Sunday, January 11, 2009

Player of the Day: Jim Edmonds

Watching the MLB network's Prime 9, they have Jim Edmonds as the 8th greatest center fielder since the year 1900. All of the others on the list, including #9 Kirby Puckett, are in the Hall of Fame or else still playing.

Edmonds, despite playing well for the Cubs last year, does not project very well for 2009. I don't think teams are still considering him as a starting centerfield option. To keep playing he may have to accept a bench role. There is also a chance he gets Loftoned.

But I'm not here to talk about the future. Unlike McGwire, I'm here to talk about the past. One thing that strikes me from the Prime 9 special is how similar Jim was to Duke Snider. They even look alike, Jim could be Duke Snider Jr., for all I know.

Edmonds has not passed the 400 homer mark yet, Snider finished with 407. For their careers, 162 games of Edmonds looks like .284, 32 HR, 99 RBI, and 82 walks. For Snider it's .295, 31, 101, and 73. Snider comes out ahead on OPS+, 140 to 132.

Both played centerfield despite not being big basestealing threats. We've all seen that Edmonds covered plenty of ground in the outfield. It seems like Snider was regarded as a good defender, though nobody would confuse him with Willie Mays. TotalZone rates Snider as above average in Brooklyn, but a bit below average when they went to LA, with a below average arm as well. I don't have the data for his 1949-1952 seasons, and those are when he should have been at his fastest and defensive best. TotalZone has rated Edmonds as generally above average until 2006, and with a tremendous arm. If we had complete data to compare them, I think Edmonds would rate higher defensively than the Duke, and edge a bit into the Duke's offensive advantage.

I think MLB got the order right, and I hope in time it means that Edmonds' HOF plaque rests in the same Hall as Snider's and Puckett's.

19 Comments:

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Jeff said...

Edmonds and The Duke? What about the Murph? Or more interesting perhaps, Ellis Burks?

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger Schruender said...

I have never even considered Jim Edmonds as a Hall of Fame type player, but this is interesting.

Just curious do you know who the other players that were in front of Edmonds and Puckett? I'm assuming that you assumed Griffey is in the Hall.

 
At 5:05 PM, Blogger Chone Smith said...

MLB had them in this order:

1. Mays
2. Cobb
3. Mantle
4. Speaker
5. DiMaggio
6. Griffey
7. the Duke
8. Edmonds
9. Puckett

Griffey will have no trouble making the`hall, he's got the numbers, he's well loved, and he's assumed to be clean, steroids wise.

But somebody will leave him off the ballot, because nothing can be unanimous.

 
At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

Yeah, I think Chone is being optimistic implying that Jimmy will even make it into the Hall. He definitely deserves it, but can see him being snubbed.

I'm actually quite shocked at how well they placed him, wouldn't really expect that. And obviously they left off Negro Leaguers.

I do think all of Bernie, Doby, Wynn, Averill have a case over Kirby though. But not sure on the defensive front with them.

 
At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Aaron B. said...

Rally, where does Eric Davis rank overall in centerfield in your system?

 
At 7:51 PM, Blogger Chone Smith said...

I've got Eric Davis at 33.9 wins for his career, nowhere close to the greats, and short of even the pretend greats, like Jim Rice.

Too many seasons where he missed a lot of time, or played hurt and wasn't as good as he could have been.

But what a player he was in 87. 8.1 wins above replacement, with only 474 AB. The first 2 months of that year he was as good as anyone I've seen, ever. Including Bonds, considering how dominant Davis was in the field and on the bases.

Too bad he couldn't keep it up.

 
At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Aaron B. said...

Thanks for checking for me Rally. Too bad indeed.

 
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At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duke was below average offensively in LA, primarily because of the 440 ft. right field fence at Memorial (tough on a pull-hitting lefty). A skew in the numbers, definitely. Guy was still a great center fielder. There's a reason he was the "Duke of Flatbush" in Brooklyn.

 
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