The other night while I was watching the WBC match-up of the USA versus Italia something play by play commentator Matt Vasgersian said really rubbed this Rays fan the wrong way. He actually commented and I’ll paraphrase that not only did manager Joe Torre want veteran all stars at most positions but he also “has two good utility” players in Ben Zobrist and Willie Bloomquist. Willie Bloomquist used in the same breath as Ben Zobrist? You’ve got to be kidding me right? Let’s take a look.
Using some common three year metrics one finds Bloomquist with OPS+ the last three years of 85, 70 and 91 compared to Zobrist at 96, 131 and 138. In the WAR department it gets worse, where we find Willie at -1.0, -0.1 and -0.4. Ben Zobrist’s WAR totals the last three seasons are 4.2, 8.5 and 5.5. In fact only Ryan Braun of the USA team has more WAR the last three years than Zobrist with 19.9. And for good measure Zobrist has 92 career home runs compared to Bloomquist’s 17. Zobrist also averages 665 plate appearances per season, Bloomquist far less.
So in closing Mr. Vasgersian the next time you choose to use these two as being one in the same…don’t