Christopher Kolmatycki

Entrepreneur, Marketing Expert, and Shower Singing Enthusiast

To follow up a previous entry, I decided to take some newbie analysis at comparing Toronto Blue Jays shortstop, John McDonald, with his Detroit Tigers counterpart, Adam Everett. Why? Because Adam Everett is projected to be the best defensive shortstop this season, and many seem to act like John McDonald holds that role. Personally, though I think McDonald has great spirit and hustle, I think he’s an offensive cancer on the Jays lineup and I don’t think there’s any way he should be a starting player. We’ll soon see if my feelings are misplaced or not.

Here are their projected ’09 lines:

John McDonald

Games Atbats Runs Hits 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP AVG OBP SLG R150 POS Speed
111 272 31 64 13 1 2 25 5 2 15 43 2 0.235 0.280 0.312 -36 SS 6

Adam Everett

Games Atbats Runs Hits 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP AVG OBP SLG R150 POS Speed
130 432 45 103 21 2 5 43 7 3 28 66 3 0.238 0.289 0.331 -30 SS 5.9


The first thing to note is that Adam Everett is projected to have about double the number of AB as McDonald. This will make it somewhat difficult to analyze many of the stats, but with some creativity and statistical leniancy, we can perhaps make some projections on these projections :).

As you can see, each of their averages, on base, and slugging are nearly identical with Everett showing a little bit more power. McDonald is rocking a meager .592 OPS while Everett is holding up with a .620 OPS. Everything else seems to give Everett a slight edge in everything from power to contact to eye when you pro-rate them over the same number of appearances.

The other category I suppose we can look at is R/150, or the linear weights runs above average. This value is adjusted for league and ballpark and pro-rates (I assume) the number over 150 games. We see here that Everett only performs at a rate of 30 runs below average as opposed to McDonald’s 36 runs below average.

Defensive Rating

John McDonald has a defensive rating of 8 at shortstop while Everett is rated at a 19 RZR. Using these ratings we can see that Everett is a significantly better defensive player. What I woud like to see though would be some Runs Saved statistics for each player as I believe pitching would come into play on each player’s performance. It would be interesting to see the effects that each player’s performance would have. Regardless, based on defensive ratings, Everett easily takes the defensive crown.

Valuation and Quasi-Conclusions

Though I’m not sure if I’m using the 4th table on each player page correctly, I am thinking the values are calculated based upon finding the player’s defensive rating and moving across to find the player’s valuation.

John McDonald (+8 RZR used)

if Defense is: Wins above Rep Dollar Value ($mil)
Good (+7 runs) 0.4 1.8

Adam Everett (+19 RZR used)

if Defense is: Wins above Rep Dollar Value ($mil)
Excellent (+15 runs) 1.2 5.3

Now assuming I’m using this data correctly, we have a pretty decisive showing that overall, Everett is not only the better defensive player, but the better overall player as well. When factoring weighted batting runs, position, field, running, and defensive ability, Everett is hands down an overall better player and is worth 3 times as many wins. Even placing McDonald on the same defensive grouping as Everett, we can see that Everett is still worth about double the number of wins as McDonald. I suppose I could’ve just stuck to using the ‘Simple Valuation’, and not bothered with anything else in the posting, but where’s the fun in that?

What did I learn from this? I already had been of the opinion that McDonald was horrible and Everett couldn’t hit. What I did learn is that given the affection Jays fans have for McDonald, their minds may be blown if Everett would come here. I learned that despite my beliefs that anyone would be a better shortstop than McDonald, he is actually better than a replacement level player. I’ve also learned that according to this simple valuation, McDonald was also priced somewhat appropriately at the 1.9 million dollar contract he has and that the Tigers got an amazing deal on Everett with their 1 million dollar contract with performance incentives (though I’m unclear as to what those incentives entail).

It’ll be interesting to see how next season unfolds and I may find myself watching the relatively unexciting offensive performances of these players closely and seeing how these projections work out.


One Response so far.

  1. Ian says:

    McDonald as an everyday shortstop is a huge offensive killer. He does save a lot of runs with his phenomenal defense, but on the other hand he's not exactly an offensive threat. I think Halladay prefers having J-Mac as his SS, just because he needs the extra defense as a ground ball pitcher. Scutaro will do fine as the everyday shortstop in the meantime.