HOF & Historical WAR II

WAR, it ain't nothing but a heartbreaker. WAR, friend only to the... sabremetrician or at least the statistically inclined. As a follow-up to my wildly unpopular post of last week, here's another pass at ranking players of the "Retrosheet Era" (1955-2008), this time trying to quantify "dominance", for want of a better term.

The method to arrive at the table below:

  1. For each season, determine the average WAR for all players and the Standard Deviation of WAR produced (using StDevP in Excel as it deals with a whole population rather than a sample).
  2. For each player season, determine how many standard deviations above or below the mean each player was. (PlayerWAR - AvgWAR) / StDevP is the formula used. As an example, Joe Blow creates 5.5 WAR in a season where the average player produces .5 and the StDevP is 2.5 = a score of 2.0 for Joe.
  3. Sum the score of standard deviations for each player.

To repeat: As always with WAR the dataset is limited to 1955 and later seasons. Some players obviously got jobbed by this. I have not refined it by restricting the dataset to only players debuting in 1955 or later.

99 players in the list which includes all players with a score of 24 or more. Please pardon me for not marking it up for who's eligible for the Hall of Fame and who is not. Lou Whitaker and Bobby Grich absolutely belong in the HOF by this method.

Orlando Cepeda and Brett Butler scored 23.8, again Johnnie LeMaster was the worst position player at -9.4 (same score as Kirk Rueter) and the ultimate destroyer of batting & fielding value was Greg Maddux (-18.5). If you want the score from any other player, speak up.

Comments on the methodology are also encouraged.

Bonds, Barry         93.5
Mays, Willie         78.1
Aaron, Hank          76.3
Henderson, Rickey    60.4
Schmidt, Mike        57.5
Robinson, Frank      57.0
Morgan, Joe          55.1
Mantle, Mickey       54.3
Rodriguez, Alex      50.0
Yastrzemski, Carl    48.8
Boggs, Wade          48.7
Kaline, Al           47.6
Ripken, Cal          46.6
Brett, George        45.2
Clemente, Roberto    45.1
Mathews, Eddie       44.5
Rose, Pete           42.5
Carew, Rod           41.6
Bagwell, Jeff        41.5
Griffey, Ken         41.2
Thomas, Frank        39.4
Molitor, Paul        38.7
Yount, Robin         38.3
Jones, Chipper       38.2
Pujols, Albert       36.8
Jackson, Reggie      36.7
Whitaker, Lou        36.3
Bench, Johnny        35.2
Grich, Bobby         35.2
Robinson, Brooks     35.1
Santo, Ron           34.9
Gwynn, Tony          34.7
Murray, Eddie        34.5
Larkin, Barry        34.2
Walker, Larry        34.0
Palmeiro, Rafael     33.9
Raines, Tim          33.9
Edmonds, Jim         33.7
Martinez, Edgar      33.7
Lofton, Kenny        33.6
Smith, Ozzie         33.1
McCovey, Willie      32.9
Rodriguez, Ivan      32.9
Smith, Reggie        32.8
Thome, Jim           32.8
Trammell, Alan       32.7
Allen, Dick          32.7
Ramirez, Manny       32.2
Williams, Billy      31.8
Fisk, Carlton        31.8
Carter, Gary         31.7
Alomar, Roberto      31.7
Hernandez, Keith     31.6
Biggio, Craig        31.4
McGwire, Mark        31.2
Evans, Dwight        31.0
Jeter, Derek         31.0
Bell, Buddy          30.8
Randolph, Willie     30.7
Banks, Ernie         30.5
Nettles, Graig       30.3
Davis, Willie        30.0
Sandberg, Ryne       29.9
Sheffield, Gary      29.8
Bando, Sal           29.7
Clark, Will          29.7
Boyer, Ken           29.7
Killebrew, Harmon    29.7
Wynn, Jimmy          29.2
Bonds, Bobby         29.2
Guerrero, Vladimir   29.1
Jones, Andruw        28.7
Rolen, Scott         28.6
Piazza, Mike         28.3
Evans, Darrell       28.1
Kent, Jeff           28.1
Winfield, Dave       28.0
Abreu, Bobby         27.8
Ventura, Robin       27.8
Stargell, Willie     27.8
Olerud, John         27.6
Torre, Joe           27.4
Sosa, Sammy          27.3
Cash, Norm           27.2
Helton, Todd         26.7
Giambi, Jason        26.3
Dawson, Andre        25.9
Beltran, Carlos      25.4
Aparicio, Luis       25.0
Clark, Jack          25.0
Cruz, Jose           24.9
Suzuki, Ichiro       24.7
Cedeno, Cesar        24.5
Pinson, Vada         24.3
Cey, Ron             24.2
Lemon, Chet          24.1
McGriff, Fred        24.1
Puckett, Kirby       24.1
Williams, Bernie     24.1

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