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Talking Baseball

Your weekday baseball fix. Some days.



Posted by Mike on Monday, January 12, 2004

Vlad the Impaler

It’s interesting to see the Angels quickly becoming a team that actually deserves a World Series title. With the addition of Vladimir Guerrero they have built an outfield that will rival any other in baseball. Guerrero, Garret Anderson, and Tim Salmon surely are as good as any combination who the Red Sox, Yankees, or Cardinals will field every night. But as nice as his acquisition is there are still two big questions about Guerrero that remain, his health and his reputation as being a free swinging bad-ball hitter. If Guerrero were truly the free swinging bad-ball hitting monster that he’s often portrayed as then surely his OBP would suffer, but this is clearly not the case.

..................AB..........AVG..........OBP..........BB..........IBB
2001..........599..........307..........377..........60..........24
2002..........614..........336..........417..........84..........32
2003..........394..........330..........426..........63..........22

This guy gets on base at a pretty decent rate but it isn’t so much because of discipline at the plate but rather a combination of a high batting average and a sizeable share of intentional walks. Some of those walks may disappear because he will have Garrett Anderson hitting behind him rather than Brad Wilkerson. No disrespect to Brad because he’s a fine player with a bright future but if you were a major league pitcher then who would rather pitch to should you walk Vladimir, Wilkerson or Anderson? I would throw to Anderson (remember the announcers raving about his godliness during the All-Star game?) but that’s just me.

Quick Quiz: Which player has walked more in the last three years combined, Brad Wilkerson or Garrett Anderson? Hint: 2002 was Brad’s first full season in the majors.
Answer: Wilkerson had more BB last year (89) than Anderson has had in the last three years (88). Not bad for $315,000.

BB per year:
.............Anderson..........Wilkerson
2001..........27.......................17
2002..........30.......................81
2003..........31.......................89


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