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95% Phillies, 4% Eagles/Flyers/Sixers/Big Five, 1% Nonsense .... Contact us: Scott Graham ~ Andy Musser

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

610 is not answering my call...

... So I've decided to reach out on a smaller medium. Yes, the internet reaches many more people than a Philly sportstalk radio station, but I'm just not sure how many people on the internet are frequenting this site.

I was in my car today listening to Anthony and Glen while they were talking about Ibanez vs Burrell.

Gargano: "Burrell.. Burrell just isn't Ibanez."

Macnow: "Not in any way."

This really set me off. Yes, Ibanez is off to a scorching start with the Phillies, and yes I like what he's doing. However, to say that Burrell is in no way Ibanez (in a demeaning sense) is a straight up lie. The general goal of every plate appearance is to not make an out. The statistic that measures this ability is OBP. OBP has also been statistically proven to be the most highly correllated stat with runs scored. Looking at career numbers (THE BIG IMPORTANT, UNBIASED SAMPLE) Burrell has a .367 OBP while Ibanez posts a .348 OBP.

Advantage Burrell.

The second most important statistic relating to runs scored is slugging. Burrell posts a career slugging percentage of .482 while Ibanez has a .476. Some people might be quick to point out that Burrell has played quite some time in a hitter friendly park. However, last year the majority of Burrell's homers came in away stadiums. Also, while Burrell might hit a few more HRs each year in a small park, Ibanez gets the benefit of Safeco where the field is HUGE, and benefits with more doubles.

Slight advantage Burrell

In March/April of 2008, Burrell put up numbers of .328/.452/.674 (8HRs) while Ibanez posted .351/.417/.702 (7 HRs) in April of 2009. Burrell had more PAs in this time period making his statistics more significant.

Slight advantage Burrell

Ibanez has a higher career batting average. This is great, but if given the same amount of PAs, he still makes more outs in the long haul.

Advantage Ibanez?

Ibanez is slightly faster, slight advantage Ibanez.

Ibanez is 36. Burrell is 32.

Advantage Burrell

In his career, Burrell has a career OPS+ of 118. Ibanez? 114.

Slight advantage to Burrell.

I'm not playing favorites here. I'm also not trying to say that Burrell is head and shoulders above Ibanez. What I am trying to do is call out people who are basing merit on 1 month of stats, and ignoring the bigger picture that Burrell has better meaningful stats over the long haul. In the statistical sense (the collection of meaningful instances for professional athletes), Burrell and Ibanez are very close with Burrell getting the edge in the most significant categories for baseball players. Don't say Ibanez is a lot better than Burrell. I wish they would have answered my call.


Anonymous said...

a huge portion of burrell's career ABs were in cbp while ibanez's were in safeco

Andy Musser said...

OPS+ is park adjusted:

Burrell career OPS+ 118
Ibanez career OPS+ 114

Scott Graham said...

Not only that, but I ran a statistical analysis (z-test for 2 proportions) to see if these rates are statistically significant. At the 5% level of significance, there is not enough evidence to say the rates of CBP HR/PA (.049) and the rate of everywhere else HR/PA (.044) are meaningfully different.