ALL INCLUSIVE
Baseball America|November 2020
Factoring postseason results into award chases of the past 25 years
MATT EDDY

Baseball writers have been voting to determine league MVP award winners, under various imprints, for more than 100 years.

But only in the past 25 years have players amassed the bodies of work in the postseason to jostle with regular-season performance in the overall value conversation.

In between the Year of the Pitcher in 1968 and Miggy’s Triple Crown in 2012, the number of playoff teams increased from two to 10, while the maximum number of postseason games possible in a given year grew from seven to 43.

At the extremes, Omar Vizquel logged 86 postseason plate appearances in 1997, while Madison Bumgarner pitched 52.2 October innings in 2014. Those totals come on the heels of a six-month regular season and give modern players’ October résumés gravitas that only players for select clubs—the Yankees, Cardinals and Dodgers—could match in the days before divisional play.

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