Thursday, April 24, 2014
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A look at Pat Burrell's on-field legacy

In today's Daily News, Marcus Hayes offers an interesting perspective on the legacy of Pat Burrell through the eyes of some of the players who teamed with him at various points in his career. In many ways, Burrell's performance on the field fell victim to the massive expectations he set when he hit 37 home runs and posted a .920 OPS in his third season in the majors. He never repeated either of those numbers, failing to break into the ranks of the game's elite players. But he was still a success. Coincidentally enough, his career played out much like the player whose spurning of the Phillies led to Burrell being drafted. Both Burrell and J.D. Drew came to be defined more by their actions outside the lines than in between them, although they were far more productive than a lot of top draft picks.

A look at Pat Burrell's on-field legacy

Pat Burrell will officially retire in May as a member of the Phillies. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Pat Burrell will officially retire in May as a member of the Phillies. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

In today's Daily News, Marcus Hayes offers an interesting perspective on the legacy of Pat Burrell through the eyes of some of the players who teamed with him at various points in his career. In many ways, Burrell's performance on the field fell victim to the massive expectations he set when he hit 37 home runs and posted a .920 OPS in his third season in the majors. He never repeated either of those numbers, failing to break into the ranks of the game's elite players. But he was still a success. Coincidentally enough, his career played out much like the player whose spurning of the Phillies led to Burrell being drafted. Both Burrell and J.D. Drew came to be defined more by their actions outside the lines than in between them, although they were far more productive than a lot of top draft picks.

Here is how their career numbers stack up:

Pat Burrell

PA: 6,520

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HR: 292

RBI: 976

RS: 767

BA: .253

OBP: .361

OPS: .834

J.D. Drew

PA: 6,153

HR: 242

RBI: 795

RS: 944

BA: .278

OBP: .384

SLG: .489

OPS: .873

While much of the focus will always rest on the key double that Burrell hit in Game 5 of the World Series, his biggest contribution to the Phillies' world title came at the start of the season. With Ryan Howard mired in an April funk, Burrell and Chase Utley combined to power the Phillies' offense, keeping the team's head above water. Burrell started the first 35 games of the season, hitting .305/.432/.627 with nine home runs, 20 runs and 30 RBI in 146 plate appearances as the Phillies got off to a 19-15 start. Given their come-from-behind run to the NL East title, anything less might have resulted in another October at home.

Although Burrell never developed into the MVP-caliber player that many envisioned, he finishes his career as one of the most productive hitters in Phillies history. 

Here are his ranks in three offensive categories: home runs, OBP+SLG (OPS), and Batting runs, which is a formula developed by Sean Foreman of Baseball-Reference.com that attempts to measure how many runs a player contributed to his team compared with the average major league player. 

HRs (all-time)

Player HR PAs Years
1. Mike Schmidt 548 10062 1972-89
2. Ryan Howard 286 4409 2004-11
3. Del Ennis 259 6939 1946-56
4. Pat Burrell 251 5388 2000-08
5. Chuck Klein 243 5772 1928-44
6. Greg Luzinski 223 5321 1970-80
7. Cy Williams 217 5783 1918-30
8. Dick Allen 204 4511 1963-76
9. Bobby Abreu 195 5885 1998-06
10. Chase Utley 188 4778 2003-11

OPS since 1947 (min. 3000 PAs)

1. Ryan Howard .928 2004-11
2. Bobby Abreu .928 1998-06
3. Mike Schmidt .908 1972-89
4. Dick Allen  .902 1963-76
5. Chase Utley .882 2003-11
6. Scott Rolen .877 1996-02
7. John Kruk .861 1989-94
8. Pat Burrell .852 2000-08
9. Greg Luzinski .852 1970-80
10. Del Ennis .820 1947-56

Rbat since 1947 (min. 3000 PAs)

Player Rbat PAs Years
1. Mike Schmidt 549 10062 1972-89
2. Bobby Abreu 296 5885 1998-06
3. Dick Allen 269 4511 1963-76
4. Greg Luzinski 200 5321 1970-80
5. Ryan Howard 182 4409 2004-11
6. Chase Utley 163 4778 2003-11
7. Johnny Callison 151 5930 1960-69
8. Richie Ashburn 150 8223 1948-59
9. John Kruk 145 3001 1989-94
10. Del Ennis 129 6356 1947-56
11. Pat Burrell 119 5388 2000-08
12. Tony Gonzalez 119 4194 1960-68
13. Scott Rolen 109 3643 1996-02
14. Lenny Dykstra 102 3374 1989-96
15. Von Hayes 102 4988 1983-91


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