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This player is the best comp for SF Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski

Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Danny Jansen
Danny Jansen of the Toronto Blue Jays (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Difference score with SF Giants Mike Yastrzemski

Rank   Name                            Difference Score
1          Danny Jansen                        34
2          George Springer                    39
3          Tommy Pham                        42
4          Jean Segura                            44
5          Brandon Nimmo                   48
6          Max Kepler                             51
7          Mark Canha                            58
8          Robbie Grossman                 60
9          Cavan Biggio                          63
t-10    Christian Yellich                     65
t-10    Alex Dickerson                       65

The list has an impressive collection of players, including 2018 National League MVP Christian Yellich and 3-time All-Star George Springer. The majority of the list is comprised of established everyday players.

Still, it’s important to provide proper caveats. First, this score is based off of expected statistics calculated based off of exit velocities, launch angles, and other batted-ball statistics. Meaning you shouldn’t dismiss Danny Jansen just because he is only hitting .170/.333/.370 on the year. According to previous data, his batted-ball profile should be producing a much stronger line. In fact, per Baseball Savant’s formula, Jansen’s expected batting average on the year is .265 and his expected slugging is .477.

The second caveat is because each category is weighted equally, two difference scores aren’t necessarily created equal. Yellich and Yastrzemski’s teammate Alex Dickerson are perfect examples of this. Both received difference scores of 65, but they got to it in different ways. Yellich has nearly identical expected batting average, iso, and speed as Yaz, but differs slightly in walk-rate and heavily in strikeout-rate. Dickerson, on the other hand, deviates more on speed and quite a bit on walk-rate.

That’s what makes the second, qualitative portion, so important to come up with an accurate comp. Jansen, for example, while quite similar in the categories calculated has had much lower exit velocities and hard-hit rates than Yastrzemski, but has had a more efficient launch-angle. While their expected numbers are similar, they haven’t really gotten to them in the same way.

By the way, before we move on to the best comp, there were 4 other players with a difference score of 70 or less. They were Trent Grisham, Chris Taylor, Hunter Renfroe, and AJ Pollock.

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