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Monday, April 23, 2007

Mailbag: A-Rod or Pujols?

I have been asked by a few readers recently who the better fantasy player for this year is: Albert Pujols or Alex Rodriguez.

My response:
"Albert Pujols is the better option, by a laughably huge margin. This margin is even greater when comparing them as just baseball players without the whole fantasy aspect. I was quite disturbed when I was watching, I believe it was PTI, a couple of weeks ago, and this exact question was posed. I didn't even really see how it was a legitimate question.

Power Hitting. It could be predicted using Hit Tracker's Just Enough/Plenty/No Doubt method that Alex Rodriguez was due to hit more HRs this year, perhaps even eclipsing 50, but it could also be predicted that Albert Pujols would hit more than the 49 he hit last year, with 55 or perhaps even 60 a reachable goal.
Winner: Pujols

Contact Hitting. Albert Pujols consistently has a 90% Contact Rate, while A-Rod's has dropped from 78% in 2004 to 75% in 2006. A-Rod's Line Drive Percentage was around 15.5% for 2004 and 2005 and reached 18% in 2006. Pujols's average over that span was 18%. Directly related to contact percentage, I feel like Pujols's K rate should be noted. He strikes out in less than 10% of At-Bats. That is amazing considering his power. Both take their fare share of walks (although Pujols takes more) which, using Shandler's system, indicates they are both selective. Pujols's Contact Rate puts him on top.
Winner: Pujols

Patience. We discussed this in the Contact Hitting section. Both take walks; Pujols takes more.
Winner: Pujols

Running. This is an easy one to see. Pujols stole 16 in 2005, but came back down to earth in 2006 with 7. A-Rod stole 28, 21, and 15 in 2004, 2005, and 2006 respectively. He's the clear winner.
Winner: A-Rod

Lineup. Both hit in very good lineups. A-Rod has the likes of Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu, and Jason Giambi helping him out, while Mr. Pujols has Scott Rolen, Chris Duncan, Jim Edmonds, and David Eckstein. You gotta give the edge to A-Rod, although Pujols should have no trouble finding RBIs and Runs being as good as he is.
Winner: A-Rod

Just tallying up the scores make this seem like an even match up (Pujols: 3, A-Rod: 2), but it is not. Pujols should have a much higher Batting Average than A-Rod and probably 10 more HRs. Because of this (and his fantastic on-base ability which is only helped by all of his intentional walks) he will score a ton of runs and have a high number of RBIs. It could be argued that A-Rod will get more, but once these numbers go over 110-115, it really doesn't matter much. The difference between A-Rod and Pujols in Runs and RBIs should be less than 10. A-Rod will grab 5 or 10 more steals, but this is no compensation. Pujols is clearly the better fantasy player, and in the world of baseball where RBIs and Runs actually mean very little, Albert Pujols clearly the better player."

Let your feelings be known about this issue!

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