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On Ibanez, Burrell, and "Consistency"

There was a lot of talk in Ibanez post about consistency and whether Ibanez was/is more consistent than Burrell.  I want to dispell that myth right now so that I never read it here on this blog again for all of eternity and forevers, which will be like a night or two. 

So, let me state fact first.

#1: Raul Ibanez is has NOT been more consistent than Patrick Burrell.

Later in the week I'll talk about whether consistency really matters.

Ok, now to show proof of the first fact.  I know people will disagree, but that is because they prefer to ignore evidence.  Show me evidence of how I am wrong, and you'll see a mea culpa.  The first thing is to define consistency.  Is it based on BA?  Or RBI?  Or what?  I don't care who you are, batting average fluctuates.  Everyone goes through a slump.  The nature of the game.  Nobody gets 3 hits in 10 ABs EVERY 10 ABs.  Not even Pujols.  I like to use OPS as a way to determine consistency.  Consistency means that you are contributing even when part of your game has gone south for a week or two.  That means walking when you can't hit a beachball or hitting homeruns when you seem to have forgotten the strikezone.  OPS isn't a great tool (it's a good one) but it does give us consistency between OBP and SLG.

I am going to use an arbitrary cut off in months to show how each player has performed over the 4 years.  Now, consistency, to the naked eye, usually means fewer bad months.  Nobody is complaining about consistency if a guy hits .950 in his bad months and 1.200 in his good months.  But sprinkle some .550s in there and you got inconsistency.  I'll be looking at number of months where OPS is .050-.099 points below the year total, .100-.150 points below or +.150 points below.

2005 Burrell Ibanez
April .955 .841


.885 .818
June .862 .851
July .855 .804
August .951 .688
Sept .860 .763

Pat OPS: .892
.050-.099 below: 0
.100-.150 below: 0
.150+ below: 0

Raul OPS: .792 
.050-.099 below: 0
.100-.150 below: 1
.150+ below: 0

Both players were pretty consistent in 2005.  Pat never once strayed over .050 points below his yearly OPS.  The model of consistency.  Advantage Burrell.


2006 Burrell Ibanez
April 1.013 .850
May .885 .739
June .826 1.109
July .858 .779
August .859 .838
Sept .888 .913

Pat OPS: .890
.050-.099 below: 1
.100-.150 below: 0
.150+ below: 0

Raul OPS: .869
.050-.099 below: 1
.100-.150 below: 1
.150+ below: 0

Pat had one month were he was below out .050 limit and that was by .014 points.  Ibanez had 1 month below the .050 and 1 month below the .100, although neither were really that terrible.  Advantage Burrell. 


2007 Burrell Ibanez
April .850 .645
May .770 .787
June .551 ,870
July 1.332 .503
August 1.018 1.129
Sept ,827 .983

Pat OPS: .902
.050-.099 below: 2
.100-.150 below: 1
.150+ below: 1

Raul OPS: .831
.050-.099 below: 0
.100-.150 below: 0
.150+ below: 2

Pat had a fairly inconsistent year with 4 months passing our threshold.  However, 1 month made it by .002 points and the other month still posted an OPS above .800.  He did have a month where he was over .150 points below and it's t he real first break in his consistency in 3 years.  Ibanez was even more inconsistent with 2 months below .150 points.  He had fewer months below, but they had greater effect, but I consider this more of a push.


2008 Burrell Ibanez
April 1.126 .827
May .856 .673
June .956 .827
July .973 .916
August .618 1.154
Sept .719 .593

Pat OPS: .875
.050-.099 below: 0
.100-.150 below: 0
.150+ below: 2

Raul OPS: .837
.050-.099 below: 0
.100-.150 below: 0
.150+ below: 2

Pat and Ibanez had very simiair seasons last year.  Both smoked the ball for 1 month, did decently for 3 and crapped the bed for 2.  I could nit pick, but this is definitely another push.

Pat Total:
.050-.099 below: 3
.100-.150 below: 1
.150+ below: 3

Raul Total:
.050-.099 below: 1
.100-.150 below: 2
.150+ below: 4

Out of 24 playable months, Pat had a total of 3 months where he was really bad while Ibanez had 4.  Pat had a total of 1 month where he was mostly bad while Ibanez had 2 and Pat had a total of 3 months where he was slightly bad where Ibanez had 1.  While neither strike me as someone who was way up one month and way down the next, Pat has been slightly more consistent over the last 4 years than Ibanez (well, at least consistently not bad).

Also, for those who harp on Burrell's inconsistency, make note that during the last 4 years here, he has had exactly 4 months out of 24 where his OPS was beloww .800 and 2 where it was below .700.  That REEKS of consistency.