This all started thanks to a few posts by Spree15543 where he tried (emphasis on that word) to assess the Yankees and Red Sox on a position-by-position basis. In his view, the Red Sox won 5 positions (3B, C, LF, CF, DH), the Yankees won 3 positions (1B, SS, RF) and they pushed at 2B. Problem is, he didn't really provide any stats or rationale to back up his claim, so I decided to see if the numbers backed his opinion.
Instead of comparing what they have actually done this year, I wanted to see how they stacked up against each other in terms of productivity. In other words, how productive are they PER AT BAT. In order to do this, I prorated their production and made sure each position had the same number of at bats.
I know you can't ignore the injuries that happen in real life, but injuries are generally out of a players control. Production, on the other hand, is generally within the players' control. So, if we lived in a perfect world where injuries didn't exist and every position received the same number of ABs, here is where we would stand through August 2nd, 2009.
(Note: Spree put Youk at 3B vs. ARod. Not sure who he had a 1B. Youk has played a majority of his games at 1B, so that is where I put him. I recognize that he will be playing more 3B moving forward due to the acquisition of Victor Martinez).
NYY - Jorge Posada : .273/54/20/73/1
BOS - Victor Martinez : .283/57/15/68/0
NYY - Mark Teixeira : .283/64/26/77/2
BOS - Kevin Youkilis : .315/85/23/79/5
NYY - Robinson Cano : .304/70/16/56/4
BOS - Dustin Pedroia : .303/78/6/46/14
NYY - Alex Rodriguez : .261/52/22/69/8
BOS - Mike Lowell : .300/35/11/53/0
NYY - Derek Jeter : .322/69/11/44/19
BOS - Green/Lowrie/Lugo: .240/50/7/49/4
NYY - Nick Swisher : .241/52/17/54/0
BOS - J.D. Drew: .252/59/12/44/2
NYY - Melky Cabrera : .292/58/13/53/7
BOS - Jacoby Ellsbury : .305/60/6/35/48
NYY - Johnny Damon : .276/72/17/59/8
BOS - Jason Bay : .252/68/21/76/11
NYY - Hideki Matsui : .260/41/19/59/0
BOS - David Ortiz : .227/42/15/61/0
1B: Push (slight edge to Youk, which surprised me)
2B: Push (Cano for HR/RBI; DP for R/SB)
CF: Push (Melky for HR/RBI; Ellsbury for SB)
LF: BOS (Outside of RBI, this is basically a push)
DH: Push (slight edge to Matsui)
NYY wins two positions hands down (3B, SS) and has an edge in one push (DH). BOS barely wins one position (LF) and has an edge in one push (1B).
All in all, pretty even. (NOTE: if we take defense into account, BOS probably wins points at 2B, SS, 3B & LF)
So what are your thoughts (if anyone even reads this...)?