Buck vs. Olivo

I posted this in the "Exiled John Buck..." thread and the 3 rec's made me think I should give it its own post.  The original title was "The running game is important, but not that important" and it is a comparison of the 2 with their 2008 stats.

Buck gave up 59 SBs and caught 12 for a 17% clip. That is bad.

Olivo gave up 19 and caught 14 for a 42% rate. That’s better.

So Buck gave up 40 extra bases, but that needs to be looked at as a rate stat, as Olivo only logged 494 innings behind the plate to Buck’s 950.

So Buck gave up 59 / (950 / 9) = .56 SBs per 9 innings caught

Olivo had 19 / (494 / 9) = .35 SBs per 9 innings caught

Those can be read like ERAs, Buck on average gives up .21 more SBs per game than Olivo, which is 1 SB for every 5 games caught. And Buck gives up a SB a little more than every other game overall, while Olivo does it a little more than every third.

Finally, let’s see who teams ran on more, obviously Buck right?

71 Attempts against Buck in 950 innings = 1 Attempt per 13.38 innings

33 Attempts against Olivo in 494 innings = 1 Attempt per 14.97 innings

So yes, teams run on Buck, but only a little more than Olivo.

Offensive analysis follows:

Olivo outhit Buck by 31 points in average

Buck got on base more. Taking BA out of OBP, we see Buck got on base at a rate that was 50 points better than Olivo. Olivo had 7 walks to Buck’s 38, and Buck only had 64 more plate appearances!

Buck’s slugging percentage was awful last year (Olivo got him by 79 points), but that is mostly due to his subpar BA (walks don’t count in slugging obviously). He did have 33 extra base hits last year (23 doubles, 1 triple, 9 homers), while Olivo had 1 more extra base hit in 64 fewer ABs (12 homers, 22 doubles), which is roughly 16 fewer games.

So roughly, Olivo slugs a little better, Buck gets on base better, Olivo steals a few bases. It pretty much cancels out. Baseball Reference has their 162 game averages as producing an 81 OPS+ season for Buck and 78 for Olivo.

Now having said all that. Did I mention that Olivo turns 31 in July and Buck turns 29 in July?

In conclusion, I’d trade Olivo and Buck for Matt Wieters. But if I had to choose, I choose the player that isn’t hacktastic at the plate since they do seem to be about the same. It feels like they each have their weaknesses and strong points, but they exactly cancel out. So take the younger player.

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