• Coco Vs. Melky

    Posted by on November 29th, 2007 · Comments (12)

    I was recently asked to compare Coco Crisp and Melky Cabrera. So, here goes…

    Coco is 28-years old whereas Cabrera is 23-years old.

    Both are switch-hitting center-fielders.

    In terms of batting splits, both seem to be about even when facing LHP and RHP, compared to their overall numbers – although Cabrera’s power takes a small hit when batting against LHP. (But, that could be a ballpark factor too.)

    Right now, Melky is a .275/.340./.390 batter.
    And, presently, Coco is a .265/.330/.385 batter.

    That’s pretty close.

    Defensively, in terms of range in the outfield, most sources suggest that Crisp has a very good edge on Cabrera.

    If I had to label it, I would suggest that Coco is a true “Gold Glove” center-fielder whereas Melky is a “Gold Glove” left- or right-fielder who is presently playing center-field.

    In his last 6 seasons in the minors, Crisp batted .299/.372/.411.
    In his last 4 seasons in the minors, Cabrera batted .294/.344/.422.

    Again, that’s pretty close. So, where I want to say “Based on his numbers in the minors, and his age, Melky has the potential to get better with the bat in the bigs – more so than Coco who is older…,” in reality, Crisp batted like Cabrera in the minors and he didn’t get better in the majors with time…so, who can say for sure that Melky can get better?

    Into sabermetrics? Check out Melky vs. Coco over the last two seasons:

    PLAYER		OWP	SEC	ISO	BPA	RC/G
    Melky Cabrera	.462	.238	.114	.435	4.66
    Coco Crisp	.417	.257	.117	.453	4.46
    

    Again, it’s real close.

    If you had to pick between these two, now, it’s a matter of what’s more important to you: Range in the outfield against five years of age? Because, in the end, perhaps the only difference between these two are that Coco has more range and Melky is 5 years younger.

    Well, that, and the fact that I really like Melky and find Coco to be annoying – but, that could be a uniform factor too.

    Comments on Coco Vs. Melky

    1. Ference
      November 29th, 2007 | 3:07 pm

      Thanks a lot Steve. So Coco isnt a much better player than Melky after all. In fact, when you factor in that Melky only makes like 450K and is under control for another 4 years or so, while Coco is due 10 million over the next two years. Melky has a much higher trade value than Coco all together.

    2. jonm
      November 29th, 2007 | 3:20 pm

      in reality, Crisp batted like Cabrera in the minors and he didn’t get better in the majors with time…so, who can say for sure that Melky can get better?
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Not a good analysis. Coco Crisp played his age 21 season with the Potomac Cannons in the Carolina League. Most of Crisp’s age 22 season was spent with the New Haven Ravens in the Eastern League. Melky Cabrera played both his age 21 seasons and age 22 seasons with the NY Yankees.

      At age 21 and 22, Cabrera has put up seasons roughly equal to Crisp’s age 26 and 27 seasons. That factor is huge. Melky may not pan out, but he has the potential to become a much better player than Crisp.

    3. MJ
      November 29th, 2007 | 3:34 pm

      Bank on Coco being part of the Santana-to-Boston deal. There’s no way Boston gives up anything close to what the Yanks have to give up. I’m convinced that the Yanks will get hosed on this deal. I just hope the Yanks don’t get sucked into fool’s gold.

    4. minikraft
      November 29th, 2007 | 3:36 pm

      Good stuff Steve. Somehow, the minny bostonians are more interested in mr crispies, whose reached his potential, rather than a guy whose already equaled crispies potential and has the ability to be something more.

    5. November 29th, 2007 | 3:37 pm

      ~~~At age 21 and 22, Cabrera has put up seasons roughly equal to Crisp’s age 26 and 27 seasons. That factor is huge. Melky may not pan out, but he has the potential to become a much better player than Crisp.~~~

      Sure, you can look at Melky’s age, and where he played the last two seasons, and say “Check out Gary Sheffield at the same age, and mark, and see that he got better.” But, then again, you can say “Check out Jason Thompson, or Clint Hurdle, or Greg Gross or Gregg Jefferies at the same age, and mark, and see that they got worse as they got older.”

      Like I said: “so, who can say for sure that Melky can get better?”

      Stress: “for sure…..”

    6. jakes
      November 29th, 2007 | 4:34 pm

      That’s a fair analysis. Though I think Coco’s defense is better to a bigger degree than you’re thinking. Also, while Melky ‘might’ become a better hitter and leave Coco behind, he also might not. Bue he will never be the defender Coco is. So those two reasons wash. I think the age is melky’s biggest asset

      -Well, that, and the fact that I really like Melky and find Coco to be annoying – but, that could be a uniform factor too.-

      Since I love Coco but find Melky god awful to even watch on the bench I’d say you’re write about uniform bias.

    7. Sky
      November 29th, 2007 | 4:55 pm

      Don’t forget that Crisp has shown the ability to be a much better hitter. In 2004 and 2005, he posted a 110 OPS+ and a 117 OPS+ with Cleveland. I don’t see him getting back up that high, but it’s a sign he could improve a bit.

    8. November 29th, 2007 | 5:02 pm

      It’s not the uniform Steve, Coco is muy annoying.

    9. Sherard
      November 29th, 2007 | 5:13 pm

      As far as defense goes, Crisp’s zone rating does not indicate that he is anything more than marginally better than Melky. Based on the top 10 starting CFers in the AL and the difference in their zone ratings, there are only going to be 3.6 balls ALL SEASON that Crisp will get to that Melky won’t. Add to that the fact that pro-rated to the same number of innings, and Melky would have 16 assists compared to Crisp’s 7 and Melky is actually the better defensive CFer.

      Given the fact that Crisp is likely to start slowing down real soon and that he has a 6 year head start on Melky, and the balance shifts further.

      Add the fact that Crisp already makes $5 mil and the choice is simple.

    10. butchie22
      November 29th, 2007 | 6:19 pm

      Unless Boston pays all of Crisp’s salary then this trade will not happen.If the Yanks give up Hughes and Melky who make less than a million,how can the Sox match this unless they give up Ellsbury?This is a Trojan Horse from the Sox,because the Bosox people know that Santan’s ERA is 6 plus at Fenway!This is all about boosting the Yankees cost for Santana.The game of chicken might backfire because if they get Santana,he most probably will be a bigtime bust in Boston!Remember ,they are eggheads in Boston and look at every single sabremetric value including how he has done against NY in the playoffs.He is not a Yankee killer like Schilling or Beckett.If the Sox would give up Ellsbury,Buchholz AND Lester then you would KNOW that they want him!They want the Yankees to give up as much of their farm as they can.

    11. November 29th, 2007 | 9:54 pm

      i agree with you butchie.

    12. jonm
      November 29th, 2007 | 10:04 pm

      Like I said: “so, who can say for sure that Melky can get better?”

      Stress: “for sure…..”
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Who could have said “for sure” that Sheffield would have been any good? Who can say “for sure” that Santana will be good over the next few years? There’s always an element of chance to the game. There is no “for sure” in baseball.

      But, that being said, the odds are excellent that Melky will be better than Crisp. Melky has a decent chance to be a Chet Lemon-Torii Hunter type and that type of player is very valuable.

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