A Quick Comparison of Designated Hitters in the AL West

Vladimir Guerrero, Texas Rangers

  • Age —> 35
  • Number of games played in 2009 —> 100
  • 2009 wOBA —> .343
  • 2009 HR total —> 15
  • 2009 K-BB ratio —> 56-to-19
  • Ability to play in the field if necessary —> Absolutely not.
  • 2009 WAR —> 0.8
  • Replacing Daniel Murphy.  It’s an upgrade.  As Matthew inferred at the LL/USSM event, Daniel Murphy is no one special?  [Edit: Apparently his name is David Murphy.  But hey, who cares?]

Jack Cust, Oakland A’s

  • Age —> 31
  • Number of games played in 2009 —> 149
  • 2009 wOBA —> .342
  • 2009 WAR —> 1.0
  • 2009 K-BB ratio —> 185-to-93
  • 2009 HR total —> 25
  • Ability to play in the field if necessary —> Absolutely not.

Hideki Matsui, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

  • Age —> 36
  • Number of games played in 2009 —> 142
  • 2009 wOBA —> .378
  • 2009 HR total —> 28
  • 2009 K-BB ratio –> 75-to-64
  • Ability to play in the field if necessary —> Absolutely not.
  • 2009 WAR —> 2.4
  • Replacing Vlad.  It’s a fairly significant upgrade.

Milton Bradley, Seattle Mariners

  • Age —> 32
  • Number of games played in 2009 —> 124
  • 2009 wOBA —> .345
  • 2009 HR total —> 12
  • 2009 WAR —> 1.0
  • 2009 K-BB ratio —> 95-to-66
  • Ability to play in the field if necessary —> Fair (2.8 UZR in 2008)
  • Replacing Sweeney/Griffey.  Team chemistry goes down, but offensive production goes (presumably) way up.  Stat nerds cheer and the casual fan weeps.

Even considering his awful 2009 campaign, Milton Bradley performed at a similar level as both Guerrero and Cust.  We certainly need to account for the “DH penalty,” which is to say that Bradley’s 2009 WAR was bolstered by his decent performance in the field, as he played over 100 games in left field for the Cubs; whereas the other 3 rarely played the field – if at all.

Guerrero and Matsui, being in their upper-30′s, are candidates for significant downgrades in offensive production.  Bradley and Cust, however, 32 and 31 respectively, both underperformed in 2009 and are likely to bounce back.

It’s not unreasonable to expect something along the lines of .280/.370/.470 from Milton Bradley in 2010.  It isn’t likely that he repeats 2008, Safeco being much less hitter-friendly than the Ballpark in Arlington, but Bradley certainly has the ability.  If he feels comfortable in the Mariners clubhouse and gets off to a good start, don’t be surprised to see Bradley put up a better WAR than Cust, Guerrero, and Matsui by the end of the season.

Or, as Jack Zduriencik would say, at the end of the day.

Next Mariners Game View full schedule »
Sunday, Sep 2121 Sep1:10at Houston AstrosBuy Tickets

Tags: Angels Athletics Hideki Matsui Jack Cust Mariners Milton Bradley Optimism Rangers Vladimir Guerrero

comments powered by Disqus