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
Note: I left out names so that there was no bias, or emphasis on personal
Player A: Ryan Howard, 2008 season
Player B: Grady Sizemore, 2008 season
Player C: Juan Pierre, 2007 season