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Brock's Not So Bad
by Richard Van Zandt, BaseballEvolution.com
April 19, 2006


Now while I mean no disrespect to Tim Raines, I take issue with calling Lou Brock overrated

Now while I mean no disrespect to Tim Raines, I take issue with calling Lou Brock overrated.  Of course, where you rate him in the first place is a bit subjective but in comparison to Raines, Brock hardly comes out looking terribly shabby and certainly not “obviously overrated.” 

 

I’m not going to dispute that Brock was not very good with a glove or that he struck out too much.  But while he did not walk as often as Raines, his .343 career OBP wasn’t exactly horrible.  It’s not that much lower than those of Juan Pierre (.355) or Johnny Damon (.353) who are considered two of the better leadoff hitters in the game today.  In fact, while Matt is correct that Raines had a better OBP, more walks (which stands to reason considering his OBP), less strikeouts and a higher SB%, I don’t see the list going “on and on.”  In fact, the two are pretty similar.  Brock for instance scored 100 or more runs 7 times while Raines did so 6 times.

 

Name

YRS

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

K

BB

Raines

23

2502

8872

1571

2605

430

113

170

980

966

1330

Brock

19

2616

10332

1610

3023

486

141

149

900

1730

761

 

SB

CS

PCT

AVE

OBP

SLG

PO

A

E

DP

FP

Raines

808

146

0.847

0.294

0.385

0.425

4198

134

54

22

0.988

Brock

938

307

0.753

0.293

0.343

0.410

4394

142

196

29

0.959

 

In a few areas, they were quite close.  However, even though Raines was better in some departments, it does not mean that Brock was poor in those areas.   For instance, while Raines had an impressive 84.7 SB%, Brock was successful on 75% of his career attempts, and his 938 steals places him second all-time (Rickey Henderson and Vince Coleman were both successful on 80% of their attempts). 

 

Similarly, they were close in doubles, triples and even home runs and runs batted in.  Raines may have had more HR, but Brock actually had more extra base hits (776 – 713). 

 

Brock, in comparison to Raines, had 190 or more hits in a year 8 times, including four seasons with 200 or more.  Raines never had 200 hits in a season and only twice ever recorded over 190 in a year.

 

Sure, Brock had more AB, but he achieved those extra nearly 1,500 AB in only 114 more games played and in 4 fewer seasons.  This was owing to the fact that, as Keith points out, Raines was a role player towards the end of his career while Brock (outside of his first season when he played just 4 games), never played fewer than 92 games in a season.  Even in his last year he played in 120 games. 

 

Not including Raines’ first two seasons, he played in less than 92 games 5 times while playing in less than 100 six times.  Brock was a steady, contributing player until the end of his career and he walked away while he could still do it.  Raines over his final three years hit just .233 (in 313 AB) while Brock hit .304 his final year (405 AB). 

 

But the reason it really gets my goat to see Brock called overrated is that Brock is one of only 26 men in the history of the game to have recorded over 3,000 hits.  In fact only 21 men have ever had more than his 3,023.

 

Lou Brock overrated?  I see nothing obvious about it.  It sounds more like disgruntled and bitter Cubs fans to me.



A bitter Cubs fan's response

A less bitter Cubs fan's response



Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Richard lives in San Francisco, California, and can be reached by emailing Baseball Evolution.


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