2023 LEAST VALUABLE Player Awards Handed Out By The Athletic

The regular season is over, we're now well into the postseason, and while the big MLB Awards won't be handed out for a few weeks, The Athletic is getting a head start with some... interesting awards that you won't see from major league baseball itself. 

Instead of "Most Valuable Player", Jayson Stark of The Athletic is pleased (though I don't think he gets much pleasure) to present "Least Valuable Player" for 2023.


Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox

This season really came out of nowhere. 

In the spring, at the World Baseball Classic, TA was one of Team USA's best players, slashing .333/.381/.500. 

Anderson, coming off back-to-back All-Star seasons and four consecutive .300 seasons, slumped to a .240 average with one home run and an OPS of .582, for an OPS+ of an anemic 60 (that's 40% worse than the average major leaguer). 

As the supposed sparkplug leadoff hitter for the Pale Hose, he had a .235 on-base percentage leading off innings. In addition, his fielding didn't save him, either, as he posted a minus-17 Defensive Runs Saved at shortstop. 


Not far behind him in this race was the Los Angeles Angels' Anthony Rendon, who could also qualify as a choice for least valuable person to deal with for media and fans, and least valuable contract, as his 7-year, $245M albatross of a deal has been an abject disaster. He played just 43 games this year, with 2 HR and an OPS+ of 88, just 47 games in 2022 with a .229 average, and 58 games in 2021. 

Since coming to the Angels, he's hit a dozen less home runs in four seasons total than he hit in his last year with the Washington Nationals. 


Kris Bryant, Colorado Rockies

Another player who signed a massive contract (seven years, $182M) and then disappeared to the Injured List. After playing in just 42 games in his first year with the Rockies, at least he got to 80 games this season. But he only registered an OPS+ of 76 when he did play, and according to Jayson Stark in his Athletic piece, Bryant went 3 for 40 (that's a .075 average) in “Late and Close” situations, per Baseball Reference. Wow. 

For his runners-up in the NL, Stark suggests picking any of the San Diego Padres underachievers.

Photo: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports