Pat Burrell's Career in Perspective

The big question for the future of the Phillies right now is Ryan Howard.  With his arbitration tomorrow, all attention is focused on the difference between $7M and $10M.  But, obscured in the focus on Howard is the fact that, barring a trade, he's going to be a Phillie through at least 2011.

The big bat that the Phillies might lose after this season is Pat Burrell.  So, this spring training is a good time to put Burrell's career with the Phillies in perspective.

Here, I'm going to look at a particular perspective.  I compared the Phillies' left field output from the day Burrell's career started (May 24, 2000) until now with every other team's left field output.

How do Phillies' left fielders compare?  Pretty well.  Their ranks in the majors are as follows:

TPA 5
HR 5
RBI 3
BA 28
OBP 8
SLG 11
OPS 10
Going up against the likes of Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, and Brian Giles, these rankings are pretty good. Obviously, Pat Burrell's batting average issues are reflected here, but otherwise, his and the other Phillies left fielders' production has been substantially above average.

Pat Burrell constituted just under 80% of these plate appearances, so others contributed to these impressive numbers. However, as a left fielder, Burrell produced an .856 OPS, compared to the Phillies overall left field OPS for this time of .839. Thus, his replacements have been worse than he has. Suffice it to say that Pat Burrell has been a significant offensive force during his time here, one most teams would love to have in their lineup spot for their left fielder and one that the Phillies have missed when he's not in the lineup.

The full chart of teams' left field performance during the Burrell era, ranked by OPS, is below the fold.

TPA HR RBI BB K BA OBA Slug% OPS
San Francisco 5470 332 850 1197 656 0.303 0.461 0.612 1.073
Boston 5507 269 869 670 1002 0.292 0.382 0.530 0.912
Pittsburgh 5383 247 800 718 993 0.283 0.385 0.518 0.903
Colorado 5369 224 793 420 960 0.302 0.363 0.519 0.882
Arizona 5510 214 746 651 690 0.286 0.376 0.498 0.874
Cincinnati 5423 276 761 713 1276 0.262 0.366 0.504 0.870
Houston 5410 193 742 563 866 0.286 0.365 0.485 0.850
St. Louis 5351 221 741 506 1009 0.283 0.356 0.492 0.848
Florida 5331 196 753 491 957 0.286 0.358 0.485 0.843
Philadelphia 5469 243 828 740 1234 0.260 0.361 0.478 0.839
Los Angeles AL 5355 180 828 354 721 0.299 0.345 0.483 0.828
Toronto 5539 127 603 416 759 0.295 0.358 0.450 0.808
Milwaukee 5354 218 742 433 1042 0.267 0.333 0.473 0.806
Atlanta 5289 149 638 546 879 0.283 0.360 0.446 0.806
Chicago NL 5357 199 673 427 866 0.278 0.338 0.463 0.801
Los Angeles NL 5318 196 668 527 894 0.270 0.347 0.452 0.799
Detroit 5219 205 748 387 901 0.271 0.328 0.467 0.795
New York NL 5315 163 634 486 854 0.276 0.350 0.444 0.794
Texas 5332 153 624 476 886 0.274 0.343 0.445 0.788
Oakland 5344 171 641 488 814 0.268 0.339 0.444 0.783
New York AL 5380 159 701 495 740 0.276 0.345 0.436 0.781
Chicago AL 5327 159 613 424 798 0.277 0.338 0.439 0.777
Seattle 5390 132 653 530 844 0.278 0.351 0.426 0.777
Tampa Bay 5453 110 579 376 911 0.285 0.337 0.426 0.763
Minnesota 5383 136 597 395 839 0.279 0.337 0.426 0.763
San Diego 5446 140 605 595 931 0.263 0.346 0.416 0.762
Montreal 5271 148 579 487 1082 0.256 0.331 0.419 0.750
Cleveland 5321 144 605 416 923 0.266 0.327 0.419 0.746
Baltimore 5133 129 598 454 807 0.263 0.332 0.409 0.741
Kansas City 5191 128 603 372 828 0.260 0.316 0.403 0.719
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