Much closer race than the AL. Marquis Seo was the dominant hitter in the NL this year - even only playing 127 games, his Runs Created was tops (his rc/27 topped #2 Cesar Liriano's by 39%!). Ray Henley led the world in RBI (163), tied for 3rd in NL HR's, and was 3rd in Runs Created. Now the interesting twist...Gold Glove at 1B with a .999 fielding percentage and 24 plus plays. Given that he played 155 games to Seo's 127, is he more valuable? Very possibly.
I think there's a reasonable case to vote for either Bailey Johnson or Sid Selby. Both had excellent offensive seasons - Johnson as a cleanup hitter and Selby as a leadoff man - and both played demanding positions (3B and CF) well (not Gold Glove well, but close to it). But the fact that both were on teams that missed the playoffs (after making them last year), while Seo's and Henley's teams made the playoffs, deducts points in my opinion.
A brief word on the curious candidacy of Wilt McDowell. Terrific player...could well win an MVP down the road. But he was 25th in Runs Created...not even in the top 25 in rc/27. Remember the update a couple of seasons ago where the # of "+" plays got more evenly distributed (before that, it seemed like almost all were by CF's)? Well, 1B's are recording a huge # of "+"plays these days (McDowell had 15), and I suspect the "MVP-candidate-generator" is looking at those "+" plays regardless of position. I'd welcome any other explanations.
I've got to go with Henley in what I think will be a tight race.
Here are each candidate's OPS against numbers:
Jackson - .591; DeJesus - .617; Huff - .621; Redondo - .595; Gomez - .462 (no, that's not a typo).
Juan Gomez had an unbelievable year, but he should NOT get the Cy Young. Throwing 200+ innings as a starter (or in Jackson's case, an every-other-day long reliever) is a different ballgame than 75 innings as a closer. That said, it WOULD be interesting to see what Gomez would do if used the way Oakland used Jackson. I don't know if you could get 200 innings, but I bet you'd get close.
That said, this is a race between Jackson and Redondo. Even though wins are a meaningless stat for pitchers, it should be noted that Jackson DID set a new single-season record this year (old record was 27 by teammate Ramsey last year), so he gets my vote for that accomplishment.
Rookie of the Year
Let's put Kennie Frascatore's season in perspective: his OPS against was .588 - better than any of the (real) Cy Young candidates. 'Nuff said - just as dominant a performance as Simpkins' in the AL. Tip of the cap to both Fresno and El Paso with 2 ROY candidates each.