Sometimes articles about numbers are supposed to mean something. I don't know that numbers ever mean anything, but they can illustrate things and sometimes they can at least put things into perspective.
Until a player retires or leaves a team, his stats are constantly in flux. An off day gives one the chance to see the latest numbers and if you like, BBREF.com lets you sort franchise-only stats. So yesterday's off-day revealed something that I would not have guessed and left me thinking that it might mean many things.
Going into play tonight, Torii Hunter, Erick Aybar and Maicer Izturis are within 20 Plate Appearances for the Angels. Torii has 2,599, Aybar has 2,609 and the Miceman has 2,619. All time they are all ahead of #32 all time Plate Appearacnes David Eckstein and will all likely surpass Albie Pearson and Bengie Molina, Jack Howell and maybe even Reggie Jackson at #25 with 2,721 PAs in his 5 seasons here (1982-86).
So PAs indicate one thing, but how many hits have they had as Angels? Maicer has had 646, Torii has had 647 and Aybar has had 648. When you think of all the possibilities, lining things up that precisely seems unlikely. Batting averages are .275 for Izturis, almost exactly in between Aybar's .271 and Torii's .278.
So who here is best on the basepaths once he gets on? Izturis has been caught stealing 26 times while Torii and Aybar have been caught 28 times. Torii has 30 fewer bags with a Halo than Aybar though, 53 - 83. Izzy has 80 as an Angel. Torii has a lot more doubles than Aybar: 128 to 109. But Izturis has 134.
Do these mean anything? The reason Torii gets the big bucks is power - 98 HRs as an Angel to 25 for Aybar and 31 for Izturis, but you would think his gap power doubles would be higher considering that so much else between these three is about equal. Torii has 90 more walks than Aybar, though (238 - 128) while Izzy holds his own with 219. Izturis has the fewest strikeouts of the three of them, whiffing 273 times. Aybar has bit it 316 times while Torii has dreamt big and Kd 478 times in an Angels uniform (don't feel bad Dula, Reggie did it 690 times while playing here).
All three of them are considered to be great defenders, at least in their prime. Hunter and Aybar have won gold gloves here while Izturis may be the greatest utility player not named Chone Figgins in club history. Hunter's homerun prowess and all those extra walks has given him an OPS+ of 120 as an Angel while Izturis hovers at 95 and Aybar's at 86.
So make of it what you will. One of these players could tweak something and these numbers would forever be set in stone. Hunter and Izzy may be gone after October. Aybar may be benched after July. At the moment, the playing time they have accrued gives us a glimpse into some unexpected similarities and some assumed (and confirmed) differences.