Posted by MikeT23 on 1/11/2013 8:37:00 AM (view original):
My point is Biggio was a compiler. There's value in that but, as a player, would you take Biggio over Bernie?
Bernie became a full-time player in 1993. He retired before the 2007 season. In those seasons, how many times do you take Biggio over Bernie? I'm obviously biased so I'll let someone else tell me. But, in those 14 seasons, it seems like you'd have to think Biggio was the superior player in at least 8 to even have a case for Biggio-HOFer/Bernie-No way.
I can't think of one season, in his entire career, where I thought "Wow. I'm looking at a future HOFer." Not one.
I'll take you up on this. I haven't looked yet, but I will when I get into the office in a couple hours. I'll just edit this post with an answer.
So, was Biggio better than Williams?
Short answer, yes, but not by a huge amount. I think Williams, along with Lofton, should have received more consideration and it’s a shame they were dropped off the ballot. They’ve been Whitaker’d.
Biggio had a better peak than Williams, a 9+ win season in 1997, where you could argue that Biggio was the best player in the league. In terms of WAR, Williams’ best season would have been Biggio’s fourth. I don’t think you could make the argument that Williams was ever among the top two or three players in the league.
Williams had more value offensively over his shorter career, putting up 125 OPS+. Compared to Biggio, who put up a 112 OPS+. Defensively, Biggio was significantly more valuable. Though Williams won four Gold Gloves, he was about 150 defensive runs below average in center field. Biggio was about 67 runs below average, spending the majority of his career at second base. Biggio also had more value on the bases.
Comparing seasons directly, here are their eight best seasons by WAR, Biggio is better in all except one, their 5th best season, where they tie at 4.9.
Biggio: 9.3, 6.4, 6.2, 5.2, 4.9, 4.4, 4.2, 4.1
Williams: 6.1, 5.3, 5.1, 4.9, 4.9, 4.3, 3.8, 3.0
Career WAR for Biggio: 62.1, Williams: 45.9
Using Jay Jaffe’s JAWS score, Biggio lands at number 14 among second basemen at 51.3, just behind Roberto Alomar and just ahead of Chase Utley. Williams lands at number 27 among center fielders at 40.8, tied with Dale Murphy and just ahead of Brett Butler.
The ten most similar batters to Biggio according to Baseball Reference are: