This morning, I was playing around with the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia. (What better way to spend a Sunday morning in December, avoiding household chores, while it’s 45 degrees outside and raining like cats and dogs?) Anywho, I was trying to find batters, in Yankees history, who have had similar stats to what Johnny Damon has done in the Bronx, to date, so far. To that end, I set the CBE controls for:
NEW YORK YANKEES, CAREER, with
PLATE APPEARANCES BETWEEN 1700 AND 2100, and
RCAA > 50, and OPS >= .775, and OWP >= .575, with
RUNS CREATED/GAME vs. the league average displayed only -ranked by Total Average.
And, this is what I got:
PLAYER TA PA RCAA OPS OWP RC/G Oscar Gamble .874 1707 103 .858 .694 2.32 Danny Tartabull .868 1837 72 .845 .627 1.47 Johnny Damon .823 1899 56 .810 .597 1.22 Don Baylor .791 1719 61 .817 .620 1.16
I like the Don Baylor comp here – because he played for the Yankees in three seasons (1983-85) and Johnny Damon has played for the Yankees for three seasons (so far) as well. I’m sure the Yankees would have liked to have seen production from Damon closer to what Oscar Gamble posted (see above). But, it’s not like Damon the Yankee has been terrible. In fact, check out Johnny Damon’s numbers as a member of the Boston Red Sox, for the four years that he played there (prior to joining the Yankees):
RC vs. Lge: 1.28
If Damon posts a season in 2009 for the Yankees, on average with what he’s done in New York so far, at the end of the day, his production in Yankeeland (for four years) will be right on with what he did for Red Sox Nation (for four years). If that happens, I think the Yankees, and their fans, should be happy with the way Damon performed as a member of the Yankees.