Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lance Berkman retires

There's no reason to link to any one specific article, seeing as how it's just about everywhere, but Lance Berkman officially retired yesterday.

Just some quick numbers:
Berkman has the 5th-highest career WAR for an Astro position player (B-R version), at 48.1.
Berkman has two of the top eleven seasons in Astros history in terms of WAR (FanGraphs): 2008 (7.6) and 2001 (6.8).
From 2000-2009, Berkman averaged 147 Games Played with a .300/.413/.559 slash line, and was intentionally walked more (130) than he grounded into a double play (110).
Berkman posted an OPS over 1.000 three times in his career, and had an OPS over .950 three other times.
When Berkman started for the Astros through 2009, they were 764-681 .
Berkman's .331 average in 2001 was the 5th-highest in a single season in franchise history.
Berkman's career .296 average with the Astros is the 4th-highest in franchise history.
Berkman's .450 OBP in 2004 was 4th-highest in a single season in franchise history.
Berkman's .410 career OBP for the Astros is the highest in franchise history.
Berkman has three of the top ten single-season SLG in franchise history.
Berkman's career .549 SLG is 2nd-highest in franchise history, nine points ahead of Jeff Bagwell.
Berkman's career .959 OPS is 2nd-highest in franchise history, and is the highest of any Astro with at least 1800 PAs.
Berkman has the 4th-most plate appearances in franchise history.
Berkman's 1648 hits for the Astros are 5th-highest in franchise history.
Berkman's 3053 total bases are 3rd-highest in franchise history.
Berkman's 326 homers are 2nd-most in franchise history.
Berkman is one of three Astros with 1000+ RBI and walks.
Berkman's OPS+ for the Astros is 146, 3rd-highest in franchise history.
Berkman was a six-time All Star, and had four Top-5 MVP finishes, coming in 3rd twice.

Those are cool numbers, and all, and it shows that Berkman is at least the 3rd-best Astros position player in franchise history, maybe 2nd-best if we're only looking at his bat. But it doesn't tell the whole story of Lance Berkman. Berkman was one of the Killer Bs who actually could hit in the postseason. Berkman was the rare cat who actually said interesting and funny things. Along with Roy Oswalt, Berkman's trade helped usher in the rebuilding of the franchise. Yeah, his signing with the Cardinals and Rangers - the two most-hated franchises for Astros fans - hurt, but I was genuinely happy for him when he got his ring.

I'll miss Lance Berkman.


Anonymous said...

Lance was a great player and is a class act. And might be one of the best "natural" hitters I've ever seen.

He's always been one of my favorite players. And I will truly miss watching him play.

If his wheels had been good since '05, there's no telling how great he would have been!

Godspeed, Lance. It's been a pleasure.

--- A Lifelong 'Stros Fan

Lyle said...

He was pretty darn good. Great career.

Anonymous said...

I loved Lance Berkman but Cesar Cedeno and Jimmy Wynn clearly rank ahead of him as best position players in Astros history. Take a look at their WAR numbers if you neither saw either play. Slot Berkman in at #5.

Terence said...

Fangraphs has Berkman with more Career WAR and Astros WAR than both.

Baseball reference has Wynn with slightly more Career WAR but since so much of that came in LA, Lance still has him beat for Astros WAR.BR has Berkman and Cedeno in a dead heat for both. I think it is most fair to put the three in a grouping above everyone else not named Bagwell or Biggio.

I also think there is a fair argument that Berkman is better than Wynn and Cedeno. Berkman was asked to play alot of defense in the outfield when we all know he was truly a first baseman. His value (defense+position) was significantly greater at first than in the outfield. And if Berkman played all his time at first instead of logging 830 starts for the Astros in the outfield before 2007, maybe his knees and health hold up much better and He is still playing first base for the Astros.