Next, let’s take a look at Cano versus Knoblauch.
Again, not much to argue here. Knoblauch has the better on base percentage, but Cano’s power and average is far superior. Cano is the better hitter, and it ain’t that close.
Next, Tino Martinez versus Mark Teixeira.
I’ll be honest. I expected this to be a lot closer than it is. Teixeira absolutely crushes Tino. Moving on.
The next one’s really unfair from the get-go. Alex Rodriguez versus Scott Brosius.
Look, Brosius does a ton better in this comparison than I expected. He still isn’t anywhere close.
So, to wrap this up, let’s briefly talk defensive value. In the same order as above: Jeter is coming off his best two seasons in years. He was probably a bit better when he was younger, but based on the past two years, I don’t think the difference here is huge. Young Jeter wins, but it’s not a gigantic difference.
Posada has never been good defensively. Yes, he’s probably worse than he was, but again, this has never been his strength. The difference again is not that significant. Teixeira is a brilliant defensive first baseman. Then again, so was Tino. No reason to spend a ton of time here—it’s a tie. Cano is a better defender than Knoblauch, who had to move to the outfield because he forgot how to throw to first base (from 40 feet away!) only two years later. Cano’s pretty good with the leather. A-Rod isn’t as good a defender as Scott Brosius at this stage in his career, though as he gets further from last offseason’s hip surgery, he’s likely to improve. Does it matter?
Value-wise, it’s just about unfair to compare the 1998 infield to the 2010 infield. You guys may have noticed that I tend to be fairly long-winded. Not this time–while I’d love to write more on this topic, it seems like a waste of time. This one’s fairly open and shut.
Your move, TCM.