Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Remarkably Similar? Like My Fastball Is Remarkably Similar to Jake Peavy's

Chico Harlan's back from vacation, and it would appear he had a few too many mojitos and killed some copious number of brain cells.

In a post debating the relative merits of Austin Kearns and Nick Johnson (a debate which presumes that if everyone's healthy that Josh Willingham could either play left with Nick at first or else make the switch to first base and allow Kearns to play in the outfield), we get this:
If you compare the career numbers that both players average across a 162-game season (a purely theoretical idea, in Johnson's star-crossed career), you get some remarkably similar statlines.

KEARNS -- .260 AVG / .354 OBP / .435 SLG / 575 AB / 32 2B / 22 HR / 86 RBI / 75 BB / 134 K

JOHNSON -- .269 AVG / .396 OBP / .456 SLG / 529 AB / 36 2B / 21 HR / 81 RBI / 99 BB / 112 K
Let's set aside that Kearns's numbers are inflated by his years playing in the Great American Small Park. Let's ignore that last season Kearns put up a ghastly .217 / .311 / .316 line. Let's set all that aside and get one thing straight...

There is nothing remotely similar about these statlines.

Johnson has Kearns by FORTY-TWO POINTS of on-base percentage. Do you realize how big a difference that is? That's the difference between Hanley Ramirez and Lyle Overbay. It's the difference between Willie Harris in 2008 and Paul Lo Duca or Felipe Lopez. It's almost as big as the difference between Wily Mo Pena and Pete Orr (oh yes, WMP really was that much worse than Pete Orr). That's a huuuuuuuuuuge difference.

Not only that, Nick out-slugs the GASP-inflated Kearns (I know, I said I'd set that aside... sorry) .456 to .435 for a total OPS advantage of .852 (think Nate McLouth's '08) to .789 (think Randy Winn's).

Over the course of 500 at bats, that's a gap of 90.2 runs created to 76.9--a little less than two additional wins for the typical team.

If you gave all 5491 at bats that the Nationals had as a team in 2008 to an entire team of Nick Johnsons and another 5491 at bats to an an entire team of Kearnses, the Nicks out outscore the Kearnses by 146 runs. That's ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-SIX RUNS. That's more than the difference between the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008. Did those two teams look like they had "remarkably similar" offenses to you? And that's not even factoring in that the Nicks would get a couple hundred more at bats because of his superior ability to avoid making outs.

Yeah, remarkably similar like my doodles are remarkably similar to "Starry Night." Like Rick Springfield is remarkably similar to The Boss. Like... like... Like a .354 OBP is to a .396 OBP!!


Dave Nichols said...

go get em. i didn't have the time or energy today to post a comment when i read this ridiculousness.

what's this town got to do to get someone who knows a thing or two about baseball reporting on the local team?

Wil Nieves said...

This article (by Chico) was totally ridiculous.

In the FA world, should we be worried about Tex's knee? And are the Angel's really dropping their pursuit of him, or are they just trying to scare him (and possibly the coldblooded Boras) into backing down on some of the demands? How does this affect us?

Also, if Jesus gets traded, what does this mean for me?!?!

Dave Nichols said...

Wil, let me state here unequivically that the Nats are not trading Flores to the Red Sox. that article has every single catcher in the game attached to it not named Johnny Bench.

but your spot is fairly secure, at least from two separate conversations i've had with someone in a position of knowledge with the team. they like you.