Andrew McCutchen is good at baseball. If you haven’t heard of him by now, you should crawl out from under your rock. The Pittsburgh Pirates‘ center fielder had a great month of August, but apparently he didn’t have the best month of August. I don’t know who votes for these “Player of the Month” awards, but they got this one wrong.
Martin Prado of the Arizona Diamondbacks won the National League Player of the Month award for August. In 127 plate appearances, Prado hit for a .374/.425/.565 line with a .990 OPS. I can only assume the award was given to Prado because he had 30 RBIs, but that is a terrible reason to hand out an award.
McCutchen hit for a .384/.483/.535 line with a 1.019 OPS, but only had 15 RBIs. It just proves that the MLB is living in the stone ages if they are still voting for awards based on RBIs and runs.
In August, McCutchen was better than Prado in the following categories: batting average, on-base percentage, OPS, wRC, wRAA, wRC-plus and BB percentage. Since Prado had the lead in RBIs, the MLB decided that he was the better player for that month. Just about everyone involved with baseball — fans, media, players — realizes that RBIs are mainly based on team performance. If nobody is getting on base in front of a certain player, that player won’t be driving in many runs. Things that a player can control, however, are OPS and on-base percentage.
Prado didn’t have a bad month; he actually had an outstanding month. I can tell that by looking at his rate-stats, I don’t need to even check his RBIs and runs to see that he had a great month of August. Obviously, Prado was a decent choice for this award, but McCutchen was better. It’s not a big deal, though, because the Pirates will be marching on into October and McCutchen will be a clear MVP choice in the NL. McCutchen isn’t worried about a silly NL Player of the Month award; he has bigger fish to fry.