After reading Jerry Crasnick’s article, I felt the need to point that out.
In the NL, the average left fielder hit .277/.359/.478 in 2006. In the AL it was .280/.347/.449.
Pat Burrell hit .258/.388/.502 this season and .281/.389/.504 in 2005. The guy posts an .890 OPS. That’s very good. It’s comfortably above average for a left fielder. His OPS was 21st in the NL this year. That’s better than Scott Rolen, Todd Helton, or Nomar Garciaparra. Not far behind Alfonso Soriano or Carlos Delgado.
"But Tim!" you’ll say. "He can’t hit in the clutch!" Yes, I acknowledge that Burrell hit just .222/.376/.346 with runners in scoring position. That’s a 153 AB sample. It means nothing. Just one year earlier Burrell hit .313./.429/.598 with runners in scoring position.
This is a solid 5-6 win player. He may not age well and he’s certainly not worth his salary, but he’s still a good hitter. Better than most free agents on the market.
Oh, and while I’m on my soapbox – Daisuke Matsuzaka doesn’t throw the gyroball. We have established this. Prior to March 13, 2006, it was OK to speculate that perhaps Matsuzaka threw this pitch. It seemed that way kind of. But eight months ago, Jeff Passan blew the lid on the whole thing. Sportswriters should know this by now! I’ve read two articles in the past two days claiming he throws this pitch.