Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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The 1995 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 1995 season.

The 1995 season almost didn't happen and/or almost started with replacement players. But a court ruling by future Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in favor of the MLBPA ended a brutal 8-month strike that had caused the cancellation of the previous year's World Series.

Because of the late start, the 1995 season was only 144 games long, an issue which will come up later in this article.

The Best of 1995

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
1Greg Maddux16.57.55.3
6.5
1Greg Maddux16.57.55.3
6.5
2Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson16.57.54.8
6.1
2Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson16.57.54.8
6.1
3Reggie L. Sanders21.413.73.2
4.6
3Barry Bonds24.717.23.1
4.8
4Mike Mussina15.910.33.2
4.6
4Edgar Martinez16.69.33.1
4.7
5Barry Bonds24.717.23.1
4.8
5Mike Mussina15.910.33.2
4.6
6Edgar Martinez16.69.33.1
4.7
6Reggie L. Sanders21.413.73.2
4.6
7Tom Glavine14.19.53.1
4.2
7Craig Biggio22.317.12.8
4.4
8Carlos Baerga20.215.03.0
4.4
8Carlos Baerga20.215.03.0
4.4
9Jim Thome18.212.42.9
4.1
9Albert Belle22.416.02.8
4.4
10Barry Larkin19.915.02.8
4.2
10Barry Larkin19.915.02.8
4.2


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
1Greg Maddux14.67.14.4
5.5
1Greg Maddux14.67.14.4
5.5
2Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson14.67.63.8
5.0
2Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson14.67.63.8
5.0
3John Valentin19.615.02.9
4.3
3Barry Bonds23.416.32.9
4.5
4Barry Bonds23.416.32.9
4.5
4John Valentin19.615.02.9
4.3
5Mike Mussina13.79.32.5
3.7
5Edgar Martinez15.910.12.4
4.1
6Edgar Martinez15.910.12.4
4.1
6Albert Belle22.316.82.4
3.9
7Mike Piazza13.99.62.4
3.3
7Mike Mussina13.79.32.5
3.7
8Albert Belle22.316.82.4
3.9
8Craig Biggio22.318.52.1
3.7
9Tom Glavine13.610.52.3
3.5
9Tim Salmon20.715.52.1
3.6
10Mark McGwire12.87.52.2
3.0
10Tom Glavine13.610.52.3
3.5


All-Time Great Pitching Seasons: Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson
The top two players on all four of the above tables are the winners of the two Cy Young Awards that season and most likely two future Hall-of-Famers: Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson. Not only did Maddux and Johnson have the two best seasons by any players in 1995, they had two of the best seasons by any players any season for which I have calculated Player won-lost records.

So far, I have calculated Player won-lost records for a total of 69 player-seasons for which a player earned 6 or more pWins over replacement level (pWORL). The vast majority of these players did so over a 162-game season with a smaller number doing so under the old 154-game schedule. Maddux and Johnson did it in only 144 games.

If Player won-lost records are pro-rated to 162-game seasons for all players, the top 30 seasons, as ranked by pWORL, are as follows, among seasons for which I have full play-by-play data.

Top 30 Seasons, pro-rated to 162 Games
(since 1937, ranked by pWORL)
Player Season pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
Steve Carlton197226.115.56.38.2
Sandy Koufax196525.014.56.28.0
Dwight Gooden198521.311.06.17.6
Ted Williams194629.516.15.77.5
Joe DiMaggio193729.718.25.47.4
Joe L. Morgan197227.116.95.67.3
Greg Maddux199518.68.46.07.3
Mickey Mantle195726.113.45.67.3
Barry Bonds200128.015.55.37.2
Sandy Koufax196322.513.25.57.1
Jackie Robinson195126.315.65.47.1
Ted Williams194230.217.65.17.0
Bob Feller194026.217.35.17.0
Bobby Avila195425.915.85.26.9
Vern Stephens194928.519.05.16.9
Bob Feller194628.320.84.66.9
Greg Maddux199420.511.65.26.9
Larry Doby195427.915.85.16.9
Barry Bonds200225.413.25.36.8
Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson199518.48.45.46.8
Joe L. Morgan197326.917.15.06.8
Juan Marichal196623.014.25.26.7
Hal Newhouser194623.515.14.96.7
Barry Bonds199326.915.65.06.6
Derek Jeter199926.217.84.96.6
Bobby Doerr194627.318.14.86.6
Bucky Walters193923.415.34.86.6
Mickey Mantle196125.714.84.76.5
Barry Bonds200423.211.55.16.5
Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson200219.110.45.16.5


Great Fluke Season: John Valentin
The top 10 lists at the top of these articles are typically littered with famous names and 1995 is no exception (see the last two guys I talked about). But frequently, more anonymous names pop up who can be fun to take a bit closer look at.

In 1995, one such name is Boston Red Sox shortstop John Valentin. Valentin had a very respectable 11-year career, mostly in Boston, and was consistently above positional average. But 1995 was by far his best season with career highs in home runs (27), RBI (102), stolen bases (20), walks (81), and OPS (.931), while playing his usual solid defense at SS.

John Valentin's career, as measured by Player won-lost records, is shown in the next table.

John Valentin
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1992BOS25
58
6.66.30.5120.4
0.9
6.97.00.4970.20.7
1993BOS26
144
16.516.70.4970.4
1.7
16.615.80.5130.92.2
1994BOS27
84
10.39.00.5331.0
1.8
10.38.70.5431.22.0
1995BOS28
135
19.815.60.5592.8
4.2
19.615.00.5662.94.3
1996BOS29
131
15.315.50.4960.3
1.6
16.716.30.5060.72.0
1997BOS30
143
18.115.90.5321.3
2.6
19.117.30.5241.12.5
1998BOS31
153
18.515.70.5421.4
2.7
17.616.30.5190.61.9
1999BOS32
113
12.913.30.493-0.1
0.9
12.012.80.483-0.40.6
2000BOS33
10
0.61.10.377-0.2
-0.1
0.80.90.453-0.10.0
2001BOS34
20
1.62.40.403-0.3
-0.2
1.62.20.420-0.3-0.1
2002NYN35
114
5.46.30.462-0.4
0.1
5.86.10.487-0.10.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,105
125.7117.80.5166.5
16.3
126.9118.40.5176.816.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
17
2.82.20.555 0.52.82.00.579 0.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,122
128.5120.00.516
16.8
129.7120.50.517 17.2


1995 Postseason

From 1991 through 2005, the Atlanta Braves made the playoffs all 14 times they took place. The 1995 Braves are the only one of those 14 teams to win the World Series. The Braves beat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series, who won 100 games (a 113-win pace over 162 games) in the first year of a string of 5 straight playoff appearances that featured two World Series appearances, but left the Indians still looking for their first World Series winner since 1948.

Oh, and 1995 was the first season under the new 3-division, one Wild Card, playoff format. The first Wild Card teams in major-league history were the New York Yankees and Colorado Rockies, the latter of whom became the youngest team to make the playoffs (in their third season - a record that was broken four years later).

The best players in the 1995 postseason, as measured by Player won-lost records, are shown in the tables below.

1995 Postseason: Total
pWins pLosses pWORL
Orel HershiserCLE2.91.51.0


Top postseason players by round were as follows.

1995 Postseason: World Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Tom GlavineATL1.10.60.4
David JusticeATL1.40.60.4

1995 Postseason: League Championship Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Orel HershiserCLE1.00.30.4
Kenny LoftonCLE1.20.50.4
Greg MadduxATL0.70.30.3
Fred McGriffATL0.80.30.3
Steve AveryATL0.60.30.3
Dennis MartinezCLE0.90.60.3

1995 Postseason: Division Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Ken Griffey Jr.SEA1.00.40.3
Orel HershiserCLE0.70.20.3
Randy 'Big Unit' JohnsonSEA0.90.40.3
Chipper JonesATL0.90.40.3
Tino MartinezSEA0.90.30.3
Omar VizquelCLE0.70.30.3
Edgar MartinezSEA0.70.30.3
Benito SantiagoCIN0.60.10.3
Ron GantCIN0.70.30.2
Fred McGriffATL0.80.30.2
David WellsCIN0.70.40.2
Albert BelleCLE0.60.20.2
Bernie WilliamsNYA0.80.50.2
Vinny CastillaCOL0.60.30.2
Barry LarkinCIN0.60.30.2
Marquis GrissomATL0.70.30.2
Charles NagyCLE0.60.40.2
Greg MadduxATL0.90.70.2
Hal MorrisCIN0.60.20.2
Jay BuhnerSEA0.80.50.2
Paul SorrentoCLE0.40.10.2


Best of 1995 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 1995 in eWOPA by factor were as follows.

Batting
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Edgar Martinez14.89.12.9
Albert Belle15.910.42.8
Barry Bonds15.09.32.7

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Baserunning
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Barry Larkin1.90.90.5
Delino DeShields Sr.1.71.00.4

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Pitching
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Greg Maddux11.55.85.8
Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson12.67.74.8


Not surprisingly, Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson show up again. Both Maddux's and Johnson's 1995 seasons rank among the top 30 pitching seasons ever in net pitching wins among seasons for which I have calculated Player won-lost records. Maddux shows up on that top-25 list five times, consecutively, from 1994 through 1998. Based in part on that, I have made the argument elsewhere that, based on Player won-lost records, a case can be made for Greg Maddux as the best pitcher at least of the past 70 years, if not of all-time depending on how much you timeline down Walter Johnson's prime.

Fielding, P
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Butch Henry0.40.10.3


Fielding, C
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Ivan Rodriguez1.91.40.5


Fielding, 1B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Jeff Bagwell2.62.10.5


Fielding, 2B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Luis Alicea5.24.40.8
Bret Boone4.94.10.8


Fielding, 3B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Travis Fryman5.14.50.6
Tim Wallach2.72.10.6


Fielding, SS
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Cal Ripken5.04.20.8


Fielding, LF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Moises Alou2.71.80.9


Fielding, CF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Darren Lewis5.54.31.2


Fielding, RF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Brian Jordan4.84.00.8
Russ Morman0.90.20.8


Best by Position
Next, we look at 1995 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
Mike Piazza13.79.72.1


First Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Mark McGwire11.96.92.0


Second Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Craig Biggio22.118.81.9


Third Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jim Thome16.513.01.7


Shortstop
eWins eLosses eWOPA
John Valentin19.315.42.6


Left Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Barry Bonds23.116.72.6


Center Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jim Edmonds17.915.01.7


Right Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Tim Salmon20.715.62.0


Starting Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Greg Maddux12.06.03.2


Relief Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jose Mesa4.02.30.7


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 1995 in context, in terms of pWins and pWOPA.

Top Relief Pitchers of 1995, based on pWORL
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
Jose Mesa6.82.20.7572.12.7
Tom Henke6.52.80.7011.62.3
Todd Worrell6.22.80.6901.52.1
Mark Wohlers6.33.20.6621.32.0
Curt Leskanic6.94.30.6141.11.8


Jose Mesa was outstanding in 1995: 46 saves in 48 opportunities, a 1.13 ERA. Still, he only pitched 64 innings. As a result, his pWins and pWORL are only pretty good for a relief pitcher. His winning percentage, however, of 0.757 was outstanding. The top 10 single-season winning percentages for pWins, for players with at least three pWins are shown in the next table.

Top Single-Season pWinPct
Player Season pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
Zach Britton20167.81.80.8122.73.4
Joe Nathan20066.71.80.7852.32.9
Kenley Jansen20177.82.10.7852.73.5
Koji Uehara20135.11.50.7751.72.2
Andrew Miller20167.92.30.7702.53.2
Mariano Rivera19986.41.90.7702.12.6
Tim Burke19877.62.30.7652.53.1
Zach Britton20156.52.00.7642.02.6
Keith Foulke20009.12.80.7633.03.8
Willie Hernandez19849.93.10.7623.13.9


Designated Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Edgar Martinez15.29.62.3


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
Allen Watson0.90.70.4
Chris Hammond1.01.10.4


Pinch Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
John Vander Wal2.01.30.4
Chris C. Jones1.20.50.4


Pinch Runner
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Mike Benjamin0.20.00.1
Rich Amaral0.30.10.1
Manny Alexander0.20.00.1
Ray Holbert0.20.10.1
Norberto Martin0.20.10.1


Noteworthy Players of 1995

Finally, let's take a look at some players who had noteworthy 1995 seasons.

Notable Debuts
The winner of the 1995 National League Rookie of the Year award is probably not going to make the National Baseball Hall of Fame. But Hideo Nomo was a pioneer, helping to open Asia, especially Japan, to the major leagues.

Hideo Nomo's major-league career, as measured by Player won-lost records, is summarized in the next table.

Hideo Nomo
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1995LAN28
28
14.410.50.5772.6
3.9
12.210.70.5331.42.5
1996LAN29
33
15.514.60.5141.3
2.8
14.513.50.5171.32.7
1997LAN30
33
12.912.20.5141.0
2.4
13.213.90.4860.31.8
31
29
10.413.40.438-0.9
0.3
10.011.10.476-0.01.0
1999MIL32
29
11.411.90.4890.3
1.4
11.212.40.474-0.11.1
2000DET33
32
11.211.10.5010.2
1.4
11.612.30.486-0.11.1
2001BOS34
33
12.811.40.5301.0
2.4
12.912.20.5150.72.1
2002LAN35
34
14.612.60.5361.6
2.9
13.615.50.467-0.31.1
2003LAN36
33
14.413.50.5171.1
2.6
14.714.10.5111.02.5
2004LAN37
18
5.69.60.368-1.6
-0.8
4.88.10.369-1.4-0.7
2005TBA38
19
6.48.70.425-1.0
-0.2
5.97.80.431-0.8-0.1
2008KCA41
3
0.10.30.273-0.1
-0.1
0.20.70.251-0.2-0.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
324
129.7129.80.5005.6
19.0
124.9132.30.4861.815.1


Last Hurrahs
Finally, 1995 was the final season for two Hall-of-Famers: Dave Winfield and Kirby Puckett.

Their careers are compared in the final table below.

Dave Winfield Kirby Puckett
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1973564.34.70.478-0.3
0.0
197414518.516.50.5290.5
1.8
197514320.216.90.5441.0
2.4
197613721.716.70.5651.9
3.3
197715723.321.00.5260.2
2.0
197815824.818.60.5712.4
4.0
197915926.620.00.5702.3
4.0
198016220.720.60.501-0.6
1.0
198110514.512.90.5280.5
1.5
198214019.819.00.510-0.0
1.5
198315221.318.80.5310.8
2.3
198414120.817.00.5501.3
2.7
12814.916.80.471-1.20.0
198515523.818.80.5592.2
3.8
16121.822.30.493-0.61.1
198615420.217.80.5310.8
2.2
16121.219.70.5180.52.0
198715620.417.80.5340.9
2.4
15721.018.50.5311.02.5
198814921.617.10.5581.7
3.2
15824.819.00.5672.74.4
1989
 
15921.820.30.5170.82.3
199013215.916.40.493-0.5
0.8
14619.017.80.5170.41.7
199115016.816.50.505-0.3
1.1
15219.817.60.5291.02.4
199215617.412.80.5751.9
3.6
16021.518.80.5341.22.7
199314312.814.40.471-1.0
0.5
15619.320.10.490-0.61.1
1994766.16.20.499-0.2
0.6
10815.712.70.5541.22.4
1995451.42.40.359-0.6
-0.4
13715.715.60.503-0.41.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS2,971392.8343.00.53414.6
44.4
1,783236.7219.20.5196.023.7
CAREER RECORDS
(common rows)
1,457177.1157.20.5306.1
20.4
1,624214.9198.90.5195.321.5




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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