Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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The 1974 Season as seen through the Prism of Player Won-Lost Records



Next in my continuing series of looking at individual seasons through the prism of Player won-lost records is the 1974 season.

The Best of 1974

I calculate Player won-lost records two ways: pWins, which tie to team wins and eWins, which control for context and the ability of one's teammates. For players with more pWins than eWins, their Player wins contributed to more team wins than one might expect; for players with more eWins than pWins, just the opposite is true: their Player wins translated into fewer team wins than expected. Or more briefly: a player with more pWins than eWins was better in context, a player with more eWins than pWins was worse in context.

The top 10 players in pWins above Positional Average and Replacement Level were as follows.

pWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
          pWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL           Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
1Fergie Jenkins22.814.34.6
6.2
1Fergie Jenkins22.814.34.6
6.2
2Joe L. Morgan23.816.83.8
5.4
2Joe L. Morgan23.816.83.8
5.4
3Luis Tiant20.113.53.6
5.1
3Luis Tiant20.113.53.6
5.1
4Mike Schmidt24.016.83.3
4.8
4Mike Schmidt24.016.83.3
4.8
5Johnny Bench21.915.73.2
4.6
5Bobby Grich23.118.13.1
4.6
6Andy Messersmith18.413.73.2
4.4
6Johnny Bench21.915.73.2
4.6
7Bobby Grich23.118.13.1
4.6
7Andy Messersmith18.413.73.2
4.4
8Dave Concepcion23.119.12.7
4.3
8Dave Concepcion23.119.12.7
4.3
9Ron Cey22.216.32.6
4.1
9Jimmy Wynn23.517.12.6
4.1
10Jimmy Wynn23.517.12.6
4.1
10Ron Cey22.216.32.6
4.1


The top 10 players in eWins above Positional Average and Replacement Level were as follows.

eWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
          eWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL           Player eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
1Joe L. Morgan22.115.93.4
4.8
1Mike Schmidt23.516.23.3
4.8
2Mike Schmidt23.516.23.3
4.8
2Joe L. Morgan22.115.93.4
4.8
3Fergie Jenkins19.213.92.9
4.4
3Fergie Jenkins19.213.92.9
4.4
4Johnny Bench19.314.22.7
4.0
4Rod Carew23.819.82.6
4.2
5Luis Tiant18.613.82.7
4.1
5Luis Tiant18.613.82.7
4.1
6Gaylord Perry18.613.92.6
4.1
6Gaylord Perry18.613.92.6
4.1
7Rod Carew23.819.82.6
4.2
7Johnny Bench19.314.22.7
4.0
8Jim Rooker17.413.92.5
3.7
8Bobby Grich23.119.62.3
3.9
9Jon Matlack16.512.92.5
3.6
9Bert Blyleven17.513.12.5
3.8
10Bert Blyleven17.513.12.5
3.8
10Nolan Ryan21.117.62.1
3.8


One name that is a familiar face on top 10 lists of the 1970s is Cincinnati Reds second baseman Joe Morgan. As I showed in my article about the 1977 season, Joe Morgan's 6-year stretch from 1972 through 1977 is the best consecutive 6-year stretch, as measured by pWins over replacment level, of any player for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records. In fact, Morgan's 1971 - 1976 seasons are the second-best 6-year stretch and his 1973 - 1978 stretch is also in the top 10.

I take a bit closer look next at a couple of other players on the above lists.

Fergie Jenkins
The best player in the major leagues in 1974, as measured by pWins over either positional average or replacement level was long-time Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Fergie Jenkins. Of course, in a somewhat classic Cubs move (says a man who's lived on the North Side of Chicago for the past 22 years), Fergie Jenkins's brilliant 1974 season came in his first season as a member of the Texas Rangers.

In fairness to the Cubs, the 1974 season was only the second-best season of Jenkins's career, behind his 1971 season for the Cubs.

Fergie Jenkins's career, as measured by Player won-lost records, is presented in the next table.

Fergie Jenkins
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1965PHI22
7
0.70.80.459-0.1
0.0
0.60.60.494-0.00.1
23
61
9.510.10.487-0.0
1.0
10.410.50.4980.21.3
1967CHN24
38
20.217.40.5372.2
3.8
18.016.70.5191.42.8
1968CHN25
40
21.217.70.5462.7
4.2
19.416.90.5342.13.5
1969CHN26
43
22.117.20.5623.3
5.2
21.018.10.5372.44.2
1970CHN27
40
21.816.70.5663.4
5.1
20.615.30.5733.55.0
1971CHN28
39
24.117.30.5824.6
6.3
23.017.00.5754.15.8
1972CHN29
36
18.716.10.5362.1
3.6
18.717.30.5201.63.1
1973CHN30
38
16.018.20.467-0.5
1.0
16.717.90.4840.11.6
1974TEX31
41
22.814.30.6144.6
6.2
19.213.90.5792.94.4
1975TEX32
37
16.614.80.5291.1
2.6
15.915.30.5110.52.0
1976BOS33
30
11.211.30.4980.1
1.1
12.011.30.5140.41.5
1977BOS34
28
10.310.10.5050.2
1.3
11.210.80.5110.41.5
1978TEX35
34
14.810.30.5902.3
3.5
14.411.30.5601.62.8
1979TEX36
37
14.914.10.5130.6
1.9
15.515.50.4990.21.6
1980TEX37
29
12.311.80.5120.4
1.5
11.610.70.5180.51.5
1981TEX38
19
6.67.00.482-0.1
0.6
5.97.20.450-0.60.1
1982CHN39
34
14.014.50.4910.4
1.6
12.214.10.462-0.40.8
1983CHN40
33
9.011.00.450-0.6
0.3
10.010.70.4830.11.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
664
286.8250.90.53326.8
50.7
276.2251.20.52421.144.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
0
0.00.0 0.00.00.0 0.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
664
286.8250.90.533
50.7
276.2251.20.524 44.6


Mike Schmidt
One player making his first appearance on major-league top 10 lists in 1974 was 23-year-old Phillies third baseman Mike Schmidt. It was definitely not his last such appearance.

Mike Schmidt's career, as measured by Player won-lost recirds, is presented in the next table.

Mike Schmidt
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1972PHI22
13
1.31.20.5200.0
0.1
1.01.00.481-0.00.0
1973PHI23
131
14.212.00.5410.7
1.8
12.911.70.5240.31.3
1974PHI24
162
24.016.80.5893.3
4.8
23.516.20.5933.34.8
1975PHI25
158
21.317.20.5531.9
3.4
23.216.50.5843.14.7
1976PHI26
160
23.616.10.5953.4
4.9
22.516.30.5802.84.2
1977PHI27
153
21.414.90.5892.8
4.3
21.415.10.5872.84.2
1978PHI28
145
20.216.20.5551.6
3.0
18.414.80.5531.42.7
1979PHI29
160
24.117.10.5853.1
4.7
23.317.40.5722.54.1
1980PHI30
150
23.616.90.5823.0
4.5
24.417.30.5853.24.8
1981PHI31
102
17.110.60.6162.8
3.9
15.810.30.6052.43.4
1982PHI32
148
22.516.20.5802.6
4.1
21.215.00.5852.64.0
1983PHI33
153
22.317.00.5672.1
3.5
22.416.60.5742.43.8
1984PHI34
151
22.517.60.5612.2
3.8
21.816.10.5762.74.1
1985PHI35
158
18.816.40.5340.5
1.8
20.015.00.5711.83.1
1986PHI36
160
21.015.50.5742.1
3.5
19.814.30.5812.23.5
1987PHI37
147
22.216.80.5702.2
3.8
20.315.00.5752.23.6
1988PHI38
108
12.613.10.491-0.4
0.6
13.312.60.5140.21.2
1989PHI39
42
4.65.70.449-0.6
-0.2
4.84.80.500-0.10.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,401
337.4257.40.56733.6
56.4
330.0246.10.57335.757.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
36
4.14.40.484 0.14.64.20.519 0.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,437
341.5261.80.567
56.4
334.5250.30.573 58.2


The next table shows the top 10 players in career eWins over positional average for players for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records.

Top 10 Players, Career eWOPA
eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Barry Bonds456.8310.260.3
90.3
Roger Clemens310.8225.548.7
76.7
Babe Ruth287.9176.646.4
65.4
Ted Williams366.6248.445.8
70.8
Greg Maddux321.0261.945.3
73.2
Mickey Mantle342.3232.244.8
68.1
Willie Mays438.9327.943.1
74.2
Joe L. Morgan367.6295.741.3
67.7
Alex Rodriguez365.5292.540.8
67.3
Mel Ott353.8251.539.9
65.2


1974 Postseason

The 1974 postseason was a clash of four 1970s powerhouses. The four teams who made the 1974 postseason won a combined 11 pennants in the 1970s and won 6 of the 10 World Series of the 1970s. In the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers won their first NL West division title and defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in four games.

In the American League, the Baltimore Orioles won the AL East for the fifth time in the six years since divisions were introduced in 1969. They were defeated in four games in the ALCS by the Oakland A's, who won their fourth consecutive AL West title.

The World Series saw the Oakland A's win their third straight World Championship.

The top players in the 1974 postseason, as measured by Player won-lost records, are shown next.

1974 Postseason: Total
pWins pLosses pWORL
Don SuttonLAN2.31.10.8
Ken HoltzmanOAK1.80.70.7
Vida BlueOAK1.70.90.6
Sal BandoOAK1.60.70.5
Rollie FingersOAK1.50.60.5
Reggie JacksonOAK1.40.50.5


Top postseason players by round were as follows.

1974 Postseason: World Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Reggie JacksonOAK1.00.30.4
Ken HoltzmanOAK1.10.50.4
Rollie FingersOAK1.00.50.4
Catfish HunterOAK0.70.30.3
Joe RudiOAK0.80.40.2
Sal BandoOAK0.70.40.2
Bert CampanerisOAK0.80.60.2
Don SuttonLAN0.80.70.2

1974 Postseason: League Championship Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Don SuttonLAN1.50.40.7
Vida BlueOAK1.00.10.5


Best of 1974 by Factor and Position

Next, let's look at the top players in (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) eWins over Positional Average in various aspects of the game.
Best by Factor: Batting, Baserunning, Pitching, Fielding
There are four basic factors for which players earn Player won-lost records: Batting, Baserunning, Pitching, and Fielding. The top players in 1974 in eWOPA by factor were as follows.

Batting
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Mike Schmidt15.910.22.7
Joe L. Morgan14.69.22.5
Jimmy Wynn15.710.32.5

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Baserunning
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Davey Lopes2.21.10.5
Larry Lintz1.60.60.5
Bake McBride2.11.10.5
Willie Davis1.80.90.4

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Pitching
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Fergie Jenkins16.913.23.8
Jon Matlack13.910.43.5
Luis Tiant16.613.23.4
Gaylord Perry16.413.13.3
Bert Blyleven15.612.63.1


Fielding, P
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Clay Carroll0.70.30.5


Fielding, C
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Ted Simmons2.01.50.5


Fielding, 1B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
George C. Scott3.02.01.0


Fielding, 2B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Dave Cash7.46.11.3


Fielding, 3B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Ron Cey5.54.51.0
Ken Reitz4.33.41.0


Fielding, SS
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Mark Belanger7.55.81.7


Fielding, LF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Joe Rudi6.25.11.1


Fielding, CF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Cesar Geronimo5.74.21.5


Fielding, RF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Al Cowens3.02.01.0


Best by Position
Next, we look at 1974 Major-League leaders in eWOPA by position. The figures shown here only include Player decisions earned while playing this particular position, and include no contextual adjustments (expected or actual).



Catcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Johnny Bench15.411.22.3


First Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Dick Allen14.110.71.3


Second Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Joe L. Morgan21.816.03.2


Third Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Mike Schmidt23.416.53.1


Shortstop
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Dave Concepcion20.518.71.6


Left Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Willie Stargell21.215.91.9


Center Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jimmy Wynn22.416.82.2


Right Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Reggie Jackson17.114.01.2


Starting Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Fergie Jenkins17.113.81.9
Luis Tiant16.813.51.9
Jon Matlack14.110.71.9
Gaylord Perry16.813.61.9
Catfish Hunter15.912.91.8
Bert Blyleven15.812.91.7
Phil Niekro16.113.31.7


Relief Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Dale Murray3.52.20.5
Tom House5.44.00.5
Clay Carroll4.53.20.5
Mike G. Marshall11.49.50.5
Rollie Fingers6.45.00.5
Rich Folkers4.93.60.5


For relief pitchers, context-neutral records may not be the best measure of how good they are, as context can matter a great deal, depending on how a pitcher is used. Here are the top relief pitchers of 1974 in context, in terms of pWins and pWOPA.

Top Relief Pitchers of 1974, based on pWORL
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
Bill Campbell9.36.30.5951.12.1
Terry Forster11.28.70.5640.82.1
Rollie Fingers8.65.70.6041.22.1
Mike G. Marshall13.912.30.5300.42.0
John Hiller11.49.40.5460.51.8


Designated Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Frank Robinson12.59.71.3
Oscar Gamble10.78.31.1


Finally, here are the best at three oft-forgotten positions that can nevertheless matter: pitcher offense, pinch hitting, and pinch running.

Pitcher Offense
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Ken Brett1.91.50.6
Andy Messersmith2.12.00.6


Pinch Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Harmon Killebrew1.40.70.4
Cliff Johnson1.50.80.4
Ed Kranepool1.20.60.4


Pinch Runner
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Len Randle0.20.00.1
Phil Garner0.10.00.1


Noteworthy Players of 1974

Finally, let's take a look at some players who had noteworthy 1974 seasons.

Notable Debuts
The 1974 season saw the debut of two players who have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame: Jim Rice and Gary Carter. Their careers, as measured by Player won-lost records, are presented in the next table.

Jim Rice Gary Carter
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1974242.11.40.6100.4
0.6
91.10.60.6420.20.3
197514419.815.50.5611.9
3.5
14416.216.00.503-0.31.0
197615317.317.60.495-0.5
1.1
918.610.00.463-0.7-0.0
197716018.314.00.5661.8
3.6
15315.513.70.5320.71.9
197816326.117.10.6044.1
5.9
15716.114.40.5270.92.1
197915821.218.80.5300.9
2.5
14015.213.30.5320.92.0
198012417.015.50.5230.3
1.6
15416.613.80.5471.52.6
198110815.214.40.5130.0
1.2
10012.49.80.5581.42.3
198214522.120.00.5240.6
2.2
15418.815.60.5461.73.0
198315526.022.00.5411.5
3.3
14515.513.90.5281.02.0
198415923.222.30.510-0.1
1.6
15919.716.30.5481.83.2
198514019.819.90.499-0.4
1.1
14919.914.10.5863.04.3
198615724.619.30.5602.2
3.9
13217.913.30.5732.43.6
198710812.814.50.468-1.1
0.0
13913.213.80.4890.21.2
198813511.812.40.487-0.5
0.8
13012.211.80.5100.41.3
1989564.54.60.495-0.0
0.5
503.64.80.428-0.5-0.2
1990
 
916.06.20.491-0.10.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS2,089281.7249.40.53011.0
33.3
2,097228.4201.30.53114.731.1


Rice and Carter are an interesting comparison. Rice's career is relatively short for a Hall-of-Fame corner outfielder and his election was fairly controversial. Gary Carter, on the other hand, ranks as one of the best catchers in recent major-league history. And yet, as measured by pWins, their careers end up looking surprisingly similar (although Carter bests Rice somewhat handily when they are compared using (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) eWins).

Last Hurrahs
Finally, 1974 was the final season for four Hall-of-Famers: Ron Santo, Al Kaline, Juan Marichal, and Orlando Cepeda. Their careers, as measured by Player won-lost records, are compared in the final tables of this article.

Ron Santo Al Kaline
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1953
 
290.70.70.473-0.10.0
1954
 
13814.316.20.469-1.20.1
1955
 
15222.517.60.5611.73.3
1956
 
15324.518.60.5692.24.0
1957
 
14921.417.20.5551.53.1
1958
 
14622.616.50.5782.33.8
1959
 
13620.416.30.5561.42.8
19609510.410.30.501-0.2
0.6
14717.319.00.477-1.5-0.1
196115417.318.70.481-0.9
0.7
15322.815.40.5962.74.4
196216217.021.50.441-2.4
-0.9
10016.912.80.5681.32.4
196316222.820.50.5271.0
2.6
14522.415.90.5852.23.6
196416122.818.60.5511.7
3.4
14619.016.80.5300.31.7
196516423.618.90.5561.9
3.5
12515.113.20.5330.41.6
196615521.618.70.5371.0
2.6
14220.714.80.5832.23.6
196716123.417.10.5772.7
4.4
13121.114.40.5952.54.1
196816224.018.20.5692.7
4.4
10113.29.00.5941.62.6
196916023.318.20.5612.3
4.1
13118.313.60.5741.52.9
197015420.717.00.5491.3
2.9
13115.713.80.5320.31.6
197115419.817.40.5330.7
2.2
13316.512.40.5711.62.7
197213317.014.40.5421.1
2.4
10610.07.80.5630.91.6
197314919.618.30.5170.1
1.6
919.79.00.5190.10.9
197411710.210.90.483-0.3
0.7
14713.011.20.5370.82.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS2,243293.6258.80.53212.7
35.2
2,832378.0302.30.55624.752.8


Juan Marichal Orlando Cepeda
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1958
 
14815.614.60.516-0.21.0
1959
 
15119.016.80.5310.41.8
1960115.23.40.6041.1
1.5
15119.218.40.510-0.60.9
19612912.811.60.5251.1
2.1
15220.415.90.5611.32.9
19623717.915.50.5372.0
3.5
16218.714.70.5611.12.4
19634122.616.00.5864.3
6.0
15619.814.70.5751.93.2
19643318.612.80.5933.7
5.3
14218.013.40.5731.62.9
19653922.015.20.5914.4
6.0
330.80.90.459-0.00.1
19663722.914.20.6175.2
6.7
14215.513.20.5390.41.5
19672612.612.20.5080.8
1.8
15122.713.70.6243.44.9
19683820.116.20.5542.9
4.3
15717.815.00.5410.41.7
19693721.114.60.5924.1
5.8
15418.715.90.5410.31.7
19703412.913.10.4960.4
1.6
14816.015.40.509-0.70.6
19713716.713.90.5462.2
3.5
717.76.70.5350.10.6
1972259.612.40.437-0.9
0.1
312.22.40.477-0.3-0.1
19733413.513.00.5100.9
2.0
14214.313.10.5210.62.3
1974113.52.40.5940.6
0.8
332.62.60.493-0.10.3
197520.30.90.231-0.3
-0.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS471232.2187.10.55432.3
50.6
2,124248.7207.30.5459.628.9




All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

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