Taveras - 98 G, 95 Starts, 839 innings
Stubbs - 42 G, 40 Starts, 369 innings
Dickerson - 27 G, 19 Starts, 171 innings (27 Starts in LF, 13 Starts in RF)
Offensively, some players produced better than others.
437 TPA .240 AVG .275 OBP .559 OPS 34.2 RC 2.82 RC/27 25 SB 6 CS 80.6 SB%
299 TPA .275 AVG .370 OBP .743 OPS 39.1 RC 5.42 RC/27 11 SB 3 CS 78.6 SB%
196 TPA .267 AVG .323 OBP .762 OPS 26.2 RC 5.13 RC/27 10 SB 4 CS 71.4 SB%
I'd post Heisey's minor league numbers, but he tore up AA, and then laid an egg @ AAA. If you really want to see them, then clicky clicky.
The reason I chose the above stats is because I think they give us a pretty good picture of a leadoff hitter. Runs are a teammate dependent stat, since you need teammates to drive you in if you do not drive yourself in, so I chose to exclude them. While I've never been a fan of AVG, showing AVG next to OBP shows us who has an AVG driven OBP, and who finds other ways to get to 1B without actually getting a hit. For my leadoff hitter, I care about getting to 1B by any means necessary. RC/27 is a nice way to show individual offensive production, normalized for a 27 out window, whereas regular RC can be a tad misleading since it's it's sort of a counting stat (as much as a sabermetric stat can be a counting stat), but I wanted to show the total RC as well.
Lastly, ideally we want our leadoff hitter to create HAVOC once they get to 1B, no? I want a guy who swipes bags without creating unnecessary outs, which by my estimation is a successful SB% North of 75%.
The final piece of the puzzle is defense. Prior to the Corey Patterson-era, the Reds trotted out guys by the name of Ryan Freel, Jerry Wayne Hairston, Jr, Norris Hopper, Dewayne Wise, Jason Ellison, Buck Coats, Quinton McCracken, Ken Griffey, Jr (who was awful defensively after 2000), Kenny Kelly, Wily Mo Pena, Jason Romano, Darren Bragg, Jermaine Clark, Mark Budzinski, Ruben Mateo, Reggie Taylor (call me biased, I never thought he was any good defensively), Juan Encarnacion, Raul Gonzalez, Michael Tucker, Donnie Sadler, Kimera Bartee, Brian L Hunter and Alex Ochoa. Mike Cameron in 1999 was the last everyday defensive whiz that patrolled CF for the Reds.
Let's compare Dickerson, Heisey, Stubbs and Taveras defensively, for giggles.
2008 - 1.0 UZR (only played in 7 G, so I won't waste your time with UZR/150)
2009 - 6.2 UZR, 45.5 UZR/150
2009 - Made 4 errors in 216 TC between AA & AAA (all 4 came in 146 TC @ AA)
2009 - 7.6 UZR, 28.5 UZR/150
2005 - 9.8 UZR, 12.6 UZR/150
2006 - 18.0 UZR, 22.6 UZR/150
2007 - -4.7 UZR, -7.1 UZR/150
2008 - -2.2 UZR, -3.0 UZR/150
2009 - 8.3 UZR, 14.1 UZR/150
Word on the street is that defensively the depth chart for CF would be Stubbs, Heisey (apparently like 1 & 1a), Dickerson and then Taveras. The UZR numbers suggest that aside from 2007 & 2008 (maybe The Virus really did have a leg injury, and that's why he sucked something awful in 2009?), Willy Taveras might actually be the best defensive CF option, but honestly I just don't buy it. I also don't buy that Stubbs or Heisey is leaps and bounds better defensively than Dickerson.
So now let's put it all together. What would your CF depth chart be if you had to rank these 4 guys? Look at each guy as a complete player, as opposed to saying something cliche like "I wish I could have Dickerson's bat with the speed of Taveras with the defense of Stubbs or Heisey".
Personally, I'd go with something a little like this:
What say you, oh RR faithful?
126 votes total