This is a very simple post, with a very simple message: George Brett is the man and the Royals aren't much without him historically.
Let me say that again: George Brett is more than man than any other man has ever been the man.
Inspired by the tournament going on over on Viva El Birdos, I wanted to setup a Brett versus Everyone battle, pitting George Brett's best 9 seasons against the best 9 seasons of every non-Brett Royal.
Well, turns out that would be like asking Nebraska to play Kansas again in basketball. Check this out, its unbelievably incredible.
Here are the best 9 Brett seasons, by OPS+, (which is OBP+SLG, adjusted for league)
Brett '80: 202
Brett '85: 178
Brett '83: 158
Brett '90: 153
Brett '88: 149
Brett '79: 148
Brett '76: 145
Brett '77: 144
Brett '82: 141
Now here are the best "everyone else" seasons, ranked by OPS+ (although a random year may have slipped the cracks):
Tartabull '91: 171
Mayberry '75: 168
Mayberry '72: 167
Hamelin '94: 146
Mayberry '73: 144
Sweeney '02: 142
Dye '00: 134
Sweeney '00: 130
Beltran '03: 126
Nothing fancy to say other than "damn!"
Ohh what the heck, lets roll it, and get more complicated. Brett's 8th best season is still better than anything Sweeney, Dye or Beltran ever managed. Brett also posted an OPS+ of 137 in 1986 and a 131 in 1987 which would have cracked the other guy lineup. And on and on...
Here are the steps:
1) I'll neutralize all the stats to a 750 runs per year environment using the tool on baseball-reference.
2) Using David Pinto's Lineup Toy, I'll run the run expectancy sims with the lineup in the same orders listed above. I'll also list what the best case scenario would be.
OK. Here are the results for the All-Brett Team:
All-Brett as listed above: 7.582 runs/game
Best All-Brett: 7.624 runs/game
There are two versions of the All-Brett lineup that post 7.624 a game, both with Brett '85 leading off and Brett '80 hitting #2.
With so many absolutely absurd OBPs in there, you really can't screw things up. The very worst All-Brett lineup still cranks out 7.368 runs/game.
Now for the other guys:
All-Everyone Else as listed above: 7.158
Best All-Everyone Else:7.246
The best lineup begins Mayberry '72, Tartabull '91, Hamelin '94. Wow, Hamelin was the ultimate flash in the pan... no?
Worst everyone else lineup? 6.98 per, with Hamelin, Beltran and Sweeney leading off.
So just to hammer home the point, over 162 games, we get this:
WORST All-Brett over 162: 1193 runs
BEST All-Everyone over 162: 1173 runs
So in sum, this franchise, at least at the plate, is George Brett, some forgotten John Mayberry seasons and random samplings of other guys that don't compare at all.
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