Dark horse National League MVP

Jared Cross had a great article over at ESPN (behind the ESPN Insider paywall, which I find a solid investment) about a dark horse National League MVP candidate who derives a ton of value from a skill most MVP voters don't consider: pitch framing.

No, it's not Yadier Molina, the oft-acknowledged best defensive catcher in baseball, though he is one of the leaders. No, it's actually Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers (I would have kept that a secret but it's in the title of the article and the URL so I'm not giving away too much). 

According to Dan Turkenkopf , each extra strike a catcher gets for his pitcher is worth .133 runs, and since Lucroy ranks as the number one catcher in terms of getting extra strikes through pitch framing, with 293 extras strikes thus far this year, the 33 runs he saved his team gives him a higher Wins Above Replacement than even Andrew McCutchen!

Another reminder that a lot of properly valuing people is figuring out exactly how to measure contribution. In the business world, it's still amazing how fuzzy the contribution of people is measured across a vast majority of jobs. Ironically, the higher in an organization a person is, the harder it tends to be to measure their contribution with both accuracy and precision.