Several weeks ago the Pacific Coast League announced Matt Duffy as the league MVP. It was a bit of a head scratcher for many of us as some didn't even consider him the best player on the team. However, he was arguably the most consistent and was one of the active leaders in games played. The more games played the more you mean to the team.
So, in that regard, he is absolutely the MVP for the team. He played 127 games and Nolan Fontana followed him up with 117. His .294/.366/.484 gave him an OPS of .850. That OPS is the fifth on the team behind Tyler White, Jon Singleton, Preston Tucker, and Domingo Santana.
So let's consider the alternatives.
Domingo Santana: Traded to the Brewers so is ineligible for this award.
Tyler White: His .362/.467/.559 is far better than Duffy's but his 57 games just does not hold enough weight in my book. Don't get me wrong, his hitting was extremely valuable late in the season and in the playoffs but you just can't compare when Duffy performed for 70 more games than White.
Preston Tucker: Same problem. Tucker played 33 games in Triple-A this season.
Jon Singleton: This is easily the closest competition. Singleton hit .254/.359/.505 which comes out to an OPS just fifteen points higher than Duffy's. Yet, Singleton played twenty-five games less. That takes us back to the exact same dilemma as with White and Tucker.
Let's compare some more advanced numbers of these two.
Singleton: wOBA: .377 wRC+: 128
Duffy: wOBA: .376 wRC+: 127
Defensively, Singleton played 84 games at first base and the rest as DH. Duffy played 75 games at third base and 33 games at first base. The remaining games for Duffy were also at DH.
It's pretty commonly accepted that theres more value from playing third base than first base. First and third base are often grouped as corner infielders which minimizes the difference, but there is a significant difference.
That difference along with extra twenty-five games for Duffy is why I can't argue with the PCL. If Duffy is the league MVP, he's the team MVP in my book as well.