Which player would you rather have on your team?
Player A hits for the following line: .251/.339/.543, 48 HR, 105 R, 146 RBI, 199 K, 1 SB
Player B hits for the following line: .268/.374/.502, 33 HR, 101 R, 90 RBI, 130 K, 38 SB
Player C hits for the following line: .293/.331/.353, 0 HR, 96 R, 41 RBI, 37 K, 64 SB
Its clear from the stats that Player A is the stereotypical cleanup hitter, that Player C is the stereotypical leadoff hitter, and that Player B is somewhere in between. So who’s the most valuable to a team?
At first glance, almost all people would choose one of the two extremes, either Player A and his dazzling power numbers, or Player C as the ultimate leadoff hitter. But what about Player B in the middle? Player B has two-thirds of Player A’s power, and two-thirds of Player C’s speed. Plus, Player B has a very strong slugging percentage, 92% of Player A’s. Player B also has three-fifths of Player C’s stolen bases, and steals successfully 88% of the time, compared to Player C’s 81%. Despite the homerun difference, Players A and B’s on-base+slugging percentages are almost identical, at .882, and .876. Player B also has a huge advantage in on-base percentage.
In conclusion, all Player A can do is hit moonshots, all Player C can do is run, but Player B can do it all. The hybrid doesn’t have as much power, or as much speed, but he gets on base, rips the ball, runs the bases, and is the ballplayer through and through. I’d take Player B in a heartbeat.
Note: I left out names so that there was no bias or emphasis on personal traits.
More Notes: I left advanced statistics out of this, but as a further note, FanGraphs hitting WAR valued Player A at 19.9 runs, Player B at 35.2 runs, and Player C at -7.1 runs. I did not cherry-pick the players, but I think that this additional information confirms my beliefs.
Final Note: Anyone want to guess who the players are? A and B are 2008 seasons, and C is a 2007 season.
Cover Photo by: Eric Kilby
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