• 06/07/2008, 07:19PM ET

TDAholics MLB Tournament-The Minnesota Matchup-Which player would you rather have, Josh Hamilton or Edinson Volquez?

Super Squirrel (75-68-14) vs 0x NBA/NFL Champion (95-23-16)

The question that is basically being asked here is would you rather have a shutdown starter or a very, very good Centerfielder....?

I would rather have Josh Hamilton...

Hamilton is hitting .322 with a .368 OBP, a .608 SLG %, 17 HRs, 3 Triples, 19 Doubles, and 22 BBs to 43 Ks.

Basically, Hamilton is doing everything that he needs to do to drive in the 68 runs that the Rangers have put on base for him...Plus, he improved on numbers that were already good last year....

Volquez is a great young pitcher, with an amazing 91 Ks and an outstanding 1.32 ERA. The problem with Volquez is that he throws WAY too many pitches, so he doesn't go deep into games. Volquez has thrown 1276 pitches this season in 75 innings pitched, or 17 per inning. With that, he's going to give you 6 innings of work. Volquez has gone seven innings THREE times this season out of 12 starts, including three starts where he hasn't gotten past the sixth inning.

Most other pitchers with 12/13 starts have at least 80 innings thrown this year, or 6 2/3 a start. That extra 2/3 per start takes strain off your bullpen and is better in the long run.

Also, Volquez is tied for 5th in walks, and that's going to bite him.....

Well, this should be a good one.

First of all, Volquez is just 24 while Hamliton is 27. Both players are playing great as of now, but with Volquez being three years younger, this is a definite advantage for him.

Hamilton is a great story, and I have tons of respect for him. But let's face it, his past is going to have a toll on him. With his job of being a professional athlete and his past, it isn't going to help him. Don't get me wrong, I am rooting for the guy, but we have to be realistic. Also, Hamilton has been on the DL before and has had injuries, something Volquez hasn't.

Here is what Volquez has done:

1st in ERA
2nd in Wins
1st in K's
And he's given up just 11 ER in 75 IP. That is incredible!

Now, look at that. At just 24, he is a legitimate Triple Crown candidate. Will he win it? Probably not, but it is phenomenal that he is even in the discussion. The best part? He isn't even in his prime, yet! We all know what a dominant pitcher can do, they can lead a team to the playoffs, such as Johan Santana did. He has all the talent to be a superstar.

Hamilton, for all he is doing well, already has 43 SO's, but just 22 BB's. He has half as many SO's as hits.

First off, age really means little in baseball now with the amount of training that these guys go through...Guys are able to play well into their thirties and even forties...Yes, Volquez has got three years on Hamilton, but he's also been in the majors for two more seasons...

You know as well as I do that that is complete speculation...many people are able to turn their lives completely around and keep going in a positive direction...Look at Danny Graves...drinking problem, divorce issues, comes back now, starts at low-A ball and works his way back to AAA, where he's become the veteran influence on the Red Wings...The motivation to get to the big leagues, to work for something, can really help a guy in that situation...

A dominant pitcher needs a good team around him to lead that team to the playoffs...That would be why the Reds are 30-33...Santana had guys like Mauer, Hunter, Morneau, Radke, and Silva that were solid around him...Right now, Volquez has Harang and Phillips...Yes, that's right now, but who knows the type of talent that he'll get? Also, he's not going to get those 6-8 runs of support his entire career...

Young hitters strike out...simple as that...they get over it

Yes, guys are able to play. But there is a decrease in production as they get older. Would you honestly say that someone who is 41, will be just as good as he was when he was 32? As people get older, production starts to decrease. This will happen to both. But with the age difference, Hamilton's most likely will occur earlier, and Volquez will produce for a little longer.

His story is great. But in five years, his past could very well take a toll on him. Cocaine is not a little problem, it is a very serious drug. He's been on the DL before. Combine those two things, and it could very well have a toll on his body. Volquez has never had injury problems.

In the second half of 06, Santana was 10-1. Yes, he had help. But he won the Triple Crown, and led the AL in so much. He was basically a win every 5 days. That is a huge mental booster, and it helps the bullpen. If Volquez keeps up, he could do it too.

MLB wise:

1st in ERA
1st in K's
1st in Runs ( Least)
1st in ER (Least)
3rd in W
Has given up just 45 H in 75 IP

17th in BA
3rd in HR
10th in Runs
28th in 2B
55th in OBP
11th in OPS
8th in SLG

Hamilton is great in RBI and HR, but in other categories..

Volquez can't add to the team like Hamilton can...Yes, Volquez can give you a game where you only need 3 runs to win, but can he give you those runs? Hamilton is able to consistently put everyone on his team in a position to win. By getting on base, he gives the guys behind him a chance to drive in a driving in the guys ahead of him, he's able to put the pitcher in a spot where he's able to relax with the lead.

Volquez, on the other hand, can't really do anything except for keep the game close. He can't make the hitters on his team more comfortable with a shutout if the Reds haven't scored yet either.

Also, Hamilton gives you what he's got for nine innings every day...Volquez throws for six innings every fifth day...Hamilton is able to contribute more to the win column than Volquez can...

I think you forgot the part about him driving in 13 more runs than anyone else in the majors, being tied for third in hits, and 4th in total extra base hits...and that Volquez is 6th in walks issued...

Hamilton has been on the DL for 30 days total w/ a sprained right wrist and stomach flu.

Hamilton's everyday production is more valuable to the team than the 6 innings every 5 days...

Volquez gives the team a very good chance to win when he pitches. By himself, he allows the team a great chance to win. Hamilton is a good player, but he is just one of nine hitters. Volquez is by himself.

Hamilton is a good hitter, but he is a bit of a liability on defense. Out of the top 20 CF's, Hamilton is LAST in fielding %, 16th in zone rating and 16th in RF. Hamilton can hit, but he is third among CF's in errors.

Yes, Hamilton is top 5 in RBI's, HR's, hits and extra-base hits. On the other hand, Volquez LEADS in ERA, K's, runs, earned runs and is third in wins. In the most important stat, ERA, Volquez leads the league by .83! He is almost a run below the second place ERA of 2.15.

Volquez is 8-2 but the Reds are just 30-34. Volquez is responsible for 27% of their wins. Volquez is incredibly important. On the other hand, with Hamilton playing everyday, the Rangers are just 31-33. So, with Volquez playing less, the overall effect is nearly the same as Hamilton's.

It is much harder to find a dominant P than a dominant OF A dominant P can completely take over a game, and have far more of an effect than an OF.

He is younger, and dominating more. I'd take Edinson Volquez.


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