Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Dear Terrence Moore:

If When Andruw Jones leaves the Braves, Torii Hunter cannot replace him.

Torii Hunter is nearly two years older.

Andruw Jones has about twice as many career home runs.
Andruw Jones has 400 more RBI.
Andruw Jones has about 500 more hits.
Andruw Jones has 100 more doubles.
Andruw Jones has 25% more triples.
Andruw Jones has a better career OBP (.344 to .324)
Andruw Jones has a better career slugging percentage.
There is a stat called "Equivalent Average", which allows players to be compared without regard to differences in leagues, ballparks, etc. Andruw Jones has a better EqA than Torii Hunter whether adjusted for season or all-time. By significant margins.
There is another stat called "WARP3", which is a way to compare players based upon a formula incorporating a number of offensive statistics and accounting for positional importance, league strength, ballpark, pitching difficulty, and many other considerations. The net result is the number of "wins" a particular player would contribute above a replacement (read: barely a major leaguer) player at that position.
Andruw Jones has a career WARP3 exactly double Torii Hunter's career WARP3.

Simply looking at hitting, Andruw Jones is approximately TWICE as valuable to his team than Torii Hunter.

What about Defense?

Defensive statistics are a little murkier to wade through - errors, putouts and assists do not tell the whole story.
There is a stat called FRAR, which attempts to clean up the muck, and effectively is the number of runs saved having this particular player out there instead of a replacement player. There are two levels of this stat - FRAR1 and FRAR2.
Andruw Jones has saved approximately twice as many runs as Torii Hunter has in their respective careers.

So by objective statistics, basically Andruw Jones is twice as good a player at the plate as Torii Hunter. And Andruw Jones is twice as good a player in the field as Torii Hunter. And Andruw's almost 2 years younger.

Baseball-Reference uses statistics to compare players throughout history.
At his current age, Andruw Jones's closest comparison is Hall-of-Famer Frank Robinson.
At his current age, Torii Hunter's closest comparison is Jermaine Dye.

Of course, no comparison of players is complete without looking at salaries. Andruw makes a little less than $3 Million more than Hunter. Next year, both become free agents.

Torii Hunter should not be an option for the Braves unless Andruw Jones is asking for more than twice as much money than Hunter.

Also, Terrence, David Justice had better numbers throughout his career than Torii Hunter. Not quite as good as the rose-colored glasses view of Justice that Terrence Moore has, but still better than Torii Hunter.

And let the record show that I didn't bring race into the analysis here (someone else is welcome to do that).

Andruw Jones Stats
Torii Hunter Stats


Grandy said...

Moore's Justice hard on is unbeatable. I haven't read the article yet (waiting to get to it) but I am not the least bit surprised that he'd pkay that card. While I do feel that trade was a mistake (and was very uncertain at the time, quickly giving way to "remember how badly Lofton victimized us in the series??? that will be great!" - too bad I didn't understand he was a flake), Terrance always quickly ignores that while Justice had the biggest hit in Braves history, he'd had a history of being absent for important games due to injuries.

He was a great hitter when healthy, no question. But he never could stay healthy (unlike, say, Chipper, who has only recently in his career started to have injury issues. A not uncommon occurence for players past 32). I hate that Moore never seems to address this. As if one hit made Justice's career, and rendered all the games he missed irrelevant.

Don't get me started on Hunter. Just don't. At his peak Hunter was not in the same ballpark as Andrew (at his peak). Andrew has gone downhill, sure. Damn it, now I'm starting.

At least Andrew's asking price is surely falling. That's the only positive thing I can see rigbt now with the Braves. They're idiots if they tie a bunch of money - even at a considerable discount - up in one player, though. Since our current player salarys probably represent our peak value, it's a foolish move. While I'd far prefer the Braves to be owned by someone inclined to take advantage of available resources, they aren't and won't be for a few years at minimum.

LD said...

I probably could've expanded this post a bit more to say what I think...

I think Andruw Jones is probably going to be too expensive for the Braves.

I think Torii Hunter would be an inadequate replacement, and overpriced.

I think the Braves' budget isn't high enough to compete with the Mets and a few other teams.

I think I understand the Braves not wanting to commit $15M+ a year for multiple years to Andruw Jones, but I do think the Braves need to commit something close to that money into position players to replace him (whether just at CF or at multiple positions).

I think Mike Hampton should've retired a year ago.

But the main point of this post was that Torii Hunter, even at 2/3rds the price of Andruw Jones, is a terrible idea for a replacement.

Grandy said...

Oh, I got all of that. You got me before coffe*, and I was a little rambly.

I agree that Hunter is a poor choice for a replacement. I think that I'd ideally like to see the money tied up in several players, but that's really easier said than done. One cannot, for example, easily say "get a quality, 3rd or 4th starer and a couple of relievers", because it generally doesn't work like that (particularly given that bidding on starting pitchers will surpass 10m where quality is a possibility).

I've always disliked hunter. He's had some excellent years with the glove, but my (anecdotal, and thus mostly worthless) contention has always been that you saw fewer leaping/diving catches from Andruw in his prime because he was standing under or running under most of the balls Hunter (and also Edmonds) were laying out for. It always irked me that highlight plays - which Hunter tended to make more of - were how we defined his defense (and do *not* get me started on Jeter, now that we're here). Where as Andruw would rack up 450 put outs on teams that tended to get lots of strikeouts and ground outs.

I agree that Hunter a 2/3s is still overpriced.

* I don't drink coffee. But I wasn't fully awake when I posted, so it generally somes up my state of mind.