fielding percentage
Now while this may seem obvious that Posey had the advantage, he did, but only because of more total chances to make a play. Since Posey is not only in the infield, but a catcher, he has more chances. In 2012, Posey had 932 total chances to make an out. Braun only had 288 total chances. Defensively, Posey wasn’t even the best at his position as the other MVP candidate in Yadier Molina had a better year behind the plate.
If you want to bring up the fact that Posey played first, you’re not going to have an argument. Posey didn’t do a bad job at first, but it’s a bit of a one-sided affair if you pit those numbers against Braun in the outfield.
As it stands, Posey got 27 first place votes whereas Braun only got three. This was speculated to be a much closer race, especially mixing in Molina and Andrew McCutchen, but how it became such a landslide I have no idea. Much like the AL MVP that shocked a lot of fans, the NL MVP may have done the same thing. I’m not bitter or mad that Posey won. I’m happy for him and I think he definitely played extremely well this season. However, I don’t think he played better than Braun and I’m a bit surprised that the baseball writers couldn’t see that. Well, there’s always next year and once again, congratulations to Posey.