Lazy Luis Arráez-Tony Gwynn comparisons emerge after trade despite surprising stats

Okay, let's slow down just a little bit.
San Diego Padres infielder Luis Arraez
San Diego Padres infielder Luis Arraez / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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The San Diego Padres surprisingly acquired Miami Marlins infielder Luis Arráez this past week and the Tony Gwynn comparisons began almost immediately. Arráez, much like Gwynn, is a hit-over-power player who consistently puts the ball in play and rarely strikes out.

Gwynn is well regarded as one of the best hitters in the history of baseball. Over his 20 years major league career, Gwynn only struck out 434 times. Kyle Schwarber struck out 215 times just last season.

Gwynn stands among the pantheon of the greatest hitters the spot has ever seen — alongside the likes of Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, and Ted Williams. Yet somehow, several sportswriters, MLB analysts, and baseball fans are finding ways to compare Arráez to Gwynn. It's time to stop this insane behavior.

The Luis Arráez-Tony Gwynn comparisons after Padres trade are actually insane

None of this is meant to undermine or take away from what Arráez has done so far during the first five-plus years of his major league career. It's rather impressive for a player in today's era to hit for average. Most players are obsessed with launch angle, exit velocity, and slugging percentage. Arráez brings a refreshing approach to those fans who long for the days of "get 'em on, get 'em over, get 'em in."

But the two-time batting champion can't hold a candle to Gwynn's résumé. Gwynn has eight batting titles — during an era in which batting average actually mattered. It's worth noting that the first year in which Arráez won the batting title, he did so with a .316 batting average. There were nine seasons (in which Gwynn didn't take home the batting title) where his batting average was .316 or higher.

Gwynn is a Hall of Famer with 15 All-Star appearances, seven Silver Slugger Awards, and five Gold Gloves while playing right field. Gwynn led the league in hits seven times and has seven top-10 MVP finishes. Defense is not part of Arráez's arsenal and the 27-year-old has just one top-10 MVP finish.

To Arráez's credit, his first 2,144 at-bats compare quite well to Gwynn's. Surprisingly, both players have exactly 24 round trippers during that time frame and Gwynn's .326 batting average is just one point higher than Arráez's .325. Numbers never lie, and those stats do offer some clarity as to why the comparisons exist.

But quite frankly, there's no sense in comparing Gwynn to any player in today's game. Average has been sacrificed for power, and OPS trumps almost any other stat in today's box score. Gwynn was a one-in-a-million player, but Arráez's old-school approach to hitting has some of the Friar faithful harkening back to the good ole days.

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