OT: Cheers to Austin Jackson

Submitted by turtleboy on July 1st, 2012 at 7:41 PM

The first half of the 2012 MLB season is coming to a close, the All Star voting is over, and Austin Jackson was not selected as a starter or alternate for the American League squad. The main reasons for his not being selected are the impressive home run production of perrenial All Star Curtis Granderson, and the buzz around outstanding rookie CF sensation Mike Trout and his 22 stolen bases. Jackson being out for a short while this season with an injury also hampered his production somewhat, holding him to 80+ fewer at bats than Granderson (keeping his numbers lower than they might have been) but I'd still like to post comparison stats of all 3 players production this season to crow a little about one of my favorite Tigers.

*Note: Player stats were current as of this morning.

*Note: Granderson hasn't consistently traded the leadoff spot for the Yankees this season with OF Brett Gardner.

Player                         AB   H   RBI  BB   SO  SB  AVG

Curtis Granderson      305  75   46   46   91    6   .246 

Austin Jackson           223  72   35   30   57    7   .323 

Mike Trout                 235  73   32   21   52   22  .336  

                                  OBP   SLG   OPS   2B  3B  HR

Curtis Granderson      .348  .508  .857     9    1   23

Austin Jackson           .404  .529  .933   16    3     8

Mike Trout                 .395  .542  .938   15    3     8

Jackson has put up very impressive numbers since last season, where he won the Fielding Bible Award for all Center Fielders. He drastically improved every offensive category except for Stolen Bases and Triples, while reducing his Strike Out and Caught Stealing numbers.

Not to take anything away from Granderson, but with him regularly hitting behind other batters and having 15 more home runs than both Jackson and Trout it's impressive to see their RBI tallies as close to Grandersons as they are, while averaging 76 fewer at bats.

I see you Austin.



July 1st, 2012 at 7:53 PM ^

if you look at advanced stats.  .409 wOBA, 159 wRC+, 3.6 Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement.  He's been worth more than 2 wins more than Granderson.  It's pretty bad that he's not even a candidate for the last spot voting thing.  

Editing to add: Holy crap Mike Trout is a ridiculous human being.  Fangraphs has him at 4 wins so far this year (despite not being in the majors for the first month), and the only peripheral stat that's out of line is his batting average on balls in play.  As a 20 year old, he's legitimately one of the 10 best players in baseball.  

Steve Lorenz

July 1st, 2012 at 7:54 PM ^

I understand your sentiment, and agree with you, but you know as well as I do nobody looks at these statistics when determining who an all-star is. Should they? Absolutely, but they don't. I gave up complaining about All-Star snubs a long time ago, it just ends up being a waste of your time, especially with fan voting. 


July 1st, 2012 at 7:56 PM ^

There is a reason the Angels are now 9 games over .500 after having a horrendous start. Trout has been nothing short of phenomenal, I'd take him and his speed over Harper everyday of the week. Those 2 kids are going to be compared to one another for a looooooooong time.


July 1st, 2012 at 8:01 PM ^

and think he'll be great some day.  But right now, it's not even a conversation.

Harper is a corner outfielder with good power and decent defense.  Trout is maybe the best defensive centerfielder in the game, and is also putting up a .900+ OPS while stealing bases at a ridiculously high rate.  He's a legitimate 5 tool player, and his ceiling is probably Rickey Henderson, as absurd as that sounds.  


July 1st, 2012 at 8:02 PM ^

I really hope so. His performance is out of this world right now. Every time I see a kid explode in the majors I have to wonder if it's sustainable or if they're going to pull a Ubaldo. I really want to see this kid continue to improve. I absolutely love hard sliding, athletic, CF type ballplayers over the doped up power hitters.


July 1st, 2012 at 11:31 PM ^

is the real deal. He was considered to be a top 3 prospect in the MLB regardless of team affilation.  He was tearing up at the minor league level that it's only a matter of time before he gets called up.  He has been as good as advertised if not more.


July 2nd, 2012 at 11:20 AM ^

 Yep, as much as I like the Tigers and Jackson, I can’t say he was really jobbed.  The only one statistically that was chosen over him IMO was Adam Jones of Baltimore and that can be justified due to his higher Slugging Avg. Plus it’s Baltimore and they deserve to have some selections with the year they are having and with an eye to their recent inept history.

 Actually, IMO the only Al player to have been possibly jobbed was Jake Peavy of CWS. I don’t like the Sox, but I think he is having a better first half than CC.  But then, it IS CC and he does play for the Yankees so of course he’ll go.

 I found it more interesting (read frustrating) that our ole’ friend Fernando Rodney is going. Granted he deserves it this year, but as scary as he was while pitching for us, he did always seem to put up the numbers and Leyland had total confidence and used to rave about him. However, he always seems to do well when he is in the last year of his contract.


July 1st, 2012 at 7:57 PM ^

Thanks for the insight - as a whole on a per at-bat basis, I think it's pretty clear that Austin Jackson has had at least as good if not a better season thus far than Curtis Granderson.  Of course home runs are a slightly "sexier" stat, and that didn't hurt Curtis with the voting.

Always interesting how little these hard statistics actually factor into things like rankings and All-Star selections - which I guess is why it is going to be good to de-emphasize polls in college football and go with a selection committee.




July 1st, 2012 at 7:58 PM ^

Granderson doesn't deserve to be there.....his numbers are inflated because of that sorry excuse for a ballpark he plays in. I love Granderson too. He's one of my favorite players in all of baseball. Although as long as a Yankee has a decent season, they'll probably be an All-Star starter just because of New York.


July 1st, 2012 at 9:32 PM ^

Snarling wolverine is actually correct here when it comes to Yankee Stadium (published numbers anyway):

Left field line in the old stadium: 318 feet. Same in the new one.

Left-center in the old stadium: 399 feet. Same in the new one

Center field in the old stadium: 408 feet. Same in the new one.

Right-center in the old stadium: 385 feet. Again, same.

Right field in the old stadium: 314 feet. Yes, same.

As for lefties specifically, when it comes to stadiums still in use, I think only Fenway has a shorter porch in right field.  The Kingdome was 312 feet back in the day, as I recall. 

Still, I can't help but wonder if this is a little different if Jackson had not spent time on the DL. When  he has been healthy, he's been great this year. For his career in Detroit to date, he's a .280  hitter with a .343 OBP, which is fairly comparable to Granderson and Curtis has been in the league several more years. 


July 1st, 2012 at 9:28 PM ^

Yeah, officially the dimensions are exactly the same, but way they got there is different.  The shape of the right field wall isn't the same; it used to sort of arc its way out to center field and now it goes straight over.  And the part that would've been warning track in the old stadium and is a home run in the new one happens to be right in the happy hunting grounds for a lefty hitter.


July 1st, 2012 at 8:17 PM ^

Every game Jeter has played in, he has led off. Granderson bats 2nd most of the time (unless they are facing a tough lefty). Unless he did so when Jeter had a day off, Grandy has not led off this year. Also, Jackson has had a nice year thus far but while he gets on base more than Granderson, his production numbers do not compare. They each do their jobs well, but I'll give the edge to Granderson.


July 1st, 2012 at 8:30 PM ^

If you look at their numbers, Jackson is having the better year. I assume you mean RBI and HR for "production numbers"? One, Jackson bats leadoff and thus has way fewer opportunities for RBI than Granderson. Two, he also has 80 less AB than Granderson due to going on the DL. If you project his numbers to the same amount as Granderson, their RBI and BB numbers would be nearly identical. Three, I'm not even going to look at HR because Yankee Stadium is a HR haven for lefthanded batters. Jackson is also better defensively.


July 1st, 2012 at 8:28 PM ^

Easy, killer. I didn't say they were leading off in place of Jeter, just that they've batted leadoff based on the pitching faced. (Granderson is terrible vs lefties.) They regularly lead off when Jeter is rested or injured. I didn't think I was going to get jumped for not being so specific.


July 1st, 2012 at 8:44 PM ^

Let me spell this out for you:

Brett Gardner played 9 games all year. He batted leadoff in a grand total of 0 of them.

Granderson has played in 77 games. 65 times he has batted 2nd. 10 times 7th. Only 2 times 1st.

They do not "regularly lead off" when Jeter isn't leading playing, unless you consider 2 times between the two of them regular. And considering Garnder hasn't played since April, I find it hard to say they regularly do.


Phil Brickma

July 1st, 2012 at 8:49 PM ^

Trout is legit. He's 20 and dominating the big leagues. He absolutely deserves to be there. Jackson does, too, but not over Trout.

Trout has the one thing the Tigers sorely lack. Speed. Speed changes the game in so many ways. The Tigers have seen that with Berry coming up from Toledo. He isn't a polished fielder, but has better range than everyone else (sans Jackson). Stealing bases generates more offense and even being on base with Cabrera and Co. at the plate is one more thing for a pitcher to worry about.

Trout is going to be around for a long time. I already think he is a star. We've got 20 years to watch this kid.


July 1st, 2012 at 8:55 PM ^

They're still doing the whole fan vote thing for the final spot, right?  My guess is AJ will be one of the candidates and with his numbers (haven't looked at who the other snubs are yet) he'll have a good shot at getting in still.


July 1st, 2012 at 9:17 PM ^

There will still be more players named to the team as injury/vacancy replacements.  Considering that Austin's probably the next outfielder to go, I'd be surprised if he's not on the team eventually.


July 1st, 2012 at 9:17 PM ^

His improvement at the plate has been remarkable, and i'd rather have him than Granderson at this point (not a single thing against Curtis).

It probably would have been a race for that spot if the Tigers weren't still below .500. That, the HRs, and the NY on Grandy's cap make it hard for Jackson to get the press.



July 1st, 2012 at 9:32 PM ^

The Yankees have a bigger market, and therefore a bigger fanbase.  Since it is well known that New Yorkers are not the least bit shy about expressing their opinions, I would venture to say that they are getting to the ballot boxes a lot more.

Besides, unless someone gets publicity for being a "phenom," the All Star voting is a popularity contest based on about thirty percent what a player is doing this year, and seventy percent what the media say about him.  What the media say is usually very dependent upon what the player has done the last few years.  

Add it all up, and Granderson has a lot easier road to the All Star game.  

Phil Brickma

July 1st, 2012 at 9:53 PM ^

Fair point. Don't rule out the "nice guy" factor. It's universally known Curtis Granderson is the nicest guy on the planet. Everyone likes him (except maybe some Red Sox fans with their heads shoved too far up their collective asses to see how genuine he is regardless of rivalry).

He is fun to watch, but more over, people root for people they like and Curtis is nearly impossible to hate.


July 1st, 2012 at 9:53 PM ^

Mike Trout is actually 78/232 . 

I just noticed it because yor data shows him having 1 more hit in 13 more at bats and a higher BA. 

Agree with the main premise though, AJax improvement has been spectacular. There was a statistic on the broacast todaya that AJ is hitting over .600 i think when ahead in the count. As far as Trout, I managed to pick him up and can attest to his studliness.

Kermits Blue Key

July 2nd, 2012 at 8:42 AM ^

When comparing Jackson vs Granderson in an All-Star fan balloting measure, the only stat that matters is population:

Tri-State Area (NY, NJ, CT) - 18,320,000

Michigan - 9,970,000


July 2nd, 2012 at 2:03 PM ^

The city of SF only has 800,000.

That's just the city proper (which covers a pretty small geographical area). The Bay Area as a whole has over seven million people, and Northern California altogether must have something like double that number. The Giants are definitely the most popular team in NoCal. (The A's have a much smaller fanbase.)

snarling wolverine

July 2nd, 2012 at 2:15 PM ^

I didn't say it was a 50-50 split.  But above, you seemed to be implying that that the whole NY area rooted for the Yankees, which is obviously not true.  Something like a third of the area is pro-Mets.  The population disparity isn't as extreme as you're suggesting.  Note as well that there are a lot of people around the country that absolutely hate the Yankees and will never vote for their players, whereas the Tigers don't have to deal with that.

Austin Jackson's bigger problem, I think, is just that he isn't that well-known nationally.  It didn't help that he missed a few weeks with an injury.


July 2nd, 2012 at 2:54 PM ^

Of this comparison: the difference in strikeouts vs the difference in hits. Jackson is right with Granderson in hits but has struck out less, even when adjusting for the difference in at-bats. This feels like a big improvement for Jackson and is much needed for the Tigers.


July 2nd, 2012 at 3:48 PM ^

As a leadoff hitter why does the way the out is recorded matter?

There is always the small chance of an error but that seems miniscule to the amount of attention paid to K's. If he was a middle of the order guy and more worried about advancing runners and knocking guys in I could see that being a bigger issue, but a leadoff hitter is batting wtih the bases open at least once a game, and more often than others since he has the bottom of the lineup ahead of him. When thats the case an out is an out, no one else is affected. In that case his avg, and OBP are the same regardless of him grounding out, hitting a pop fly, or a K (minus the chance for an error).

Its a differnt story if you're striking out with a man on 3rd and no outs, but you never see K's broken down like that.

Seems to be a bit of an old schoolstat that doesn't really mean much for hitters (esp leading off)


July 2nd, 2012 at 8:03 PM ^

Trout could not be hitting 13 points better than Jackson with only one more hit and 12 more at bats. 

Indeed, Trout has 80 hits, not 73.