Garciaparra vs. Tejada

By Jason Wojciechowski on March 27, 2004 at 4:54 PM

I noticed a ton more hits than I'm used to in the last few days. My referrers say that was the culprit. I went over and saw that Mike Ahern mentioned this blog and a comment I made on their site. First, thanks to Mike for giving me a little pub.

The comment I left was this:

I'd take Garciaparra right now over Tejada. Jeter and Tejada are close because of defense, but defense can't make up the offensive gap between Miguel and Nomar.

The relevant part of Mike's next entry goes like this:

year hr rbi avg obp
2002 4 8 .289 .352
2003 24 120 .310 .352
2004 28 105 .301 .345

year hr rbi avg obp
2002 31 113 .267 .326
2003 24 131 .308 .354
2004 27 106 .278 .336

I guess if you want a guy with marginally better BA and 26 less homers and 117 less RBI over 3 seasons, Nomar is your man on offense. Maybe since nomar hurt his wrist he is not the same player? That's what I think. Nomar is no longer better than Tejada on offense or defense. And Tejada has played in every game for 5 straight years, which I think is a big plus.

My response, which I also left as a comment on that site:

2001's not a totally fair comparison, since Garciaparra was injured. Tejada was worth more to his team that year because he was actually healthy, but if we just compare 2002 and 2003:

Garciaparra 2002 .304 80.3
Tejada 2002 .302 80.4
Garciaparra 2003 .302 58.3
Tejada 2003 .285 43.3

They were about as even as even can be in 2002. But Garciaparra has a clear edge in 2003. PECOTA predicts a 46.1 VORP (341/472 OBP/SLG) season for Tejada in 2004, and 52.1 (360/505) for Garciaparra.

So perhaps I'll take back "clear gap" and change it to just plain old "gap." Either one could easily be better than the other, but I think safer money would be on Garciaparra to be the better hitter this year.

The comment that wouldn't fit in the box over at Barry Zito ... is that Garciaparra's Collapse Rate, as per PECOTA, is twice as high as Tejada's: about 28% to about 14%. I think this reflects what most people already intuitively believe: that Garciaparra is a significantly more risky player to be betting on than Tejada, though that risk comes more from injury than anything else.