Roy Halladay: It’s close between the trio of Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Clayton Kershaw, but I give Halladay the edge. They all had nearly identical innings counts, and vary when it comes to their fielding-independent numbers (Halladay, for example, is third in the NL in xFIP and SIERA, and first in tERA). However, he leads in FIP- (56) by a lot (Kershaw is at 66, Lee is at 67).
Wilson Ramos: I doubt he’ll win it, but he really deserves strong consideration. Above-average offensive production (.267/.334/.445, 109 wRC+) from the catching position, combined with something most people probably didn’t notice: outstanding defense behind the plate. His ability to cut down would-be base-stealers, block pitches in the dirt, and frame borderline strikes accounted for an estimated +1.5 wins in value. All in all, that’s enough to put him over the top in my mind.
And then there’s Pablo Sandoval. What a season he’s had. Excellent defense at third base, paired with excellent hitting. Tonight, he collected three hits, accounting for half of the Giants’ total in this game (one of ‘em was a solo shot). He’s been the best player on the team by far, and should win the 3B gold glove and silver slugger. He’s the youngest Giants hitter to rack up 5+ rWAR in a single season since Will Clark, more than 20 years ago. I still hear talk about how he needs to lose some more weight, swing at fewer pitches out of the strike zone, blah blah blah. Whatever. His approach works. He’s played all-star caliber baseball all season long, and he’s actually maintained an above-average BB/K (0.52). It’s time people appreciated his resurgence, for he’s had quite the magnificent season.