Troy Tulowitzki vs. Hanley Ramirez

28 01 2011

Posted by Brady

Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of MLB Network. And for those of you who do not have MLB Network, they are currently running a 10 part series called “Top 1o Right Now”. They go through all nine positions on the baseball diamond, and manager, to determine who the best is right now. And while most of the positions should be pretty easy to figure out (Pujols, Mauer, Longoria, Cano, blah, blah, blah) I got to thinking about the shortstop position. And for my money, it comes down to two players. Troy Tulowitzki and Hanley Ramirez. The difficult thing about deciding who the better player is how much weight you put on different aspects of the game. Especially with players this similar.

There is a reason Troy Tulowitzki has a Gold Glove, and Hanley Ramirez doesn't. We might as well be comparing Derek Jeter to Ozzie Smith.

Both Tulowitzki and Ramirez are middle of the order hitting shortstops with power oozing out of them. For their careers their ISO is virtually the same. Tulowitzki at .205 and Ramirez at .207.  Not only do they have virtually the same amount of power, they strike out at similar rates. 18.1% for Ramirez. 19.1% for Tulowitzki.

One however could make a case that Ramirez is very lucky, having never posted a BABIP under .327. His career mark is a spit-take inducing .347. Tulowitzki’s .319 mark seems paltry by comparison.  Keeping in mind that Ramirez is doing this in Sun Life Stadium.

Park Factors have that at a 105 (above 100 favors hitters, under 100  favors pitchers) and Tulowitzki is putting on his clinic at Coors Field, which comes in at 115!

This seems to be one time where Coors Field  comes into play. When it comes to OPS+ (which adjusts for ballparks) Troy Tulowitzki comes in at 114. Though, over the last two years he’s put up an OPS+ of 134. Compared to Hanley Ramirez’s 135 career mark, and 136 over the last two years.

I just find it AMAZING that Hanley Ramirez is a short stop. His bat plays anywhere. Stick him at first, and leave him there. Forever.

Since these are both shortstops, we would be hapless to not mention defensive contributions. There is a reason Troy Tulowitzki has a Gold Glove, and Hanley Ramirez doesn’t. We might as well be comparing Derek Jeter to Ozzie Smith. Tulowitzki has given Colorado 20.4 UZR and Hanley Ramirez has given Florida -39.3 UZR. As a former middle infielder, that makes me cry. Ramirez has negative marks in every advanced defensive metric imaginable. Where as Tulowitzki has positive marks in them all, except RngR (Range Runs Above Average). He has a career mark of -3.2. Hanley Ramirez? -24.6. That means that he has to almost go to the left when the ball goes to his right. I just find it AMAZING that Hanley Ramirez is a short stop. His bat plays anywhere. Stick him at first, and leave him there. Forever.

Doing this research just cemented what I already believed. Troy Tulowitzki is the best short stop in baseball. He may hit less away, but who doesn’t?

If I am the head of an expansion team, I am doing everything I can to get Troy Tulowitzki at my short stop position. And leaving Hanley Ramirez in a galaxy far, far away.




4 responses

30 01 2011
Ryan Kennedy

I don’t think you can use BABIP as a luck measurer for hitters the same way you can for pitchers. In virtually every pitcher BABIP can fluctuate wildly but will usually be in the .300 range for a career. There are wacky years but its difficult to find pitchers who can constantly post low BABIP’s. Hitters though especially good hitters can and should post very high BABIP’s for there career’s. Jeter is at like .357 for his career over 9000’s ab’s, I think luck should even itself out in that many ab’s. BABIP for a hitter if its not a one year anomoly usually just means that the hitter is good.

30 01 2011

Well, I agree on the fact that BABIP can’t be used in the same context for both hitters and pitchers, and I agree that it fluctuates for some people based on other factors(i.e. Austin Jackson’s high K rate made his BABIP high). But I draw the line at good hitters should post high BABIPs, and the fact that you said that it means the hitter is good if he has a high BABIP. That is absolutely wrong. That means that they are lucky, lucky, lucky guys or it means that they don’t make contact that much, but when they do, it means it’s a hit. Check out the following guy’s BABIP. Chase Utley’s .314 is below the league .333, and he’s been good. If you agree with me on the fact that Mark Teixeira is at least a pretty good hitter, his .304 BABIP goes against your philosophy. BABIP makes guys look like good hitters, however it really just means that either A) they really are good hitters if their line drive rate is high or B) they got lucky.

30 01 2011
Troy Tulowitzki vs. Hanley Ramirez « Pine Tar and Pocket Protectors | Bat Pine Tar

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31 01 2011
Ryan Kennedy

BABIP should be around .300 citing .314 and .304 as bad BABIP’s is crazy. There in line with what you’d expect given there career avg’s. A high BABIP for one year or two can be a good way to sight luck but to say that a guy has been lucky over 3000’s ab’s like Hanley is a joke. Jeter’s is .357 over a 9000 ab span and we’re gonna site him as lucky. Luck doesn’t fall the same way for 15 seasons. Is there some fluctuation yes but its all on the right side of .300. Wild Variance in BABIP is what makes it a useful stat, thats why it works so well for pitchers, because its hard to find guys who can produce low BABIP’s year in year out. I agree that there is a degree of luck in a hit falling or not but I believe that it evens out over the course of a career (with some help/hurt from ballparks). I’d suggest Austin Jackson’s BABIP is high mostly because of his LD rate which I’d wager he won’t be able to duplicate. I understand that the k’s keep him from putting balls into play which helps his BABIP but he doesn’t walk so he still registered a very high number of ab’s to counteract his k’s. I just can’t see suggesting that Ichiro, Jeter, Pujols have had lucky careers because of there BABIP. I think its an anamoly if there is a big discrepency between the actual avg and the BABIP but Pujols/Tex/Chase/Ichiro/Hanley/Jeter all have somewhere around a 30 point difference in there BABIP amnd avg. AJax has a 100 point difference and its driven by a linedrive rate of 27%….league avg is 20%. Hanley isn’t lucky he’s just good, Tulo is good also but I think its fair to say batting avg isn’t what makes Tulo, Tex or Chase stand out as hitters the same way it has for other guys like jeter, ichiro and Hanley.

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