As the trade rumors continue to swirl, I wanted to take a quick look at the man who is likely to become our new center fielder. Perhaps the best way to do this is to compare him, in a few key categories, to our previous CF. The better total is in bold.
Damon, 2005: .316/.366/.439/.805
Crisp, 2005: .300/.345/.465/.810
Damon: .077
Crisp: .068
Damon: 62.4
Crisp: 37.1
Damon: .236
Crisp: .254
Damon: 49.2
Crisp: 39.3
Damon: .293
Crisp: .293
Damon: 6.47
Crisp: 5.80
Damon: 6.9
Crisp: 6.9
Damon: 18
Crisp: 15
Damon: 95%
Crisp: 71%
ZR (career, in CF)
Damon: .903
Crisp: .866
ZR (career, in LF)
Damon: .911
Crisp: .907
On cursory inspection, it does appear that Johnny damon in 2005 was a better player than Crisp in 2005, but not by very much. Damon had a slightly better batting eye, but Crisp had more power. Damon is a better basestealer, and a better fielder (or, at least, has been). But, of course, Crisp is 26 and improving, while Damon is 33 and set to decline. According to EqA and WARP3, these two players were exactly as valuable as one another in 2005; this bodes well for the Sox, as Crisp is younger and comes with a significantly lower price tag. I don’t want to comment on the merits of the trade itself until we know all the details, but I did want to provide at least a quick comparison between Damon and Crisp so we can get some idea of how they stack up.
So here are a few questions to discuss: How do you see Coco Crisp’s future progressing? Does he add power, does he improve on the basepaths, does he improve his patience? Is he really a leadoff candidate, or someone better suited to hitting low in the order? How do you think his fielding will translate from LF to CF? Have at it.

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