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Help settle a player of the year debate

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Batman, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    ...If you dare (cue evil laughter...or just tears; these threads tend to suck and reek of whininess, but I'm really not sure which way to go here).

    Player A plays for a small private school team with a strong tradition, but his league is the lowest classification in the state. He's hitting about .490, with 7 HRs and 43 RBIs. Pitching, he's been ridiculous. He threw his fourth no-hitter of the season in a first-round playoff game tonight, is 8-0 with over 100 strikeouts, and a 0.13 ERA. Yes, 0.13. He's given up one earned run in 55 innings (and only seven runs total).
    The team only has 17 wins this season, but won its district and is likely headed to at least the second round of the playoffs. Nobody else on the team has more than two wins. This team probably doesn't make the playoffs without Player A, let alone advance and maybe contend for a state title. He's committed to a junior college and will probably sign after the season (as confirmed by the juco coach).

    Player B plays for a Class 4A public school (second-highest class in the state) with a strong tradition. He's hitting around .475, with 7 or 8 HRs and about 30 RBIs. Pitching-wise, he's 8-1 with an ERA around 1.00. His one loss was in a one-run game in which his team committed three errors in the decisive inning. His team won its district and a first round playoff series in which he was clearly the difference.
    He held the opponent to one run in Game 1 on Saturday while throwing over 100 pitches. Games 2 and 3 are played as a doubleheader, and his team loses Game 2 on Monday. So, on one day's rest, he comes back and throws ANOTHER 100-plus pitches as his team wins to advance. Oh, and he was 7-for-8 in the series with a couple of home runs.
    I don't have the breakdown, but it wouldn't surprise me if he was hitting around .750 for the last three or four weeks. He's been playing out of his head and, while his team would've made the playoffs without him, he's the biggest reason they've won 13 of 14 and are moving on. Player B could probably play at the same junior college as Player A, he's good enough, but I think he just wants to go to school at State U. (where he's not quite good enough to do more than walk on).

    On top of all this, both of their coaches are starting to lobby for their guy. Player B's coach said something about being player of the year after his guy did his thing on Monday, and Player A's coach made a similar comment in response tonight. We'll probably have a couple more weeks of playoff games, but I can't see a difference at this point. One bad outing by either of them won't change much, nor should it.
    So, as much as we loathe co-players of the year, are they justified in this case? Can the impartial masses of SportsJournalists.com help sort this out?
  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Player B. Similar numbers, much tougher competition. At least, that's how it looks to me.
  3. pallister

    pallister Guest

    Why not, then, just keep the lower-classificationplayers out of the running unless they have much better numbers?
  4. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Bingo. And it's not about the smaller classification guys. There were three things I looked at when making this decision (and I had my factors outlined before reading it):

    1. Who has the better numbers?
    2. Who plays the tougher competition?
    3. Who will play at a more competitive college?

    To me, neither has the better numbers. They're equal. The no-hitters are impressive - but if he's playing the worst competition in the state, I wouldn't say it's expected ... but it's expected. With that being said, it's player B who takes on the tougher competition. I can't say for sure about Criteria 3, but it looks like player A is only good enough for a junior college, while player B might have a chance to play Division I. Could player A do that as well? It's a crappy identifier, but you're indirectly getting the advice of college coaches as to the player's skill by that evaluation. Of course, you could take it a step further and see what the pro scouts think, but that's your call.

    To me, it's B.
  5. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    We only have four schools in town, and we have a precedent of picking players from smaller schools. For the past few years, the private school has been the best team in town. Three of the last five POYs have come from there.

    Now, some of Player A's stats are inflated because of competition. His coach threw him in a few district games he normally wouldn't have, just because he didn't want to take a chance with his other shitty pitchers. But Player B's district wasn't that great either (it's an eight-team league where three schools are good, three are abysmal, and two are so-so). I'd say Player A's team could contend for, if not earn, the fourth and final playoff spot there.
    Player B didn't pitch as much against the shitty teams because his other pitchers were better than Player A's, but he had a couple gimmes in there.
  6. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Their college prospects are about the same. Player B might be able to walk on at State U., but that's if someone pulls some strings. He's juco-caliber. If he chose to go that route, our area juco coach (the same one that's signing Player A) would be happy to have him. Both guys have a fastball in the 85-87 mph range (Player B jumps up to 88 or 89 on occasion) and great curveballs.
  7. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    Judging a baseball player by whether he goes juco or not is tricky. Guys can go for a number of reasons, such as grades, draft flexibility (they don't have to wait three years like "traditional" college players) or better scholarship money (thank you NCAA and your bs 11.7 cap).
  8. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Oh, I'm aware of that. But just from the way Batman laid it out, it seemed like that was the highest level he has earned a chance to play at, not that he chose it as an alternative to try to sign earlier than if he had gone to a four-year school.
  9. BigSleeper

    BigSleeper Active Member

    I also would select Player B based on the competition factor. Player A may be a talented player, but when I saw the four no-hitters, I thought either this kid is playing softball or the competition sucks.
  10. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    I would make Player B the POY for the same reasons already explained -- similar numbers against better competition. But, I must say, the difference between public- and private-school competition varies widely from state to state, so you have to make the final determination on how much that factor should be weighed.
  11. DavidPoole

    DavidPoole Member

    Having worked in a smaller town covering a lot of high schools earlier in my career, I am going to tell you that you should name them co-players of the year. I know that sounds like a cop out, and in some ways it is. But it sounds like each guy has distinguished himself as best as he can based on what he controls. He doesn't make the schedule or decide what class he plays in. The whole point of having all-area teams or players of the year is to honor accomplishment and oustanding play. I just think you've got two guys who both should be recognized. So recognize both.
  12. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    "He held the opponent to one run in Game 1 on Saturday while throwing over 100 pitches. Games 2 and 3 are played as a doubleheader, and his team loses Game 2 on Monday. So, on one day's rest, he comes back and throws ANOTHER 100-plus pitches as his team wins to advance. Oh, and he was 7-for-8 in the series with a couple of home runs."

    There should be a rule against high school coaches trashing a kid's arm like this.

    I hated seeing this when I used to cover high school baseball.

    "Coach, your pitcher fanned 15 but walked 11. Does the clicker on the pitch counter stop at 200?"
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