A couple of days in the past, I ran a Twitter ballot asking which of Bobby Abreu and Ichiro Suzuki had the higher MLB profession. The latter gained in a landslide. Of the 1,183 votes solid, 86.8% went to Ichiro, whereas Abreu garnered simply 13.2%.
The ballot outcomes don’t replicate their respective numbers:
Ichiro: .311/.355/.402, .328 wOBA, 104 wRC+, 57.8 WAR.
Abreu: .291/.395/.475, .378 wOBA, 129 wRC+, 59.8 WAR.
In the event you favor counting stats, listed below are a couple of of these:
Ichiro: 3.089 hits, 362 2Bs, 96 3Bs, 117 HRs, 3,994 whole bases, 509 SB.
Abreu: 2,470 hits, 574 2Bs, 59 3Bs, 288 HRs, 4.026 whole bases, 400 SB.
Until you place an especially-high worth on hit totals and batting averages, Abreu clearly has a career-wise statistical edge on the undoubtedly Corridor-of-Fame-worthy Ichiro.
As for his or her respective primes, the a number of commenters claiming that Ichiro has the sting listed below are, at finest, solely partially right. Ichiro gathered the huge share of his 53.3 WAR from 2001-2010, a 10-season stretch through which he logged a 115 wRC+. In Abreu’s finest 10-season stretch (1998-2007), he gathered 52.3 WAR, with a 137 wRC+. Defining “prime” in narrower increments — say, 5 or seven years — yields comparable outcomes.
Ichiro was by far the higher defender, which is why their WAR totals are almost an identical (solely Robinson Canó sits between them on our 1990-2021 position-player leaderboard). By way of offense, Abreu’s edge is perhaps finest defined as follows:
Ichiro’s highest wRC+ in any particular person season was 131. Abreu’s highest wRC+ was 151, and he completed 131 or higher 9 occasions. Ichiro’s highest wOBA in any particular person season was .375. Abreu’s highest wOBA was .429, and he completed .375 or higher eight occasions.
I’ll put a checkmark subsequent to Ichiro Suzuki’s identify when he first turns into Corridor of Fame eligible in 2025. The overwhelming majority of voters will do the identical. In all probability, Ichiro will sail into Cooperstown as a first-ballot choice. Conversely, Abreu’s probabilities of in the future being elected seem slim. Whereas Jay Jaffe and I’ve voted for this vastly-underrated outfielder in every of his two years on the poll, he’s in any other case been an afterthought for many of our BBWAA colleagues.
With the the aforementioned ballot leads to thoughts, Ichiro most likely does have the stronger Corridor of Fame credentials. However not once you low cost his NPB profession and solely think about what he did in MLB. Regardless of his greatness, and regardless of him having obtained much more accolades and notoriety, Ichiro doesn’t evaluate favorably to Abreu. Not less than not statistically.
RANDOM HITTER-PITCHER MATCHUPS
Ty Cobb went 18 for 53 towards Babe Ruth.
Lou Gehrig went 10 for 21 towards Walter Johnson.
Hank Aaron went 42 for 116 towards Sandy Koufax.
Dick Allen went 3 for 46 towards Don Drysdale.
Casey Stengel went 24 for 75 towards Burleigh Grimes.
The DH rule was launched in 1973, which suggests the upcoming season would be the fiftieth season through which the place has existed within the American League. That’s fifty, as in 5-0. In different phrases, extra years than lots of you studying this have been alive. Not solely that — because of San Diego Padres broadcaster Jesse Agler for bringing this to my consideration — there have been extra American League video games performed with the DH than with out. (Whereas there have been extra non-DH seasons, enlargement, and going from a 154-game to a 162-game schedule starting in 1961, have greater than made up the distinction).
Why then are some Corridor of Fame voters reluctant, if not unwilling, to place test marks subsequent to the names of gamers who had been primarily designated hitters? No defensive worth is a sound argument, however on the similar time, it’s not as if a David Ortiz wouldn’t have been an every-day first baseman had he performed within the Nationwide League, or within the AL previous to 1973. Furthermore, had Ortiz — or Edgar Martinez for that matter — usually performed a defensive place, they possible would have put up even higher offensive numbers. The DH penalty isn’t a fable.
Completed hitters being penalized for taking part in a place that has existed for 5 many years is likewise not a fable. It needs to be. Fifty years is a very long time.
A complete of 107 Venezuelan-born gamers have 1,000 or extra MLB plate appearances. Which ones has the very best profession OBP?
The reply will be discovered under.
Tyler Chatwood has reportedly agreed to signal with NPB’s SoftBank Hawks. A veteran of 10 big-league seasons, the 32-year-old right-hander is coming off a season the place he made 32 appearances, and threw 32 innings, with the Toronto Blue Jays and the San Francisco Giants.
The annual Scout of the Yr Awards will likely be introduced later this month in Las Vegas. The honorees are Jeff Brookens (Cincinnati Reds, East Coast), Ralph Garr (Atlanta Braves, Midwest), Jess Flores (Pittsburgh Pirates, West Coast), and Louie Eljaua (Chicago Cubs, Worldwide).
Fred Andrews, who performed for the Philadelphia Phillies for components of the 1976 and 1977 seasons, died on December 20 at age 69. An infielder whose big-league profession comprised 16 video games and 34 plate appearances, Andrews went stroll, HBP, infield single, infield single, F-9, stroll, single, F-3, single, 1-3, single in his first 11 occasions up. Thereafter, he reached base 3 times.
The reply to the quiz is Bobby Abreu, with a .395 profession OBP. Miguel Cabrera ranks second, at .387.
Leaping again to comps, Willie Wilson was higher than Juan Pierre. That stated, these numbers are attention-grabbing:
Wilson: 8,317 PA, 2,207 hits, .285 BA, .702 OPS, 668 SB.
Pierre: 8,280 PA, 2,217 hits, .295 BA, .704 OPS, 614 SB.
Once more, Wilson was higher. Superior on the defensive facet of the ball, he was additionally a far-more environment friendly thief, getting nabbed simply 134 occasions, whereas Pierre was caught stealing 203 occasions. Wilson’s definitive edge in WAR — 37.8 to Pierre’s 24.0 — is subsequently not stunning. That stated, the hanging similarity of a few of their different numbers is. Not less than it was to me.
Manny Acta shared some nice anecdotes when he appeared as a visitor on this previous Friday’s episode of FanGraphs Audio. One in all them got here from 1993, his first yr as a minor league supervisor. Simply months previous his twenty fourth birthday, his taking part in days barely behind him, Acta was on the helm of the short-season Auburn Astros.
“I didn’t wish to take the job,” recalled Acta, who went on to handle within the massive leagues with Washington and Cleveland, and is presently the third base coach in Seattle. “I imagine I used to be 23, and I instructed my boss, Fred Nelson, the farm director in Houston, ‘Fred, how are you going to need me to go handle within the New York-Penn League? I’ll be managing guys which might be seniors out of faculty who’re 21-22. I imply, that’s onerous.’ He goes, ‘Hey, you don’t have to inform him how outdated you might be. Don’t fear about it.’”
As Acta went on to elucidate, not worrying was initially simpler stated than accomplished. One of many first gamers below his tutelage was a 21-year-old left-hander whom the Astros had simply drafted Twelfth-overall.
“My first yr, I get our first-round decide, Billy Wagner,” stated on the podcast. “I’m a Dominican man who was simply barely talking English effectively sufficient. Billy is from West Virginia. a first-round decide, and I used to be intimidated. I used to be like, ‘Oh, gosh. How is that this man going to take me managing him?’
“Billy confirmed up later than a lot of the guys on the workforce, and we solely had one locker left,” continued Acta. “He was in a nook, which was very uncomfortable. I used to be like, ‘This man goes to throw a match when he is available in.’ Effectively, Billy is without doubt one of the nicest guys I’ve ever been round. He got here in and was simply so joyful that he had a locker. Billy performed Division III, at Ferrum School, and he used to inform me tales [about] how he didn’t even have somebody to play catch with at occasions. He used to throw the ball so far as he may, then jog over, decide it up, and throw it again. So Billy was excellent. He was very joyful. I took a deep breath.”
A couple of brief years later, Acta was managing the Excessive-A Kissimmee Cobras, a membership whose pitching workers included Brad Lidge, Roy Oswalt, and Tim Redding. Friday’s podcast episode features a enjoyable story about that threesome, and far more. In the event you missed it amid your busy vacation week, it’s effectively definitely worth the pay attention.
LINKS YOU’LL LIKE
Longtime Corridor of Fame voter John Perrotto defined his poll at Forbes.
The Baltimore Solar’s’s at all times glorious Jon Meoli wrote about new Orioles co-hitting coach Ryan Fuller.
Alex Corridor introduced us with reminiscences of Mark Kotsay as an Oakland A’s participant at Athletics Nation.
Jamey Newberg hopes that 2022 will likely be a yr of prosperity for all, together with a Texas Rangers workforce that’s lastly trending in the appropriate path. He expounded on his ideas at D Journal.
Our Esquina named its Latino Participant of the Yr. Manuel Gómez has the story.
RANDOM FACTS AND STATS
Jose Abreu hit 30 dwelling runs and grounded into 28 double performs in 2021. Cedric Mullins hit 30 dwelling runs and grounded into two double performs.
J.D. Martinez had 90 singles, 42 doubles, three triples, and 28 dwelling runs.
Jeimer Candelario had 90 singles, 42 doubles, three triples, and 16 dwelling runs.
Randy Arozarena and Shohei Ohtani mixed to steal 46 bases and get thrown out 20 occasions. Starling Marte stole 47 bases and was caught 5 occasions.
A complete of 147 batters struck out 100 or extra occasions. In 1968 (aka “The Yr of the Pitcher”) a complete of 18 batters struck out 100 or extra occasions.
Chicago Cubs batters struck out 1,596 occasions in 5,972 plate appearances this previous yr. Wee Willie Keeler struck out 136 occasions in 9,616 profession plate appearances.
The seven pitchers with essentially the most profession losses are all within the Corridor of Fame: Cy Younger (315), Pud Galvin (310), Nolan Ryan (292), Walter Johnson (279), Phil Niekro (274), Gaylord Perry (265), and Don Sutton (256). The non-Corridor of Famer with essentially the most losses is Jack Powell, who went 245-255 from 1897-1912. Powell had 5 19-loss seasons, and 4 seasons with 20 or extra wins.
Mark Kotsay went 21 for 36 towards Jamie Moyer. The latter signed a free agent contract with the Boston Purple Sox on at the moment’s date in 1996.
The Oakland A’s signed Scott Hatteberg to a free agent contract on at the moment’s date in 2002.
Gamers born on at the moment’s date embrace Purple Kress. An infielder for the St. Louis Browns, Kress had the next back-to-back seasons:
1930: .313 BA, 43 2B, eight 3B, 16 HR, 299 TB, 112 RBIs, three SB.
1931, .311 BA, 46 2B, eight 3B, 16 HR, 298 TB, 114 RBIs, three SB.