• Just For Kicks

    Posted by on February 21st, 2010 · Comments (9)

    Consider the following two statistical performances over the same time period by two different former Yankee outfielders:

    Player A
    187 G
    703 AB
    802 PA
    179 H
    36 2B
    3 3B
    15 HR
    75 RBI
    88 BB
    4 HBP
    .255/.338/.378/.716

    Player B
    201 G
    701 AB
    796 PA
    192 H
    33 2B
    8 3B
    11 HR
    73 RBI
    64 BB
    6 HBP
    .274/.329/.391/.720

    As an experiment of sorts, in your head right now choose which player you would pick if you were forced to do so (I realize ideally you wouldn’t want either of these outputs from your offense). Got it? Click more to find out who the players are.

    Here are the former Yanks:

    Player A = Johnny Damon
    Player B = Melky Cabrera
    Time Frame : Aug 27, 2006 through April 19th, 2008

    The Yankees outfield wasn’t pretty during that stretch, huh? So when we say let’s thank Damon for four wonderful years, let’s keep in mind that over 31% of his plate appearances here, consecutively, were played like Melky Cabrera with a weak arm, making $13 million/year.

    Comments on Just For Kicks

    1. February 21st, 2010 | 4:50 pm

      Granted, you’re basically comparing 2007 for these two players – and 2007 was one of Damon’s worst seasons in the big leagues.

      If you used 2006 thru 2009, then the stats appear as follows:

      .285/.363/.458 in 2,231 AB for Damon.
      .270/.332/.387 in 1,904 AB for Melky.

      So, the answer is: For the last four years, Damon was a much, much, better batter than Melky. But, in 2007 – which was Damon’s worst year and Melky’s “average” year, compared to his lifetime stats – they were about the same batter.

    2. Corey Italiano
      February 21st, 2010 | 5:04 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      Yea, my point is not that Melky and Damon are the same batter. When people thank Damon for 4 wonderful years, it bothers me. So when I went to take a closer look, and found that for a consecutive number of at bats, spanning 31% of his total plate appearances as a Yankee, that he was just about the same hitter as Melky Cabrera during that same time frame. I also want to say that I recognize the fact that Damon contributed heavily to last seasons championship, but at the same time I think people overrate him.

    3. Corey Italiano
      February 21st, 2010 | 5:06 pm

      Also, this was just for fun as the title of the post says. Just something I noticed.

    4. February 21st, 2010 | 7:00 pm

      Actually, I think it’s a pretty good find on your part. I knew Damon was bad in 2007 because of his OPS+ and RCAA marks, but, I didn’t know he was “Melky bad.” ;-)

    5. 77yankees
      February 21st, 2010 | 7:06 pm

      Point well taken, Corey.

      What I will say, though, is that winning surpasses or masks the individual. If you look at Chuck Knoblauch’s career as a Yankee, he was not the player they got from Minnesota – not by a long shot.

      But in spite of the offensive decline and the defensive meltdown, he was in the middle of a lot of rallies, got clutch hits, and was the leadoff hitter for a team that won three World Series in a row and was two outs away from a fourth. I’d think what a lot of Yankee fans would say if you brought up Knoblauch or Damon – they came here, and they were winners.

    6. February 21st, 2010 | 7:28 pm

      FWIW,

      Knobby the Yankee: 2478 PA and 27 RCAA
      Damon the Yankee: 2525 PA and 83 RCAA

      Pretty close PA totals – but, Damon did more.

    7. MJ Recanati
      February 21st, 2010 | 7:59 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      When people thank Damon for 4 wonderful years, it bothers me.

      I just can’t understand this. For the most part, the 4 years WERE wonderful. Is it so different than people thanking Mussina or Giambi for their service to the Yanks which also included some brutal low points as well as some truly amazing high points?

      Thanking someone for 4 years of service is taking the total picture into account and I just don’t know how you can discount someone that put up a .285/.363/.458 batting line over 2231 AB’s.

    8. BOHAN
      February 21st, 2010 | 9:09 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      I also want to say that I recognize the fact that Damon contributed heavily to last seasons championship, but at the same time I think people overrate him.

      i completely agree

    9. February 23rd, 2010 | 7:35 am

      [...] Gammons: Young guns to decide AL East / Just For Kicks [...]

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