Look, I know that I beat the “subject” of JD Drew into the ground, but I believe it is of baseball importance to do so.
But I just can’t get past the thought of some, and by some, I mean Rob Neyer and crew, advocating that JD Drew may become enshrined into Cooperstown, beside Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, among others.
Seriously, this debate has crossed my mind numerous times ever since I discovered the career ‘WAR’ numbers.
And those numbers suggest that Drew has an outside chance at gaining A LOT of support by the Sabermetric crew. And that crew is generally very smart, in that they tend to rely on evidence and what they believe in, the numbers.
However, if JD Drew accumulates, say, 3.0 ‘WAR’ a season, on average, for the next six years. Then he will end up with about 62 total wins. And that, my friends, is McGwire and Raines territory.
Now, with much evidence against Drew’s body actually holding up as he ages, we of course do not know if he will be able to average 3.0 ‘WAR’. Or for that matter, even be able to play another six seasons of 120-130 games a season.
And even if he plays, it is far from certain that he can average a 3.0 ‘WAR,’ although it is far from out of the question too.
But the fact is, Drew has 44 ‘Wins above replacement’ at this point in his career. That is a fact.
Now, less factual of course, is what that actually means. Many, including myself, feel it does mean a heck of a lot. And that number suggests that Drew has probably been underrated by many throughout his actual career, rather than his theoretical career. And by “theoretical,” I am referring to the one that many envisioned him as having. You know, 40 bombs a year, .3oo average, plate discipline that rivals the best to ever play, good defense, sufficient arm, etc, etc, etc.
But Drew didn’t turn out like that. He turned out to be a guy that does have some of the best plate discipline in the game, however probably not historically great — although that is not a fact by any means. He hits 20-25 homers, and doesn’t bat .300. Of course, his defense is well above-average at a corner spot in the outfield.
Many stat-guys might actually think more of him than I though. Because, well, the subjective is not present. Even from an expert standpoint, one cannot expect too many games to be seen for each team. It is is just too difficult to do. So my subjective nature will inherit somewhat different of an opinion. I see the guy day in and day out. I see that, although he is good, he simply is not great. In my opinion anyway.
But of course, saying “I see him every day” amongst the statistical community is merely unlocking a door to mockery. Because as I fully understand, seeing a player every day doesn’t really matter much when comparing all players. And for that reason, my preference would be to adhere to the statistics.
But I JUST CAN”T do it in this particular case, not if those statistics are going to tell me the Hall of Fame should be calling. No way.
And is it really so wrong, to let my subjective do some of the arguing? Is it wrong? No, because that is what makes this game so much fun. The game outside the game. Some use the “game within the game,” as being what makes baseball so intriguing and complex. And that too is important to the sport’s greatness. But the game outside of the game has meaning to me. And to me that means what goes on outside the lines. The debating at the “water cooler,” or in my case the beverage station. And even more so, much more so actually, the debating that happens in between my web cam and my mouse. If that makes any sense…
So I don’t think Drew is a great player. Maybe a few years of greatness, but nothing of historical sense. And nothing even close to being Cooperstown quality.
And know this, I am not using this as an argument for Drew based on Andre Dawson and Jim Rice. Because they are in, so be it. If Drew were compared to only the lowest, his case becomes more compelling. But my standards have nothing to do with Rice. He shouldn’t be in, not in my opinion anyway.
This however, has everything to do with what kind of Hall of Fame I believe in. And it should consist of only great players. I guess it is unrealistic to completely stray away from comparing candidates to those that are enshrined. But, and there should be a large period at the end of this next statement: A player must be great to be inducted, PERIOD.
So excuse me if I don’t believe in Drew’s greatness.
Anyhow, we know he won’t gain votes from the Jayson Stark’s of the world. We know Buster Olney doesn’t think much of JD. And in this sense, the RF is underrated. But, but, there will be guys checking the box next to the name of this fragile outfielder.
And that I cannot say I agree with.
Not at all.
But two “pieces” on this subject have probably exhausted the “subject” already 🙂