I’ve been meaning to write a post comparing Matt Hague and Matt Curry for a while (especially during Matt Hague Mania), but I’ve kept putting it on the back burner. It was definitely shelved when Matt Curry was injured for Altoona, but now that he’s back I thought it would be a good time to show why I’ve always been higher on Matt Curry and lower on Matt Hague as we’ve been ranking them in recent years. Perhaps a post discussing the two Matts should have been left to our resident Matt, Matt Bandi, but I’m think I’m up for the challenge.
Before we get going, here’s the tale of the tape for these two:
Matt Hague (DOB 8/20/1985), 6′-3″, 225 lb, bats right, throws right — drafted 9th round in 2008
Matt Curry (DOB 7/27/1988), 6′-1″, 225 lb, bats left, throws right — drafted 16th round in 2010
Both were college seniors when they were drafted, but using the July 1st cutoff date for baseball ages, Curry was actually considered 21 in his draft year while Hague was 22. Here’s how each player did at the equivalent years in the system to this point.
Hague’s 2008 (age 22, 57 of 64 games spent in his draft year at Low A West Virginia) — .322/.386/.467 (853 OPS, 145 ISO)
Curry’s 2010 (age 21, 58 games all at State College) — .299/.421/.477 (898 OPS, 178 ISO)
Hague’s 2009 (age 23, 122 games all at High A Lynchburg) — .293/.356/.412 (768 OPS, 119 ISO)
Curry’s 2011 (age 22, 46 at Low A WV/87 at Double A Altoona for 133 total) — .282/.376/.475 (851 OPS, 193 ISO)
Year 2 (in progress for Curry)
Hague’s 2010 (age 24, 135 games for Double A Altoona) — .295/.375/.442 (817 OPS, 147 ISO)
Curry’s 2012 (age 23, 55 games in progress for Double A Altoona) — .294/.358/.483 (841 OPS, 189 ISO)
Curry has consistently had higher raw OPS numbers, higher isolated power numbers, and has typically drawn walks at a higher rate (although he strikes out a higher rate), all while being age-appropriate for the level he is at with Hague always 1 year older than his appropriate level.
I don’t think that Matt Curry is the 1B of the future that everyone is searching for, however. Like Hague, he’s not a true masher, as it appears he may hit 15 to 20 home runs in a typical year. Additionally, he’s also demonstrating a little bit of a pronounced split versus lefty/righty pitchers. Curry could be a good bench bat and potential platoon partner at 1B, while giving some good return on value for a 16th round pick, though.
Many times over the past few years, Tim and the rest of us have had to field questions on why we were “down on Hague”. I thought that showing this comparison may help demonstrate why at least one of us ranked Hague lower than fans expected.