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Statistical Comparisons between Tony Gwynn & Joe Morgan

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Offline  Statistical Comparisons between Tony Gwynn & Joe Morgan
#1

Posted: May 31, 2012, 4:24 PM Post
Posts: 2907
Joe Morgan and Tony Gwynn have very similar OBP's, and identical 132 OPS+ scores, but they had very different ways of getting there:

Tony Gwynn's career BA of .338 is the highest in MLB history of anyone who played their entire career in an integrated league.... his career OBP was .388 which means he didn't walk much (an average of 52 Walks per 162 games)

Joe Morgan's career BA of .271 is nothing special until you realize that he had a career OBP of .392 which means he walked a ton (an average of 114 Walks per 162 games)

Tony Gwynn was a pretty good base-stealer earlier in his career, he stole 56 in 1987 and 40 2 years later, but Joe Morgan was a superior base-stealer who averaged twice as many steals per 162 games as Gwynn (42 to 21)

Morgan had a much steeper decline in terms of batting average and OBP, whereas Gwynn's only year under .300 was his rookie year, but Gwynn had a pretty drastic base-running/stealing decline halfway through his career

Morgan hit way more HR's (268 to 135) but Gwynn hit more doubles (543 to 449). Gwynn was much better in the post-season and especially the World Series (Gwynn hit .371/.436 in the World Series)

Morgan had a much higher WAR because he played Gold Glove 2B whereas Gwynn played pretty good OF, but this comparison is mean to compare their offensive value only

I suppose you could say that since they had identical OBP's and Morgan had more HR power and twice as many stolen bases, Morgan was a more valuable offensive player, and yet I still value Gwynn more in terms of offensive production than Morgan....

Maybe it is because, with the game on the line I'd want Gwynn up at the plate getting singles and more doubles than needing Morgan to walk and steal a base.... logic tells me I shouldn't value that .338 BA so much and yet I still do

When looking at their Total Bases: Gwynn averaged 283 Total Bases per 162 games whereas Morgan averaged 242 Total Bases per 162 games... but when you factor in Total Bases plus Walks plus Steals it looks like this:

Gwynn 283 TB + 52 BB + 21 Steals = 356 Total per 162 games
Morgan 242 TB + 114 BB + 42 Steals = 398 Total per 162 games

And yet I still value Gwynn more.... I guess I could point to Gwynn's .847 career OPS vs Morgan's .819 career OPS and say that is why... but that is not really it....

I keep coming back to: Tony Gwynn's .338 career batting average is the highest in MLB history among players who played their entire career in an integrated league

Who do you rate higher (in terms of offense) and why?

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Offline  Re: Statistical Comparisons between Tony Gwynn & Joe Morgan
#2

Posted: May 31, 2012, 7:24 PM Post
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3 & 2, I almost posted in your Loretta thread that I love these kinds of discussions/threads.

I'd go with Gwynn for an entire career, but I'd definitely take Morgan's peak.


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Offline  Re: Statistical Comparisons between Tony Gwynn & Joe Morgan
#3

Posted: July 14, 2012, 1:58 PM Post
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3and2Fastball said:
Maybe it is because, with the game on the line I'd want Gwynn up at the plate getting singles and more doubles than needing Morgan to walk and steal a base.... logic tells me I shouldn't value that .338 BA so much and yet I still do


Well, a hit IS better than a walk, so if two players have an identical OBP, it makes sense to value the one with a higher batting average, as long as the difference in power isn't too great. Even then, it seems like 3TO players are mistake hitters who flourish against bad pitchers. When a pitcher misses his spot, he either walks the guy or gives up a dinger, while when he makes his pitches, the guy strikes out. They have a harder time fouling off good pitches in order to get their pitch or even making good contact on a pitcher's pitch. Generally, guys with high batting averages but lower walk rates are better at this skill, and are more valuable when trying to drive in runs late in the game against a good relief pitcher.


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Offline  Re: Statistical Comparisons between Tony Gwynn & Joe Morgan
#4

Posted: July 30, 2012, 2:36 PM Post
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I agree that if you want a particular batter to drive a run in, you want the high BA guy. What teams are looking for are more runs in general, though. As such, they care want the batter that adds the most runs scored at the team level.

As for the theory that 3TO doing better against bad pitchers than the average batter, I don't buy it.


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Offline  Re: Statistical Comparisons between Tony Gwynn & Joe Morgan
#5

Posted: August 04, 2016, 7:02 AM Post
Posts: 4
I think it has already been stated, but I'll pile-on. A single is better than a walk, as a single can and often does advance other runners more than 1 base, AND a hit normally will advance runners on 2nd and/or 3rd when 1B is open whereas a walk will not. Not to mention not all hits are the same HR>3B>2B>1B.

OPS is a better measure than OBP, but even OPS has it's flaws.


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Offline  Re: Statistical Comparisons between Tony Gwynn & Joe Morgan
#6

Posted: August 04, 2016, 11:53 AM Post
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It depends on how much you're trying to include. OPS covers a lot. It doesn't give enough weight to OBP, but that's not necessarily a fatal flaw. It's frequently a good stat for a quick glance, and it works well as a scoreboard stat.

OBP obviously omits power. SLG omits walks. BA omits both. I think BA/OBP/SLG looked at together can give a nice picture without having to bother to find an advanced stat.

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Offline  Re: Statistical Comparisons between Tony Gwynn & Joe Morgan
#7

Posted: October 05, 2016, 6:23 PM Post
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I always found it ironic that Joe Morgan, who hated all things money ball and saber, is pretty much the prototype for the kind of player advanced analytics would have loved.


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