There have always been great debates in baseball. There was actually a pop song a decade or so ago that featured Willie, Mick and the Duke. Then it was Jeter against Nomar. We love these kinds of comparisons. A new one hasn't really gotten rolling yet because in many ways, the two participants are overlooked. Well, they win awards and finish high up on MVP votes, but you don't see much about them in the mainstream press. They are Ryan Zimmerman versus Evan Longoria. The questions are: 1. Which is better? and 2. Which would you rather have?
Let's look at the comparisons:
Age: Zimmerman - 26 (until September), Longoria: 25 (until October).
Both bat and throw right-handed. Longoria is 6'2" and 210 pounds. Zimmerman is 6'3" and 228 pounds.
WAR the last three years (according to Fangraphs): Longoria: 5.4, 7.3, 6.9 (total 19.6). Zimmerman: 2.6, 6.7, 7.2 (total 16.5). The last two years: Longoria (14.2) versus Zimmerman (13.9). You can't get much closer than that.
Zimmerman (2010) Range Runs Above Average = 15.0, UZR = 13.9, Fielding Percentage = .961, Hands = 89, Arm Strength/Accuracy = 78/61. Fangraphs final score = 13.9.
Longoria (2010) Range Runs Above Average = 8.7, UZR = 11.1, Fielding Percentage = .967, Hands = 90, Arm Strength/Accuracy = 84/91. Fangraphs final score = 11.1
Really too close to call, right?
Walk Percentage: Zimmerman - 11.4%, Longoria - 10.9%
Strikeout Percentage: Zimmerman - 18.6%, Longoria - 21.6%
wOBA: Zimmerman - .389, Longoria - .376
OPS (2010): Zimmernan - .898, Longoria - .879
ISO (2010): Zimmerman - .204, Longoria - .213
Total Bases (2010) Zimmerman - 268, Longoria - 291
Line Drive Perc (2010): Zimmerman - 17.6, Longoria - 19.7
Infield Fly Ball Out (2010): Zimmernan - 7.3%, Longoria - 6.3%
Clutch Rating (2010): Zimmerman - 0.49, Longoria - 0.19
From everything the Fan sees here, these guys could be identitcal twins. And it seems way too close to call. Longoria has had the benefit of being on two post season teams versus Zimmerman with none. Longoria has had little value batting behind him to protect him. Zimmerman had Dunn behind him. Longoria steals more bases and has a home advantage on ground balls with the turf. Even so, the Fan would be hard pressed to pick one over the other. Who would you pick?
Tell the Fan your own scorecard and how you would rate the two. It would be fascinating.