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Extra Mustard
Ben Reiter
August 28, 2006
IS THERE A PLAYER MORE INTEGRAL TO HIS TEAM'S OFFENSE THAN OAKLAND DH FRANK THOMAS? While the 38-year-old Big Hurt was hitting only .265 at week's end and was bothered earlier this season by a quadriceps injury, his 26 home runs and .386 on-base percentage were critical to a team that ranked second to last in the American League in runs scored (4.5 per game). According to Baseball Prospectus's Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) rankings-which compare the runs a major leaguer has created with the runs a waiver-wire or Triple A-caliber player at the same position would produce-Thomas contributed 26.5 more runs than a replacement-level DH would have, ranking him 64th in the majors but well ahead of every other A's player. Excluding the 13 players who had a negative VORP, Oakland hitters combined for a VORP of only 69.6 runs. That means Thomas's contribution (38.1%) was the highest percentage in the majors, exceeding that of the Astros' Lance Berkman (36.1%), the Orioles' Miguel Tejada (33.8%), the Marlins' Miguel Cabrera (31.9%) and the Cardinals' Albert Pujols (31.6%).
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August 28, 2006

Extra Mustard

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IS THERE A PLAYER MORE INTEGRAL TO HIS TEAM'S OFFENSE THAN OAKLAND DH FRANK THOMAS? While the 38-year-old Big Hurt was hitting only .265 at week's end and was bothered earlier this season by a quadriceps injury, his 26 home runs and .386 on-base percentage were critical to a team that ranked second to last in the American League in runs scored (4.5 per game). According to Baseball Prospectus's Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) rankings-which compare the runs a major leaguer has created with the runs a waiver-wire or Triple A-caliber player at the same position would produce-Thomas contributed 26.5 more runs than a replacement-level DH would have, ranking him 64th in the majors but well ahead of every other A's player. Excluding the 13 players who had a negative VORP, Oakland hitters combined for a VORP of only 69.6 runs. That means Thomas's contribution (38.1%) was the highest percentage in the majors, exceeding that of the Astros' Lance Berkman (36.1%), the Orioles' Miguel Tejada (33.8%), the Marlins' Miguel Cabrera (31.9%) and the Cardinals' Albert Pujols (31.6%).

? More from Tom Verducci and Baseball Prospectus at SI.com/baseball.

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