Since his name will come up this off-season in Yankeeland, I decided to take a look at Mark Teixeira.
First, I looked at his career statistics, to date, and then punched the following into the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia:
CAREER STATS, where AGE <= 28, and, PLATE APPEARANCES BETWEEN 3800 AND 4200, and RCAA BETWEEN 190 AND 205, and OWP >= .625 with OPS >= .150 vs. the league average.
And, it gave me this list:
PLAYER PA RCAA OWP OPSvLg Tony Oliva 3896 204 .669 .161 Mark Teixeira 3931 199 .649 .152 Mike Schmidt 3831 197 .660 .154 Ernie Banks 3954 193 .645 .157
Wow. Teixeira. Two Hall-of-Famers. And, a near Hall-of-Famer if not for injury. Pretty nice company for “Tex.”
But, let’s look closer at the careers of Oliva, Schmidt and Banks.
Oliva was a stud from ages 23 through 30 – before injuries did him in. Schmidt was great from ages 24 through 28 – and just as good, if not better, from ages 29 through 37. Lastly, Banks was an All-Star performer from ages 24 through 30 – but, a below average performer from ages 31 through 37.
I believe you have to look at all this when considering Teixeira and signing him to a six- or seven-year deal. There’s always the injury factor, like with Oliva, or the factor that he would fall off a cliff, performance-wise, like Banks, when he reaches the other side of thirty. Or, he very well could go on to have a wonderful career, like Schmidt, well into his late thirties.
Which will it be? You just can’t be sure…right?