Lou Whitaker was always my favorite Tiger growing up. I think it was the way everyone chanted “Lou” at the games. Little did I know that this was common practice for any player with the first name Lou. Lou Piniella apparantly got the chant, as does Lou Merloni (at least he did when he played for the Red Sox).
Whitaker is listed as the thirteenth best second basemen of all time by Bill James in his Historical Baseball Abstract. He was a great hitter with two strikes on him, and ended his career with more walks then strikeouts. He followed up what was probably his best season in 1983 with a solid campaign in 1984. He won the gold glove despite what the numbers show over at Baseball Prospectus, and played in the All Star Game in 1984.
Let’s take a look at the numbers:
Home Runs 13
Runs Created 81
Batting Runs Above Replacement 30
Fielding Runs Above Replacement 19
Equalized Average .276
Wins Above Replacement Player 5.4
A fine season, but compared to the MVP of the league, and according to Bill James, the 15th best player of all time at any position, he just doesn’t quite stack up.
Scorecare 1975 Reds 3, 1984 Tigers 0
You can read Blade’s analysis of Joe Morgan at Red’s Cutting Edge.