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Larkin Jeter Overdrive

Over at Baseball Prospectus, John Perrotto discusses his Hall of Fame Ballot.  Here is his comment on Barry Larkin:

Barry Larkin—Put it this way: If Derek Jeter had range, he’d be Barry Larkin. That’s not a knock on Jeter, just how little Larkin was appreciated because he played away from the spotlight with the Reds during his entire 19-year career. He won nine Silver Sluggers, three Gold Gloves, and had a .371 OBP.

We are all keenly aware of the myopic view of Jeter . . . the “winner” . . . the “heart and soul” of the Yanks recent run of excellence . . . the “nice guy”.  We are also aware of Jeter’s warts . . . the DP machine at the plate . . . the lack of range.

So, let’s play a little “what if” game . . . you are the GM of an expansion club, and you can have either Larkin or Jeter‘s entire career exactly as it has played out.  Which one do you take?

(image: Baseball Almanac)

Categories:  2010s  Bronx Banter  Diane Firstman  Hall of Fame

Tags:  Barry Larkin  Derek Jeter

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1 ms october   ~  Jan 4, 2011 1:50 pm

i'll take the dude with the career 385 obp, the woba of 37, wrc+ of 128 and flawed as the stat is war of 70.4

2 ms october   ~  Jan 4, 2011 1:53 pm

[1] left off a number - woba of 371

3 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jan 4, 2011 1:54 pm

both for the HOF, Jeter for my team.

4 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 4, 2011 2:05 pm

(WPS) I wonder who had a better woka btw the two?

5 Diane Firstman   ~  Jan 4, 2011 2:17 pm


THIS "person" possesses the best woka of all time:

6 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 4, 2011 2:34 pm

[5] Alley-oop! Way to throw it down Diane! >;)

7 monkeypants   ~  Jan 4, 2011 2:36 pm

Jeter has (so far) a higher career OBP (.385 v. .371), a higher OPS (.837 v. .815), higher OPS+ (119 v. 116), higher career WAR (70.1 v. 68.9), much higher oWAR (83.7 v. 66.6), which means that much of Larkin's relative value is tied up in his vastly superior defense, the most problematic aspect of the game in terms of quantifying and objective analysis).

One other thing, in 16 season Jeter has played in almost exactly 2300 G (144 G/Year), missing significant time in only one season. Larkin was a walking injury, playing about 2200 G in 19 seasons (116 G/year) and surpassing 150 games only four seasons.

I think that they are both HoF. My gut tells me that Jeter has been the clearly better player. But even we assume that they were about equal, I'll take the far more durable player.

So, I pick Jeter any day of the week and twice for a double header.

8 Bruce Markusen   ~  Jan 4, 2011 2:41 pm

I'll take Jeter, the more durable of the two. But I like them both.

9 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 4, 2011 2:45 pm

I didn't watch Larkin enough. I was in college and away from the game during his prime. Wish I had seen him more.

10 thelarmis   ~  Jan 4, 2011 2:51 pm

jeter. plus, if we're taking it exactly how it's played out:

Jeter: 5 Rings

Larkin: 1 Ring

woba should be in our starting rotation this year. so should andy... ; )

11 RagingTartabull   ~  Jan 4, 2011 2:52 pm

Love me some Lark

12 joejoejoe   ~  Jan 4, 2011 3:16 pm

Leave them both in their respective cities. I love statistics and think they illuminate the game but maybe it's more than trivia that Larkin was born and raised in Cincinnati. Larkin played at Moeller High. Jeter wrote in his HS yearbook that he wanted to play SS for the Yankees. It's entirely possible that if you swapped Jeter and Larkin both would have been good but not great players. Hypothetical questions almost always take talent as a natural given but I think success is nurtured a lot more that we care to admit.

Take Paul O'Neill. Would you rather have Paul O'Neill, Red or Paul O'Neill, Yankee? How about Javier Vasquez, Yankee or Javier Vasquez, Not Yankee? I don't think either Jeter or Larkin could have had a better career in another situation.

13 monkeypants   ~  Jan 4, 2011 3:58 pm

[12] Though Paul O'Neill was born in Columbus OH. In Some ways, Paul O'Neill lifetime Red would have been the better story.

14 joejoejoe   ~  Jan 4, 2011 6:05 pm

[13] Good point but I think O'Neill was more of a natural born redass, not Red, and the intensity of playing in the Bronx was a better match for his personality.

15 Raf   ~  Jan 4, 2011 8:56 pm

[14] Just as important was O'Neill not beefing with Piniella as to what kind of hitter he should be.

16 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 4, 2011 10:15 pm

I'd rephrase it this way: If Larkin had been healthier, he may have been Derek Jeter.

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