Rendon vs. Roller: By The Numbers

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Anyone remember this asinine talent evaluation? Well, it just so happened that two members to the top 20 shared the same field this weekend at The Reck. Surely a comparison is in order.

For the sake of clarity, let us identify one gifted sophomore third baseman as Player A, and let us label one slugging senior first baseman as Player B. Both started all three games during this weekend's series and, coincidentally, both logged 13 at-bats over that three-game span:

Player A: .462/.462/1.000 w/two 2B, one 3B, one game-winning three-run HR, and five RBIs.

Player B: .154/.214/.154 w/two 1B, no extra-base hits and one RBI on a ground out to second.

Too small a sample size? Let's crunch the numbers from both players for the entire season:

Player A: .378/.535/.748 w/14 HR and 49 RBIs.

Player B: .353/.536/.669 w/9 HR and 41 RBIs.

Now keep in mind that Player A has posted his numbers against far superior competition (Strength-of-Schedule: 11) as compared to Player B (SoS: 124), and has done so playing home games in a notoriously pitcher-friendly park. Player B has enjoyed the luxury of hitting in a bandbox 29 times already this year while taking to the road for only a dozen games. Player A has made 42 starts at a premium defensive position; Player B has started 21 games at DH.

These statistics have been presented without bias.

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And you didn't even touch on their respective defensive contributions. Player A is arguably the best defensive third baseman in college baseball, who made a couple more web-gems this weekend; whereas Roller is a DH (where he has been his entire ECU career until the Pirates dismissed or suspended three middle infielders a little over a months ago, forcing their regular 1B to move to SS) masquarading as a first baseman. As he showed in this weekend's series, Roller has the range of a statue at 1B.

Walt: I did reference that Rendon has started 42 games at a premium defensive position while Roller has started half of his games at DH. I applaud Roller for making an effort at first because it's clear that he isn't a good defensive first baseman. Rendon, as you noted, is as good of a defensive third baseman as any in the country, despite what some others would ignorantly suggest. - MK

...and this doesn't even talk about AR's on base percentage, which includes his astonishing walks total.

Mr Roller, you've been Own3d!!!1

wheredidmypantsgo: I did list the on-base percentage, and Roller has the slight advantage (.536 to .535) because of his significant edge in HBP. This post wasn't authored to denigrate Roller (which someone erroneously suggested in another space) for he is an exceptional slugger who had me nervous when he came to the plate with two on and two outs in the ninth (despite his struggles this weekend). My point was to point out the lunacy of the linked post which suggested the 2009 C-USA Player of the Year was a lesser player than Roller. It was a biased contention, and Rendon has proven such over the course of this season. - MK

Supplemental player C: Mr. #83 struck out Player B three times ouch! ;P

MK - One thing you have to admit....Roller LOOKED threatening at the plate and generated a lot of welcome breeze on a warm, sunny day!

Bryan: I guess I am a baseball traditionalist in that I love the big slugger stationed in a lineup, and Roller certainly fits the bill. I wasn't surprised when the Owls elected to unintentionally intentionally walk him. However, the Owls deserve credit for defusing his potent bat much like they did the previous weekend against Chris Duffy. - MK

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