Sunday, December 7, 2008

40+, 20+, 90+

I can sort of see why some people look at the 42 doubles, 20 home runs, and 97 rbi's and conclude that Jose Guillen had a good season in 2008. In fact only six players in the American League went 40+, 20+, 90+ in those three categories and the last Royal to do it was Carlos Beltran back in 2002. One thing I didn't realize was that George Brett only did it twice and that caused me to look at Guillen's season in a whole new light. Mike Sweeney also did it twice as did Hal McRae and Jermaine Dye - and in KC history that is it.

Forty years, six players, ten seasons.

Now I'm not suggesting that Guillen was as good as the others because he wasn't as he was the only one to do it and be below league average (96 OPS+). He also had the lowest AVG/OBP/SLG of the ten but still it is actually impressive that he accomplished something that had only been done nine times in franchise history.

Player Year 2Bs HRs RBIs
McRae 1977 54 21 92
Brett 1979 42 23 107
McRae 1982 46 27 133
Brett 1988 42 24 103
Sweeney 1999 44 22 102
Dye 1999 44 27 119
Dye 2000 41 33 118
Sweeney 2001 46 29 99
Beltran 2002 44 29 105
Guillen 2008 42 20 97

Looking at the ten seasons stacked on top of each other (thanks to baseball-reference and its awesome play index) and it becomes easy to see why other people considered 2008 a bad year for Guillen. Here is where Guillen ranked in other stats in the ten seasons above:

  • AVG - 10th
  • OBP - 10th
  • SLG - 10th
  • BB's - 10th
  • K's - 3rd
  • Runs - 10th
  • GiDP - 1st
  • OPS+ - 10th
  • OPS - 10th (by over 100 points!)
Of the 272 times its been done since 1901 only Guillen and Corey Hart (also done in 2008) have an OPS+ below 100 (96 for both, man look at Harts season; .268/.300/.459 45 2Bs, 20 HRs, 91 RBIs, 27/109 BB/K. He and Guillen were almost identical in '08). Only Khalil Greene in 2007 had a worse OBP (.291 in 2007) and nobody but Guillen had a SLG under .450, so yeah the criticism was justified in some instances.

But despite all that I believe Guillen will rebound next year, I know that .264/.300/.438 line screams mediocre but in his last four full seasons before 2008 he was quite good. He OBP'd .353, .338, .352, .359 in those years so I think it's more than possible (and actually very likely) that Guillen puts up something in the .285/.345/.450 neighborhood.

That's not worth 12 million dollars though so I'm sure the critics will still be out in full force in 2009.


  1. So not only is Jose the worst Royal in the club but he is the worst in all of baseball history in the club. Well him and Hart I guess, who I doubt is making half of what Jose makes. My problem with Jose isnt his obp because he was brought here or extra base hits and to drive in runs and he did that. My problem is his attitude. He needs to be traded.

  2. Look those aren't computer calculated made up stats, those were things he actually did. Only 5 other people in the AL did it and yet people still bash on the guy. KC would be crazy to trade him.

  3. Chris - I think you missed the point. I wasn't trying to justify Guillen's contract or even claim he had a good year. Just that I understand why some people think he had a good year.
    That OBP really takes the shine off anything he accomplished.

  4. It's counting. What's wrong with comparing a guy to his peers?

  5. You mean to tell me the Royals are using Coco Crisp and Horacio Ramirez to *complement* an historically bad player? Yikes.