Not even close. Clemente has as many WAA, a much higher standards, than allegedly ageless Japanese outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has WAR.
As I told that person, in an exchange of comments, would you compare Andre Dawson to Mickey Mantle, or Dwight Evans to Hank Aaron?
Yes, there's a bit of exaggeration on my part, but not THAT much.
Let's go by WAR only.
The Hammer has 142.6 WAR to 66.1 for Evans.
The Mick has 109.4 WAR and Dawson has 64.6.
Ichiro has 59 WAR; Clemete has 94.4.
So, the Aaron-Evans comparison is somewhat exaggerated, as I knew it would be.
But the Mantle-Dawson one is almost spot on.
Now, I know diehard Ichiro fans will say, "But, if he'd played here a couple more years earlier in his career, he might have 70 WAR."
To which I respond, "If Clemente hadn't died in a tragic plane crash while still an active player, he might have caught Mantle."
Meanwhile, another commenter there gets both this and other things wrong.
First, he calls me wrong in saying WAA is a more difficult stat than WAR, when that is rather perfectly true in the sense of WAA being more difficult to achieve points because it's comparison to a league-average "real" player, not a AAAA-level hypothetical replacement.
He went on to say:
At age 41 Clemente had already been out of the game for four years while Ichiro is still going.
This of course ignores that Clemente would have been dead four years before reaching a hypothetical age 41.
I've blogged about Ichiro and reality vs. hype on him before, including being skeptical about his shot at 3K hits and saying he should have retired a year ago.
As for this season? The only reason he's already passing 30 hits, and passing Babe Ruth on the career hits total is because Christian Yelich sucks enough, as well as being hurt, to be below the Pete Kozma Line of my creation and thus to be a fair part of why Mike Redmond was fired. The Fish's plan this offseason was for Ichiro to be strictly a fourth outfielder, pinch-hitter and pinch-runner. They had zero plans for him to have 100-plus at bats just over one-quarter of the way through the season.
Ichiro hasn't had a 5-WAR season since age 34 and hasn't had a 7-WAR season since age 30. He's not an ageless wonder. He's showing a normal aging curve.
He's overall been a defensive negative for 5-6 years now, and left is the only OF position he can play without too much damage.
And, should Yelich figure things out, or Ichiro start showing more of his 41 years, Ichiro will be back to being the No. 4 outfielder.
In the meantime, your short-term success aside?
Ichiro, you're no Clemente.
UPDATE: I was going to put this as a reply in comments, but it got long enough I decided to make it part of the body.
Hey, Jav (and others):
First, lest anybody think otherwise, I'm not a curmudgeon, and I like seeing milestones in baseball. I hope he gets it.
That said, as noted in the pre-season piece I linked, and the comment here about Yelich, it certainly wasn't Miami's plan to have him get 400-plus ABs (if that happens). My 300-315 was a guesstimate to allow some minor injuries to the three starters, some days off here and there, and some pinch-hitting.
I'm sure Loria and both old and current managers wish they weren't having to have him bat so much.
As for "a lot left in the tank"?
It's only mid-May.
First, if Yelich can turn things around, he's Miami's future. Ichiro is not. A healthy, hitting Yelich plays, and Ichiro sits more.
Otherwise, as far as "future," if Yelich is struggling later in the year, 40-man callups from AAA will get more playing time in September. Because they're the future and Ichiro's not.
(Well, unless Loria decides that marketing Ichiro is important enough to turnstiles to neglect the player development future of his team.)
That said, the AAA farm at New Orleans isn't that great. Cole Gillespie is a 31-year-old career AAAA-level player, and he's the best they've got. Which helps explain the signing of Ichiro.
Second, if Yelich can't, as far as Ichiro's tank? Call me back in August. Yes, Aaron had more than 500 ABs at 41. Others? Ted Williams had just 310. Musial had 433, but that was an Indian summer year in 1962 and the only time he broke 400 ABs since age 37.
Third, as far as what's in his tank? B-Ref has him not only at a negative overall WAR, but negative oWAR as well as dWAR. There's little in his tank right now; it's just that the Marlins don't have a better option.