Monday, June 4, 2007

Lyle Overbay: The Best Ever?

By Michael Haas

First baseman Lyle Overbay has impressed with his stick and his leather at every level of baseball, and he shows no signs of slowing down. Drafted by the A.Z.D.BACKS out of Nevada in 1999, Overbay quickly developed into one of the most exciting young players in the National League. He has played for three teams in his career and amassed 69 big flies and 628 hits - - but how does he compare to some of the best first basemen ever? Let's take a look.

The man that set the bar for all first basemen is a man named Lou Gehrig. I know what you’re thinking: “Dude, you’re comparing Lyle effin Overbay to Lou Gehrig?” But just hear me out; once you look at the numbers, I think you’ll be surprised.

The Hall of Famer played in 2,130 consecutive games (over 15 years), averaged .340 with 37 round trippers and 149 RBI per season with a 1079 OPS. The Mighty Yankees won six world titles with Biscuit Pants before he prematurely retired in 1939 on a count of his very own disease.

Lyle Overbay’s best season came in 2006 with the Toronto Blue Jays. Overbay would hit .312 with 22 homers and 92 RBI with a .880 OPS. while helping the Jays dethrone the Boston Red Sox as the runner-up in the AL East. His 2007 campaign was sidetracked after just two months when Johnny Danks broke three bones in his hand with a fastball. At the time, Overbay was hitting very well - a solid .256 average and projecting to hit 23 bombs and drive in 79.

So The Big O is not quite as good as the Iron Horse, but they're in the same conversation. He turned 30 years old in January, so if his hand heals, he should continue his Cooperstown numbers for a few more years. Perhaps 15 years from now, we'll be watching two first basemen enter the Hall together: Doug Mientkiewicz and Lyle Overbay.

Lyle Overbay on the web:

Official statistics at Baseball-Reference
really stupid Blue Jays commercial


OK I admit it. Lyle Overbay should not be compared to Lou Gehrig. He probably shouldn't even be compared to Derek Lee or Mark Teixiera. But Lyle Overbay is the best baseball player named Lyle to ever play the game. A look at The Other Lyles:

Lyle Bigbee
This guy played for the A's and the Pirates in 1920 and '21, respectively. He threw 45 innings for the A's and gave up 40 earned runs. He must have known someone in Pittsburgh, cuz they signed him for some reason in '21. He pitched 8 innings for the Pirates, allowing just one run. Sadly, he never again played in the majors. He did hit one home run though. Sounds like a nice guy.

Lyle Judy
This Lyle only played one year. He was 21 years old playing for the Cardinals back in '35. He must have been fast or something, because the only two times he ever reached base, he stole second. He never got a hit, he grounded into two double plays and played in just 8 games.

Lyle Lutrell
Lyle-Lu played shortstop in a whopping 57 games for the old Senators in '56 and '57. He hit two bombs and sports a .192 lifetime batting average. I'll have to ask Harmon about this guy next time I see him.

Lyle Mouton
I don't remember this guy, although I'm sure I've seen him play in person. He played for the White Sox 1995 through 1997 and bounced around a bit before retiring in 2001. His best season came in '97 when he hit .269 in 88 games. Maybe this Lyle would have been great if he were able to see the field more often. I think the Twins should look him up - he could be the bat we need to push us over the edge. He's 38 years old and has only hit one career home run. He could be '06 Phil Nevin or the '05 Bret Boone.

"Me is the best Lyle!"


tfrezac2002 said...

I can't honestly beleive your considering Lyle Overbay the best 1st basemen of all time. He isn't even currently the best at his position. Must I mention a guy whos on pace for a year never before matched? A certain Richie Sexson.

tfrezac2002 said...

About that Weird/scary picutre. What the hell is going on there?

Daymonster said...

Agruably the most ridiculous post ever.

You are forgetting about another great first baseman: Garrett Jones.

the Dutchie said...

Mike, you didn't bring up the situation in which this blog was inspired. What mike failed to tell you is...'the rest of the story'.
At the end of last week, mike was feeling considerably week in his fantasy baseball outfield. so he started making some moves that would benefit him in all the right areas. So, 'Haastyle9' and 'Selanee's snipers' started spinning their managerial wheels.

I dont know all the details, but i do know that Haas acquired our boy Lyle, approximently 30 minutes before he broke his hand. Haas continued into a complete meltdown, and wrote a blog comparing Lyle Overbay and Doug Mientkiewicz to Lou Gehrig.

haasertime said...

i think this blog has found it niche

making absurd statements

brex said...

haasertime is not time well spent

soup said...

I am an adamant proponent of absurd sports related statements. I have been know to make a few myself: Darin Ersted is the best overall athlete in the Major leagues, Chris Carter is the best receiver of all time, Derek Jeter would be a career .270 hitter and have zero gold glovers if spent his career in a Nationals/Expos uniform, ect. I don’t think any of them, however, are absurd as this.

The most absurd sports related comment I have ever heard was at a twin’s game a number of years ago. Christian Guzman just got a triple. There was a man next to me toxically over-served. He had his eyes closed, repeatedly nodded his head, and earnestly and redundantly proclaimed, “Christian Guzman…world fastest human.”

haasertime said...

Tfrezac - you're right about sexson. hes hitting .200 and he has 41 strikeouts and 37 hits. hes awesome.
i dont know whats going on in that picture. it musta been taken at a bar. it came up wehn i searched lyle in google images. i want to hang out with lyle overbay.

Daymonster - you're right about garrett jones. i cant believe the twins cant find a spot on their roster for him. they oughtta just cut #33

Dutchie - youre right about the situation that inspired this blog. i traded chris capuano and shawn green for lyle overbay and his broken hand. i cant believe selannes snipers would send someone as awesome as lyle for some a couple of hacks.

Brex - i resent that

Soup - that c. guzman story made me LOL.
and i agree about the ridiculousness of the jeter statement - he would hit .240 and probably wouldnt be in the majors right now if he played for the expos/senators.

TwinsWin83 said...

How do you even follow something that rediculous up? Maybe an article on how Pat Mahomes was the best pitcher of the 1990s?