Smells Like Pujols is a regular feature for baseball season, in which I compare current rookie position players to the awesome ROY season turned in by Albert Pujols in 2001. I am blatantly abusing the Similarity Scores measurement by turning it into an absolute measure of comparison in which Albert is a fixed point that all others aspire to. In my method, a rook on a hot streak can actually exceed Albert’s fixed score of 1000, but it’s usually temporary. If you want to know how the spankin’ new pitchers are doing, please read Mr. Thursday’s companion piece GoodEnough for Me, in which Doc Gooden’s rookie year sets the standard.
I’ve avoided putting up stats early in the season because I had way, way too many players to monitor, and didn’t really relish the idea of typing numbers in a table all day. As of this week, however, I’ve decided that the leaderboard will only display contenders who are above the 700 point barrier. Establishing a cutoff point allows me to put up tables of fairly reasonable size, and we don’t have to watch Gordon or Kouzmanoff suck pond water in the process. So, here’s a look at our top group of rookies, using stats from Baseball Reference:
Rookie Cutoff=130 AB
|Tony Gwynn, Jr.||MIL||28||36||6||15||1||1||0||6||6||5||4||.417||.500||954|
|Chris B. Young||AZ||36||136||19||35||9||0||6||18||7||21||5||.257||.456||797|
|Tony Pena, Jr.||KC||41||144||15||36||3||5||0||12||6||29||3||.250||.340||725|
The obvious disparity right now comes in the area of at-bats. In the Similarity Scores concept, a full 75 at-bats equals one point of difference. Some of these guys haven’t even had 75 ABs total this season, but they are not penalized very heavily for it. So Gwynn, Jr. and Hunter Pence are probably ranked a tad high, but I’m sticking with my system, secure in the knowledge that the remainder of the season will most likely sort out any statistical anomalies over time.
We’ll keep an eye on these guys, but right now it’s the Scion of Gwynn Manor who smells the most like Pujols.