Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Wishing Upon a Semi-Star

It looks as if the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks are in the running to make a trade with the New York Mets for CF Mike Cameron.

Hey, maybe I'm just dumb, but isn't this what the Brian Sabean should be trying to do? With the Three Aged Amigos in the outfield, and with the only possible upgrade at this point being CF where Marquis Grissom patrols, why isn't this move being considered? Cameron is so obviously better than Grissom defensively that it hurts, and offensively...well, why don't we have a peek?

Mike Cameron, 2004 (career): .231(.248)/.319(.340)/.479(.440), 30 HR, 22 SB
Marquis Grissom, 2004 (career): .279 (.273)/.323(.319)/.450(.417), 22 HR, 3 SB

We can see a few things easily just with the surface numbers, and that is that Cameron trumps Grissom in the areas of walks, power, and baserunning -- Grissom used to be Cameron's equal on the basepaths, but after 16 years of major league baseball, the steal is no longer a part of Grissom's baserunning game (although I definitely wouldn't call Grip slow). Grissom is much better at getting hits than Cameron is, which obviously has value at certain times, but Cameron is on base just as much as Grissom despite the difference in batting average -- showing just how bad Grissom is at drawing walks.

So, I give Cameron a small edge offensively at this point, but let's dig a little deeper into the numbers:

Cameron, 2004 (career): 1 strikeout every 3.45 AB's (3.61), 0.57 g/f ratio (0.83)
Grissom, 2004: 1 strikeout every 6.77 AB's (6.66), 1.34 g/f ratio (1.40)

Cameron has a definite problem with the strikeout and hits a lot of flyballs, while Grissom is a decent bet to put the ball into play and hits a lot of groundballs. I'll let you decide which you prefer, but Grip grounded into 22 double plays last year, which is simply excruciating to watch. I'll call this part even.

Finally, a look at their OPS vs. left and right-handed pitching over the last three seasons (both are right handed hitters)

Cameron vs. lefties: .812, vs righties: .775
Grissom vs. lefties: .985, vs righties: .717

So Cameron holds his own vs. right handed pitchers, which is good for a full-time player. Grissom? While he is a lefty-killer, righties give him a lot of difficulty. At this stage of his career, Grissom would really be best suited as a platoon player, not an everyday player.

Overall, I give a small edge to Cameron on the offensive side of things, as I like his on-base skills and extra pop over Grissom, not to mention his speed advantage on the bases. I wouldn't blame Sabean, however, if he decided Cameron's small offensive advantage was not worth the extra millions he'd have to dish out to Cameron in 2005. However, when coupled with the large defensive advantage Cameron would lend, I think acquiring Cameron would've been a very smart move.

Besides, Cameron is only 32 years old, and...oh, THAT'S why Sabean isn't going after Cameron -- he's just a baby!

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