Originally Posted by mace
I'm not looking for a protracted statistical battle, but the comparisons of Francisco to Wily Mo have become so frequent that I think it warrants a comment. I can see the ease of the obvious comparison, as young, free-swinging home run hitters. But I really don't think it holds up beyond the superficial similarities.
I know that it's fashionable to pooh-pooh RBIs, but I don't happen to subscribe to that. I think there IS a profile of a good RBI guy, and basically it boils down to total bases. Francisco seems to have that gift, and always has. As a minor-leaguer, Pena had one remarkable season in Dayton, but beyond that didn't show near the consistency that Francisco has. Francisco has improved his slugging percentage every single year in the minor leagues, as he has moved up. Pena didn't do that. Francisco has batted about 20 points higher than Pena in the minor leagues. Francisco doesn't strike out as much as Pena did. And finally, for all the questions about his glove, Francisco still has more defensive value than Wily Mo.
He's just a better player all-around, it seems to me.
I could probably find a lot of statistical reasons why the comparison is valid, but you said you'd rather avoid that, so I'll just counter with the subjective portion.
I'm not sure it's prudent to argue anyone that doesn't even have a true position defensively has more defensive value. Heck, Francisco has had just 20 chances in his MLB defensive career and made 2 errors already. That's a huge old sample size issue, but it does nothing to inspire any sort of confidence.
He plays a more premium defensive position than did Pena, but if he's not any good at it, it actually makes him less valuable because the position would give up more runs with a bad defender than the OF positions would do.