A closer look at the MBP votes

In the Most Birdland Player post, that can be found here, Baltimore Bench asked what the number of votes per player were. Well, since I’m at home doing nothing I decided to found out. I would have put the results in a comment but they were a bit long and I didn’t want to clog the page up.

As has been revealed (though not if you’ve been following dayzd’s page all year), Wei-Yin Chen was this year’s Oriole player with the most number of MBP wins at 9. He was not so closely followed by Tillman, Reynolds, Wieters and Jones with 6 wins each.

That 3-win difference looks pretty impressive and no doubt Chen is bragging about it on Twitter. But wait, the average number of games for outfield players last season was 69 and, in comparison, just 32 for pitchers. Chen played in one more game (33) than that average, but still, his success in the MBP poll now sounds even more impressive given he had 36 fewer opportunities to win it than the average outfield player.

Since I’m looking at the number of votes that each player has earned over the season I have decided to split outfield players and pitchers apart for the reason mentioned in the previous paragraph. Fear not though, I’ll include a link to the spreadsheet at the end of the post and if you feel so inclined you can mix them together yourself.


I couldn’t decide to start with outfielders or pitchers so I decided to ask my pet dog. He stared at me blankly and probably with good reason. Failing that, I flipped a coin and ended up with outfielders.

As previously mentioned Orioles outfielders made an average 69 appearances either on the field or at the plate. The most was Adam Jones with 168 who just edged out Bill Hall at the bottom of the pile with 7. Thanks for the memories, Bill.

Given Adam’s appearance total you’d therefore expect him to accumulate the highest number of votes. And if that’s what you did before reading this sentence, well, you’d be wrong. Mark Reynolds, take a bow, you are this year’s leading points scorer for outfielders with 3,414 votes. Despite playing in 27 fewer games this season, Reynolds outscored Jones by a whopping 464 votes. To give that some context Omar Quintanilla came in last with 34 votes and the average was 1,075.

Matt Wieters came ever so close to knocking Reynolds off the top with 3,406 votes and Chris Davis filled out the top three with 3,265. The previously mentioned Jones only made fourth spot with (as you’ve probably already guessed since furiously entering Reynolds total and subtracting 464) 2,950 (I realise the note in the previous set of parentheses may be a pain to read and this one even worse, apologies).

Despite Reynolds’ heroics, he didn’t quite top out our second graph comparing a player’s total number of votes to the number of games they appeared in. To me this seems like a much more (and slightly less) fair way to handle proceedings. Fairer because it’s a balanced look at a player’s performance, less fair because the player who topped out the chart only made 16 appearances, less than 10% of all games played.

Nolan Reimold, with your 54 votes per appearance, we salute you. You’ll have to come back next year, though, and play in a few more games because small sample sizes are highly frowned upon around here. The next highest on the list is Manny Machado with an average of 35 votes per game played. Manny played in a total of 57 games and I think thoroughly deserves this recognition. Creeping in behind with 28 votes per game is Nate McLouth who, again, deserves a lot of praise for his efforts this season. Although I won’t go into too much detail here I’ve ummed and aahed over which of these two players to vote for as my overall MBP this year. Both have given unexpectedly fantastic performances in their own way and I think this has been well reflected in the MBP voting.


I struggled to decide how to present the numbers for pitchers, i.e. should I split starters and relievers? After much deliberation I’m going to lump them together and again point you in the direction of the spreadsheet if you care to investigate further.

There was also the slight issue of one candidate who goes by the name of The Bullpen. Now, I’ve searched high and low for info on this player but cannot find his stats anywhere. Therefore I’ve decided to place him here as a special mention. With a total of 1,823 votes this season, Mr Bullpen has managed an average of 260 votes per opportunities to vote for him. Given you don’t yet have any context for this number all I’ll say for now is that amongst pitchers it’s very much a deserved number. I know one person in the comments section for the MBP post has picked out an individual bullpen pitcher but to be fair the lot of them have been true bloody heroes this season.

As with outfielders I’ll start with the number of appearances. Jim ‘closing time’ Johnson topped out with 76 opportunities to toss the ball with Randy Wolf languishing at the bottom on 5 appearances. As has been ascertained already, the average number of games for pitchers was 32.

Perhaps unexpectedly, since he won the bloody thing, Chen is our winner for the pitcher with the highest number of votes over the season at 4,394. This even manages to beat the best outfielder (the only pitcher to do so, by the way) by an enormous 980 votes. Take a second to think about that, Wei-Yin Chen absolutely dominated his colleagues: the player second in the list regardless of outfielder or pitcher only managed 77% of Chen’s total. Good job, Chen.

But, alas, as it was with Reynolds, Wei-Yin doesn’t top the list of votes per game. Our winner here was Joe Saunders who managed 182 points per appearance. With only 9 appearances, however, and therefore 24 less than Chen, would you call that a small sample size? Well I’m not going to be the judge as it seems too close for me to call, ladies and gentlemen you’ll have to decide yourselves. Coming in second was Chris Tillman on 168 points per appearance and then rounding us off in the bronze spot is Chen on 133.

So going back to our Mr Bullpen player when you consider he managed 260 votes per games (albeit in only 7 attempts) that’s pretty damned impressive. Whilst some of the bullpen players struggled get enough points to the make it to the top of our list hopefully that stat more than makes up for it.

So there you have it, this year’s MBP winners by votes. At this point I’ll leave you with two things:

First the spreadsheet of data, which I’ve put into a Google doc you can find here. I’ve put the totals on the first sheet and raw data on the second. Go nuts and have a play around with it and do let me know if I’ve miscalculated anything along the way.

Second some pointless stats from the data that you may or may not find interesting:

The highest number of votes any player received in a single game was 878 – Davis 6-May

The lowest number of votes any player received in a single game was 0 –Hardy 6-Apr, Markakis and Jones 10-May

The highest number of nominations for a single game was 6 – 26-Apr, 10-May

The lowest number of nominations for a single game was 1 – 6-Jun, 6-Aug

The highest number of nominations for a single player was 28 – Jones (105 votes per nomination)

The longest streak of games with nominations was 4 – Davis 26-30 Sep

The lowest number of votes for a win was 50 – Wieters 29-Jun

The MBP poll decided by the fewest number of votes was 1 – 18-May (Arrieta 243, Markakis 242)

Edit 17-Oct

A quick edit with a final table to ponder. I thought the most fair way to compare players and their number of votes was votes per nomination. As you can see in the comments section Jason Hammel beat out all players when looking at this metric. I then thought that this is not fair enough because not every poll will have the same number of voters. I therefore made a small graph with the total number of votes per poll and as I expected there was a slight downward-facing-curved-trendline. This I assumed to mean that more people voted in polls at the start and end of the season; the fan base is most likely energised by the prospects of a season ahead and then the playoffs.

Anyway, I now believe the most fair way to decide who this year's MBP should be is the number of votes per nomination but with a twist. I looked at the poll with the most number of voters (1181 from game 28) and extrapolated the total votes of each remaining poll to match this number (SUM(max poll votes) / SUM(x poll votes)). This provided a coefficient for each poll to then multiply the total of votes for each player that was nominated.

For example game 1 had 509 total votes. The max vote number of 1181 is 2.3202 times that value. I then multipled each players total votes by 2.3202 to get a standardised total for that player. Arrieta 362 votes * 2.3202 = 839 votes.

I then used this data to again check out the number of votes per nomination. The results would tell us that this year's MBP winner (by standardised votes per nomination) is, in reverse order:

3) Jake Arrieta, 688 votes per nomination

2) Wei-Yin Chen, 689

1) Still Jason Hammel 931

FanPosts are user-created content and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors of Camden Chat or SB Nation. They might, though.

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