The Yankees are good at offense


I’m going to give you the offensive stats of two players over the last three months, dating back to June 11th:

Player A: .269-.361-.480, .211 IsoP, .291 BABIP, 11.6 BB%, 17.0 K%

Player B: .253-.363-.479, .226 IsoP, .279 BABIP, 14.7 BB%, 19.6 K%

Both players play every day for the Yanks, yet one is universally beloved and has been touted as not just an MVP candidate, but the favorite by some. The second player is either loved or hated by fans, there doesn’t seem to be any middle ground. You’re all smart, so I’m not going to string you along any more. Player A is Mark Teixeira, Player B is Nick Swisher.

Now, by no means am I saying Swish is as good as Tex. Tex provides far more defensive value than Swish ever will, but offensively, the two have provided nearly identical output over the last 80 games. For fun, let’s take a look at the rest of the infield over the last 80 games.

Alex Rodriguez: .304-.416-.520, .216 IsoP, .354 BABIP, 14.4 BB%, 20.8 K%

Derek Jeter: .355-.418-.486, .131 IsoP, .392 BABIP, 9.3 BB%, 12.3 K%

Robbie Cano: .329-.359-.553, .224 IsoP, .339 BABIP, 4.1 BB%, 10.9 K%

We’re talking about an 80 game sample here, for all intents and purposes half of the season, not 80 at-bats. You can make a case that in that time, Mark Teixeira has been the least productive hitter on his own infield. This isn’t meant to slight Tex at all; he’s been tremendous and frankly better than I think anyone really expected in his first year in pinstripes. What I’m trying to point out is that the Yanks offense is absurdly good.

On days when Melky Cabrera starts in center, every regular in the lineup has at least a 100 OPS+, and just one of the nine hitters (Melk) is below 123. 123! As a team, the Yanks have an .841 OPS on the season, far and away the best in baseball. The second place team, Boston, has an .804 OPS. And if you want to try any sort of Yankee Stadium bandbox funny business, consider they have an .829 OPS on the road, still the best in baseball by a considerable amount.

It’s time to have a Kevin Long appreciation thread, isn’t it?

Categories : Offense


  1. Back in may when the Yanks had lost five in a row (holy shit, they did such a thing?) there was someone who had a facebook status saying the Yankees should fire Kevin Long.

    Uh. No.

  2. Bob Stone says:

    The Yankees offense is absurdly good. The fact that they an bring it on late in games makes their games a joy to watch. You almost always feel that they can win at any point in the game.

  3. 2009 Yankees OPS+, top 10 position players by plate appearances:
    128, 139, 123, 127, 129, 100, 141, 125, 133, 92
    Average OPS+ of the 10 main batters: 124.8

    1927 Yankees OPS+, top 10 position players by plate appearances:
    142, 221, 226, 126, 136, 84, 79, 117, 80, 79
    Average OPS+ of the 10 main batters: 129.0

    Even without having a Ruth and a Gehrig putting up insane, otherwordly, lap-the-field, child-please, kiss-the-baby, mind-bottling numbers in the heart of our lineup, this team is a modern day Murderer’s Row.

    Yeah, I said it.

  4. The Fallen Phoenix says:

    The Yankees team is absurdly good. Like, seriously. This team’s major weakness is…the fourth starter?

  5. Tank Foster says:

    The Yankee offense, er, Yankee Offense, is a beautiful thing. What’s more, I think it is a steadier, more playoff-ready offense than the Sheffield-era monster offenses. Maybe?

    • Bob Stone says:

      Definitely steadier and, as I mentioned above, always a threat late in games.

    • I’ll agree with that.

      Haven’t looked it up yet, but off the cuff, I’d say this team is probably the best pure hitting (both for power and for contact) team AND the most patient team we’ve had since the glory days of Bernie, Paulie, and Knoblauch in their primes.

      We wear pitchers down, and then cut their heart out. Just like old times.

      • Jeffrey says:

        If the opposing team doesn’t have a good bullpen they are in serious trouble.

      • MatyRuggz says:

        I’ll tell ya, a combo of hitters that draw walks in bunches and hit tons of homers is a beautiful thing to watch.

        • But I thought walks and homers were the worst things about baseball? It’s all about sac bunts and weak punch-and-judy slap hitters who slide headfirst into first base, baby!

          • Tank Foster says:

            tsjc is going after me with this comment… But I’ll say no; it’s the winning that’s beautiful. Watching Yankee games can be like watching paint dry.

            I’d love nothing more, though, than for this type of offense to be out of the game, or at least significantly altered.

            Baseball is a contest between hitters and pitchers, but also between fielders and baserunners. The latter half is an afterthought today.

            I think it could be changed, but the good thing is that the change would have to be very gradual, and people wouldn’t notice it. The difference would be that in 20 years speed and athletic ability would be much more on a par with power hitting than it is today. It would require some trial and error, and lots of changes, perhaps to the baseball, the dimensions of the bats, the strike zone, and maybe even some of the fundamental rules…but I won’t freak anyone out by going there.

            • MatyRuggz says:

              Tank, I take it you’re more of a purist when it comes to the offensive part of the game? The speed game may be de-emphasized today, but I argue that the athleticism is still there every time you see Gardner take away an XBH in the gap or Jeter making his patented jump throw from the hole to nip a runner by half a step. You know, the kind of defensive play that takes your breath away.

              In terms of offense though, power still rules and the Yankees rule because they do it better than anyone else right now.

              • Tank Foster says:

                Purist? Maybe. No, athleticism is not dead. But it is on life support. tsjc will say that’s hyperbole, but I think people are so used to the brand of baseball we’ve had for the last 15 years, that nobody can conceive of how much more exciting the game could be.

                So everyone’s clear, I’m not suggesting – and it would be an idiotic suggestion – that a modern team, today, should try to build an “athletic” lineup, using “inside baseball” or small ball or trying to steal 100s of bases a year. No; there is no question that what wins is power and on base percentage. If you’re a team like Tampa or Florida that has to have young, cheap players, then you probably won’t be able to afford the expensive, proven sluggers, and by necessity you will have more young, speedy players in your lineup. And speed and athleticism does add a little to a team’s offensive power. But that’s not my point.

                My point is that the “calculus” of baseball is such that homeruns and OBP dwarf all other facets of the game when it comes to contributions to winning. A team that hits 80 homers and has a .315 OBP can steal 400 bases a year and they still won’t come close to scoring the number of runs that a team with 160 homers and a .360 OBP. A team of Hideki Matsuis that could barely run had the worst defense in the league would probably score 1000-1100 runs and would win any division.

                But the only reason this is possible is that the ballparks, the bats, the balls, the rules, all allow lots of homers to be hit. If the homerun king in any given year hit 25-30 homers max, the game would radically change, I think for the better. Pitchers would be less fearful of homers, so they’d throw more strikes. Way more balls would be hit in play, so defense and running would be more important. It would take years to do, and the job is much harder now given that there are more hitters’ parks today than in the 1970s. But it could be done.

                • MatyRuggz says:

                  I’ll agree with you that there perhaps today’s game has become more predictable with the base stealing element taking a back seat. But I think the sport has crossed a bridge that has since burned up in the rearview mirror since the power game came into vogue.

                  One player you do not hear about in the first division anymore is the no-hit defensive specialist. If you’re going to contend for a World Series title, you cannot afford to carry someone who is in there for defense only. I don’t think that its a conincidence that the Rangers and Indians started making playoff apperances when defensive studs Pudge Rodriguez and Omar Visquel finally figured out how to add something with their bats.

                • jsbrendog says:

                  I don’t think that its a conincidence that the Rangers and Indians started making playoff apperances when defensive studs Pudge Rodriguez and Omar Visquel finally figured out how to add something with their bats.

                  pudge rodriguez ops+ by year starting in 1993 to 2002, hsi last year with the rangers:


                  he was always a very good offensive catcher esp when compared to hsi contemporaries.

                • Kiersten says:

                  Power is more prevalent than base stealing because a homerun is 476,238,468 times more valuable than a stolen base (exact number).

                  /stating the obvious

            • No, I’m not going after you, Tank.

              I was more going after everyone in general who bemoans the existence of the three true outcomes guy. Didn’t have a specific person’s comments in mind.

              I am mad at you for trying to ruin my high with your Brien Taylor comment, though. Why you gotta bring up old shit?

              • MatyRuggz says:

                As much as we value our prospects, there’s always the humbling thought of a Brien Taylor that makes us temper our enthusiasm. I love Montero and what he can potentially due at Yankee Stadium when he’s ready. Like anyone else though, his potential could be wasted due to some freak injury or bonehead decision attributed to the inexperience of youth.

          • Nigel Bangs says:

            walks and homers are just basepath-cloggers and rally-killers.

      • Tank Foster says:

        I can’t quite put my finger on it, because Sheff drew lots of walks, too, and the 2004 and 2007 teams were monster offenses.

        I think Tex and Swisher bother pitchers more than Sheff and Abreu did…any other ideas? They are so tough on lefties this year, with Damon, Cano, and Matsui seemingly not bothered by lefties. They have a mix of very streaky hitters (Melky, Matsui), and very steady ones (Damon, Jeter).

        When you’re watching a game, unless Molina or Pena is playing, there is never an at bat where you don’t anticipate a big hit.

      • Esteban says:

        Team Triple Slash:
        2009: .282/.361/.480
        2008: .271/.342/.427
        2007: .290/.366/.463
        2006: .285/.363/.461
        2005: .276/.355/.450
        2004: .268/.353/.458
        2003: .271/.356/.453
        2002: .275/.354/.455

        2009 Yankees have the 3rd best BA, 3rd best OBP, and Best slugging of the 8 years

  6. Jeffrey says:

    I’m surprised at how good a coach Kevin Long has been. For a guy who was a career minor leaguer he turned out to be a good teacher. The guy really works hard especially how he worked with Cano in the offseason.

    • MatyRuggz says:

      You know how the old saying goes… “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” We Yankees fans can be thankful that Kevin Long failed to develop into Barry Bonds back in the day.

      • Augra27 says:

        Amen, Brother. Long even (sort of) straightened out A-Rod’s swing. Remember his first season with the Yanks? Upright, wide stance, huge swings? Now his new compact swing (and high socks!) is much prettier even though his numbers have dropped.

  7. Oh and: I thought Swisher was just a fourth outfielder?!

  8. SamVa says:

    Can you imagine an Era that consists of a line-up with your 3,4,5 hitters being Teixeira, Arod, and Montero..?
    A little further down the road we get the gritty gutty and powerful Heathcott..
    Maybe Brackman pans out, maybe Betances, maybe Rumolo Sanchez comes up and surprises us all. Zach McAllister, Ian Kennedy.. I mean we have TONS of potential down there.. And need I even mention JR Murphy? Caleb Cotham (the poor man’s Joba Chamberlain) ManBan.. Cojo..
    If two or three of those guys lives up to their potential, we are looking at smooth sailing in the bronx for years to come. Maybe next year we draft a SS though.

  9. iYankees says:

    Does Tex really provide far more defensive value than Swisher ever will? I know a decent amount about defensive metrics, although I’m not sure if I know enough to fully answer that question. It would seem as though an above average RF is harder to find when compared to an average first baseman (but I guess it depends on how you see Teixeira at first).

    • Good point.

      Despite all those memorable miscues, Swish has now turned his RF UZR into a +3.1. Tex is still at a -1.7.

      Granted, that’s not Tex at his best, but career wise, Tex at 1B is a +13.7 in 8494.0 innings. Swish in RF is a +15.2 in 2503.1 innings.

      Swish may be more of a defensive asset than Tex is.

      • alex gonzalez says:

        hasn’t tex won a gold glove. he is very good defender. especially with the scoops that he makes. he saves errors for other people.

        • Gold gloves carry less weight for me than UZR does.

          Gold Gloves is a measure more prone to human error and bias than UZR is. UZR is simply an aggregation of what happened and did not happen.

          • alex gonzalez says:

            but Tex scoops the ball and saves errors. he has incredible instincts at first base. swisher has nowhere near the ability to now how to play defensively at tex’s level. it is something you can’t learn but are born with.

            • Weak arguments get you nowhere around here.

              If you’re comparing Swisher and Teixeira as first basemen, you have a point. If you’re comparing Tex and Swish at their respective defensive positions, 1B and RF,it’s a more difficult argument, and you can’t just throw out random ideas and expect them to cohere into a compelling argument.

            • but Tex scoops the ball and saves errors.

              Excellent, excellent point. Well said. This should be part of the calculus, thanks for bringing it up.

              he has incredible instincts at first base.

              He does. But, remember, instincts and total defensive value are not the same thing. The fact that Tex has great instincts at 1B and Swisher looks awkward in RF does not mean Tex is a better defender. Just like our back and forth about pitcher wins yesterday, there’s a ton more that goes into that equation.

              swisher has nowhere near the ability to now how to play defensively at tex’s level.

              You have not remotely proven this conclusion. Your argument is invalid, your premises are incomplete. I point you towards the Fallacy of the Four Terms.
              You are equivocating defensive instincts with defensive value, and those concepts are not identical.

              it is something you can’t learn but are born with.

              This throwaway line is ridiculous and pointless. It means nothing, says nothing, has no value, undermines your argument, and is generally dumb. Stop punctuating your points with idiotic crap like this. Thanks in advance.

      • Tank Foster says:

        Tex is more of a defensive asset than Swisher is.

        • iYankees says:

          I just don’t see how, though. There’s an intangible aspect there that helps Tex in that he makes the infielders feel comfortable because he is a clear upgrade over Giambi and he has a good defensive reputation.
          However, Swisher has been great in RF this year. If you can hide Giambi’s bat at first, which we have done in the past, doesn’t that prove that it’s harder to find a good defensive RF than it is an average 1B?

        • Why? How? Please explain.

          Swisher makes more errors than Swish does, sure. But Swish converts balls in play into outs at a high, high rate.

          Tex gets bonus points for the non-UZR aspects of defense, but is that enough to outweigh the big edge that Swish has in UZR? I’m not sure.

          • Tex gets bonus points for the non-UZR aspects of defense, but is that enough to outweigh the big edge that Swish has in UZR? I’m not sure.

            And this is where I think the area gets rather gray. Does Swisher’s range get outdone by Teixeira’s scooping of balls in the dirt and ability to throw well? Subjectively, based on what’s more likely to happen in a game, one could argue that Tex’s skill set/defense could be more of an asset than Swisher’s because the need to scoop throws could come up more often in a game than the need for a rangy play in the OF. That could be terribly wrong, though. I’m just spitballing here.

            • No, you’re absolutely right.

              The reason there is a valid argument that can be made on both sides of the equation is that Tex and Swish both have a portion of defensive value that they do better than the other.

              Swish has better range and gets to more balls COMPARED TO HIS PEERS, which is an important distinction. Tex handles the non-range aspects of his position better than his peers.

              Swish’s position is more range-centric. Tex’s position is less range-centric. It’s definitely a very robust debate. But it is a debate, it’s clearly not Tex in a landslide as some would have you believe, because they are both good defenders in their own very different ways.

          • Tank Foster says:

            I think Tex is more valuable because the fractional importance of 1b is greater than corner OF. UZR in a sense is comparing people to like-positions, and it may not be a valid number for comparing between positions, in terms of overall defensive contributions. Also, corner INfield positions are far more susceptible to quirky vagaries in defense analysis, as they are dependent on the range of the middle infielders and the handedness of the pitching staff and its ground ball tendencies.

            Swisher is a capable outfielder – he’s a good outfielder. I think Teixeira is an exceptionally good 1b. At the very least, the two are equal relative to their peers, and 1b being more important, gives the edge to Tex.

            • At the very least, the two are equal relative to their peers, and 1b being more important, gives the edge to Tex.

              I think this is where the disagreement arises. The people lending credence to the Swish > Tex idea perhaps tend to think that RF is more important than first base.

              • Tank Foster says:

                Is it the consensus that corner OF is more important than 1b? I thought it was known that 1b was slightly more important than the OF positions.

                My impression of defensive importance has always been:

                1. SS
                2. 2B,C
                3. 3B
                4. 1B
                5. CF
                6. OF corners
                7. P

                • The Defensive Spectrum goes (easiest to hardest):

                  1. DH
                  2. 1B
                  3. LF
                  4. RF
                  5. 3B
                  6. CF
                  7. 2B
                  8. SS
                  9. C
                  10. P

                  And that’s what I’d agree with. I definitely disagree with valuing 1B defense over CF defense as presented in your alignment. IMO, the up the middle positions are the most importantly defensive.

                • Tank Foster says:

                  Your rankings are interesting. I thought, though, that the STATS guys or Bill James or someone actually has studied this issue – the relative importance of the different positions. I don’t remember the results. I’m a gonna look it up.

                • Tank Foster says:

                  I wish we could edit and remove our own posts…..hate to post so much, but some days…

                  Matt, the reason I think your rankings are wrong is that catching fly balls is markedly easier than catching grounders and throwing guys out. Infield positions will always be more important than outfield. The 1b may not get as many grounders as the other 3 positions, but his role in catching every ground ball out also accounts for significant importance in his defensive value.

                  But I don’t know for sure, if on study, you aren’t right about CF being more important than 1b. I would bet you a whole pile of money, though, that 1b is more important defensively than LF or RF is.

              • Bingo. Now we’re venturing into the realm of the philosophical, as I said above:

                But I must make one quibble: “At the very least, the two are equal relative to their peers”.

                I don’t think that point can be conceded. Look at this again:

                Tex at 1B is a +13.7 UZR in 8494.0 innings.
                Swish in RF is a +15.2 in 2503.1 innings.

                UZR is a rate stat, but Career UZR is a counting stat. Mark Teixiera has converted more balls hit to him into outs than his peers, as has Nick Swisher, but it took Tex more innings to reach those career numbers. Essentially, and sort of paradoxically, Swish’s +15.2 is more impressive because it’s in a smaller sample; he needs fewer chances to turn more balls in play into outs than his peers.

                Compare their career UZRs to their career UZR/150s:

                Tex at 1B is a +2.0 UZR/150 in 8494.0 innings.
                Swish in RF is a +7.7 UZR/150 in 2503.1 innings.

                Tex is a solid 1B range-wise, and a great 1B glove-wise. Swish is an excelent RF range-wise, and a solid RF glove-wise.

                I can’t concede yet the notion that they’re equal defensively. Swish may be flat out a better defender than Tex.

                At bare minimum, Swish better than Tex at being better than his peers at making putouts.

                • Tank Foster says:

                  Your whole argument is based around UZR. You and I have no idea what the fidelity of UZR numbers are (ordinal, interval, ratio?), nor do we know even a faint estimate of the measurement error. And yeah, I know, you or someone else will say “well, Tank, it’s the best thing we’ve got, so we’ve got to go with it.”

                  Horse hockey. You have to look at those numbers as being rather loose figures. I could go on and on as to how those differences might be confounded by things which have nothing to do with either player’s defensive ability, but it’s way too boring.

                  I’ll give you props for the circumspect conclusion…not sure I agree with it, but it’s nicely put.

      • That Swish can play 3 defensive positions probably makes him more of a defensive asset, no?

      • steve s says:

        When one can assert that Swish may be more of a defensive asset than Tex is, then it’s time to seriously question the measuring stick.

        • Yeah.. no.

          No, it’s not. When our objective measurements and our subjective anecdotal narratives disagree, it’s almost ALWAYS the narratives and not the measurements that are incorrect.

          If the measuring stick says that Swish is a better defender than Tex, it’s probably right and our previously held idea that Tex is better than Swish is probably wrong.

          • Tank Foster says:

            But one must always hold skepticism for the measuring stick….in this case, tsjc, it’s not even remotely a stick. It’s a whizzing, clanging, flashing, mysterious machine that is like the music engine of a merry-go-round. I wonder how many people who refer to UZR and other defensive metrics understand them, or have taken the time to try to understand them. By “understand them,” I’m talking about looking under the hood and kicking the tires – in other words, looking at the forumula itself. Most people rely on an article by Rob Neyer or someone similar, and assume that if a famous writer quoted the statistic, it must be a valid one. This is the equivalent of, rather than looking under the hood, just watching the TV commercials. So your conclusion, tsjc, isn’t always correct.

            I’m not agreeing with steve s’s conclusion, but I like his thought process.

            • Tank, I love ya, but all of that is a strawman.

              UZR has been around for a while. It’s refined and fairly settled. This is not some risky financial derivative invented by AIG two years ago out of thin air.

              • Tank Foster says:

                No, it isn’t a straw man, not remotely. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been around. It has a fancy name and number attached to it, but it it’s root, it depends on the subjective evaluation of “stringers” watching baseball games. They make crude distinctions in how hard balls are hit (hard, medium, slow), and have to just “judge” (with their own eyes, mind you), whether they thought a ball was catchable, etc. And even if the the observations were unassailable, they still account for things like ground ball tendencies in very approximated ways.

                No, there are very good reasons to doubt UZR. Now, do I mean to suggest that the number is meaningless? No.

                But can anyone say that the difference between a UZR of 4 and 6 is the same as the difference between a 9 and 11? No way. Nor even whether the difference between 3 and 7 is significant…there are no confidence intervals in any of these numbers, so people assume that decimal point differences mean something. There is error in any kind of measurement, and even if you completely accept the theory and methodology, taking results at face value without regard to error is just stupid.

                I’m telling you, some people are just thick headed about some of these stats.

          • steve s says:

            Well you did leave an out by saying “almost ALWAYS”. In this case the subjective perception is so one-sided (and not a stretch to say approaching universal in favor of Tex; I don’t think we need a Harris Poll on that one) that the measuring stick is, in this case, what we should objectively be questioning.

            • But that’s only because Tex is Tex and Swish is Swish.

              There’s more of a lionization of Tex as a great defender because there’s more of a lionization of Tex as a great player. Swish doesn’t have a brand name, so people haven’t started praising his defense yet like they have with Tex.

              Defensive acclaim is often the caboose of offensive accolades. We notice who hits well, and then start examining who defends well of the people who hit well.

              Tex has a headstart.

              • steve s says:

                I like your caboose notion (I think Mantle may have been a good example of a player benefitting from that kind of halo effect) but I just don’t see it applying to Swish (maybe if he had some great physical attributes like a cannon of an arm or great speed but he just doesn’t bring that kind of talent to the table).

    • There’s definitely an argument to be made to this point. While neither is a defense first position, one could easily argue that RF defense is more important than 1B defense.

  10. MatyRuggz says:

    I don’t think there’s an argument about whether Swish or Teix is the better player, obviously. Teixiera is the Yanks’ best 1b since Mattingly in his prime (no offense to Tino fans) and we stole Swish for a bag of magic beans (or Betamits if you prefer). I personally fall in the camp that prefers OBP to batting avg. and Swish is definetly my kind of player. Not to overvalue one above average player over other superstars, but its Nick Swisher more than any other player that makes this team stand out from other Yankee teams over the past half decade. He personifies the resurgence in the on-base mentality for this Yankees offense and its guys like him that have helped the Yanks to stay loose and shed that bland corporate image.

  11. [...] For your reading pleasure, the guys at RAB have a great comparison of two Yankees offensively – I love when they do this kind of stuff Click Here [...]

  12. jsbrendog says:

    so does nick swisher get a teixeira like contract when his is up if hek eeps this up?

    no…and why not?

    • Swisher’s contract is incredibly team friendly. $6.75 MM next year then an $9MM option for ’11.

      • jsbrendog says:

        this doesn’t answer my question at all and isn’t even remotely related.

        the question was if nick swisher keeps this up, would he get a teixeira like contract when his contract ends.

        i know it doesnt end for 2 mroe years. therefore the if he keeps this up.

        • No, I know. I just wanted to point it out. I say he gets the option picked up and we’ll see how he does in 2011. After that, they could elect to go year to year. Unless they extend him before the contract is up–which I’d expect to be somewhere between $10-12MM AAV–I don’t know if Swish is gonna get a long term deal.

          • jsbrendog says:

            right i understand. im just saying. if he can keep up his 129 ops+ of this year for the next 2 years and keep up this type of offense doesn’t that, at 31, warrant a deal that will be, at least on the money side, similar to teix’s?

            • I don’t think he’d ever get that type of money. If he keeps going at a 129 OPS+ clip, I could see him breaking into the $13-15MM range, though.

            • MatyRuggz says:

              Swisher isn’t going to get Teixiera money because despite his huge OBP and OPS+ rating, he falls victim to supply and demand economics. Teixiera’s combination of his potent bat and slick defense (by historical ratings or reputation, you pick) makes him arguebly the 2nd best 1b in the game. He was coming off a series of impressive offensive campaigns and was clearly the best position player on the free agent market. Add in the bidding war fueled by the Yankees-Red Sucks rivalry and BOOM! 180 mil.

              Swisher, on the other hand, falls victim to those economics as an outfielder (primarily). There are many more outfielders that could put up Swish’s production (albeit with fewer walks) that 1Bs that can consistently put up MVP-caliber seasons (Puljos and Morneau in addition to Teix). Plus, there is the batting avg. prejudice that many baseball people still grasp at that would keep the competition for Swisher’s services down.

              If he maintains his current production, Swisher is in line for double-diget salaries over his next contract. But it is unimaginable to think that his next contract could approach Teixiera’s in length or value.

    • alex gonzalez says:

      no, not as good a hitter, not as good a defender, not a brand name like Tex is. if he get a big contract like tex’s that would be absolutely insane. maybe rivaling the vernon wells contract by the end. if it was 8 years it would be almost as bad as arod’s contract. it is a money sinkhole.

      • jsbrendog says:

        no, not as good a hitter

        right, i forgot, you don’t believe in statistics. did you read this post? 80 games, half a season, only difference is swisher walks more and ks more. yes his average is lower but he also has a lower babip which could mean that eventually it will even out.

        not as good a defender

        sigh, this argument is already going on above and it is one from my vantage you have already ost for lack of good points and evidence. your ideas are based on opinion and “your eyes”

        not a brand name like Tex is

        fair point. but why not? couldn’t he be? plus his defensive versatility would increase his value over someone anchored to one position. If I had to choose and the offensive stats were this similar over a longer term I woud rather have the guy who can play 1b/rf/lf/cf in an emergency then the guy anchored to 1b like a prisoner to a ball and chain

        if he get a big contract like tex’s that would be absolutely insane

        and if he keeps up this type of hitting for the next 2yrs at hsi current contract (that is on an even keel with teixeira offensively) then why the hell not? he will be 31 ocming off 3 years of this monster offensive output. Matt holliday is 30 right now correct?

        maybe rivaling the vernon wells contract by the end.

        any contract can tunr out that way. nick swisher>>>>>>>vernon wells. look it up. book it.

        • alex gonzalez says:

          so you would want swisher when his is 38? guys who always have low batting averages but draw walks typically dont age the greatest once they start losing a bit of their power. let me put the defense thing like this. tex is known for better defense than swisher in the general market. maybe not the statheads but the rest of people view him as better. he was traded for wilson betemit. now you would want to be paying him 25 million when he is 38 if he puts up a couple good more years.

    • No, and because of these reasons:

      Despite Swish’s current great season, he’s still “only” a 115 OPS+ guy. Tex is a 135 OPS+ guy. Tex is also more consistently good and has a far higher peak (this will be his 5th season with an OPS+ of 130 or higher). That’s a big discrepancy. Swish is an underrated, solid hitter good enough to be your #2 or #5 guy. Tex is a legit #3/#4. 3/4 guys get mammoth deals, 2/5 guys don’t.

      And, Tex is only 7 months older than Swish. Swish will be hitting free agency much older and with a less impressive offensive track record.

      Swish’s great defense and versatility isn’t enough to close those big gaps. But, Swish is absolutely worth a 10-14M AAV deal in a few years.

    • TT says:

      I hope this is a joke

  13. pete says:

    The big difference, though, is HRs. 20-30 HRs a year is great, when combined w/ an OBP of .370+ or so, but an off year could put him (a moderately high K, low avg. guy) at around .330 with 21 hrs. That’s a good no. 7/8 hitter, but not much more. Tex is lower k (i think) and higher avg, to go along w/ higher hrs. if he has an off year his obp will still probably be around .350, and he’ll still hit about 30 hrs. That’s at worst a no. 5 hitter. The defensive debate is intriguing, though, because both players’ strong sides are what most players at those positions are weaker at – for tex its his throwing that really sets him apart from other 1Bs, in my opinion, which I think, based on absolutely no hard evidence, essentially makes up for his below average range. Swisher, on the other hand, has good range for RF, because most RFs don’t have great range. Swisher doesn’t have a great throwing arm though, which makes him seem worse than most RFs. I would argue, however, that his lack of arm does not take much away from his good range (for a RF), and though i still have no empirical evidence (laziness), I feel much more secure in saying that range for OF is much more important than arm strength. As for who is the better player, I think Tex has more talent, which is more commonly manifested in hrs and hits (avg.) and glove “slickness” and arm, but Swisher’s overall value to the yankees is, I think about equal to tex’s. That being said, his upside is lower (30 hrs, .380 obp vs. 40 hrs, .400 obp, and tex can be great in the field some years whereas swish has never really been better than good), and his downside is much lower. There is a lot more risk in Swisher because of his raw talent being lower, thus he’ll never get the same kind of contract that tex got.
    thanks for reading

  14. [...] Teixeira versus Swisher September 11, 2009, 2:01 pm Mike over at RAB has a nice read out regarding the power of the Yankee offense. To open the article, he puts forth an offensive [...]

  15. RCK says:

    There are Yankees fans who hate Nick Swisher?! Do they also hate Xmas and puppy dogs?

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