Friday, March 11, 2011
Gardner vs. Crawford
I was recently in a conversation about Carl Crawford and Brett Gardner and how the Red Sox have the edge on offense in that position (though not as a whole), and it led me to look up their stats from last season. Though Crawford is clearly the better power hitter, I wonder if Gardner could give him a run for his money in batting average for 2011. Crawford had a great season last year hitting .307 with 19 homeruns 90 RBI's and 47 stolen bases. He led the league in triples (which he's done 4 times in his career). By comparison Gardner had a .277 batting average with 5 homeruns 47 RBI's and tied Crawford with 47 steals. The only place where Gardner takes the edge is that he had a .383 OBP vs. Crawford's .356. Gardner had almost 100 fewer plate appearances than Crawford last season as well. So the question is, if they both stay healthy, could Gardner overtake Crawford in batting average and stolen bases? Gardner was batting in the .300's before his wrist injury, and he's as patient an eye as we've seen at the plate. If Gardner bats out of the lead off spot as many think he should, then he should have comparable plate appearances as Crawford. There's only a 2 year age difference between them, and they are both in what many consider the prime age for baseball players. Though Crawford will undoubtedly hit for more power, I'm making a fearless prediction that Gardner will take the batting average and stolen bases from Crawford this season. If not, no one will remember this post by the end of the season, even though it will stand in cyber space for all time, haunting and condeming me for all eternity.