Here are some Marcus Mooney defensive highlights from the 2014 season so far:
Needless to say, I've been very impressed with the defensive play of Marcus Mooney this season and it got me thinking: "Is Marcus Mooney the best shortstop to play for the Gamecocks since Adam Everett?"
As much as I would love to compare the two defensively I just don't have the numbers available to do that. I watched a lot of Adam Everett when he played for the Astros from 2001 - 2007, and he was an absolute joy to watch defensively. His 2006 season was especially good when he posted 4.1 defensive wins above replacement (dWAR), which is tied for 15th all-time, according to Baseball Reference.
Since it might be a while before we can objectively compare their defense, let's look at their offensive numbers to see if Marcus has a chance to make it to the majors and flash that spectacular leather.
In the first 32 games this season, Marcus Mooney has a .296 batting average, .386 on-base percentage and a .365 slugging percentage in 115 at bats. He's also walked 14 times and struck out 17.
In 57 games, as a sophomore at South Carolina in 1997, Adam Everett had a .356 batting average, .441 on-base percentage and a .542 slugging percentage in 236 at bats. He also walked 35 times and struck out 30 times.
Now, college baseball recently made a change to their bats which has decreased offense across the board, so we can't compare the numbers directly, but we can take a look at some peripherals. This season Marcus has a 10.5% walk rate (BB%) and a 12.8% strikeout rate (K%). In 1997 Everett had a 13.2% BB% and a 14.7% K%.
Marcus strikes out and walks less, but both numbers are above average for a hitter. I think, Marcus will have a chance to make it to the majors on his glove, though he'll need to hit for a little more power.
But wait, Marcus has an older brother who was a pretty good defensive shortstop himself and also played for South Carolina.
Peter Mooney, in his one year with the Gamecocks, had a .280 batting average, a .390 on-base percentage and a .394 slugging percentage. He also walked 44 times and struck out 31 times. That's a 14.1% BB% and a 9.9% K%.
Peter was drafted in the 21st round of the 2001 MLB draft and has made it all the way to AA this year. He's still walking at 14-17% rate in the minors and striking out at a 12-16% rate, which is pretty good and makes him an average to above average offensive player who has a pretty good glove.
My recollection of Peter Mooney is that he's a good defensive shortstop, but I feel like Marcus might be better. However, I'm watching (and GIFing) a lot more Gamecock baseball this year than I did in 2011 so I feel like I might be selling Peter short, but that's where you come in.
Who's the best shortstop to play for the Gamecocks since Adam Everett, and more specifically who is the best defensively? Is it Marcus, Peter or someone else.