Over the weekend, one of the greatest Red Sox of all time Carl Yastrzemski stated that David Ortiz is the second-greatest hitter in the history of the Boston club.
What a conversation regarding the past and the present generations of baseball! While Ortiz has racked up better power numbers than Yaz (456 vs. 452 homers in favor of Papi and a .546 slugging percentage that outshines Yaz’s .462) there is still a lot of circumstances that can add weight to Yaz’s side of the argument.
First off, there is the obvious steroids-era distinction that Papi may have been getting some cough, “help,” cough, which has come up in the news as of late. In addition, Yastrzemski has been able to stay on the field for more games per season than Papi has, which while isn’t a question of pure-hitting, does hold some value in the conversation.
However, when you really look at the numbers, you see that Ortiz and Yaz have similar batting averages and on-base percentages, and when you add the power-advantage for Ortiz in so many less games than the former Sox outfielder, it’s hard not to take Ortiz seriously as the second-best in the club’s history. The only statistic that jumps out at me is that Yaz didn’t strikeout nearly as much as Papi has in his career, but that somewhat makes Ortiz’s power exploits even more impressive.
I’ve made my declarations for Papi over and over, and while I do have an appreciation of the past, I still believe that as of today, Papi is just second to Ted Williams in terms of hitting-prowess in Sox history.
What do you think?