Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pence vs. Swisher

Joel Sherman asked this morning (perhaps rhetorically):

When execs tell me #Astros want killer package for Pence, I wonder this: How much better is he than Swisher. Aren't both 6th-place hitters on good team. And would you give up killer package for Swisher?

Let's answer Sherman's question!

Pence: 28 years old, 672 games, lifetime .291/.339/.481, 515K:192BB, 118 OPS+
Swisher: 30 years old, 1000 games, lifetime .253/.359/.464, 875K:554BB, 116 OPS+

So Pence is younger, OPS is about the same, Pence has better AVG. Swisher has a higher OBP, less SLG.

In 2010-11:
Pence: .297/.339/.471, 123 OPS+, 185K:65BB
Swisher: .277/.362/.478, 125 OPS+, 208K:112BB

The question is: Who would you build a team around? A 28-year old hitter with a high AVG and SLG, who has been doing so with virtually no protection in the lineup, or a 30-year old hitter who plays marginal defense with a ton of protection.

I'll be honest, I thought this was a ridiculous question. But they're fairly similar players. Pence is from Texas, though, so he can automatically be trusted.