Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lineup Solutions: Luke Scott vs. Hideki Matsui

As the Oriole offense stumbles along, solutions and Monday morning quarterbacking reign in the world of Twitter. One person wondered how much better the offense would be if Baltimore had not signed Garrett Atkins, traded Luke Scott and signed Hideki Matsui instead.

We pretty much agreed on Atkins so the debate became Scott vs. Matsui as primary DH heading into 2010.

Here's some background numbers:

Salary for 2010:

Luke Scott: $4.05 mil
Hideki Matsui: $6.00 mil

Slash Lines for last 3 Seasons:

Scott .257/.342/.486
Matsui .284/.368/.479

ISO for Last 3 Seasons:

Scott .230
Matsui .196

Below are graphs showing Scott's and Matsui's monthly OPS compared to their averages over that span to demonstrate their "streakiness". First, here's Scott:

And here's Matsui's:

Scott's Standard Deviation: .206
Matsui's Standard Deviation: .146

So, Matsui is a slightly more well-rounded hitter, getting more out of his batting averge than Scott. He also is less streaky but his Standard Deviation is only 60 points of OPS deviation different than Scott. Not sure it's that significant but it's a point in his favor.

Scott is just as patient, has more power, is cheaper, younger and can still play the field. (Matsui is an absolute butcher in the outfield; Scott is, at his worst, adequate.

Going into 2010, you could point to Matsui as the slightly better all-around bat but he loses in every other category. Matsui may be the better hitter but Scott is a better ballplayer.

While Scott's streakiness is maddening, he's also a very good bet to turn it around before the end of the season. I would still assume that Scott will give the O's more in terms of WAR that Matsui gives the Angels by season's end. (ZIPS projections for the rest of the season seem to back this up with Scott projected to OPS .788 the rest of the way.)

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