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Old 06-29-2019, 03:55 PM
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Edgar's advantage is that he was much better at reaching base (=not making outs) than was Murray. He's 22nd all-time in on-base percentage, sandwiched between Mike Trout and Stan Musial. Eddie Murray is 470th all-time, tied with Danny Green. Edgar has 60 points of on-base percentage over Murray. That's huge. And it's also what makes up for the fact that Murray was a good first baseman and Edgar was mostly a DH. (Edgar was a 3B when he was young, and a good one. He was moved to minimize injuries, not because he wasn't good with the glove.) Murray's other problem is that after age 35 he wasn't a good defender any more, and he actually lost WAR due to defense over his final six seasons. Of course Edgar still paid the penalty for being a DH when he was old (it's about -1.5 WAR per season), but Murray's advantage in defense declined significantly as he got older.

Here's another way to look at the differences in their bats. OPS+ measures on-base plus slugging percentage, adjusts it for the ball park the player plays in (so Rockies players, for example, don't get an unfair advantage) and then compares it to league average. Edgar's OPS+ is 42nd all-time, tied with Willie McCovey and Mike Schmidt, just a notch below Albert Pujols. Eddie Murray is 179th all-time, tied with, well, lots of people: Bobby Bonds, Mickey Cochrane, Nelson Cruz, Buck Ewing, Sid Gordon, David Justice. These are good batters, but they're not Willie McCovey and Mike Schmidt. Murray was a very good player who played for a very long time. Edgar was a genuinely great batter with a shorter career. On balance, what they contributed to their respective teams works out to be about the same.
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