Keeping up the Earl theme, besides having a more AWESOME backwords name than Trot Nixon, JD Drew may actually be a better RF for the Red Sox. Or not.
Trot obviously had a much longer career with the Sox and even the untrained eye can see that he put up more impressive offensive numbers during his time guarding pesky's pole. In contrast, we all waited an entire season for JD Drew to get a "hit". Fortunately, for him and for us that came in the form of a pretty clutch grand slam against Cleveland.
Obviously, there are a lot of ways to skin this cat and none is perfect. After doing some looking I finally settled on WAR (wins above replacement) for one simple reason, it combines offense and defense. The other aspect of WAR that was appealing is that it is a direct comparison in that it compares the value of each player over a "replacement".
Finally, how to adjust for the fact that Trot patrolled RF for the Sox for 10 years and Drew is just in his 5th? I think the only way to do this is to take the best 4 consecutive years of Trot's career and compare them to Drew. With that in mind and the simple fact that Drew was apart of the 2007 World Series Champions, we have to pick the best 4 years around 2004 for Trot, otherwise Drew will have the only stat that really matters: "winning," as Charlie Sheen would say.
So with that in mind here are the numbers:
Trot 2002-2005: 2.8, 4.9, 1.1 WS Champs, 3.7 (total 12.5)
Drew 2007-2010: 1.9 WS Champs, 4.1, 5.0. 2.5 (total 13.5)
Ok so that's settled. Or not. Drew was hurt in 2004, which pretty much makes up the difference between them. If you substitute 2001 (3.5 WAR) or 2006 (1.8) for Trot's 2004 season this would be a different story. They would either be the same value or Trot would be more valuable.
Of course we should consider the cost. One can argue that the lower costing Trot allowed the Sox to spend more on other players. However, by the time Drew was signed the Sox weren't exactly cutting corners on their budget. That being said the facts are that Drew cost $56 million over those 4 years while Trot a mere $18.7 million. Again this might have more to do with the fact that home grown talent is ALWAYS cheaper than free agent signing.
So there you have it, or not. Maybe it comes down to the fact that DJ Werd might just be one of the best backwards names ever to play for the Sox. but Tort Noxin does have a nice ring to it.