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Today's Fun Fact

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Between 2007-2008, Raul Ibanez put up a .356 wOBA over 1343 plate appearances. The park-adjusted league average over the same span was about .325. This puts puts Raul as having been a +35.7 run bat.

According to UZR, for the same two seasons, Raul came in at -33.4 runs in the outfield. Let's keep things simple and just call his arm average.

Adjusting for position (LF and occasionally DH) and replacement level, you end up with a final value of +3.1 wins, or 1.55 wins per season.

In 2002, Jeff Cirillo put up a .281 wOBA over 547 plate appearances. The park-adjusted league average was about .316. This made Cirillo worth -16.4 runs at the plate.

According to UZR, Cirillo came in at +11.3 runs in the field. Although just a single season of data, this is in good agreement with his defense from 2003-2007. Jeff Cirillo has always drawn praise for his glovework, so I'm comfortable using this number.

Adjusting for position (3B and occasionally 1B) and replacement level, you end up with a final value of +1.4 wins.

In 2002, Jeff Cirillo was pretty much as valuable as Raul Ibanez in 2007-2008. And yet, while the entire city of Seattle fell in love with Raul, Cirillo was universally reviled and considered to be one of the worst acquisitions the team had ever made.

Defense. It means stuff.

Also note that, when Cirillo sucked his way to a .205/.284/.271 batting line in 2003, that performance was accompanied by a .228 BABIP and a 22.6% line drive rate. He wasn't as finished as people thought he was, and with that in mind, his .737 OPS from the day he was traded until the day he retired shouldn't come as much of a surprise. I never liked Jeff Cirillo as a Mariner, but I wish we hadn't driven him crazy, and if I could go back in time to that summer day in 2004 when he beat us with a home run, I'd laugh, and I'd laugh.