Who’s Better- Revised- Astros in the Outfield
One of the goals at LarryTheGM is to help you be smarter sports fans by understanding what you are seeing. In the original version of this comparison on September 7th (link) between Meyers and McCormick, I made several points
Meyers’s performance in his first 96 PA was unsustainable given his BABIP. I predicted a drop of 50-100 points for his average (59), OBP (27), Slug (83)
That both players needed to walk more- Meyers has (3.1% to 6.5%) and McCormick hasn’t (7.5% to 7.0%). Both still need to walk more.
That both players needed strikeout less- Meyers has incrementally (32.3% to 30.9%) and McCormick hasn’t (31.7% to 32.1%). Both still need to strikeout less.
That time would tell on the defensive metrics. Given Meyer has appeared in 41% of the games of McCormick, his defensive WAR being 50% of McCormick mean that what our eyes tell us is probably true. Meyers is probably a little better defensively, but the gap is not huge.
The Meyers mania at the time was so rabid that I did not even mention their names until the end of the article.
The xwOBA numbers are now statistically the same, and I think this reflects the reality. These two players are almost even in talent, and both are above average (wRC+ 107/108). The Astros have two OFs that almost NO ONE was saying were viable major league prospects this spring. Both are young and a core support player on a championship team.
I would compare both to Josh Reddick. Let’s compare Reddick’s age 24 (first significant playing time) and age 25 seasons to Meyers and McCormick now.
There may be other better comparisons, but I wanted you to get a sense of what you are seeing. Both seem to play with that same all-out energy too. Adding two young Reddicks to this outfield is a good thing. Having Age 24 (2011) to Age 30 (2017) Reddick in this OF would be fun.
My primary advice holds Astros fans.
“Again, let’s enjoy watching both of these rookies take the league by storm and figure this out in October and beyond.”
I know it was a buzzkill to hear Meyers was not the All-Star immediately upon arrival that some on #AstrosTwitter said he was. Again, I am here to make you a smarter sports fan; even if you don’t like it sometimes.
All stats from Fangraphs.com