Recently, with the acquisition of Josh Willingham, I’ve seen some debate as to who should be starting for the Nats. The premise goes that if you put Willingham in LF, Milledge stays in CF, Dukes moves to LF and then Johnson plays 1B. The other theory is that Willingham starts at 1B, so that the outfield can be Dukes, Lastings and Kearns, left to right. The debate will often be rendered moot by injuries. We are talking about Nick Johnson here. But this comparison is worth looking at, and unlike the last showdown between these two, nobody ends up with a shattered leg.
They both play excellent defense, so I’m not going to compare that. In terms of offense, the easiest way to look at this is with OPS+. Looking at AVG/OBP/SLG splits would be better, but that isn’t easy to do quickly over a number of years. Remember, OPS+ is just the players percentage of OPS above or below the league average, league average being 100, every point above 100 is a percentage above the avergae. So quickly here are their numbers, in descending order, of every OPS+: Read the rest of this entry »