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A comparison, doing justice to an overlooked all-time great

Hi everybody, today I was browsing through the FanGraphs website and I found something very interesting, something that dazzled me, by now I think all of you know I like to make comparisons, the reason behind that is as follows, in life and in sports as a whole, we, before evaluating a player’s production need to first figure out what is average production, after that to fully understand if what you have is great you look for similar players in similar situations and then compare them. 

 

An example, how do you know that the production level you’re getting from Adrian Beltre right now is great, because the majority of great players at his age have experienced serious decline, how do we know Mike Trout is historically great, because when comparing him to any of his peers he blows them out of the water and so on so forth, you can find several examples, my point is you need comparisons to contextualize and give true meaning to a stat, that without it, is just a random number.


Anyway, enough introduction. To avoid any sort of pre-set judgment and any bias you may have, I won’t give you the names, just the stats, by the way, both players play/played the same position.

 


1rst Player


281/363/433 Slash line

9.3 BB%   14.0 K%   .152 ISO

352 wOBA     115 wRC+

35.71 WPA/LI.    378.0 RE24

65.8 WAR

 


2nd Player


276/359/469 Slash line

9.2 BB%   15.1 K%   .193 ISO

358 wOBA.    120 wRC+

29.69 WPA/LI     321.75 RE24

64.5 WAR


Very similar players right, what if I were to tell you that one of them is considered a sure-fire no-brainer first ballot Hall of Famer and the other one widely viewed as a borderline candidate, who probably won’t get in, and consider this the HOF one had 40 postseason games no rings and batted a mediocre


234/295/323 with 2 HR, 11 RBI


The other one had a robust 68 games with a ring and a


224/364/410 with 10 HR, 27 RBI


So anyone would ask what on earth are these voters thinking, I will explain. 

 

This situation is a testament to what is the key factor that people often overlook.

 

Milestones.

 

You didn’t get it, here is the deal.

 

The first player played in 2850 Games with 12503 Plate Appearances.

 

The second player played in 1850 Games and had 7676 Plate Appearances.

 

Yet he equaled the first one’s cumulative production, only 1.3 less WAR on 1000 fewer games, think about how remarkable that is, but despite it, the less talented player is a Hall of Famer because he got over the magic number.

 

3060 Career Hits, while the other one had only 1850.


First Player, Craig Biggio

Second Player, Chase Utley


One last thing, Utley still caught him in WAR despite Craig stealing 414 bags to Chase’s 151.


The Hall of Fame is so messed up that no one cares anymore so I won’t make a big deal about it, but the fact is Utley deserves his place among the all-time great second basemen and this article is undeniable evidence that Chase was clearly a better player than Biggio and that is remarkable considering how great Biggio was.


Again same WAR on a 1000 Games disadvantage, WOW.


As always feel free to comment, suggest, subscribe and anything else you can think of, any questions you may have, I’m here to answer them.

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