He's been called the "Greek God of Walks". The Fenway Faithful rain down the "Yoooooouuuuk" when he steps to the plate. Pundits call him versatile for his ability to play both 1B and 3B very well. But not many people outside of Red Sox Nation call him a superstar baseball player. How good is he? Let's take a look back at his most recent body of work - the 2008/2009 seasons. 136 Baseball players "qualified" for this analysis using Fangraphs.
OBP: Considered by a large contingent to be one of the most important stats when it comes to offense. You come to bat - you should get on base - plain and simple. Over the last two seasons Kevin Youkilis is one of only 9 players in all of the majors to post an OBP of .400+. The list is below
Pujols - 0.452, Mauer - 0.428, C. Jones - 0.427, M. Ramirez - 0.425, Berkman - 0.410, Helton - 0.407, H. Ramirez - 0.405, Holliday - 0.401, Youkilis - 0.401.
Most of the players on that list would be called "super-stars" at least some time in their respective careers...Youkilis?
OPS: Pick two names for the top OPS players over the past two seasons - one is Pujols who is the only player to post over a "1.000" at 1.108. You may choose Manny Ramirez as the second because he's widely regarded as a top hitter in the league - Manny checks in at 0.999. Third place? Hmm....Texiera? (4th), A-Rod? (7th)......Its Youkilis with a 0.960.
wOBA: WOBA! Over the past two seasons the top 3 in WOBA - Pujols 0.453 (ridiculous), M. Ramirez 0.418, A-Rod 0.409 and 3 players tied at 0.407 (Guess who one of those guys is?) the other two are Hanley Ramirez and Joe Mauer.
Could you argue that Youk is one of the top 6 offensive players in baseball??
wRC: After finishing 9th in OBP and tied for 4th in wOBA, Youk takes a hit on this list and falls to a mere 13th in all of baseball. Of course that's above such players as David Wright, Berkman, A-Rod, Jeter, Manny Ramirez, and numerous other players of name and still in the top 10% of all qualified players.
WAR: Youkilis posted a 11.2 WAR over the past two seasons placing him 9th amongst positional players.
Pujols - 17.4, Utley - 15.6, H. Ramirez - 14.6, Mauer - 14.0, Longoria - 12.5, Holliday - 12.0, Texiera - 11.9, Pedroia - 11.9, Youk - 11.2
So to Recap (Out if 136 qualifiers over 2008-2009)
OBP - 9th
OPS - 3rd
wOBA - 4th (tied)
wRC - 13th
WAR - 9th
Top 10% of his class in every statistic shown, Top 5% in 2 of the 5 categories.
Kevin Youkilis - the Superstar