Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Melky Cabrera Comps Part II: The Legend Of Don Money

Yesterday I looked at the 25 players since 1950 that share common numbers with Melky Cabrera (2000+ PA's, 80-89 OPS+ through their age 25 season). Specifically I was hoping to find players that posted an OPS+ of 120 or higher at age 26 and was able to carry that success over into their age 27 season. I didn't find a one. Ed Kranepool and Steve Sax were the only two to post the required OPS+ at 26 but neither used that season as a springboard to greatness - Kranepool was no longer a full time player and Sax returned to being a light hitting middle infielder.

I decided to go back and take another look at the players from a different angle. I'll share their career OPS+ through their age 25 season again and then how they fared at 26 and 27. I was also going to look at their 28+ numbers but decided not to. I mean, we really don't care what Cabrera does when he's 28 or older, right?

Player < 25 26 27
Jose Lopez 89 69 46
Jose Oquendo 89 85 88
Steve Sax 89 137 87
Ron Hansen 89 115 90
Don Money 88 114 120
Ed Kranepool 88 124 110
Luis Castillo 87 95 106
Rick Manning 87 89 89
Bill Russell 87 52 85
Kurt Stillwell 86 89 62
Bill Mazeroski 86 80 91
Leo Cardenas 85 115 93
Glenn Hubbard 84 95 75
Jerry Remy 84 85 88
Juan Uribe 83 73 74
Brian McRae 83 88 108
Juan Pierre 82 107 84
Aurelio Rodriguez 82 60 86
Tony Taylor 82 86 102
Corey Patterson 81 94 80
Derrel Thomas 81 91 74
Bucky Dent 80 72 57
Dalton Jones 80 89 94
Mike Hershberger 80 91 90
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used

If I had set the OPS+ minimum lower yesterday Kranepool and Sax would have been joined by four other players, one of which gives hope that Cabrera can repeat his performance. Hansen, Cardenas and Pierre joined Sax in returning to normal but Don Money improved dramatically. From ages 27-31 Money had a 120 OPS+ and was named an All Star four times, twice receiving MVP votes.

Now the difference between Cabrera and Money is that Money did have an above average season on his resume before turning 26. In 1970 at age 23 he posted a 122 OPS+ but he was pretty much useless offensively his other three seasons.
Year Age BA OBP SLG OPS+
1969 22 .229 .296 .327 76
1971 24 .223 .276 .358 79
1972 25 .222 .278 .343 75
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table

Heading into the 1973 season I wonder if honestly believed that Money was about to turn into a legitimate All Star? I seriously doubt it.

Much like I doubt anyone saw Cabrera's 2011 performance coming. Will he regress or will he repeat? Unless Dayton Moore throws us a curveball and goes all in on Lorenzo Cain we'll find out next year.

2 comments:

DougP said...

Just my opinion but I say we go all in on Cain. I know he isn't really a proven commodity but either is Melky?

Jeff Parker said...

I'm okay with that. I've heard rumors that one of them will be dealt this winter and it would make more sense to keep Cain, in my opinion.