Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How does Nomar's career stack up?

Nomar Garciaparra announced his retirement today, appropriately with the Red Sox.  If you had told someone after the 2000 season that he would retire 10 years later with less than 1000 runs or 1000 RBI and a mere .313 average, they probably wouldn't have believed it.  He was 26 years old, coming off of 2 consecutive batting titles and appeared to have a clear path to Cooperstown.   

Unfortunately, injuries derailed him and he never got close to another batting title after 2000, when he hit .372.  During his first 4 complete seasons (1997-2000), he won a Rookie of the Year Award, had 4 top-10 MVP finishes, .337 batting average and a .577 slugging percentage, which is Joe DiMaggio territory.  Factoring in the Coors Field Effect for Larry Walker and Todd Helton, Garciaparra was arguably the best overall hitter in baseball during that time period.

Despite his dropoff in later years, his career numbers still hold up well despite years of limited production.  Well, he wasn't that bad in his final years, just a shadow of his former self and constantly absent due to injuries.  He still managed to hit .287 over his last 5 seasons, but wasn't able to play in more than 122 games in any of them.

Nomar Garciaparra (1996-2009): .313 BA, .361 OBP, .521 SLG, 229 HR, 6116 PA

.313 BA, .521 SLG, 229 HR

Hall of Fame
Babe Ruth
Lou Gehrig
Ted Williams
Rogers Hornsby
Chuck Klein
Al Simmons
Earl Averill
Joe DiMaggio
Hank Greenberg
Stan Musial
Jimmie Foxx

Manny Ramirez
Albert Pujols
Todd Helton
Vladimir Guerrero

Recently Retired
Nomar Garciaparra
Larry Walker

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