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Mickey Mantle V. Willie Mays

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  • #91
    Originally posted by 1905 Giants View Post
    I'm a big fan of Mantle and damn if I could have seen him play in his prime.
    Yeah. One of the biggest what-ifs in baseball is what Mantle would have done if he never hurt his knee and wasn't a drunk. I mean look what he did anyways, he was amazing.
    "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

    -Bill James

    Comment


    • #92
      I think the only the lists where Mantle would belong ahead ahead of Mays.

      Greatest hitting peaks
      Greatest hitters
      Greatest raw talents
      "By common consent, Ruth was the hardest hitter of history; a fine fielder, if not a finished one; an inspired base runner, seeming to do the right thing without thinking. He had the most perfect co-ordination of any human animal I ever knew." - Hugh Fullerton, 1936 (Chicago sports writer, 1893-1930's)

      ROY / ERA+ Title / Cy Young / WS MVP / HR Title / Gold Glove / Comeback POY / BA Title / MVP / All Star / HOF

      Comment


      • #93
        Is it a given that Mantle was a better hitter? Mays had a higher batting average despite playing in almost 600 more games, and, shockingly, had the same slugging percentage. He hit many more doubles and triples and nearly as many homers. All Mantle did better was walk.

        Comment


        • #94
          Well if career value is considered, then Mays probably has a case, despite the 10 point gap in OPS+. Greatest hitter was meant as at their very best.
          "By common consent, Ruth was the hardest hitter of history; a fine fielder, if not a finished one; an inspired base runner, seeming to do the right thing without thinking. He had the most perfect co-ordination of any human animal I ever knew." - Hugh Fullerton, 1936 (Chicago sports writer, 1893-1930's)

          ROY / ERA+ Title / Cy Young / WS MVP / HR Title / Gold Glove / Comeback POY / BA Title / MVP / All Star / HOF

          Comment


          • #95
            Originally posted by willshad View Post
            Is it a given that Mantle was a better hitter? Mays had a higher batting average despite playing in almost 600 more games, and, shockingly, had the same slugging percentage. He hit many more doubles and triples and nearly as many homers. All Mantle did better was walk.
            Mantle's higher walk rate, combined with their very similar BAs and ISOs, made him a more valuable batter in a number of seasons. But whether he was a better hitter is unclear. I think that at his very best- 1956 and 1957- Mantle probably was a slightly better hitter than Mays was at his best.

            Comment


            • #96
              Originally posted by BigRon View Post
              Mantle's higher walk rate, combined with their very similar BAs and ISOs, made him a more valuable batter in a number of seasons. But whether he was a better hitter is unclear. I think that at his very best- 1956 and 1957- Mantle probably was a slightly better hitter than Mays was at his best.
              More than slightly.

              Mays best ever OPS+ was 184 in 1965. This was the only time that he got to 180 or higher. Mantle was 180+ in 7 different seasons. His top 5 seasons are 223, 213, 210, 198, 197.
              .


              19th Century League Champion
              1900s League Champion
              1910s League Champion

              1930s League Division Winner
              1950s League Champion
              1960 Strat-O-Matic League Regular Season Winner
              1960s League Division Winner
              1970s League Champion
              1971 Strat-O-Matic League Runner Up
              1980s League Champion
              All Time Greats League Champion

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              • #97
                Originally posted by SavoyBG View Post
                More than slightly.

                Mays best ever OPS+ was 184 in 1965. This was the only time that he got to 180 or higher. Mantle was 180+ in 7 different seasons. His top 5 seasons are 223, 213, 210, 198, 197.
                By OPS+, true. But the difference between the two is completely walks driven. That makes Mantle a more valuable batter, but not necessarily a better hitter. Career-wise, Mays had higher rates in BA, doubles rates, triples rates. They were identical in SA. Mantle had a tiny ISO edge and a modest HR rate advantage. Just in terms of hitting the ball they are a wash, except that Mays did it for many more games. Mantle's advantage came in getting more walks, thus making a smaller percentage of outs per PA. That's value as a batter, not necessarily as a hitter.

                Comment


                • #98
                  Originally posted by BigRon View Post
                  By OPS+, true. But the difference between the two is completely walks driven. That makes Mantle a more valuable batter, but not necessarily a better hitter. Career-wise, Mays had higher rates in BA, doubles rates, triples rates. They were identical in SA. Mantle had a tiny ISO edge and a modest HR rate advantage. Just in terms of hitting the ball they are a wash, except that Mays did it for many more games. Mantle's advantage came in getting more walks, thus making a smaller percentage of outs per PA. That's value as a batter, not necessarily as a hitter.

                  How is drawing walks not a hitting skill?
                  "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

                  -Bill James

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by sturg1dj View Post
                    How is drawing walks not a hitting skill?
                    In case anyone cares - there is a higher year-2-year correlation with walking than there is slugging% or BA. Walking is one of the most repeatable and highly influential skills in baseball.

                    BB% - .78
                    Slug% - .63
                    Batting Average - .41
                    1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

                    1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

                    1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


                    The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
                    The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

                    Comment


                    • Does OPS+ really tell us was the better hitter? Mantle's OPS+ is referenced against the AL of his time. Mays OPS+ is referenced against the NL of his time. This is where LQ is important. How much stronger was the NL compared to the AL during Mantle's and Mays playing career? I seem to remember a thread where someone tracked players who changed leagues in the 1960's, I believe, and as a group the players who went from the NL to the AL saw a significant increase in OPS+ while players going from the AL to the NL saw a decrease in OPS+ as a group.
                      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by BigRon View Post
                        By OPS+, true. But the difference between the two is completely walks driven. That makes Mantle a more valuable batter, but not necessarily a better hitter. Career-wise, Mays had higher rates in BA, doubles rates, triples rates. They were identical in SA. Mantle had a tiny ISO edge and a modest HR rate advantage. Just in terms of hitting the ball they are a wash, except that Mays did it for many more games. Mantle's advantage came in getting more walks, thus making a smaller percentage of outs per PA. That's value as a batter, not necessarily as a hitter.
                        Mays had significantly more PA's as well. Mantle had 9,907 career PA's, Mays had 12,496 career PA's. Though 1967 Mays had 9,813 career PA's and had a career .583 slugging percentage.
                        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                        Comment


                        • Sort of interesting that the only player who shows up in both their career ten most similar lists is Mel Ott.

                          Master Melvin - not just a nice guy!

                          Comment


                          • Mays' competition included Aaron, part of Snider's peak, the end of Musial's peak, Mathews, Frank Robinson, Banks, Clemente, Cepeda, McCovey off the top of my head. Mantle had who, Kaline, as the only first ballot sort who was a direct contemporary. He had the second half o Williams' career, the start of Yaz', Rosen's peak, he was winding down he had Oliva. Maris, Colavito and Minoso were the major stars. I am not even including guys like Billy Williams, Santo or Ashburn, much less the Boys of Summer, sans Duke. Is there really a comparison? Maybe the floor of the AL was higher. Who knows?

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by PVNICK View Post
                              Mays' competition included Aaron, part of Snider's peak, the end of Musial's peak, Mathews, Frank Robinson, Banks, Clemente, Cepeda, McCovey off the top of my head. Mantle had who, Kaline, as the only first ballot sort who was a direct contemporary. He had the second half o Williams' career, the start of Yaz', Rosen's peak, he was winding down he had Oliva. Maris, Colavito and Minoso were the major stars. I am not even including guys like Billy Williams, Santo or Ashburn, much less the Boys of Summer, sans Duke. Is there really a comparison? Maybe the floor of the AL was higher. Who knows?

                              The information is pretty easy to find. Just look at their baseball reference page and advanced batting.


                              During Mays' career

                              LgBA: .264
                              LgOBP: .329
                              LgSLG: .400
                              LgOPS: .730

                              Mantle

                              LgBA: .256
                              LgOBP: .329
                              LgSLG: .387
                              LgOPS: .715

                              So you have a difference and it follows the hypotheses of multiple users that Mays played in a stronger league. But the difference isn't too extreme.
                              "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

                              -Bill James

                              Comment


                              • Can you find the mean raw OPS (not OPS+) from the top 20 hitters during each year of their careers? I think there is a curve of sorts, where the cream of the league impacts OPS+ more.
                                "By common consent, Ruth was the hardest hitter of history; a fine fielder, if not a finished one; an inspired base runner, seeming to do the right thing without thinking. He had the most perfect co-ordination of any human animal I ever knew." - Hugh Fullerton, 1936 (Chicago sports writer, 1893-1930's)

                                ROY / ERA+ Title / Cy Young / WS MVP / HR Title / Gold Glove / Comeback POY / BA Title / MVP / All Star / HOF

                                Comment

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