Earlier today, I was reading a very well thought out article by Dave Cameron of FanGraphs. Wait…..is anything FanGraphs produces not well thought out? Mr. Cameron was inspecting some odd, paradoxical elements to Xander Bogaerts‘ game – primarily his batted ball profile. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest that you do. Dave, like Jeff Sullivan, is astute, with a wide breadth of knowledge, but very accessible to those of us who love analytics, but don’t have all the practical math on our side. In short, they are both quite adept at disseminating information to enlighten the rest of us.
By the end of the article, based on some anomalous aspects of X-Man’s batted ball profile, I got to thinking about another hitter who I’ve seen a lot of and sensed some (potentially loose) parallel between the two. Not everything points to a direct correlation in batted ball profile, or beyond that, but it struck a chord with me. Maybe I’m just crazy? Maybe I’d prefer to fill this slow afternoon bartending shift with some baseball musings.
Some info that does not draw a plus comparison between the two, but could be an additional hint for ye truth seekers. Xander has a World Series ring, Player X does not, but he does have a Rookie of the Year trophy and was an MVP. Bogey has averaged 2.28 WAR (provided you remove the noise of his initial call-up) and Player X 3.34 WAR per year. Alright, now for some tabular data to see if y’all can guess who I’m talkin’ about.
[table caption=”Slap Chop, Single In the Hole”]
The Myth The Legend,6.0%,10.0%,.092,105
Remember, this is career data.
[table caption=”Slice and Dice, Twice As Nice”]
Player,Slash Line,Career OPS+
Are you forming a picture in your mind yet? Here’s some more data!
[table caption=”3, 2, 1…Contact!”]
Player,Contact Rate,Zone Contact,Out of Zone Contact
Xander The Mander,80.6%,88.9%,67.2%
Master & Commander,89.0%,93.5%,78.8%
Any idea who this is? When you line up and compare some of those rates, they don’t seem as similar as I first thought while reading the original article, but I thought it would be a fun way to set up today’s trivia question. You know, variety is the spice of life and people – all three of you that read these fuckin’ things – will get bored with a tirelessly repeated format.
Oh, by the way, the player who is the answer to the question a right fielder (as opposed to X, who plays short) and is almost certainly a Hall of Famer five years after he hangs it up.