In each installment of Diamond Digits over the last two regular seasons, we have anointed the players with the titles of Best and Worst Stats of the Week. When making these selections, we look only at the previous seven-day period stretching from Monday to Sunday, and in virtually every case, season statistics play no factor. This edition is a little different. In the final installment of the season, we looked not just at the last week, but at the full bodies of work over the course of the past six months. Instead of doing best and worst, we skipped the negativity and broke the yearly honors up into the best position players and pitchers.
The two winners come from vastly different ends of the baseball spectrum. One is a perennial All Star, MVP candidate and a sure Hall of Famer who plays for a Division winner. The other has overcome myriad troubles to get his career on track, becoming the best at what he does for one of the game's most sorry franchises. The only common thread between them has been that they're both Show Me State greats. And now they're also Diamond Digits Players of the Year for 2009.
Few choices are ever as easy as this one. Pujols was by far the best offensive player in the game this year and has solidified himself among the greatest of this generation. It's not that there weren't other candidates who in a different season would have had the numbers to earn such an honor, but when Pujols' entire body of work for the year was examined, he became the clear choice. He became only player to begin his career with nine straight 30-homer seasons (including a career-best 10 multi-home run games in 2009), leading the NL thus far with 47. He also tops the majors in runs scored (121), walks (tied with
• Despite missing the entire month of April with a bad back, Twins catcher
• In any other season, Brewers first baseman
• He doesn't get the ink that many of his contemporaries do, but Marlins shortstop
He may play for a second-division team, but everything about Greinke's 2009 breakout season has been first-class. He leads the major leagues with a 2.06 ERA which is nearly a quarter of a run lower than the second-place
• In 2006 it appeared that
• Being the object of trade rumors for nearly the entire season while pitching for a club that had little chance of competing in the majors' toughest division apparently didn't effect
• Baseball's best comeback story of 2009,
Like 20-something teams, my season is just about over. Check back next spring for a weekly look back at the week in baseball numbers. Have a great winter.