Oct 11, 2010

Which One Is Really Better?

No doubt that if you've been watching postseason games between the Giants and Braves you have heard the chants surrounding both of their young stars. Perhaps you've heard Giants fans chanting "Posey's Better" when Jason Heyward came up to bat in San Francisco or "Heyward's Better" when Buster Posey came to bat in Atlanta.

The question regarding which one is truly better, is one that is often debated when two or more baseball fans come together. It will likely be the type of debate that voters will need to settle in order to decide the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year.

Although I have absolutely no say into the matter, I have come upon a decision as to who I think deserves to win the Rookie of the Year award in the National League. That player is....well you will have to keep reading in order to find out.

On his debut on April 4th, Jason Heyward immediately made his presence felt by hitting a home run and driving in 4 rbis. He continued to produce, smashing 6 homers and driving in 19 runs in the first month of his career. The rest of the season was up and down for Heyward but not outside the normal struggles that rookies often encounter in their first year. Despite these few struggles, Heyward finished the season with very good numbers.
  • Jason Heyward
    • 18 Homers
    • 72 Runs Batted In
    • 83 Runs
    • .277 Batting Average
    • .393 On Base Percentage
May 29th was the 2010 debut for Heyward's Rookie of the Year rival Buster Posey. On that day Posey had a very productive game by going 3 for 4 and driving in 3 runs. Over the next month, Posey would only hit 1 homer and drive in 6 RBIs. He didn't let that bother him one bit as he bounced back to hit 7 homers and drive in 24 RBIs during the month of July. Much like Heyward, Posey too finished the season with very good statistics.
  • Buster Posey
    • 18 Homers
    • 67 Runs Batted In
    • 58 Runs
    • .305 Batting Average
    • .357 On Base Percentage
With approximately two months less work in the Major Leagues we could easily state that Posey would win if looking at the type of statistics listed above. But before we can hand Posey the title we need to look a bit deeper.

A factor that many like to look into is home ballpark. As anyone knows AT&T Park has never been a hitters park and as a result Buster Posey statistically hits much better on the road. Jason Heyward on the other hand has extremely similar statistics at home and on the road. Seeing as neither player gets a big advantage from their ballpark, we cannot say that their stats are padded by their ballpark.

One area that I often look at is how many quality pitchers that the batter has been paired up against in the season. I have always felt that by eliminating overall bad pitchers, we can see which player has been an overall better hitter. The stats look as followed:
  • Jason Heyward
    • Faced 15 starters with ERA of 3.70 or below*
    • 86 Total At Bats
    • .244 Total Batting Average
    • 6 Total RBIs
    • 1 Total Home Run
    • 17 Base On Balls
  • Buster Posey
    • Faced 12 starters with ERA of 3.70 or below*
    • 71 Total At Bats
    • .296 Total Batting Average
    • 11 Total RBIs
    • 3 Total Home Runs
    • 7 Base On Balls   
*Minimum of 3 at-bats against a starter with 15+ starts

As you can see, while Jason Heyward showed better patience, Buster Posey seemed to be a better overall hitter.The fact that he managed to bat near .300 against the better National League pitchers is amazing.

So by now you probably know who I am choosing as my 2010 NL Rookie of the Year.

For me it has to be the Baby Faced Assassin.

Buster Posey.

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