So I'm over at the OC Register's Angels Blog, and I was reading a post about the Angels' biggest bargains of 2008. This was a chart put together by Fangraphs... they basically compared how much a player was paid and how much they were worth based on that player's stats. Napoli was the Angels' biggest bargain, being worth $14MM while only being paid $400K. (pretty cool, huh?)
In the comments, Mark Whicker (another OCR writer) writes this:
"Fansgraphs? What is that? Two guys listening on a phonograph to “Revolution No. 9″ backwards, so they can find new and different baseball numbers to amaze and amuse friends who don’t know anything about baseball either?
If Fansgraphs followed the Angels from even nine miles high, they would have known that Jeff Mathis was their most valuable catcher. The Angels were 26 over .500 when he caught, 13 over when Napoli caught, and their ERA was 0.80 lower with Mathis, and Mathis was the everyday catcher from early July to early August when the Angels were their hottest.
Napoli crushed 20 homers in 78 games. He also had a nice playoff. He also hit .222 or lower in April, May and June and had an OBP of .293 on July 29. You have to make adjustments quicker than that to become a credible hitter.
Mathis is much more athletic behind the plate and commands a game better.
Having said that, Napoli has undeniable strengths. It’s a good and underrated catching combo and it might flip-flop next year, but Mathis was the Angels’ MVC in ‘08."
I'll let you all discuss before I give you my reply...