Via MLB Trade Rumors comes this tidbit from an article by the Miami Herald’s Israel Gutierrez, who feels that the face of the Marlins’ future is ace Josh Johnson and that the Marlins need to sign Johnson to a long-term deal. Gutierrez says:

If Hanley Ramirez was worth paying for, then Johnson is at least as important, if not more.

Over the last five seasons, Ramirez has been worth 22.2 wins more than a replacement player. Johnson, meanwhile, has been worth 8.5 wins over replacement.

Even this year, with the season Johnson is having, HanRam has been worth more.

Maybe Gutierrez thinks Johnson is “more important” because he thinks ace pitchers are more scarce than slugging shortstops? Maybe, but it’s not true. I appreciate that aces don’t grow on trees (all you need to know about the scarcity of aces can be found in Nick’s annual unquestioned aces post — this year there were only 6 unquestioned aces). And there are more than a few shortstops who can swing the bat (see: Tulowitzki, Scutaro, Jeter, Tejada, Escobar, Rollins). But there is a huge gap between the shortstops I just mentioned and Ramirez, whose 2009 SLG is .554 (The shortstop with the second highest SLG is Tulowitzki, at .480).

As Fangraphs recently pointed out, Ramirez will likely go down as one of the best short stops ever, and is on course to be in the top three (behind Honus Wagner and A-Rod).

Conclusion: Johnson is good, but Ramirez is better.

2 Responses to “Josh Johnson is not worth as much as Hanley Ramirez”

  1. BravesFan says:

    I would hope that a shortstop that plays in 145 games would be worth more wins (I still don’t understand how you could derive a statistic that reveals win factor) than a pitcher who plays in 1/5 of those games.

  2. Paul Moro says:

    BravesFan, people far smarter than any of us here at UmpBump have figured out what the actual value is for each and every play in each and every situation. How damaging is a groundball out that doesn’t advance the lead runner? They’ve figured it out. And once you know this, you can apply it to see how many runs a particular player is responsible for. And it’s a rule of thumb that 10 runs equals one win (check out run differentials and you’ll see that the 10 runs equals one extra win thing makes sense). Put it all together and you can deduce how many wins a player has been worth over a replacement player.

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