CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Vote in the Internet Baseball Awards for a chance at a free copy of Dollar Sign on the Muscle
Voting ends in 16 days

<< Previous Article
Feature Focus: PECOTA ... (02/13)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: J.J.... (02/06)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: Yoen... (02/20)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Get to Know: Third Bas... (02/13)

February 13, 2014

Tale of the Tape

Evan Longoria vs. David Wright

by Alex Kantecki


In this week’s “Tale of the Tape,” we take a look at a pair of upper-echelon third basemen who have combined for 10 All-Star appearances and 384 home runs, Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria and New York’s David Wright. Longoria, 28, is a former AL Rookie of the Year award winner who once barehanded a foul ball to save the life of a reporter in a commercial for Gillette; Wright, 31, is a seven-time All-Star who once made a barehanded catch in fair territory to rob the Padres’ Brian Giles of a base hit. Both can be found in Mike Gianella’s four-star tier in the battle for next best after Miguel Cabrera, but only one can win this week’s “Tale of the Tape.”

Batting Average
Wright is the owner of a career .301 average. Excluding his rookie debut, the Mets third baseman has provided fantasy owners with a .300-or-better average in seven of nine seasons, including a high of .325 in 2007. Following an injury-plagued year that saw his average sink to a career-worst .254 in 2011, Wright has put up marks of .306 (2012) and .307 (2013). His batted-ball profile is as consistent as they come, and there’s no reason to doubt that another .300 average is coming. The same can’t be said for Longoria, whose batting average has fluctuated from .244 (2011) to .294 (2010). More recently, Longo has recorded averages of .289 (2012) and .269 (2013). Somewhere in-between is where I see Longoria finishing in 2014, but a strikeout increase of almost four percent and a batted-ball profile that included fewer line drives and more fly balls in 2013 could keep him in the .260s. Wright is the easy choice.

Advantage: Wright

On-Base Percentage
Just like his batting average, Wright has been a model of consistency in terms of his on-base percentage. He’s registered a .390 on-base percentage in three separate seasons, including last year, in addition to a .391 mark in 2012. Over the last two seasons, Wright’s on-base percentage is seventh best in baseball, trailing only Joey Votto, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, Joe Mauer, Andrew McCutchen, and Shin-Soo Choo. He rarely chases pitches outside of the strike zone, and his walk rate over the past three years—11.7 percent—is fourth highest among third basemen. On that same list, Longoria’s 11.6 percent walk rate is fifth highest, but his on-base percentage is 25 points lower. Longo’s BB/K rate has decreased in each of the past three seasons, from 0.86 in 2011 to 0.43 in 2013. Although their career walk rates are similar (11.3 percent for Wright, 10.9 percent for Longoria), Wright’s consistency of posting elite OBPs when healthy makes him the clear winner.

Advantage: Wright

Home Runs
After smacking 32 home runs last season, Longoria has tallied 30 homers or more in three out of the last five years, for a total of 135 long balls. Among third basemen, only Miggy and Mark Reynolds have collected more. While we like to associate third base and power, only four reached 30 home runs in 2013, and that number has remained consistent over recent years (four in 2012, three in 2011, three in 2010). Longoria’s ISO hasn’t dipped below .230 in three straight and he remains one of the top targets of power at third. He’s still young enough to rock out one or two more seasons of 30 plus. Wright hasn’t hit 30 since 2008, when he launched a career-high 33. Since then, he’s hit 10, 29, 14, 21, and 18. Citi Field has had its hand in suppressing Wright’s power; the Mets’ home isn’t ideal for right-handed bats, but it has played more favorably since the fences were moved in. He’s averaged 17 since 2011, but that includes 110 games missed due to injury. 18-20 is a safe estimate.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Related Content:  Third Base,  Fantasy,  Evan Longoria,  David Wright

0 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Feature Focus: PECOTA ... (02/13)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: J.J.... (02/06)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: Yoen... (02/20)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Get to Know: Third Bas... (02/13)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Playing a Hinch
The Lineup Card: Awards We Wish We Could Giv...
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: AL Wild Card Game Recap
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NL Wild Card Game Previe...
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: ALDS Preview: Angels vs....
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NL Wild Card Game Recap
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: ALDS Preview: Orioles vs...

MORE FROM FEBRUARY 13, 2014
Point/Counterpoint
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Phillies Sign Burnett,...
Premium Article Skewed Left: Fun with 2014 PECOTA Comparable...
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Catching Up with Catcher News
The BP Wayback Machine: Derek Jeter's Career...
Fantasy Article Get to Know: Third Base Prospects
Feature Focus: PECOTA Weighted Means Spreads...

MORE BY ALEX KANTECKI
2014-03-27 - Fantasy Article My Model Portfolio: The Wright Guys
2014-02-27 - Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: Matt Cain vs. Zack Greinke
2014-02-13 - Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: Evan Longoria vs. David Wr...
2014-01-30 - Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: Jurickson Profar vs. Antho...
2014-01-24 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: The Scars of Garza
2014-01-24 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Balfour Got Back
More...

MORE TALE OF THE TAPE
2014-03-06 - Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: Joe Nathan vs. Sergio Romo
2014-02-27 - Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: Matt Cain vs. Zack Greinke
2014-02-20 - Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: Yoenis Cespedes vs. Wil My...
2014-02-13 - Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: Evan Longoria vs. David Wr...
2014-02-06 - Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: J.J. Hardy vs. Xander Boga...
2014-01-30 - Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: Jurickson Profar vs. Antho...
2014-01-23 - Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: Freddie Freeman vs. Eric H...
More...