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Wednesday, August 11, 2004


2004 - AVG/OBP/SLG
Player X - 250/355/364
Player Y - 251/340/362

The above two players both play the same position and are putting up very similar lines so far this season. Below are their scouting reports by STATS from ESPN.COM with a few modifications:

X is a line-drive hitter who covers the entire plate with his smooth X swing. He hits the ball where it's pitched and stays back well on breaking balls. It sounds strange to say, but X is one of the best contact hitters in baseball-when he goes after a pitch, he rarely misses it. One of his greatest assets is his batting eye, which enables him to draw a good number of walks and work himself into hitters' counts.

A line-drive hitter with gap power, Y lacks the home-run pop... Yet he's one of the toughest outs…, exhibiting excellent patience and knowledge of the strike zone. Y was the only ABC regular who had more walks than strikeouts last season. He has a quick bat and hits well against both lefthanders and righthanders.

X is one of the best defensive ABC in the majors, and was rewarded with his third Gold Glove last year. He isn't flashy, so his reputation has taken a while to catch up. He simply makes all the plays and makes them look easy. Few are better at scooping low throws, and he catches every foul pop that can be caught. He doesn't have the speed to be any sort of factor on the bases, but he knows his limitations and hardly ever makes a poor gamble.

Y's greatest asset is his defensive work at ABC. He has a superb glove, quick reflexes and gets…to foul balls with quickness that belies his actual running ability. Y’s running speed is average, at best, but he's a heady player who knows when to take the extra base.

Even the two players’ scouting reports from STATS sound the same. They even play the same position first base. Both have been recently acquired by playoff contending clubs.

If you don’t know by now, Player X is John Olerud and Player Y is Doug Mientkiewicz. The two major differences between the players is age, Olerud is 36 and Minky 30, and salary commitments, Olerud is being paid the minimum by the MFY and Minky is owed one-third of his $2.8 million salary in 2004 and $4.2 million due in 2005. Which light hitting defensive wizard at first would you rather have your club?

It’s a no brainer, John Olerud. He costs about $5 million less for a similar level of production. Oh yeah, a guy named Nomah left town in the deal for Minky and the Sox roster already consisted of Millar, McCarty, and Ortiz. How many first baseman does a team need?


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