Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tale of the Tape

What you see is not always what you get.  Baseball fans and baseball organizations are often mesmerized by numbers. We should be able to measure production. Of course, isolated statistics (small sample size) may not always reflect perception...or future production.

Here are statistics from two Red Sox players from 2012. Both had similar plate appearances, but one had better on base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS.  He also had better isolated power (IsoP) and Secondary Average (SecA). One player is adored throughout much of Red Sox Nation. The other is an afterthought.

Player one (88 games played) is Daniel Nava, he of the better stats. The other is Jacoby Ellsbury. Of course, Ellsbury has a more polished resume' and a fantastic "once in a lifetime" season in 2011. Ellsbury has suffered through two seasons of misery with extended time on the DL. But what is perception and what is reality?  Nava will struggle to make the team and Ellsbury anticipate a 12-20 million dollar a year contract. Go figure.