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#8 against history: a statistical comparison of Ryan Braun to the All-Time greats through 839 games


The stache

As I'm looking through Ryan Braun's stats tonight after he hit his NL leading 32nd home run of the season, I got to wondering how Brauny compared to some of the all-time greats through the same point in their career. So, I broke open Word, baseball-reference.com, and started digging.

 

One thing I've always loved about baseball....throughout history, the game will undergo subtle changes, but the core game never changes, and statistical analysis is translates well across generations. I tried to keep this comparison in the modern era, not going back any further than Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams.

 

There were many players I could have chosen, obviously. But I came up with a list of players that are all either in the Hall of Fame, or will be once eligible.

 

Ted Williams

Joe DiMaggio

Mickey Mantle

Hank Aaron

Willie Mays

Ken Griffey Jr.

Barry Bonds

Albert Pujols

Alex Rodriguez

Chipper Jones

Miguel Cabrera

 

The numbers are interesting to behold. Braun compares quite favorably with all of the players I choose. But it appears the closest of all of them would be Mickey Mantle. Braun's batting average to date is .311. Mantle's was .310. 193 home runs for Braun, 183 for Mantle. A .566 slugging for Braun, a .563 for Mantle. Now the Commerce Comet had a higher obp as he walked more, but Braun also brings base stealing to the comparison, which was not a forte of Mick's (though he had the speed early on in his career before wrecking his knee for the first time).

 

http://img36.imageshack.us/img36/8648/brauncomp.png

 

If anything, I am hoping this generates an interesting discussion on what Braun has done in his career to date, and what he could accomplish if he stays healthy.

There are three things America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced. Gerald Early
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