Thursday Rockpile: Fernando Tatis vs Mark DeRosa

Now that we have official confirmation from Thomas Harding that the Rockies are interested and talking to Fernando Tatis, I thought a comparison with Mark DeRosa might be interesting.

Fernando Tatis 2009 vs Mark DeRosa 2009:

Age:

  • Tatis 34
  • DeRosa 34

Batting Average:

  • Tatis .282
  • DeRosa .250

OBP:

  • Tatis .339
  • DeRosa .319

Slugging percentage:

  • Tatis .438
  • DeRosa .433

OPS+

  • Tatis 105
  • DeRosa 83

Hmm... but what about the defense? DeRosa's versatility gives him a huge edge there, right?

UZR/150:

At  1B:

 

  • Tatis 3.0
  • DeRosa (-36.1)

 

At 3B:

  • Tatis 7.4
  • DeRosa (-8.7)

In LF:

  • Tatis 17.0
  • DeRosa 25.2

In RF:

  • Tatis (-64.9)
  • DeRosa 39.4

Take the UZR numbers with the usual small sample size caveats, DeRosa's not really going to have a ten win defensive advantage if both he and Tatis were stuck in right field for the entire season. Of course my general point is that these two players really don't look that different on the stat sheet, and at least in the games I saw last season, they didn't really look that different as players with the exception of their skin pigmentation.

While I suspect some unintentional racial preferencing by GM's might have given DeRosa somewhat of a white guy bonus, I would be remiss to point out that there were probably other factors. DeRosa, in theory, can play the middle infield, while those theories that push Tatis there are mostly considered silly pseudoscience by mainstream scholars (of course, Tatis did play nine games at second or short in 2009). DeRosa's been on playoff teams the last two seasons, Tatis has been on the Mets. The real trouble is, the team that wound up signing DeRosa really has little to no use of his theoretical middle infield abilities and seems poised to limit their use of him to left field as a starter and third base as a backup, and the playoff argument's just as silly with DeRosa as it is with Jason Marquis. DeRosa has used friendlier home parks to hit more home runs, and the teams he's been on have seen fit to use him as an everyday starter, whereas Tatis has been confined more to being a true utility bench player.

But again, we're left with two 35 year old right handed corner utility players who have similar offensive numbers over the last two seasons, similar defensive numbers at the positions they're going to play, but what will likely end up a very large difference in the amount they get paid. 

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