Monday, September 28, 2009

James Loney Isn't The Only First Baseman With Low Power Numbers

It turns out the Mets are looking at their first baseman prospect, Daniel Murphy, and using James Loney (along with historical references to Pete Rose, John Olerud, and Keith Hernandez, and Mark Grace) as the point of comparison. Wrote Benjamin Hoffman in Sunday's NYTimes:

[T]he idea that a thumper must occupy first ignores history.

Nearly 30 years before the Phillies won a World Series title with Ryan Howard at first, they won another with Pete Rose there. Rose hit one home run in 1980 while helping the Phillies to the championship.

The Mets were contenders with Keith Hernandez and John Olerud at first. Hernandez hit more than 15 home runs only twice in his career. Olerud, never a classic slugger, hit a high of 22 while with the Mets. Mark Grace was a three-time All-Star in a 16-year career without ever hitting more than 17 homers in a season.

Murphy is never going to reach 4,000 hits and will probably not win Gold Gloves like his Met predecessors. But he may compare favorably with the Dodgers’ James Loney, who will be going to the postseason for the third time in four years and had all of 13 homers entering Saturday.

Let's not forget that it was James Loney's grand slam home run that turned the tide for the Dodgers in last year's NLDS Game 1 at Wrigley. What was a 2-2 2-0 ballgame, on one swing, turned into a 4-2 Dodgers lead and served as a quick reminder to the Cubs that they are a cursed team. And for the rest of that series, the Cubs played like one.

We're with you, James!


mpearse89 said...

They were down 2-0 before the slam.

Steve Sax said...

yipes, you're right. My bad. Curse the typo.

JuanLove said...

i didnt know murphy was a first baseman

i thought he was only playing because of the absence of Delgado

PenosCabell said...

The huge difference is that James Loney IS a gold glove caliber 1B. It strange seeing 6'3 220lb youngster with so little power. The one thing you can count on from Loney is his glove.

Kyle Baker said...

Loney does have a hella glove. He's snagged more errant throws and made them look easy than I can remember. He's a fly trap around 1B, and I give him props for his work with the leather.

Josh S. said...

I like Loney's sneaky power. He lures you in with thirty groundouts to second and then...BOOM!...drops the hammer on you.

In all seriousness, I think he overachieved a bit early in his career and has had trouble living up to that. Not the worst crime in the world.