Tuesday, May 04, 2004


Now I'm really convinced my Beltran-Bonds comparison was a bad idea. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Phil Rogers. Using Runs, Home Runs, RBIs, Stolen Bases, and Average as his points of comparison, Rogers makes the case that Beltran would be about as valuable as Bonds (circa '91) in most 5x5 leagues.

Actually, Prospectus was also talkin' up the whole Beltran-Bonds thing today. (We're one step ahead at Calzone, folks.) They've got some considerably more interesting info:

Beltran's emergence as arguably the best hitter in baseball (non-Bonds division) is supported by some secondary numbers: increased patience at the plate (he's averaging 4.18 pitches per plate appearance; his previous career high was 3.95), and he's learning Barry's trick of always hitting the ball in the air. Beltran's G/F ratio has hovered between 1.36 and 1.46 every season of his career. This year, it has plunged to 0.59. (Bonds, who typically has a G/F ratio around 0.6, is at 0.29 this year.)

Like I said yesterday, Beltran's patience will slip if he keeps trying to "make things happen", but was still hitting the ball in the air today. I still feel confident with that pre-season MVP pick. Just be sure to go back afterwards and check Bonds' stats from his own age 27 season, Mr. Rogers.


Remember when I said Moneyball's Nick Swisher is on the right track? Well, since then his batting average has already dropped 50 points, and while his OBP and IsoPwr are still pretty nice, he's looking more Mark Kotsay than Lance Berkman. (That's Mark Kotsay in LF, mind you.) Like I said, never get too excited about 50 plate appearances.... but I'm still worried if I'm Kielty.

And speaking of Bonds, remember when I evoked his name in relation to Carlos Beltran? Well, the little I saw of Beltran in yesterday's Jays game made me realise how ridiculous that was. Beltran instead seemed to be following Juan Gonzalez's example, and was swinging at pitches clearly out of the strike zone just because he could reach 'em and make contact. Great party trick, Carlos, but it's not the way to reach .400 OBP. Granted, to be fair, he was trying to drive home a run, and for the record he was even successful. But the genius of Bonds' approach is that it's nearly context independent. Regardless of the situation, Bonds controls the strike zone and waits to crush his pitch. If he doesn't get his pitch, he takes his walk. If he does, he unleashes a quick, controlled swing that's more "surgical strike" than the "fury of Hades". It doesn't seem to matter to Barry whether there's a runner on base or not. That might make him seem "selfish" compared to proven RBI machines like Gonzalez, but it's turned him into the most ruthlessly efficient hitter ever.

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