Does his Gold Gloves and longevity make up for his bat?
One of the strongest cases against Vizquel is his below-average offensive output. His career .272/.336/.352 batting line works to an 82 OPS+, which means that Vizquel was 18 percent worse than the average hitter in his career.
Vizquel’s career total of 45.3 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) ranks 28th among all shortstops, and a substantial 21.4 WAR below the standard at the position.
The player that Omar normally gets compared to is the Wizard of Oz Ozzie Smith. There are only a few similarities between the shortstops. Vizquel holds the edge in fielding percentage, .985 to .978, BUT both were 12 points higher than their shortstop counterparts during their careers.
Vizquel’s slash line resembles Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith’s .262/.337/.328. However, Omar played in a much higher-scoring era than Ozzie and Smith finished with an 87 OPS+.
Here is where the comparisons should end. Ozzie won 13 Gold Gloves compared to the 11 that Omar won. It was always mentioned that Omar Vizquel was a better hitter than Ozzie Smith.
In fact, Vizquel has more hits, more home runs, and a better batting average. However, Ozzie Smith finished his career with a 90 wRC+ (This takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for important external factors—like ballpark or era. A 100 wRC+ is considered average.)
Omar finished up his career with wRC+ of 83. Smith has seven seasons with a wRC+ at or above 100, while Omar only had two seasons that hit that number.