On a midsummer night in July of 2001, my little league dreams were shattered. Every all-star dreams of making the trek out to Williamsport and living out their fantasy of playing on ESPN against a team from Asia in the finals. However, a couple of future NBA all-stars discarded my aspirations that fateful night. I was on the team that lost in the district championship to the team Kevin Love and Klay Thompson played on. Looking back on it 18 years later, the question still lingers….who became the better baseball player in the end?
To keep this unbiased, as I am one of the dogs in this fight, I will make my arguments purely statistical in nature.
Baseball Statistical Breakdown
The best way to analyze athletes from a statistical perspective is to give a blind sample. I will provide season by season statistics to help evaluate each player, in the end I will reveal which stats belonged to who. All stats were from seasons in which players were 18+ years old.
Pretty easy decision here. Player 1 stands out the most. It appears that Player 1 may have been a bench player that season. While their at bats were limited, they had a pretty solid on base percentage. Not a bad batting average either. Like they say, if you succeed 3/10 times in baseball you are a hall of famer. How does 3.33/10 look Cooperstown?
Player 1 – 1 pt Player 2 – 0 pts Player 3 – 0 pts
Once again, there is a player that stands out. You would have liked to have seen more from Player 2 and Player 3 in the 2010 season. While the numbers dipped a bit for Player 1 this year, I have to say that it was nice to get, I mean, for them to get more playing time this season. Player 1 also dramatically increased their number of stolen bases this year.
Player 1 – 2 pts Player 2 – 0 pts Player 3 – 0 pts
I hate to sound like a broken record, but wow, more of the same. Player 1 doubled their amount of stolen bases. Player 1 was also able to get their homers totals back up this season. Player 2 and Player 3 struggled at the plate, not even producing a single at bat or plate appearance.
Player 1 – 3 pts Player 2 – 0 pts Player 3 – 0 pts
2012 – 2016
All three players took time off from baseball for five seasons. Maybe it was because they were struggling so mightily with the sport (Player 2 and Player 3)? Maybe they just wanted to be lazy because they graduated college and didn’t feel like being active any more?
2017 – The Return
Wow. Incredible. Five seasons without picking up a bat and Player 1 comes out of the gates with a .321 AVG and .446 OBP. This was probably a wood bat league, so it is incredible to see their numbers at this level after so much time off. While Player 2 and Player 3 matched Player 1 in HR and SB, Player 1 edged out both players in the all important triples category. Another point for Player 1.
Player 1 – 4 pts Player 2 – 0 pts Player 3 – 0 pts
You are only as good as your most recent game. In this case you are only as good as your most recent season. Player 1 was able to get their homerun totals back up to their regular number. While Player 2 and Player 3 remained consistent, it ended up not being enough in the end.
Player 1 – 5 pts Player 2 – 0 pts Player 3 – 0 pts
Blind Reveal – Who is the best baseball player?
Now you may be thinking, it is pretty obvious that one of the NBA champions is the best baseball player currently. Normally I would have to side with you there. However, as we have seen from our statistical breakdown, Player 1 is the runaway winner. The true identity of player one is….