clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Best seasons where OBP>SLG (and lots of love for Willie Randolph)

New, comments

In 2010, Brett Gardner posted a higher OBP than SLG which is pretty unusal in today's game.  I was curious how often this has happened in recent Yankees history. 

Post-1969, here are the seasons for Yankees hitters where OBP > SLG and WAR > 0 :


It takes a rare combination of skills to pull this off because power and patience often go together.  Gardner ranked 18th in OBP in 2010, and most of the guys ahead of him slugged at least into the high .400s, while most of the 26 players with lower SLG in 2010 were significantly below-average hitters. 

As a side note, I didn't realize how good Willie Randolph was.  This probably has to do with the fact that most of his value came from taking walks and playing good defense (sans Gold Glove awards, of course), two things the BBWAA largely ignores.  As you can see, he didn't hit a lot of home runs either - just 54 for his career.  However, among players with at least 1,500 games at second base, he ranks 12th all time in WAR with 60.5, a total that is virtually indistinguishable from Ryne Sandberg, Roberto Alomar, and Jeff Kent.  I'm not kidding:


I know that induction into the Hall of Fame shouldn't be based strictly on WAR totals, nor should it be based entirely on the "he's better than so-and-so" argument.  But Randolph's surprising lack of support probably comes from equally faulty reasoning - he never hit cleanup, never won an award, was never the biggest "name" on his team - and that's just as foolish in my book.