Still time for Burroughs to shine

Originally Published: July 8, 2005
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
Today, the latest edition of Ask Rob Neyer …

Dan Palmer: In examining Sean Burroughs' Baseball-Reference.com entry, I find that among his comparables are three Hall of Famers (Brooks Robinson, Red Schoendienst, George Kell) and one excellent active major leaguer (Edgardo Alfonzo). Given these lofty comparisons (and of course that may be all they are), I was curious what your take on Burroughs is and whether he'll realize (as Bill Simmons would say) the "tremendous upside potential" foreseen for him. I think you've commented on it before, but do you also have any thoughts on the validity of this age-based comparison tool on the baseball-reference Web site. Does it typically provide a fair predictor of a players' potential (barring injuries, etc.)? Thanks for your time.

Rob: I think it's moderately valid, except for this: the Similarity Scores are based on raw statistics, which is to say they're not 1) park-adjusted, or 2) ERA-adjusted. Which is to say that the National League in 2004 (Sean Burroughs) is quite a bit different from the American League in 1960 (Brooks Robinson).