Jeremy Affeldt: The 10th Best Player In The National League?

Evan BruschiniCorrespondent INovember 24, 2009

DENVER - AUGUST 23:  Relief picher Jeremy Affeldt #41 of the San Francisco Giants delivers against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 23, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Giants 4-2.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images


These were the first words out of my mouth when I read the voting results for the National League MVP.

Somebody thinks that Jeremy Affeldt is the tenth best player in the National League. This is what I knew:

  • Jeremy Affeldt recieved one tenth-place vote for the National League MVP.
  • Jeremy Affeldt is a left-handed relief pitcher.
  • Jeremy Affeldt is not a closer.
  • Trever Miller received no MVP votes.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that Trever Miller is even close to MVP quality. But, both of these guys are fantastic left-handed relievers, and if Affeldt is anywhere near the top ten players in the National League, so is Miller.

Which is just not the case.

Of course, the first thing on my mind was that some Giants beat writer was hanging out with Tim Lincecum. Or that Affeldt had become a beat writer.

I dug a little deeper, and found out who had voted for Affeldt. And here's his reasoning:

"10. Jeremy Affeldt

"Wait, what? OK, OK, this is my “sore thumb” vote. And no, I can’t really make an airtight case for Affeldt, a middle reliever, as the 10th most valuable player in the league. Especially when I don’t have Tim Lincecum, or any other pitcher for that matter, on my ballot. (Without glancing at Win Shares, I’d have to believe there are many pitchers who rank way above Affeldt.) In choosing Affeldt, I also bypassed several other worthy candidates. For instance, have you noticed there isn’t a single Dodger on my ballot? But hey, this is my “prerogative” vote. If it were a three- or even five-slot ballot, I wouldn’t dream of making a “statement” with my final selection. But this is a ballot that goes 10-deep. We all knew Pujols would win in a landslide, and there’s really no impact anyone can make with their final selection. So I think it’s completely harmless to give a tip of the cap to the relief pitcher who had the lowest ERA in the league while appearing almost exclusively in highly leveraged situations. Affeldt was an MVP in the bullpen, all right. He didn’t allow a run from May 8 to July 24 — posting 27 scoreless innings over 28 games. He did his job, one of ever-increasing dependency, better than anyone else in the NL, and given all the close games the Giants played, he made a huge impact in their final 88-win record." he realizes that his decision was... retarded, at best. Affeldt was clearly a choice most sane people would not have made. And I'm sure this has happened in the past. I would go as far as to say that he was the third best pitcher on his own team (behind Lincecum and Cain). But remember, he made a huge impact on their 88 wins. I'm sure 1/88 is huge somewhere.

But here's how the rest of the ballot went:

  1. Pujols
  2. Prince Fielder
  3. Troy Tulowitski
  4. Adrian Gonzalez
  5. Ryan Howard
  6. Ryan Braun
  7. Pablo Sandoval
  8. Hanley Ramirez
  9. Chase Utley

So, Affeldt is more "valuable" than Tim Lincecum, Mark Reynolds, Matt Holliday, Ryan Zimmerman, David Wright, Jimmy Rollins, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, etc.

I'm not sure if you could justify that he was great at doing his job. As a final note, I'd just like to point out that this same beat writer put Bud Black third in MOY voting.