February 28, 2007

He Just Had His First-Ever Good Year? Who Woulda Thought?

News Item: Gary Matthews, Jr. implicated in Orlando steroid probe

So, Angels, have fun paying a much smaller Matthews $55 million over the next five years. Also mentioned in the case are (surprise) Jose Canseco, and Evander Holyfield. What, they didn't have drug testing on "Dancing With the Stars"?

Posted by Stephen Silver at February 28, 2007 09:10 PM

Actually, Matthews' past year was not out of line with his previous years with the exception of his batting average.

His Isolated Power (SLG-AVG was .182. His career Isolated power is .156, and was .186 in 2004, .181 in 2005. These three years coincide with his time in Texas, which inflates extra-base hit totals about 10%. His AB/HR was up in 2006 from previous years, so last year he was hitting fewer homers per time at bat.

His batting average did go up, but average is a statistic that fluctuates greatly each year, and depends a great deal on luck. His career average is .263 and he hit .313 last year; which corresponds almost exactly to the difference of his lifetime OPS of .755 compared to last year's of .866.

This is not to say he didn't use steroids, he might have, only that steroids have not affected his game significantly.

What the Angels are getting, unfortunately for them, is a mediocre hitting outfielder who had a lucky year with bloopers and dribblers (about 27 extra hits by my count, or a little less than 1 per week) to make his numbers seem pretty solid.

Thought you might like to know.

Posted by: Rob Howell at March 5, 2007 07:02 PM
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