Adrian Gonzalez, The Best Value In Baseball

September 30, 2008 – 5:21 am by Ryan Phillips

In a few weeks baseball will hand out its two Most Valuable Player Awards. That got me wondering who is actually the best “Value” in baseball. I looked at leaders in both leagues and an answer instantly jumped out at me. And wouldn’t you know it, he happens to play for my San Diego Padres.

This season Adrian Gonzalez finished with 36 homeruns, 119 RBI, a .279 average, 172 hits, 103 runs and 32 doubles, while playing all 162 games. And his base salary was just $875,000.

Here are some notes about those numbers.

-Only eight players finished with more home runs than Gonzalez: Ryan Howard ($10 million), Adam Dunn ($13 million), Carlos Delgado ($16 million), Manny Ramirez ($20 million), Albert Pujols ($13.8 million), Ryan Ludwick ($411,000), Miguel Cabrera ($11.3 million) and Ryan Braun ($455,000, plus $2.3 million bonus).

-Seven players finished with more RBI than Gonzalez: Howard, Josh Hamilton ($396,830), Justin Morneau ($8.4 million), David Wright ($5.25 million) and Mark Teixeira ($12.5 million).

-Gonzalez was one of five players to play in 162 games this season: Ichiro ($17.1 million), Raul Ibanez ($5.5 million), Morneau and Howard were the others.

Gonzalez also plays Gold Glove-level defense, as he finished with a .996 fielding percentage. That number is equal to that of Albert Pujols who won the Gold Glove in 2006, and is .003 better than 2007 winner Derek Lee.

The only value that comes close to matching Gonzalez is the aforementioned Ryan Ludwick, whose cheap contract was certainly worth it. His numbers were spectacular (.299, 37 HR, 113 RBI) and he played 152 games. Ludwick had a phenomenal season, but to be fair, he didn’t have to play half his games at PetCo Park, where power hitters go to die. Throw in the fact that Ludwick had Albert Pujols (.357, 37, 116), Troy Glaus (.270, 27, 99) and Rick Ankiel (.264, 25, 71) in the lineup to help him out. Gonzalez had Kevin Kouzmanoff (.260, 23, 84), Brian Giles (.306, 12, 63) and Chase Headley (.269, 9, 38).

Plus, Gonzalez is just 26-years-old, while Ludwick is already 30.

So, there you go, it’s been scientifically proven that A-Gon is the best value in baseball. And if you disagree, screw you. Let me have this one. It’s been a really rough season for Padres fans, please just let us all have this one thing to cling to.

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  1. 6 Responses to “Adrian Gonzalez, The Best Value In Baseball”

  2. The guy was an absolute stud on my fantasy team this year as well.

    By Steve on Sep 30, 2008

  3. Yeah, he’s so easy to overlook, but it’s amazing what he’s done with that lineup and in that park. I really hope the local boy stays in San Diego for years to come.

    By Phillips on Sep 30, 2008

  4. I’m with you man, you have made your case. Sports writers who actually vote for the MVP would say that he didn’t do enough to help his team to the playoffs, but without him the Pads probably would have only won around 50 games. He’s my MVP and I’m a Rockies fan. There you go, even your worst enemies think that A-Gon is best value in baseball.

    By Lou on Oct 8, 2008

  5. He was good, but Hamilton was at least as good, and cost half as much.

    P.S.You cite fielding percentage and RBIs in your arguments, but they are both atrocious statistical measures of a player’s worth.

    By Anonymous on Oct 12, 2008

  6. No website to source, just an opinion. Living in LA, I’ve had a few chances to see A-Gon play. He’s good..real good. And yes, the absolute best value in Baseball…for now. But MVP? No. It goes to Pujols. Unfortunately, a winning team is considered. If it wasn’t for the Cubs unexpectedly obnoxious season, Pujols would have carried the Cardinals to the Playoffs. And the playoffs showed just how average the Cubs really are. Wrigley Field is an easy ballpark for the home team. Petco Park is not. Beautiful stadium…absolutely beautiful. But the Padres have two battles…their opposition, and that Park. A-Gon is fantastic. But as long as he is a Padre, he won’t be considered. Sad reality, but true. Petco Park makes great players..just seem OK.

    By Michael on Oct 14, 2008

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