Gary Matthews Jr. vs Kenny Lofton

Versus: Gary Matthews Jr. vs Kenny Lofton



Gary Matthews Jr. Kenny Lofton





Gary Matthews Jr. was inked to a 5 year, $50 million contract by the Los Angeles Angels.


Kenny Lofton recently signed a 1 year, $6 million contract with the Texas Rangers, replacing Matthews in CF.




Gary Matthews is currently 32. He will be 37 when his contract expires.


Kenny Lofton is currently 39. He will be 40 when his contract expires.




Gary Matthews Jr.   Avg OBP SLG
2004   0.275 0.350 0.461             0.811
2005   0.255 0.320 0.436 0.756
2006   0.313 0.371 0.495 0.866
Kenny Lofton        
2004   0.275 0.346 0.395 0.741
2005   0.335 0.392 0.420 0.811
2006   0.301 0.360 0.403 0.763


While Matthews has displayed more pop throughout the three year study, he traditionally has hit for a low average and has also posted low OBP. Was 2006 a fluke?


Note: Lofton played only 83 games in 2004:
Lofton hasn’t exhibited a huge outburst such as Matthews Jr. 2006, he has posted OBP of .392 & .360 over the past two seasons. In 2005, he played in Philadelphia, a hitter’s park. 2006 brought him to Dodger Stadium, a noted pitchers park. It would be safe to assume a slugging percentage near 2005 levels when Lofton suits up for the Rangers in 2007.




Matthews plays a visually spectacular centerfield, and was rewarded with a Gold Glove in 2006.


While age has declined Lofton’s defensive abilities, he is still (statistically) an average centerfielder.




I think this round of versus has to boil down to the individual players contracts. Regardless of statistics, I think the Rangers win out based solely upon the virtue of flexibility. Lofton should be gone next season, opening up a large portion of free agent money that the Rangers will most likely use to lure local 2007 free agent Vernon Wells. On the other hand, the Angels will still be locked into an additional four seasons of Gary Matthews Jr.–who will be 37 when his contract expires—at $10 million per season.


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