Another Note On J.D. Drew

I just can’t seem to quit these Red Sox. One of these days I’ll get around to writing about the Yanks again. But right now, the Sox are having the more interesting off-season.

Just wanted to direct your attention to the always excellent The House That Dewey Built, on which there is an interesting piece comparing J.D. Drew to Manny Ramirez from 2004-2006. Want to guess who certain advanced metrics point to as the more valuable player during that period?

37 comments… add one
  • This is why cherry-picked statistical analysis is idiotic. Who in their right minds would rather have JD Drew than Manny Ramirez from 2004-2006?
    JD Drew is good, but we’ve seen what he can do when he’s not injured. All he is, at best, uninjured, is an above-average outfielder.
    What a terrible article.

    Anonymous December 2, 2006, 4:18 pm
  • wait, isn’t this the same “cherry picked” statistic that eveyone pointed to when picking their MVP this year?
    JD Drew, if healthy, is every bit as good as any other alternative out there.
    Sox fans need to get over themselves on this one, and shut the hell up. If he flops, it’s not on your head, but Theo’s.
    Let it go, idiots.
    People would rather do everything they could do to continue being a Ramirez stalker (that’s what I call people who love someone but isn’t loved back, all the while following their every move) than go with Theo on this one. There has to be some reason they are so infatuated with him. They know more than we do about him, so if it happens, let’s give it a shot.
    I hate these fans, on either side of the aisle, they’re never happy with what’s going on.
    It’s like they didn’t see Aaron Small win ten games –
    My own personal feeling is that if Manny isn’t traded, he will spend half the year on the DL to spite the Sox – he’ll be our Carl Pavano just to be a jerk.
    Sorry. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.:)

    Brad December 2, 2006, 4:35 pm
  • I don’t know. He made his case that JD might be better than Manny better than you made yours that he is “at best, uninjured, above average.”
    Why don’t you elaborate and have at that one?

    Anonymous December 2, 2006, 4:35 pm
  • All he is, at best, uninjured, is an above-average outfielder.
    Well, what the hell is Manny Ramirez? A great hitter, and a average (at best) fielder. Drew is a great hitter, and a great fielder.
    Last I checked, it’s not everyday a team has the chance to sign a nice young above average outfielder. Would you have been happier with, say, Gary Matthews bat in the lineup?
    Holy cow.

    Brad December 2, 2006, 4:38 pm
  • what? i don’t understand what you’re asking?

    Brad December 2, 2006, 4:39 pm
  • I was addressing the first comment.

    Anonymous December 2, 2006, 4:40 pm
  • I stand by my own prediction – If Drew plays all year, and let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that the guy is injury prone (see the HBP scenarios), his production combined with better defense is better or equal to that of Trot or Manny.
    Stats don’t lie, as much as your heart wants them to. Just ask Derek Jeter haters.

    Brad December 2, 2006, 4:41 pm
  • Let me clear something up:
    I’m in no way supporting the idea that Drew is better than Manny offensively. But, I do buy into the theory that a run saved is just as good as a run earned, and here is where Drew is just as, if not more, valueable.
    There are only two players in all of baseball (A-Rod and Sir Albert) that can be compared to ManRam at the plate. We’re not getting one of those guys, so what is there to cry about.
    The Red Sox, along with a lot of fans, have absolutely no desire to feel the way they felt at the end of last season watching Manny’s knee and attitue problem rear it’s ugly head.
    If they get the best they can – it’s JD Drew.
    Why cry over it and shoot it down before you even see it happen. It’s like I’m dealing with a group of Yankee fans here hoping for disaster so they can say “I told them not to do it” or “I never wanted him”
    It’s friggin crazy.
    What’s your alternative?

    Brad December 2, 2006, 4:47 pm
  • Well…I don’t think Ramirez will spend half a season on the DL just to spite anyone. I’m not sure about this, but I would imagine that if a player refuses to play…the team may be able to shred his contract. This is just a feeling of mine, but I believe that for him to spend time on the DL collecting his paycheck, he needs to have some sort of confirmable medical reason. At the very least, Boston could probably raise a legal stink if he keeps saying “my knee hurts” and refuses to play. Further, I’d be shocked if he’d ever do something like that…he may hate living in Boston, but there’s no indication he hates his teammates. And refusing to play would really hurt them.
    Oh, and of course his production will be better then Nixon’s. Trot’s got worse injury issues and is an inferior all-around player. I mean Drew’s last injury came when he got nailed on the wrist by a pitch. Trot sprained his bicep swinging the bat…I love the guy, but it’s time to move on.

    desturbd1 December 2, 2006, 4:51 pm
  • Finally, some sense.
    I don’t think Manny will spend half the season either, but what has given you any indication that he gives two shats about the Boston Red Sox?
    My guess is that if Manny doesn’t want to play, he won’t. Not that he’ll miss half the season, but maybe he sits or takes himself out of games that he normally wouldn’t.
    Whatever, I don’t want to speculate Manny intention, but I do know that I do not want the Red Sox to pass on Drew. If they have a valid chance to get him, they better do it.

    Brad December 2, 2006, 4:59 pm
  • “I don’t think Manny will spend half the season either, but what has given you any indication that he gives two shats about the Boston Red Sox?”
    Well…what’s given you any indication that he cares less then he used to? All we really have to go on is the “Boston’s being more aggresive then usual in shopping him” and Schilling’s saying something like, “Manny’s a kid at heart, and he’s a great person. But for whatever reason, he really doesn’t feel comfortable playing here. That hasn’t hurt his numbers in the past, and I’m just speculating, but maybe the feeling is that he might not be mentally there this season if he’s still around.” Not a direct quote, but close enough.
    He cared enough in 2005 to put up great numbers, and until the end of 2006, he did the same. Since the criticism of Manny has always been, “he’s a distraction, but he isn’t a clubhouse cancer,” I just don’t get the feeling that he’d intentionally screw the team and its fans, no matter how unhappy he might be.
    And regardless of what happens with Manny…I still want JD Drew.

    desturbd1 December 2, 2006, 5:07 pm
  • Okay, desturbd. I can see both sides of this arguement, but since it’s all specualtion on what Manny does or does not care about or play for, let’s just stop it.
    I’m just getting really tired of the shit with him is all. I like my Variteks and Timlins. Manny just doesn’t fit that mold, so I’m tired of hearing about him.

    Brad December 2, 2006, 5:11 pm
  • Agreed. I usually just sort of tune it out while the season’s going, and the only reason I bother speculating in the offseason is because of the trade possibilities. I mean no attitude issues = no trade talks.

    desturbd1 December 2, 2006, 5:14 pm
  • Yeah, I’m just torn on the issue. Do I want a better chance to win with Manny, or do I want a decent chance to win with someone else?
    Manny obviously can’t be replaced, but like last year, if the team is going to lose, I’d rather it be with guys who are affected by the losing. I just don’t get that with ManRam anymore.
    I want a team without this kind of crap rumors and issues every year. Every time Manny steps up with the stuff, and offering a list of teams he’s willing to play for that he’d enjoy more, I lose a little bit of it for him. If he wants to go that bad, send him. That’s all I’m saying here.
    Nothing would please me more than Manny saying he wanted to stay, but it won’t happen.
    After watching Manny sit the all-star game, then the whole thing at the end of the year when the Red Sox and Ortiz really needed him to play, he was a no show.
    I went to a game at the end of the year when I saw him doing warm-ups and running around with Tavarez doing sprints, and then wasn’t in the lineup because his knee bothered him. They lost, and there was only like ten games left in the season. This kind of thing rubs me the wrong way everytime, and I know it shouldn’t buy maybe I’m spoiled a bit and don’t understand the premadonna attitute with some players.

    Brad December 2, 2006, 5:24 pm
  • Best case scenario is having both Drew and Manny, but then where would Wily Mo play? I’d hate to use him as trade bait or leave him rotting as a 4th OF for yet another year. He deserves a chance to show us what he can do playing every day.
    And I don’t consider making him the CF and trading Coco an option. That’d be selling low on Coco and probably wouldn’t net us much in return. Plus, I want to see what Coco can do sans finger injury too.

    mouse December 2, 2006, 5:47 pm
  • yeah, it’s a terrible problem to have:)

    Brad December 2, 2006, 5:52 pm
  • A few other interesting notes about JD Drew. He batted .296 against righties and .244 against lefties last year. His best BA for a month came in SEPT/OCT with a .317 BA. With two outs he batted .289 against lefties and .317 against righties. With RISP he batted .301 v. righties and .286 against lefties with 10 doubles, 4 triples, 3 home runs, and 74 RBI in 148 at bats. 75% of his RBI totals came with RISP. He also had 18 RBI in 15 at bats with the bases loaded. Sounds like the guy can produce when the situation calls for it.
    After some initial scepticism, I have decided that I am more pro-Drew than anti-Drew now and it’s nice to see some bloggers come forth and provide some concrete evidence as to why the media is composed of morons who still continue to do their part in swaying our opinions in the direction they desire. Lets sign the guy and see what he can do. Excellent Job, House that Dewey Built.

    Dave December 2, 2006, 6:22 pm
  • I was on the fence about Drew, as well (thus the post entitled “On the Fence”), and have come around to supporting him also. WARP1 is no a “cherry-picked” stat, it is a stat that incorporates offensive and defensive metrics, adjusts for park factors and compares to the league average. If anything, it’s THE stat the parts of which are cherry-picked to make individual cases.
    I am particularly disturbed how the EEIdiots, Dirt Dogs and others have blindly followed the “Drew’s a pansy who can’t take the heat” meme with no evidence whatsoever of that being the case. Even the injuries seem overrated — chronic knee tendinitis fixed by surgery in 2003 and not a factor since, and a HBP in 2005.
    At the cost he reportedly will get — 4 years, $56M, he’ll be making $1M a year more than Damon despite being a better fielder, a better hitter and younger.

    Paul SF December 2, 2006, 7:18 pm
  • “…There has to be some reason they are so infatuated with him. They know more than we do about him, so if it happens, let’s give it a shot….”
    …dammit brad, i’m not picking on you, but this is why you guys get accused of drinking theo’s koolaid…you have every right to question this move or not…as an informed fan you know as much as theo what might work or the sox…ok, so you’re not privy to the inside mechanics of the financials, payroll implications, and other such “GM stuff”, but of course you can make a call on whether you think a player is a good pickup or not…don’t sell yourself short on that one…you do a lot of homework on this stuff and it shows…but i have to disagree with you on manny’s fielding…i’ve said this before, but manny plays the wall as well as anyone, has a better than average arm, and usually hustles…his occasional bizarre error, or not running out a ground ball, tends to stand out more than it should…and i never thought i’d defend manny’s character, but if we need to assassinate it in order to justify getting drew, that’s bs…like i said last night, just because he’s got one foot out the door, no need to kick him in the butt…when it was suggested a couple of months ago that he might be a distraction to the team, the sf hyporcrite mob climbed all over me…what gives?…change of heart?…i’ll buy that…

    dc December 2, 2006, 8:02 pm
  • paul, you wouldn’t have been talking about damon like that a year or 2 ago…he was the heart and soul of your team…i understand the same loyalty’s not there, but to denigrate the guy to justify the jd drew pickup is bogus…when these guys are on your team you’ll turn stats inside out to defend them, but let’em leave and look out…

    dc December 2, 2006, 8:06 pm
  • What? Paul didn’t denigrate anyone. JD Drew is a better hitter and he’s younger…as for his fielding, both rate pretty highly in terms of range, while I don’t need to tell you who has the better throwing arm. And in this market, even Johnny Damon’s contract is a bargain. So that makes Drew’s $14-15MM look even better. Health and character are Drew’s only possible negatives, and if you believe in the “HBP injuries don’t count” philosophy…well, that leaves character.
    And I don’t think it’s unfair to Manny to bring up that we tolerate his ‘issues’ as part of a defense for signing Drew. What we’ve heard about Drew’s personality is entirely based on media reports by people trying to attack him after he leaves their team…some SF’s aren’t even willing to give him a chance. What I’m saying is, we tolerate Manny’s antics even though we know pretty much what’s happening is largely his doing. It makes no sense then to turn around and say, “Some people question Drew’s character. We don’t want him.” This isn’t Barry Bonds or Milton Bradley here…

    desturbd1 December 2, 2006, 8:36 pm
  • “…And I don’t think it’s unfair to Manny to bring up that we tolerate his ‘issues’ as part of a defense for signing Drew…”….if you had been here a couple of months ago d-1, you’d know what i meant…manny had no issues, was no distraction, and everybody loved him, including his teammates…i was clobbered for suggesting otherwise…that’s ok, you don’t have that context…so drew is the apparent “replacement” for damon…[move over coco]…go ahead and put drew in damon’s lead off spot, or any spot to be fair, then let me know how you feel by all-star break…

    dc December 2, 2006, 8:58 pm
  • Fair enough, you’re right…I wasn’t hear for Manny’s Defense. If I was…I’d have said, “Yes, he’s probably a distraction, but mostly because the media keeps talking about it even while typically acknowledging that he isn’t really misbehaving in the clubhouse. It’s a pain in the ass to keep hearing about it, but whatever…blame the press.”
    And I wasn’t trying to argue that Drew is Damon’s replacement per say…they play different positions and have different jobs in the lineup. They’re only comparable because of the money involved and the age of the players. I will say that since we don’t really know for sure what kind of CF Drew could play, it probably isn’t fair to just say “he’s better defensively.” But if you compare them to their peers, I think Drew looks like the better fielder. What I meant before was that Drew ranks high in range compared to other RF; Damon’s range is, comparatively speaking, just as good against other CF. But while Damon’s arm is awful compared to anyone…Drew has a cannon over there in right. So I would argue that he’s probably better at his job in the field.
    As for offense…different spots in the lineup, but I’m a big OPS fan…and Drew wins hands-down. In fact, even if he did, for some strange reason, lead off…Drew’s OBP is better. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say he’s also the better hitter. And I also don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Drew’s getting paid only $1MM more per year is a bargain. If you think Damon will be better next year, that’s fine…but many of us don’t, and the numbers seem to back us up. Assuming health, of course.

    desturbd1 December 2, 2006, 9:27 pm
  • Wowza. So Drew is actually more valuable than Manny Ramirez? You people have really been drinking the kool-aid.
    Let me put it this way. If you asked any fan who would you rather have on the team for 2007, Manny Ramirez or JD Drew, they would say Manny Ramirez every single time. Unless that fan’s team was about to trade Manny and sign JD Drew, so they’re trying to make the best of the situation.
    And no, Brad, VORP was the stat people were looking at when determining MVP. Offensive production over league average at that position. Certainly a better indicator for ‘value’ than what this stat is using. JD Drew more valuable than Manny Ramirez from 2004-2006…oh my god, I still can’t believe people actually buy into that.

    Andrew December 2, 2006, 10:24 pm
  • Defense happens, Andrew. Manny is awful at it and Drew is quite good. According to a somewhat dependable measure, defense more than closes the offensive gap between Manny and Drew. It’s surprising to me, but causing me to question my own evaluation methods and not WARP1.

    Anonymous December 2, 2006, 10:46 pm
  • “Let me put it this way. If you asked any fan who would you rather have on the team for 2007, Manny Ramirez or JD Drew, they would say Manny Ramirez every single time.”
    Right…because we all have great respect for the “average” fan. Yes, WEEI makes me quite confident in the intellect of the masses. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ashamed of SF’s…it’s just that most casual baseball fans don’t really know as much about the game as they think they do. SF’s and YF’s at least know all the names of the guys on their rosters, and many of the guys in their farms…which is more then I can say about the fanbases from many other teams.
    I trust WARP1 to a certain extend…though there are questions about how much the Monster screws with fielding metrics. For all I know, Manny could be getting shortchanged…but there’s no way that metric is so far off that the two are as differently valued as you’d have us believe. Maybe Drew hasn’t been more valuable then Manny Ramirez…but at a minimum, WARP1 shows us that it’s been close; and that’s a reflection of just how good an all-around player Drew’s been since he got healthy.

    desturbd1 December 2, 2006, 11:06 pm
  • …andrew, don’t be so shocked that the spin now is that drew is manny’s equal…last year they said coco was going to make everyone forget about damon…next thing you know we’ll be hearing that the latest incarnation of el guapo will be the answer to the closer problem…same old song, different names…players are gods when they wear the red socks, but become mere mortals [or less] when they leave the team…

    dc December 2, 2006, 11:49 pm
  • YFs are missing the point. This is not Manny vs Drew. This is rationality vs. the crazy anti-Drew nutjobs that have been running aroiund the radio and newspapers in the last two weeks.
    Drew cannot replace Manny’s bat, but he is an elite ballplayer, and at $14M a year in this market, a pretty good bargain at that. Manny’s defense brings his overall value closer to Drew’s. That’s not really disputable.
    YFs are looking at this the same way EEIdiots and BDD are — as if Drew will replace Manny. He won’t. Drew is replacing Nixon, which is a significant upgrade. What happens with Manny is something we’ll have to wait and see…

    Paul SF December 3, 2006, 12:36 am
  • What part of me saying ” I now way think that Drew is Manny’s equivalent” didn’t come through.
    DC, while I graciously accept your praise of my Sox talk, I disagree with the sentiment. I don’t know Drew. All I know is his numbers and how he was injured. I did all the research I could think of on the issue, and those are my conclusions. If the Red Sox must sign another outfielder, he’s the guy I want right now. I’ve been wrong here before (Renteria), but I don’t know now, and I didn’t know then. It takes a special person to play in Boston, and I’m just saying that Theo probably knows something I don’t on Drew. I’m not drinking the kool-aid. Every poster here can tell you that I’ve questioned everying from not getting Abreu to starting Paps. I’m am just as critical of the FO as anyone, but I think in this situation, they may be right. Rid themselves of one player who causes them headaches and my be a potential problem and pick up another good (statistically, anyhow) player to take his spot. No, he’s not a better player, but then again, no one is. Get what you can, while you can. I’ve always said it, and I always will.
    Of course I have some kind of man-love for ManRam, but I can’t let that get in the way of the bigger picture.
    Also, let’s not let Coco’s injury blind us to what he did the year before. He’s a great player, who should round back into form again this year. There’s no reason to think that he’s not going to be as good as we thought, and if there is, I’d like to hear it.
    Now, if you’ll pardon me – someone more interesting (no offense) is telling me I have to get to sleep.
    Later guys.

    Brad December 3, 2006, 12:59 am
  • Here’s what gets it done for me: Could a full season of Pena + Drew provide as much offense as Trot + Manny? I think it will at least be close, though Trot obviously drags Manny down a bit, as much as I love the guy.

    Quo December 3, 2006, 1:25 am
  • Wily Mo’s .150 BA when behind in the count coupled with a .250 BA, 21 hits and 27 RBI in 82 at bats with RISP v. Manny’s .290 BA when behind in the count and .350 BA, 40 hits, 10 home runs, and 68 RBI with RISP in 124 at bats suggests that JD Drew will have to make up a lot of ground in that pairing, unless Wily Mo can figure out a way to lay off a curveball.
    However, the most intriguing player on the team is still Pena. What he can do with a full season at the plate remains to be seen. He also had to deal with that wrist injury last year. Not to mention his previous two seasons he battled quad injuries if I can recall.
    Trot’s paltry .394 slugging average shouldn’t be too hard to make up considering Pena and Drew both slugged at a .498 clip last season. Of course Manny slugged .600. Ok, I’m done rambling.

    Dave December 3, 2006, 1:48 am
  • Umm…can’t Boston also just have Manny and Drew? I’m pretty sure this isn’t necessarily a one-or-the-other thing here…
    Anyway I still say Drew has nothing to do with whether or not we should trade Manny; he’s filling Boston’s need for a legit 5-hitter, and that’s it. The Manny-deal is a different matter altogether; Sully at The House That Dewey Built compared them just to prove a point about how valuable Drew could be.

    desturbd1 December 3, 2006, 1:58 am
  • Ahem…let me rephrase…Boston should sign Drew no matter what else happens with Manny, simply because he’s a great RF and we need his bat. But this should never be a, “Can Drew overcome the loss of Manny” question. That’s what I meant…

    desturbd1 December 3, 2006, 2:00 am
  • brad, you also said this: “…If Drew plays all year, and let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that the guy is injury prone (see the HBP scenarios), his production combined with better defense is better or equal to that of Trot or Manny….”, and then you said this: “…But, I do buy into the theory that a run saved is just as good as a run earned, and here is where Drew is just as, if not more, valueable [than manny]….”, along with the comment that drew is not manny’s equivalent, so i hope you understand how i was confused about how you really felt about the 2 players….it’s still not clear to me…
    d-1, i mentioned the same “keep manny, get drew” scenario too…but for some reason we keep seeing them linked, as if they can’t be mutually exclusive transactions…that’s why my sf fans will have to pardon me while i respond to the inevitable manny v. drew comparisons, most of which they’ve initiated or reported someone else making…in any event, if one plan is to trade manny and go with an outfield of coco, wilymo, and drew, acquiring some pitching and other needs for manny’s value, that’s not so bad…i’m in the keep manny camp, so an outfield that includes him will always trouble a yf who has seem him kill our team year in and year out…

    dc December 3, 2006, 10:24 am
  • Some of this may be a rehash, but I have been held captive on an island all weekend so here goes:
    Myth: Drew, if signed, replaces Manny.
    Reality: Drew, if signed, replaces Trot Nixon. And part of WMP.
    Myth: Drew is “injury-prone”.
    Reality: Drew IS injury-prone. Just not “recurring oblique strain” prone, or “torn labrum” prone. He’s primarily “injured by thrown ball” prone.
    Myth: The Sox should have signed Johnny Damon if they were going to sign Drew at more money.
    Reality: Totally different markets. Drew at the numbers discussed, compared to the one-year wonder of Gary Matthews, is a good deal. Johnny Damon is, and should be, dead to us. As a possibile Red Sox, that is.
    Myth: Sox fans are “drinking the Kool-Aid”.
    Reality: Sox fans realize there are limited options through free agency, and are excited that the Sox have taken one of the higher-upside options. I, for one, acknowledge the risk. Does that mean I can’t be excited about what Drew might do on the field? That makes me a “Kool-Aid drinker”? Please.

    SF December 3, 2006, 12:29 pm
  • sf, agree with most of what you said but:
    myth: sox are better off without damon
    myth: you guys don’t drink the kool-aid, you bathe in it
    the only reality that matters: sox will start strong, but alas finish 3rd again this year

    dc December 3, 2006, 2:10 pm
  • Dave, those numbers on Wily Mo are interesting but hardly useful, considering the sample size in play when you look at how a part-time hitter perrforms in specific counts.
    Wily Mo had a whopping 150 PAs in which the count went to two strikes. He hit a miserable .187 — which may tell us a little about his being overanxious when the count gets away from him, but tells us little else, considering even David Ortiz hit .211 with two strikes and Manny Ramirez hit .221.

    Paul SF December 3, 2006, 2:38 pm

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