Thursday, May 06, 2010

Why the White Sox let Podsednik go

Answer: Andruw Jones.

The Royals came to town with their hot-hitting left fielder Scott Podsednik, an ex-White Sox utility man who is now vying for the batting crown, and this drew queries as to why Kenny Williams ever let him go.

No question, Poz is having a great year on his new team, the KC Royals, as they battle us to stay out of the cellar. And the Chicago faithful have nothing but warm feelings for Scotty since he was an integral part of our World Series win in 2005, as evidenced by the ovation he received this week at the Cell.

But, Kenny did the right thing in not signing Podsednik and opting for Andruw Jones instead. Let's go to the stats.

Scott Podsednik will make $1.65 million this year for a lifetime OPS of .722. He is a solid fielder with impressive speed for his 34 years and gets on base often, although he cannot hit for power and his arm is average at best.

Andruw Jones is a year younger and has put together stats that have him knocking on the door of the the Hall of Fame. Career .829 OPS with almost 400 home runs, 1200 RBI's, 10 Gold Gloves and 4 All-Star Games. Was he really as good as Willie Mays? Certainly he is not as fast as he once was, but his fielding and arm remain stellar. All for the silly salary of only $500,000.

Quietly, Jones has been putting together a Renaissance of sorts this year and his stats are at least as impressive as Podsednik. Scotty has a higher batting average (.333 vs .270), but their on-base percentages are nearly equal and Jones' OPS of 1.045 blows away Poz' .783... that's this year, right now.

Back in the day, Jones was the quintessential 5-tool player, and he still has 4 of those intact. While I have not been a fan of Kenny Williams' penchant for picking up rehabbed superstars (eg, Thome, Griffey Jr, Vizquel)----Jones is different: he's still good.

Furthermore, Jones has the intangible advantage of extensive post-season play with 75 games over ten years when the Braves were always atop their division. Sure, I can't see Poz without remembering his wonderful World Series Game 2 home run off Brad Lidge to win in a walk off, but we are in a new pennant race, and Andruw Jones is the better player for us now.

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