Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Omar Vizquel

I know, another Cooperstown post.  This one on Omar Vizquel who is hinting at retiring.  Lets get the stats out of the way early.

Traditional stats:
24 years
2842 hits, 80 HR, 401 SB

SABR stats:
283.8 VORP (Value Over Replacement Player)
10.5 FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Average)
28.7 WARP (Wins Above Replacement)
.244 EqA (Equivalent Average)

So, by just looking at these, what do we see?  Mostly overrated on the fielding (honestly surprised me), mostly terrible on the offense (not a surprise).

For reference:

The Wizard:
387.9 VORP
154.2 FRAA
57.2 WARP
.250 EqA
2460 hits, 28 HR, 580 SB
19 years

So, Ozzie, in 5 fewer years, was worth 100 more runs on offense, 140 more runs on defense, and overall twice as many wins (roughly) as Omar.  Plus 100+ more steals and roughly the same slash line.  Edge: Ozzie.

Different eras, so fair enough to say it's tough to compare them, especially given that Ozzie is the best damn defensive SS of all-time.  So, lets look at the other SS in his time.  Nomar, Jeter, A-Rod (for a time), Tejada and Renteria. Without looking at numbers for any of these guys I would say they are all better than Omar.  And because they all played at roughly the same time as Vizquel that is probably bringing down his value stats (VORP and WARP and FRAA all measure against league average for your position).  Vizquel would have been a very good player probably if he played in the 70s and 80s when there wasn't much offense from SS.  As it was, he played at a time when there was an offensive explosion at the position, not to mention that most of them provided at least decent defense, and he just couldn't measure up to them.

I loved watching him play and making all those crazy stabs when he was with Cleveland, and forming a good DP combo with Robbie Alomar (only 16.3 FRAA--another shocker) because it was fun and I was a lot younger and things always seem better from your younger days.  But, he just wasn't that good.  He formed a reputation for being a good defender, and was able to stretch that career over 20 years.  Good for him, he will always be one of my favorites.  However, since I am not Woody Paige, I can't say that he deserves induction to Cooperstown.  Too many other SS at the same time were putting up equal or better numbers to him and that diminishes his value.  Sorry, Omar.

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