Posted by Andy on August 21, 2010
Through 500 career games, Mark Reynolds and Mike Schmidt have remarkably similar career numbers.
Reynolds had a line of .250/.336/.495 with 108 HR, 316 RBI, 220 BB, and 675 K.
Schmidt had a line of .252/.372/.507 with 108 HR, 301 RBI, 302 BB, and 503 K.
So is Reynolds going to be a Hall of Fame third baseman just like Michael Jack?
I highly doubt it. Click through for more.
There are several reasons why the numbers of Reynolds and Schmidt are not actually as similar as they appear:
- Reynolds' numbers came from 2007-2010, when teams averaged exactly 1 HR per game. Schmidt's came in 1972-1975, when the average was about 0.72 HR per game. So Reynolds has hit in an environment with almost 40% more homers but hit the same number as Schmidt. (Those of you old enough to remember the beginning of Schmidt's career, just think about reputation. Schmidt, despite his initial struggles, was considered a massive power hitter, while Reynolds has had just one season-2009-as a top HR hitter.) The same argument holds for RBI. Reynolds holds only a slight edge despite playing in an environment with about half a run (roughly 12%) more runs scored by a single team in an average game.
- Notice, too, that Schmidt had a much higher OBP despite the fact that MLB OBP was about 10 points higher during Reynolds' period than Schmidt's. The difference between the two players is due largely to a significant bump in walks for Schmidt.
- Reynolds is putting up a stinker season this year (at least compared to expectations) in his 4th full season. It's not terrible, with a 105 OPS+, but for a guy once again leading the league in strikeouts, he projects to 36 HR and 95 RBI this season--not great. Schmidt also led the league in strikeouts for the third year running in his 4th full season (1976) but he also led in HR for the third straight time, put up an OPS+ of 150, finished 3rd in the NL MVP, and put up a WAR of 8.5. Reynolds has a WAR of just 0.9 so far in 2010. Through the first 4 full seasons (less a month and a half for Reynolds), there is no comparison on WAR: Reynolds 6.0, Schmidt 28.0. Wow.
Check out Schmidt's most similar players by age:
24. Mark Reynolds (973)
25. Mark Reynolds (965)
26. Jesse Barfield (913)
27. Troy Glaus (942)
28. Troy Glaus (940)
29. Troy Glaus (940)
30. Troy Glaus (948)
31. Troy Glaus (927)
32. Ralph Kiner (896)
33. Harmon Killebrew (880)
34. Jim Thome (878)
35. Jose Canseco (878)
36. Reggie Jackson (884)
37. Jim Thome (874)
38. Reggie Jackson (871)
39. Reggie Jackson (874)
This tells an interesting story. At a young age he and Reynolds are nearly indistinguishable as far as raw numbers go (but remember the run-scoring environment points above). As time went on, Schmidt compared to better and better players. This is because Schmidt kept putting up good season after good season and stayed in the league for a long time.
If Reynolds hopes to do the same, he is going to have to improve.