It’s Saturday and it’s time for another Open Thread.
I have no excuse for not writing something today. Well, I have an excuse. It’s just not a very good one. My lastest piece on Dylan Carlson ended up over 3000 words long and, frankly, that pretty much did me in for the week.
So it’s catch-up time around the house and at my real job. That means it’s get behind time at my favorite side hustle.
So, I get to spend the weekend putting away Christmas decorations. You get an Open Thread.
But I’m not leaving you without some content:
Tommy Edman is already top 50 in Cardinals history among position players in bWAR at 15.3. If he has another 5 WAR season in 2023, he'll pass these names:— Cardinals Stats And Facts (@STL_Stats_Facts) January 5, 2023
He's quietly climbing up the leaderboard. pic.twitter.com/ueoOALByD9
The Cardinals Stats And Facts account over at Twitter came up with this one and it is something I’ve been thinking about since midseason when Edman looked like he was on his way toward a monster year. He never really let up and finished with a 5.6 fWAR season. Very impressive.
Much more impressive than anything that Kolten Wong ever put together.
Which leads me to pose the question above. Who you got? Tommy Edman? Or Kolten Wong?
The Tweet cites bWAR. I’m more of a fan of fWAR. But the point doesn’t really change regardless of the stat you choose.
As a Cardinal, Wong produced 14.4 fWAR in 8 seasons. He had some injury issues and some inconsistency offensively, especially early in his career. While he was always a good defender, it took him 3-4 years to find his Gold Glove-caliber prime.
Edman has switched around a lot more, playing third, second, short, and even the outfield. He’s stayed remarkably healthy. His defense has matured quicker than Wong’s did, despite moving around so frequently. He’s probably not as good of a hitter as Wong, relying more on balls falling in that Wong’s combo of a few walks, a little power, and some good contact skills.
Edman is at 13.2 fWAR, all with the Cardinals, in just 4 seasons of play.
If we just look at “for the Cardinals” production, Edman could pass Wong by mid-May of this coming season. He’s going to edge Wong out there unless Wong comes back later in his career and adds to his total.
If we want to look overall, which is probably the better conversation, the 32-year-old Wong, now with the Mariners, has 19.4 fWAR in his 10-year career.
What Wong has going for him is a very consistent base of 2.5 fWAR production. Every year. 2.5’ish fWAR. He has a three year contract with the Mariners. If he can continue doing that until his mid-30’s, he’s going to finish his career right around 30 fWAR.
That’s really, really solid. It’s hard to get to that number.
Can Edman do the same? He has higher peaks. He’s settling in at a position that allows him to earn more WAR faster. He doesn’t have an injury history to slow him down.
He SHOULD catch and pass Wong in career fWAR.
But there’s a reason why a lot of those names in the above tweet didn’t get much past where Edman is now in production. Baseball happens.
So... enough from me. Who you got? Career? Cardinals-only? For one game? You pick your parameters. It’s an Open Thread. I can’t tell you what to do. You tell me.
Happy Saturday, Viva El Birdos.
Oh, and the answer is Kolten Wong.