In a post reacting to Jayson Werth’s appointment to the NL all-star team, ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer says, “based on performance, Matt Kemp would have been a significantly better choice.”
And of course, Rob, you’re entitled to your opinion. But I’d like a little bit more explanation, because I just don’t see it. I mean, I see that Kemp is deserving (he’s far more deserving than Ryan Howard, in my opinion). But I don’t think he’s significantly better than Werth.
Sure, Kemp hits for better average, but Werth has twice as many homers. Kemp’s OPS+ is 131. Werth’s is 132. Both guys have lopsided platoon splits. Both steal the occasinoal base.
I get that Kemp plays center field, and that’s no small detail. But it’s not like Werth is a defensive slouch. In fact, he played a lot of CF last season while Victorino was on the DL, and his 2008 ultimate zone rating was 21.5. Kemp’s UZR in 2008? -0.1 (though he’s at 10.1 so far this season).
So, I just don’t see the big difference.
Maybe you were just a little grumpy when you heard about this (and really who could blame you?). Or maybe I’m missing something. Wouldn’t be the first time.