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Sunday, December 23, 2012

HHS: Nick Swisher: a little bit Roberto Clemente, a little bit Von Hayes

Needless to say…I will not be printing this out and taking it to my neighborhood Five-For-Uno Bar.

Three folks from the 1st list don’t show up on this one: Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson both just finished their Age 31 seasons, so they have no stats for Age 32 onward. Nick Markasis is actually still younger, and so he shouldn’t really even be on the first list.

There are a few guys on this list–Munson, Stone, and Barfield–who played just one more season despite a solid OPS+ through Age 31. Munson died late in his Age 32 season, while Stone’s performance trailed off and he contracted tuberculosis in that final season. Barfield was just done.

Two guys really stick out–Clemente and Beltran both blossomed at Age 31 and actually hit much better in the second half of their careers. Beltran, of course, benefits from having not finished his career yet–we can expect his OPS+ to trail off.

Looking at these 13 guys, their post-31 career average performance is 1,516 plate appearances with a weighted average OPS+ of, you guessed it, 118.

The good news for the Indians is that they can reasonably expect Swisher to maintain his career OPS+ of 118, which is a decline from his recent years but well within reasonable expectation. The bad news is that if he manages only 1,516 plate appearances, he won’t have played all that much on his new 4-year contract.

Repoz Posted: December 23, 2012 at 11:42 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

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   1. Matt Welch Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:28 AM (#4331812)
This is quite a list. Some guys are greats. Some guys are overrated. Some guys are underrated.

And every guy had more career WAR through age 31 (average of 31, median of 27) than Swisher's 17.9!

If you open the OPS+ band a little bit, narrow the search to corner OFs & 1Bmen, and pay attention to WAR, you can build a more useful list of guys like Pat Burrell, Bobby Higginson, Steve Kemp, Jason Thompson, and so on. Not a one of them would be within spitting distance of the Hall of Fame.

   2. J.R. Wolf Posted: December 24, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4331878)
Another long-term contract on a guy over thirty? What are the odds that the team hasn't just acquired an albatross? 30%? 40%?
   3. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: December 24, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4331917)
A little bit Bill Hicks, a little bit Carrot Top.
   4. bjhanke Posted: December 25, 2012 at 06:09 AM (#4332186)
Well, I GUESS you can try to compare Swisher to Clemente, Hayes and Beltran, if you're willing to ignore speed and defense. Note that I said "try", not "succeed." - Brock Hanke

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