Sunday, September 28, 2014

Robin Yount

Today marks the final game in the career of Derek Jeter. Like many, I'm not saying that Jeter wasn't a great player, a first ballot Hall of Fame player, but I am saying that this victory tour seems a bit much. For comparison sake - who can recall the send-off final season of Robin Yount - who was every bit as good (some would argue better) than Jeter.

Yount played much of his career as a shortstop but then moved to play centerfield because that's what the team needed. I can't imagine Jeter doing either - being athletic enough for center or putting the team first and changing position. Yount won two AL MVP Awards meaning the baseball writers twice felt he was the most valuable player in the entire league. Jeter never won an MVP.

Yount finished ahead of Jeter in the following categories; games played, doubles, triples, and RBI. Obviously that means Jeter was ahead of Yount in most of the other categories not named but also consider that Yount had almost 500 fewer strikeouts than Jeter and 70 fewer grounded into double plays. How close they were at the plate can be summed up in the fact that both finished their career with an OPS+ of 115 (OPS+ is a stat used to compare players from different eras).

Bill James created a stat called WAR (Wins Above Replacement) to try to quantify just how valuable a player was. Robin Yount finished with a career WAR of 77 (69th best of all-time) while Derek Jeter has 71.7 (which is 88th best all-time). WAR argues that Yount was the more valuable player. Maybe Jeter should give half his send-off gifts to Robin Yount because Yount was the better player yet didn't get a victory tour like Jeter is concluding tonight.

1 comment:

  1. The problem with these "victory tours" is who decides which player gets one?