Making that list of names was really easy so I'm gonna do it again. Here are the top 3 MVP candidates from each NL team. (AL needs to step it up and play some games soon)
1. John Cronin
2. Matt Richards
3. Zach Edwards
1. Neth Silsen
2. Jeff Verway
3. Logan Tschida
1. Sam Essen
2. David Johnson
3. Dan O'Reilly
1. Allen Greer
2. Austyn Moryn
3. Mark Kladar
The top 3 MVP candidates for each team:
No frills or sugar coating, just names.
1. Pat Cronin
2. Howard Cronin
3. Paul Cronin
1. Tony Thompson
2. Derek Dust
3. Joe Cronin
1. John Cronin
2. Zach Edwards
3. Matt Richards
1. Seth Nilsen
2. Sam Morisset
3. Logan Tschida
1. Sam Essen
2. David Johnson
3. Matt Morse
1. Mark Kladar
2. Austyn Moryn
3. Allen Greer
Here we go with the MVP Ladder as of July 12th, 2015. Starting off, keep in mind that the Red Sox and Padres have each played 10 games, while the Twins and Blue Jays have only played 8. Note my last post on how I come up with these rankings. Nothing personal here, I'm just ranking players in the order I would vote for them for MVP.
1. Sam Essen, Red Sox: I'm gonna be nice to Sam. Although he plays for the most try-hard team in the league which leads to inflated RBI numbers (25), I have to hand it to him and say he has played great this season. He has the most plate appearances in the league (again, due to his team not letting up in blowouts) which also contributes to more stats than other players. I am too lazy to go super in-depth and analyze other MVP candidate's stat outlooks if they had more PA. Congrats rookie! You've made it to the top of an MVP list that no one reads except probably you
2. Derek Dust, Padres: He is the best power hitter in the league. Even hitting multiple homers while batting lefty vs. the Twins. He has a solid batting average and is well liked by opponents because he swings the bat and doesn't take a lot of walks. Can "the ringer" bring home an MVP award in his first year at Shed Field? That is up to the voters and I will be #VotingDerek.
3. Joe Cronin, Twins: Wow, I am in a really good mood right now. Giving my bro the #3 spot simply because he hit well against me recently. Although I slowed down my pitching because the Twins like to complain when they can't get their offense started. he hit some of my "faster" pitches. He finally got his stats up among the league leaders, where they should stay for the remainder of the season.
4. Tony Thompson, Twins: He put the team on his back to help the SFWL Loons qualify for the NWLA National Tournament. In my opinion, the rookie of the year. He missed 3 games for the Twins which is the only reason he is at 4. He would probably be 1 or 2 if not for those missed games. He is the Twins ace and is their top hitter. A strong finish from Tony would push him into MVP contention.
5. Thomas Randolph, Twins: He impressed everyone with a strong 3 games vs. the Padres. He now leads the league with a .611 average. Keep in mind he only has 21 plate appearance compared to Sam Essen's 53. Thomas always seems to put on a show when he plays. Doubtful he keeps up his numbers, but he is hot right now.
It's getting late and I don't want to think too much. Here are some quick thoughts about other top players:
Howard Cronin, Blue Jays: The man has 24 K's. Get him some run support and better defense and he is the CLEAR #2 ace in the league.
Seth Nilsen, Red Sox: great no-hitter vs. the Blue Jays, but just saying that against any other team that would not have been a no-no.
John Cronin, Padres: oh yeah, I didn't put myself in these rankings because I don't feel like talking about myself.
David Johnson and Andy Lehman: 2 Red Sox with good stats because they play in a high-profile offense. Look at their batting averages and you will see that they are quite mediocre players. David can throw some gas though.
Erik Essen, Red Sox: most underrated player in the league, seriously will be a star in the next couple years.
Leonard and Yvonne Cronin, Blue Jays: Important pieces to the Blue Jays puzzle. Give them some prospects to mentor!
Opening day has come and gone, each team has played each other once and each player has had their chance to shine on the SFWL's biggest stage, Shed Field. Here is how the MVP race is looking after April's games:
1. Joe Cronin, Twins: Joe had a solid opening day. He hit .600 and had a .692 OBP. Joe simply got the job done at the plate. He struggled on the mound though in 3 innings against the Red Sox and Padres, giving up 9 runs. Pitching is at least 25% considered when voting for MVP and Joe hasn't done anything on the mound to impress. He only hit 1 HR and needs to get into a power groove next month. Joe didn't outperform the #2 on this ladder, but he is the reigning MVP so it will take a lot more work to knock him off his laurels.
2. John Cronin, Padres: He is among the league leaders in every major category. He is batting .700 with a .786 OBP. John also dominated on the hill. He had 8 strikeouts and has a 1.67 ERA. John looked very impressive an opening day. He silenced critics who said he wasn't going to hit a lot of home runs this season by smashing 4. He also led the Padres to a 3-0 record with comes with a #4 national rank (as of week 4). If the season ended today, John would give Joe a run for money in the MVP vote.
3. Tony Thompson, Twins: What a debut for the rookie! He is batting .556. He has been the center of the Twins offense with 4 HR, 8 RBI, and 7 runs. He is pitching great with 9 K's and a 1.25 WHIP. Tony was the top rookie we saw on opening day for sure and he will turn more heads as the season goes on.
4. Sam Essen, Red Sox: Another rookie who did well on opening day. Sam is among the league leaders for most stat categories. He is batting .545 with a .722 OBP. The manager of the Red Sox, he will have to put the team on his back until more of his players step up and perform. He didn't look to good on the mound. He has a 5.00 ERA, but has a top-5 6 strikeouts. Sam is a rookie who still needs a lot of work, unlike rookie Tony Thompson.
5. Derek Dust, Padres: Another rookie in the ladder...Derek leads the league in batting average (.714) and tied for the HR lead (4). He and John create a powerful bash bros. duo for the #4 nationally ranked Padres. He has yet to pitch, but will pitch in May according to manager John Cronin. He has a terrific dugout presence and is good at mentoring the young talent on the Padres.
6. Howard Cronin, Blue Jays: Well, I was right in my pre-season edition. Howard dominated on the mound, but honestly horrible at the plate. He didn't get a hit or draw a walk. It will be hard for him to get his batting average up as the season progresses. On the bright side, he leads the league with 10 strikeouts. He also only threw 1 walk in 6 innings, so that is fantastic for him too. If there was a "Cy Young Ladder" he would be on the top, but this is the MVP ladder so he needs to hit better before he moves up any higher.
7. Andrew Cronin, Padres: Andrew threw a 1-hit shutout and smoked 2 HR. Enough said.
8. Erik Essen, Red Sox: The rookie on the Red Sox had the most clutch play of the young season. Down 3-0 to the Twins, Erik smacked a 3-run HR to tie the game. He added another one later in the inning and the Red Sox won the game 14-3. Erik is tied for the league lead with 4 homers.
Honorable mentions: Andy Lehman (1st in the league with 8 hits), Paul Cronin (6 K's, 1 HR), Sarah Cronin (.346 and 1 HR in return from maternity leave), Yvonne Cronin (1 HR following big homer in last year's championship),
Well the new season is only 30 days, 2 hours, 1 minute and 49 seconds away, so I figured I should take a look at the top contenders for this year's MVP award. To make these rankings I looked at past performance, consistency, and just my own gut feeling based on years of watching wiffleball talent come to Shed Field and either fail or flourish. Without further ado, your pre-season MVP ladder:
1. Joe Cronin, Twins: The reigning MVP is #1 to start the year. Joe will benefit from this year's new schedule of 12 games for all players. In the past, John Cronin has put up better numbers because he played more games that Joe. Know that the top-2 MVP contenders will play the same amount of games, we will truly see who puts up better numbers. Joe has the best natural power in the league. Hitting HR comes easy for him. Joe is an above-average pitcher, but has never been a serious force on the hill. Defensively, Joe is a wizard. He won the 2013 Defensive POY and could flourish again this season. Joe is the HR King favorite heading into the season and just needs to dominate on the mound or the field to secure a second straight MVP award.
2. John Cronin, Padres: The 2-time MVP and reigning Cy Young winner will look to continue his dominance on the mound as well as show of his bat. John has never been a huge HR threat like Joe, but he is arguably the pure hitter in the league. This year, hits and batting average will be calculated for the first time, so we should expect him to light up the leaderboard in both categories. John is more of a "Pete Rose" type player who gets hits and hustles around the bases faster than most people. Of course, Pete Rose minus the cheating and betting. Pitching is really John's strongpoint though and he is the clear ace of the league. The mound will be moved back a couple feet this year so we'll see how that affects him as well as our #3 on this list. John will just need to keep pitching well and hit very well to win this year's MVP.
3. Howard Cronin, Blue Jays: This is wily old veteran may be past his prime, but he still has a lot of potential. In baseball years it would be absurd to have a sixt.....I mean relatively old man pitching, but in wiffleball years, he can be compared to Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry, who at age 40 won a Cy Young Award.( I could've compared him to 42 year old Roger Clemens, but why?) Howard knows the game like the back of his hand. He simply a natural when it comes to throwin' the ol' plastic. Offensively, he will really need to step up and deliver. His stats last year were only decent, and his HR total dipped from 13 in 2013 to only 3 in 2014. Howard is a serious contender for MVP because of his pitching prowess, but also because he is a favorite breakout MVP candidate for me.
4. Sam Essen, Red Sox: The Rookie of the Year favorite and new manager is expected to come in and perform right away. Sam has no previous experience with wiffleball and has never played an official game on the hallowed grounds of Shed Field. It will be a fun ride for fans to see him in his debut season. His experience in baseball and athletic skill in basketball means he'll at least be in shape and be able to display speed on the base paths. His lefty swing could be perfect for the short right field porch and shorter fence. High hopes for this rookie and he could make a bigger splash than expected.
5. Pat Cronin, Blue Jays: I'm sure Pat and the rest of his clan is excited to hear the new schedule for the season. Meeting once a month from April-August will mean he can easier attend every game. Pat is just a class act on and of the field. He consistently puts up stellar numbers when he plays. As I write this article it seems like he is always on the winning team when he plays. He is a classic "five-tool" wiffleball player with great power, average, fielding ability, speed, and throwing. Watch for him to run away with MVP if he gets off to a hot start.
6. Joe Hubly, Twins: Kevin Garnett returned to the Timberwolves about a month ago and Joe will return this season. Joe has been around since the start of organized wiffleball at Shed Field. I'm sure he has fond memories of playing back in 2010 while listening to the collapse of the Twins against the Yankees in the 2010 ALDS. Those were some fun times indeed. Joe is really about fun times. He is a pleasure to have on your team and plays with a lot of heart. As far as his stats go, he needs to revert to 2010 form. Joe hasn't blown away anyone with his stats in a while, but that is mostly due to low attendance. Joe is a fine slugger and above average in the field. My prediction is that Joe will remain in this 5/6 range on the ladder all year. He will consistently put up above average numbers, but won't be a serious MVP candidate until he proves he can play all 12 games.
7. Sarah Cronin, Twins: Sarah is looking to reboot after a season spent on maternity leave. Sarah played in one game last year in September and hit her 5th career home run. Sarah won GIANTS Most Improved Player of the Year in 2013 and was looking to get better last season before she had top prospect Leona Cronin. Sarah's swing has come along very nicely and her arm has always been sufficient. Sarah will get plenty of innings pitched under manager Joe Cronin's lineup. Sarah is looking good to start the season and will surprise many.
8. Andrew Cronin, Padres: Last season's GIANTS Most Improved Player of the Year hasn't slowed down since he entered the league. He plays with the most passion and love of the game. Andrew had career highs in pitching K's and home runs last year with 5 and 2 respectively. Andrew is in a good position to thrive on the youth-minded Padres and he will be the biggest dark horse MVP candidate this season.
9........Honestly, it's spring break and sunny out so forget these rankings. I'll be outside throwing pitches if you need me. And now its only 30 days, 1 hour, 8 minutes, and 3 seconds until Opening Day!