The Washington, DC chapter of the Internet Baseball Writers Association announced their 2010 Nationals Player Achievement Awards earlier today.  There were some very interesting choices and individual votes, plus folks voted on their favorite professional and non-professional baseball writers.  If you read this blog, you'll want to check out the results.

Here's how I voted.

MVP:  Ryan Zimmerman/Adam Dunn/Josh Willingham.  Zimmerman was one of the most valuable players in the entire National League, not surprising he earned every single first place vote on the ballots.  Dunn did what he always does, and everyone saw how important Hammer was -- when he wasn't there anymore.

SPoY:  Stephen Strasburg/Livan Hernandez/John Lannan.  Hernandez certainly well exceeded any expectation I had for him, but Strasburg's debut was electrifying.  He was dominant for those few starts he had, and that was enough to carry my vote.  Upon his return from the minors, Lannan was the same old John -- only better -- striking out ore and walking fewer.

RPoY:  Matt Capps/Sean Burnett/Tyler Clippard.  Capps wasn't as dominant as Burnett really, but he performed very well, was named the Nats lone All-Star, and was traded for the potential catcher of the future.  All around, job well done for a guy coming off a year of 5.80 ERA.  Clippard vultured his way into a bunch of wins and had some problems, but he was also damn near unhittable at times.

Hitter of the Year:  Zimmerman/Ian Desmond/no third place vote.  I fear the voters didn't read the description of this award as closely as the others, as base running and situational hitting were supposed to be taken into account in this category.  Perhaps a tweaking of the award description next season is in order.  Desi really came around once he was moved up in the order.

Slugger of the Year:  Dunn/Willingham/Michael Morse.  I left Zimmerman off my ballot here as I regard him as more than a slugger.  Morse made the most of the opportunities given him this season.

Defensive POY:  Danny Espinosa/Zimmerman/Alberto Gonzalez.  I really, honestly think if he gets 500-plus at bats next season, Espinosa will win the Gold Glove at second.  I think he's that good.  Zim had another fine year, but his constant sidearm throwing has me nervous.  Gonzo can play anywhere in the infield and has as good an arm as anyone.

Comeback POY:  Jordan Zimmermann/Matt Capps/Roger Bernadina.  I guess most folks thought Livo's comeback from sucking for three years was enough to garner the nod here.  J-ZImm's return from Tommy John in 51 weeks is nothing short of remarkable,and we can only hope Strasburg takes the same route in his rehab.  Bernie's return from his broken leg was good news too.

Humanitarian of the Year:  Capps/Lannan/Willingham.  It's kinda telling in the ballot that Capps finished out of the Top 3 overall, but received four first place votes -- the only people that voted for him.  He did more in less time for the good of the community.  Lannan shows up for everything, and Hammer's foundation and appearances put him on my list.

Minor Leaguer of the Year:  Espinosa/Tom Milone/Tyler Moore.  Espi charged through the ranks and produced at every level.  Milone averaged almost a K per inning and K/BB rate of 155/23 was outstanding at the Double-A level.  Moore's power streak in the middle season was ridiculous, but he'll have to prove himself next year as he was old for Single-A this season (23).

Go take a look at the totals, and let me know what you think in the comments.


  1. David Lint // October 5, 2010 at 4:13 PM  

    While I love Danny, I don't see a way he wins GG at 2B next year.

    As we know, GG's come when your bat gets you noticed.

    As backwards as that is, that's just how it goes.

    Also, and maybe I'm the only one... but it's painfully obvious to me that Espinosa would make a much better SS than Desmond ever could.

    Agree? Disagree?

  2. Dave Nichols // October 5, 2010 at 4:19 PM  

    we're going to continue to disagree on this. Desmond's range and athleticism at short is spectacular. the errors will diminish as he grows. I'm not saying Espinosa wouldn't be a terrific shortstop; he certainly would be. but the Nats are going to keep Desmond at short and I think it's the corrrect decision.

  3. cass // October 5, 2010 at 4:36 PM  

    Two things really surprise me about the survey overall (not just your answers):

    The lack of love for Burnett and Sheinin

    Burnett was arguably the best reliever for the Nats. Clippard should not have beat him by nerly so much, really not at all.

    Sheinin, imo, contributed the best writing about the Nats this year. He followed Strasburg relentlessly through the minors and turned out amazing pieces, the last of which just came out this week. Part of this may be colored by my love of Strasburg, but I thought Sheinin deserved more love.

  4. Dave Nichols // October 5, 2010 at 5:04 PM  

    @cass: a large chunk of voters did not answer the favorite writers questions on the survey, which i'm sure skewed the voting. i think the mass consumers of Nats readers see Sheinin as the "national" writer for the Post, not the "Nationals" writer.

    he is an excellent baseball writer, but only really writes about the Nats when there's national appeal.

  5. cass // October 5, 2010 at 5:47 PM  

    I understand and would agree any other year, but Sheinin spent such a large portion of the year follwing Strasburg wherever he went that he became essentially a Nationals writer and in my opinion clearly delivered the writing about the Nats this year. I know he's not a beatwriter, but I thought he deserved some recognition for that. I've been looking forward to his articles all season and even enjoyed his one today, even if the subject matter was less than uplifting.

    Not a huge deal, of course, it's just I was surprised to see only one vote there.

  6. Sue Dinem // October 6, 2010 at 7:42 AM  

    Dave, I wish could agree with you regarding Desmond and his errors, but I've been watching him for five years and what you saw in 2010 is what I saw in 2009. And 2008. And 2007. And 2006. His progression has been with the bat, not the glove.

  7. Dave Nichols // October 6, 2010 at 10:07 AM  

    @Sue: thanks for the input. apparently the Nats see something in Desmond to keep him at short. i guess we'll all find out together next season.

  8. Chris G // October 6, 2010 at 10:43 AM  

    Re: Desmond. Is this a case similar to Jeter when he was younger? If I recall, he made close to 60 errors at Single A one year. Now, that is Single A and I think Jeter was under 20 years old.

    Or is at a case of his superior range allows him to get to balls other shortstops wouldn't, so more chances and in turn more chances to err?