Sep 1, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) is interviewed after a combined no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
It’s time we unveiled TBOH’s Most Valuable Player and this was our most diverse vote yet. Cole Hamels edged out top honors here for his second TBOH Award. We unanimously decided he was the Philadelphia Phillies top starting pitcher of 2014 earlier this week.
Chris Eckstine – Cole Hamels
As Clayton Kershaw proved, pitchers can indeed win MVP awards. Cole Hamels put on quite a show this season and unfortunately for him, his team wasn’t in contention. He did his thing regardless.
I think it’s tough to hand out an MVP award for a team that’s struggling, but Hamels got things done. At the very least, he gave some hope for the future. Another reason the guy is so valuable — his trade value. His strong season helped boost it. He’ll either remain a part of the Phil’s rotation, or the club should get a nice return for him if he’s traded.
And tell me this guy doesn’t put folks in the seats! He’s fun to watch! Ticket sales. Boom — value.
At age 35, JRoll gave the Phils 609 plate appearances over 138 games at the most demanding position on the diamond. He had 17 homers, 55 rbi, 28 steals, and led the club with 78 runs scored. All that while playing a stellar defensive shortstop, making just 7 errors in his 563 chances across 1170.2 innings. Oh, and he also became the Phillies franchise all-time Hits leader during the season. Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Marlon Byrd, Ben Revere, Jonathan Papelbon could all make valid arguments for it. I choose JRoll.
Mike Lacy – Cole Hamels
A few Phillies hitters had solid seasons. Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins might not be in the National League MVP conversation like they once were, but they were still valuable players. And Marlon Byrd and Ben Revere both had decent seasons that would have been nice compliments to a strong middle of the lineup.
But none of those players were the team’s MVP.
The team’s MVP was the one player who was in his prime and actually played like it. It’s worth questioning if a pitcher who only plays once every five days can really be the most valuable, but I’m having a hard time thinking of a player who provided more value to the Phillies than Cole Hamels.
Oliver Fisher – Marlon Byrd
A tough one, but I have chosen Marlon Byrd, purely because he was one of the most pleasant surprises of the season also.
The 36-year-old Byrd joined with lots still to give, and his 25 homers and 85 RBIs, as well as a .264 average and .312 OBP helped the team which otherwise couldn’t string two hits together.