September 2, 2002
A's still streaking
The A's just won their 19th game in a row, with a comeback win over the Royals.
Miguel Tejada won the game with a bases loaded single in the bottom of the 8th inning.
And last night Tejada beat the Twins with a 3-run homer in the bottom of the 9th.
Tejada's performance over this streak has got me thinking about whether or not I should re-think my stance on the AL MVP.
As anyone who has read this blog knows, I have always said that Alex Rodriguez is the clear MVP.
But the A's have won 19 in a row and Tejada has been great over that stretch, so has he closed the gap on ARod?
Back on August 15th I wrote an entry where I compared ARod and Tejada.
Here is what I said at the time:
I present to you two players.
The two men both play in the same league.
They both play the same position.
And neither of them has missed a single game this season (which makes any statistical comparison pretty good).
Here are the two players and their projected stats, using their numbers as of today, for 162 games played:
-PLAYER-- AVG. OBP. SLG HR 2B RBI RUN BB SB EqA. RARP ZnRt RngF E
Player X .313 .400 .620 52 31 136 127 84 11 .336 65.2 .917 4.76 7
Player Z .301 .345 .509 36 31 131 103 36 _4 .295 40.2 .815 4.57 22
As you can see, Player X is better than Player Z in every single category, except for one, Doubles, in which they are tied.
Player X is on pace to have an On-base % that is 55 points higher and a Slugging % that is over 100 points higher.
He is on pace to hit 16 more home runs and to draw 50 more walks.
He is on pace to steal almost 3 times as many bases.
He is on pace to score 25 more runs.
He is on pace to hit for a better average and to drive in more runs.
For those of you (like me) interested in the more advanced performance metrics, which account for the differences in home ballpark, etc...
Player X has an Equivalent Average (EqA) that is over 40 points higher.
And he is 25 Runs Over Replacement Position (RARP) ahead of Player Z.
And on defense (the last three categories) he is way ahead in Zone Rating and significantly ahead in Range Factor.
And he is on pace to make 15 less Errors.
So I ask you to look at the performance of the two players and tell me in what possible way Player Z has provided more value to a baseball team than Player X.
Player X is, of course, the MVP of the AL, Alex Rodriguez.
And Player Z is, of course, Miguel Tejada.
So, you get the point, I thought ARod was hands down the clear MVP choice over Tejada.
Has anything changed since then?
Well, since I looked at their projected stats for 162 games played to compare them last time (and neither of them has missed a game since), I should do the same this time:
-SS-- AVG. OBP. SLG HR 2B RBI RUN BB SB EqA. RARP ZnRt RngF E
AROD .316 .403 .643 58 30 144 130 85 10 .340 78.1 .919 4.75 7
MIGI .309 .352 .516 35 33 136 115 34 _6 .301 49.4 .827 4.55 22
Here is what has happened as far as the gap between the two since then in each stat:
AVG - Tejada +.05
OBP - Tejada +.04
SLG - ARod +.16
HR - ARod +7
2B - Tejada +3
RBI - ARod +3
RUNS - Tejada +9
BB - ARod +3
SB - Tejada +3
EqA - Tejada +.02
RARP - ARod +3.7
The defensive stats have basically remained the same.
So what has happened since August 15th?
Well, the A's have won a lot of games in a row and Tejada has gained ground on ARod in several categories, including AVG, OBP, Runs and EqA.
However, ARod extended his lead in several categories as well, including SLG, HRs, RBI and RARP.
So, with all the pub that the A's and Tejada have been getting recently (and rightfully so) ARod still has a very dominant advantage over him in almost every single category.
ARod has a 51 point lead in OBP and a 127 point lead in SLG.
In those two stats (which I believe are the two most important for a hitter), the difference between ARod and Tejada is the same as the difference between Tejada and Chris Gomez.
Which is another way of saying it's a lot.
And ARod is on pace to hit about 23 more HRs than Tejada, drive in about 8 more runs than Tejada and score about 15 more runs than Tejada.
And in the more advanced offensive stats, ARod has a 39 point lead in EqA.
So once again, the difference in EqA between ARod and Tejada is about the same as the difference between Tejada and Shane Halter.
And ARod is still a much better fielder, as he has a significantly higher Zone Rating and Range Factor, to go along with about 1/3 as many errors.
Now I don't want this to become a praise ARod and bash Tejada entry, because that is not what I intended it to be at all.
I think Tejada is a great player and is having an awesome season, it just isn't really all that close to as good as the season Alex Rodriguez is having.
Before all you A's fan out there (you know who you are) email me to complain, let me at least throw Miguel a bone...
The reason that I did the original ARod/Tejada comparison back in the middle of August was that I had gotten a few emails asking why I had not included Tejada on my top 5 AL MVP list that I had done on August 6th.
At this point, I think Tejada has clearly moved into the top 5 AL MVP candidates and in fact I think if the season ended right now, I would vote for him #2.
So he has jumped from not in my top 5 choices to my likely #2 choice.
Not that it will keep me from getting angry emails from A's fans...