Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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2004 Season

The 2004 Season as seen through the Prism of Player Won-Lost Records

This article takes a look at the 2004 season as measured by Player won-lost records.

The Best of 2004

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
1Barry Bonds23.711.411.5
13.3
1Barry Bonds23.711.411.5
13.3
2Jim Edmonds24.113.810.0
11.9
2Jim Edmonds24.113.810.0
11.9
3Scott Rolen23.013.88.5
10.4
3Scott Rolen23.013.88.5
10.4
4J.D. Drew23.814.98.2
10.2
4J.D. Drew23.814.98.2
10.2
5Adrian Beltre24.716.27.6
9.6
5Adrian Beltre24.716.27.6
9.6
6Johan Santana15.38.17.4
8.9
6Albert Pujols21.913.47.2
9.0
7Albert Pujols21.913.47.2
9.0
7Johan Santana15.38.17.4
8.9
8Jason Schmidt16.111.06.1
7.8
8Gary Sheffield23.016.65.8
7.9
9Curt Schilling14.79.05.9
7.5
9Jason Schmidt16.111.06.1
7.8
10Gary Sheffield23.016.65.8
7.9
10Derek Jeter22.718.15.5
7.5


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
1Barry Bonds23.311.810.4
12.2
1Barry Bonds23.311.810.4
12.2
2Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson17.010.97.4
9.0
2Jim Edmonds22.815.17.2
9.1
3Jim Edmonds22.815.17.2
9.1
3Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson17.010.97.4
9.0
4Johan Santana15.08.46.9
8.4
4Albert Pujols21.713.56.9
8.7
5Albert Pujols21.713.56.9
8.7
5Johan Santana15.08.46.9
8.4
6Scott Rolen21.914.96.3
8.1
6Scott Rolen21.914.96.3
8.1
7Jason Schmidt15.911.26.1
7.7
7Jason Schmidt15.911.26.1
7.7
8J.D. Drew22.616.15.6
7.6
8Adrian Beltre23.717.25.6
7.6
9Adrian Beltre23.717.25.6
7.6
9J.D. Drew22.616.15.6
7.6
10Curt Schilling14.29.45.1
6.6
10Miguel Tejada25.221.54.7
7.0


I take a look at some of the most interesting players of 2004 at the end of this article.

2004 Postseason

The 2004 postseason is kind of famous. I'm not sure that I have anything to say that's more interesting than what has already been said about it. So, I'll just let my numbers speak for themselves. The best performers in the 2004 postseason, as measured by Player won-lost records, are presented next.

2004 Postseason: Total
Player Team pWins pLosses pWORL
David OrtizBOS2.50.81.9
Albert PujolsSLN3.01.21.9
Carlos BeltranHOU2.81.41.6
Mark BellhornBOS2.11.11.2
Keith FoulkeBOS1.30.41.1
Jeff KentHOU2.21.50.9
Curt SchillingBOS1.71.00.9
Hideki MatsuiNYA2.11.20.9
Manny RamirezBOS2.31.50.9
Mariano RiveraNYA1.20.40.9


Top postseason players by round were as follows.

2004 World Series
Player Team pWins pLosses Net Wins
Mark BellhornBOS1.00.20.8
Manny RamirezBOS0.90.30.6
Curt SchillingBOS0.60.20.4
Derek LoweBOS0.60.20.4
Keith FoulkeBOS0.50.10.3

2004 Postseason: League Championship Series
Player Team pWins pLosses Net Wins
Albert PujolsSLN1.40.50.9
Carlos BeltranHOU1.50.60.9
Scott RolenSLN1.50.70.8
David OrtizBOS1.30.50.7
Jeff KentHOU1.50.80.7

2004 Postseason: Division Series
Player Team pWins pLosses Net Wins
Albert PujolsSLN1.10.30.8
Edgar RenteriaSLN1.10.30.8
David OrtizBOS0.80.10.7
Alex RodriguezNYA1.10.40.7
Rafael FurcalATL1.30.70.6


Best of 2004 by Factor and Position

Next, let's look at the top players 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 2004 in wins over positional average (WOPA) by factor were as follows.

Batting
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLoss eWOPA Player pWins pLoss pWOPA
1Barry Bonds16.56.4
10.0
1Barry Bonds17.55.411.9
2Albert Pujols17.210.9
5.9
2Scott Rolen16.99.57.0
3Jim Edmonds15.39.3
5.7
3Adrian Beltre18.411.36.8
4Adrian Beltre17.612.1
5.1
4Jim Edmonds15.88.86.6
5Lance Berkman15.910.6
4.9
5Albert Pujols17.510.56.6
6J.D. Drew14.79.5
4.9
6J.D. Drew15.58.76.5
7Scott Rolen15.810.6
4.8
7Gary Sheffield16.910.56.4
8Todd Helton14.29.2
4.8
8Manny Ramirez16.510.55.9
9Adam Dunn15.210.5
4.4
9Lance Berkman16.410.25.9
10Manny Ramirez15.711.3
4.4
10David Ortiz16.011.24.8
Positional Average excludes pitcher offense
Baserunning
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLoss eWOPA Player pWins pLoss pWOPA
1Dave R. Roberts1.60.7
1.0
1Dave R. Roberts1.70.61.2
2Johnny Damon2.01.1
0.9
2Cristian Guzman1.50.70.8
3Carlos Beltran1.50.8
0.7
3Tony Womack1.60.70.8
4Willie Bloomquist1.10.4
0.7
4Carlos Beltran1.50.80.7
5Carl Crawford2.21.5
0.7
5Derek Jeter1.60.90.7
6Rafael Furcal1.81.1
0.6
6Ryan Freel1.70.90.7
7Ryan Freel1.61.0
0.6
7Johnny Damon1.81.20.7
8Scott Podsednik2.11.5
0.5
8Jimmy Rollins1.60.90.6
9Tony Womack1.40.9
0.5
9Lew Ford1.40.80.6
10Luis A. Castillo1.61.0
0.5
10Carl Crawford2.21.60.6
Positional Average excludes pitcher offense
Pitching
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLoss Net eWins Player pWins pLoss Net pWins
1Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson15.19.3
5.8
1Johan Santana14.97.87.1
2Johan Santana14.08.7
5.3
2Curt Schilling14.58.85.7
3Jason Schmidt14.410.0
4.4
3Jason Schmidt15.09.45.7
4Curt Schilling13.69.7
3.9
4Mariano Rivera8.93.55.4
5Mariano Rivera8.14.3
3.8
5Francisco Cordero9.04.14.8
6Ben Sheets13.59.9
3.5
6Roger Clemens13.89.14.7
7Brad Radke13.09.9
3.2
7Joe Nathan7.42.94.5
8Frankie Rodriguez7.24.1
3.1
8Eric Gagne7.93.44.5
9Roger Clemens13.09.9
3.1
9Brad Lidge9.34.84.5
10Carlos Zambrano13.110.2
2.9
10Carlos Zambrano13.89.44.4


Fielding by Position


Fielding, P
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Barry Zito0.60.1
0.5
1Mariano Rivera0.60.10.4
2Russ Ortiz0.50.2
0.4
2Jon Garland0.70.30.4
3Brandon Duckworth0.40.0
0.3
3Barry Zito0.60.20.4
4Mariano Rivera0.50.2
0.3
4Russ Ortiz0.50.10.4
5Oliver Perez0.40.1
0.3
5Brandon Duckworth0.40.00.4


Fielding, C
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Jason Kendall2.01.5
0.5
1Jason Kendall2.21.40.8
2Brian Schneider1.71.2
0.5
2Damian Miller1.30.70.6
3Jason Varitek1.51.1
0.4
3Henry Blanco1.51.00.5
4Damian Miller1.20.8
0.4
4Brian Schneider1.61.20.4
5Henry Blanco1.41.1
0.3
5Jose Molina0.80.50.3


Fielding, 1B
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Albert Pujols3.22.3
1.0
1Albert Pujols3.32.21.2
2Darin Erstad2.21.7
0.4
2Darin Erstad2.21.70.6
3Tino Martinez1.91.6
0.4
3Tony Clark1.40.90.5
4Phil Nevin3.02.6
0.4
4Tino Martinez2.01.50.5
5Scott Hatteberg2.42.1
0.3
5J.T. Snow2.01.60.4


Fielding, 2B
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Luis A. Castillo5.84.9
0.9
1Rey Sanchez3.52.31.2
2Orlando Hudson5.74.8
0.9
2Luis A. Castillo5.94.81.1
3Tony Womack5.54.7
0.8
3Tony Womack5.64.61.0
4Rey Sanchez3.22.5
0.8
4Alex Cora4.53.60.9
5Abraham Nunez (1997)1.20.8
0.3
5Mark Bellhorn4.13.60.6


Fielding, 3B
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Scott Rolen5.13.9
1.2
1Scott Rolen5.23.81.5
2Eric Chavez4.33.4
0.9
2Alex Rodriguez4.93.71.2
3Scott Spiezio2.31.5
0.7
3Eric Chavez4.53.31.2
4Vinny Castilla4.53.9
0.6
4Adrian Beltre5.13.91.2
5Chipper Jones2.82.2
0.5
5Hank Blalock5.04.20.8


Fielding, SS
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Julio Lugo6.55.1
1.3
1Jimmy Rollins6.14.51.6
2Jack Wilson7.16.2
0.9
2Edgar Renteria6.25.01.2
3Jimmy Rollins5.74.8
0.9
3Julio Lugo6.45.21.1
4Pokey Reese2.51.7
0.7
4Pokey Reese2.61.61.0
5Khalil Greene5.04.4
0.6
5Derek Jeter6.15.20.9


Fielding, LF
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Lew Ford3.22.2
1.0
1Charles Thomas3.21.91.3
2Brad Wilkerson2.21.4
0.8
2Brad Wilkerson2.41.21.2
3Geoff Jenkins5.75.0
0.7
3Carlos Lee5.84.90.8
4Carl Crawford5.04.4
0.6
4Jeff Conine3.83.00.8
5Charles Thomas2.82.3
0.5
5Terrmel Sledge2.82.10.7


Fielding, CF
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Scott Podsednik7.05.8
1.2
1Jim Edmonds7.64.23.4
2Mark Kotsay5.94.8
1.1
2Andruw Jones7.35.32.0
3Jim Edmonds6.45.4
1.0
3Scott Podsednik7.45.51.9
4Jay Payton5.24.3
0.9
4Mark Kotsay6.04.71.3
5Endy Chavez5.24.4
0.9
5Jay Payton5.34.31.0


Fielding, RF
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Ichiro Suzuki7.05.6
1.3
1J.D. Drew6.85.11.7
2Richard Hidalgo6.05.0
0.9
2Juan Rivera4.63.41.2
3Jose Cruz Jr.6.25.5
0.7
3Kevin Mench3.32.11.2
4Alexis Rios5.04.4
0.6
4Timo Perez2.31.21.1
5Kevin Mench3.02.5
0.5
5Richard Hidalgo6.05.01.0


Best by Position
Next, we look at 2004 Major-League leaders by position. The figures shown here only include Player decisions earned while playing this particular position.

Catcher
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Jason Varitek12.410.4
2.9
1Jorge Posada13.310.83.5
2Javy Lopez12.611.1
2.5
2Jason Varitek12.010.82.2
3Jorge Posada12.711.4
2.3
3Johnny Estrada11.810.32.1
4Jason Kendall14.813.5
2.2
4Paul Lo Duca14.313.21.9
5Victor Martinez12.011.1
1.9
5Jason Kendall14.613.71.8


First Base
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Albert Pujols21.313.3
6.7
1Albert Pujols21.712.87.6
2Todd Helton17.912.7
4.0
2Mark Teixeira17.713.33.5
3Mark Teixeira17.313.7
2.7
3J.T. Snow12.28.82.5
4Jim Thome15.612.3
2.1
4Ben Broussard12.59.62.2
5Sean Casey15.913.1
1.4
5Todd Helton17.013.62.2


Second Base
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Mark Loretta21.318.5
3.1
1Mark Bellhorn16.612.74.3
2Mark Bellhorn15.513.7
2.3
2Mark Loretta21.518.33.5
3Jose Hernandez5.44.1
1.4
3Jeff Kent19.716.83.1
4Marcus Giles12.411.1
1.4
4Alex Cora14.511.92.7
5Tony Womack16.615.4
1.3
5Chase Utley7.54.92.7


Third Base
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Scott Rolen21.815.0
6.0
1Scott Rolen23.013.88.5
2Adrian Beltre23.517.4
5.2
2Adrian Beltre24.616.27.6
3Eric Chavez17.013.5
3.1
3Alex Rodriguez21.115.45.3
4Alex Rodriguez20.016.6
2.9
4Eric Chavez17.313.23.9
5Melvin Mora19.115.9
2.8
5Chipper Jones13.09.23.3


Shortstop
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Miguel Tejada24.921.7
4.2
1Derek Jeter22.718.15.5
2Carlos Guillen19.817.5
3.1
2Miguel Tejada24.821.84.0
3Jimmy Rollins20.018.1
2.4
3Jimmy Rollins20.817.33.9
4Julio Lugo19.017.5
2.3
4Julio Lugo19.517.13.1
5Derek Jeter21.019.8
2.1
5Bobby Crosby19.918.02.6


Left Field
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Barry Bonds21.712.0
8.8
1Barry Bonds22.612.010.8
2Adam Dunn20.916.6
3.0
2Lance Berkman10.87.73.0
3Manny Ramirez18.915.6
2.4
3Adam Dunn20.916.63.0
4Lance Berkman10.37.7
2.0
4Hideki Matsui22.019.32.9
5Brad Wilkerson7.35.4
1.5
5Charles Thomas9.37.42.5


Center Field
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Jim Edmonds22.015.4
6.3
1Jim Edmonds23.813.69.8
2Carlos Beltran23.018.7
4.0
2Carlos Beltran23.218.44.5
3Johnny Damon20.717.8
2.9
3Andruw Jones21.817.83.6
4Aaron Rowand14.912.2
2.7
4Johnny Damon21.017.43.6
5Andruw Jones20.718.9
1.4
5Aaron Rowand14.912.12.8


Right Field
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1J.D. Drew21.715.6
5.3
1J.D. Drew23.214.18.3
2Bobby Abreu23.018.5
3.5
2Vladimir Guerrero Sr.21.816.64.8
3Ichiro Suzuki23.219.2
3.4
3Gary Sheffield19.715.53.7
4Vladimir Guerrero Sr.20.917.4
3.0
4Bobby Abreu22.918.63.4
5Larry Walker10.07.5
2.1
5Kevin Mench8.55.92.4


Starting Pitcher
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson15.29.5
5.9
1Johan Santana15.28.17.3
2Johan Santana14.39.0
5.5
2Curt Schilling14.78.96.0
3Jason Schmidt14.610.2
4.6
3Jason Schmidt15.39.55.9
4Curt Schilling13.79.8
4.1
4Roger Clemens14.09.34.9
5Ben Sheets13.810.2
3.7
5Carlos Zambrano14.39.84.7
6Brad Radke13.210.0
3.3
6Carl Pavano13.59.54.2
7Roger Clemens13.210.1
3.3
7Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson14.310.44.1
8Carlos Zambrano13.610.5
3.2
8Pedro J. Martinez14.610.93.9
9Oliver Perez12.910.0
3.0
9Oliver Perez13.39.63.9
10Pedro J. Martinez14.111.4
2.9
10Brad Radke13.49.83.8


Relief Pitcher
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Mariano Rivera8.64.4
3.9
1Mariano Rivera9.43.65.5
2Frankie Rodriguez7.44.1
3.0
2Francisco Cordero9.14.24.6
3Tom Gordon6.94.2
2.5
3Joe Nathan7.53.04.4
4Joe Nathan6.63.9
2.5
4Eric Gagne8.03.44.3
5Brad Lidge8.45.8
2.3
5Brad Lidge9.34.94.2
6B.J. Ryan6.03.7
2.2
6John Smoltz7.83.54.1
7Eric Gagne6.84.7
1.9
7Frankie Rodriguez7.83.73.9
8Francisco Cordero7.65.6
1.8
8Jason Isringhausen7.13.23.8
9Armando Benitez5.33.4
1.7
9Tom Gordon7.43.73.5
10Juan Rincon5.63.8
1.6
10Jose Mesa6.83.53.1


Designated Hitter
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Travis Hafner12.28.7
3.2
1Erubiel Durazo12.68.63.6
2David Ortiz12.49.8
2.3
2David Ortiz13.09.23.6
3Erubiel Durazo11.89.4
2.1
3Travis Hafner12.09.02.7


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

Pitcher Offense
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Jason Marquis1.11.5
0.5
1Tom Glavine1.31.40.7
2Randy Wolf0.90.9
0.4
2Kazuhisa Ishii1.21.20.6
3Brandon Backe0.70.6
0.4
3Brandon Backe0.80.50.6


Pinch Hitter
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Mark Sweeney2.41.8
0.8
1Marlon Anderson2.11.11.1
2Marlon Anderson1.91.4
0.7
2Matt LeCroy1.30.41.0
3Jose Offerman1.30.7
0.7
3Mark Sweeney2.51.70.9


Pinch Runner
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Willie Bloomquist0.60.1
0.5
1Willie Bloomquist0.60.20.4
2Dave R. Roberts0.40.1
0.3
2Dave R. Roberts0.40.20.2
3Chone Figgins0.10.0
0.1
3Reggie L. Sanders0.10.00.1


Noteworthy Players of 2004

Barry Bonds
The 2004 season was the final season in a five-year streak that saw Barry Bonds win 4 MVPs and finish a close second the other year. For the five seasons from 2000 - 2004, Bonds batted .339/.535/.781 with 258 home runs (52 per season) and an astounding 306 intentional walks (61 per season), capped by 120 intentional walks here in 2004. To put that last number in perspective, the most intentional walks in a single season by a player other than Barry Bonds - since intentional walks became an official statistic in 1955 - was Willie McCovey with 45 in 1969.

Barry Bonds's five-year stretch from 2000 - 2004 was, of course, historically great. Very few players in major-league history have put together a five-year run that can match Bonds's 2000 - 2004 run.

One player who comes close, however, is Barry Bonds.

The next table compares Barry Bonds's Player won-lost records from 2000 - 2004 to his Player won-lost records from 1991 - 1995, with the 1994 and 1995 seasons adjusted to 162 games.

Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
Barry Bonds, 2000 - 2004
715
121.865.80.64951.4
60.9
120.167.40.64146.856.3
Barry Bonds, 1991 - 1995 (adj.)
772
128.982.70.60941.6
51.8
128.984.80.59941.647.4


Barry Bonds's career record, as measured by Player won-lost records, is presented in the next table.

Barry Bonds
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
1986PIT21
113
15.714.80.1
1.5
16.913.72.53.9
1987PIT22
150
19.016.81.1
2.7
19.516.32.13.7
1988PIT23
144
22.015.65.4
7.3
21.216.43.75.5
1989PIT24
159
21.119.10.6
2.5
21.418.71.33.2
1990PIT25
151
24.916.37.3
9.1
24.017.15.77.5
1991PIT26
153
24.715.78.3
10.1
23.516.95.87.6
1992PIT27
140
22.314.57.0
8.7
22.114.76.78.4
1993SFN28
159
27.515.411.1
13.3
26.816.19.611.8
1994SFN29
112
18.712.85.3
6.8
18.912.65.67.1
1995SFN30
144
25.017.16.9
9.0
24.817.26.58.5
1996SFN31
158
25.617.56.8
8.8
26.117.07.99.9
1997SFN32
159
25.417.17.7
9.7
25.017.56.88.8
1998SFN33
156
24.716.67.4
9.5
24.117.16.28.2
1999SFN34
102
15.810.84.4
5.7
15.511.14.05.3
2000SFN35
142
24.015.17.9
9.7
23.315.86.28.1
2001SFN36
153
28.315.212.1
14.4
28.415.211.613.9
2002SFN37
143
24.512.611.1
13.0
24.312.810.612.5
2003SFN38
130
21.211.48.9
10.5
20.911.88.09.6
2004SFN39
147
23.711.411.5
13.3
23.311.810.412.2
2005SFN40
14
1.81.30.4
0.6
1.91.20.60.8
2006SFN41
130
15.411.73.0
4.3
15.411.73.04.3
2007SFN42
126
15.312.02.8
4.0
15.511.83.14.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,985
466.8310.6137.2
174.7
462.8314.6127.7165.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
48
6.46.5 0.17.25.7 1.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
3,033
473.1317.1
174.8
470.0320.3 167.0


Birds of a Feather
The 2004 St. Louis Cardinals won 105 regular-season games and the National League pennant. Looking at the above tables, it's not hard to understand why. The Cardinals had 3 of the top 10 players in MLB in both pWins and eWins over both positional average and replacement level - Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen, and Albert Pujols - all of whom finished in the top 5 in NL MVP voting.

The next table compares the 2004 seasons of Edmonds, Rolen, and Pujols, as measured by Player won-lost records, both in and out of context.

Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Jim Edmonds
153
24.113.810.0
11.9
22.815.17.29.1
Albert Pujols
154
21.913.47.2
9.0
21.713.56.98.7
Scott Rolen
142
23.013.88.5
10.4
21.914.96.38.1


The next table decomposes their (context-neutral teammate-adjusted) eWins over replacement level by factor.

Decomposition of eWORL
Wins over Average
Batting Baserunning Fielding Position Replacement eWORL
Jim Edmonds5.7-0.0
1.0
0.6
1.9
9.1
Albert Pujols5.90.4
1.0
-0.4
1.8
8.7
Scott Rolen4.80.2
1.2
0.1
1.9
8.1


Johan Santana
The best pitcher in major-league baseball in 2004, as measured by pWins over either positional average or replacement level, was Minnesota Twins ace Johan Santana.

The 2004 season was Johan Santana's first season as a full-time starter. It also was part of a four-year stretch from 2003 - 2006 where Johan Santana's pWin winning percentage exceeded 0.600. There have been a total of eight players who put together a streak of four or more seasons in which they earned at least 50 total pWins and had a pWin winning percentage over 0.600 every season over the seasons for which I have full play-by-play data (starting in 1934).

Lou Gehrig 1952 - 1957, 1960 - 1964
Stan Musial 1941 - 1944
Ted Williams 1946 - 1949
Mickey Mantle 1952 - 1957, 1960 - 1964
Duke Snider 1953 - 1956
Barry Bonds 1990 - 1993, 2000 - 2004
Pedro Martinez 1999 - 2003
Johan Santana 2003 - 2006


Johan Santana's career record, as measured by Player won-lost records, is presented next.

Johan Santana
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
2000MIN21
30
2.43.2-0.9
-0.4
2.63.0-0.40.1
2001MIN22
15
1.51.30.2
0.5
1.31.6-0.4-0.1
2002MIN23
27
7.45.52.0
2.9
7.35.51.92.9
2003MIN24
45
10.36.14.3
5.5
9.56.92.73.9
2004MIN25
34
15.38.17.4
8.9
15.08.46.98.4
2005MIN26
33
14.58.56.2
7.6
14.28.85.57.0
2006MIN27
34
15.99.96.3
8.0
15.510.45.47.1
2007MIN28
33
13.510.83.0
4.7
13.610.73.45.0
2008NYN29
34
15.111.84.3
6.0
14.412.53.14.8
2009NYN30
25
11.39.32.7
3.9
10.69.91.42.6
2010NYN31
29
12.512.70.6
2.1
13.212.02.13.6
2012NYN33
21
8.410.1-1.1
0.0
8.510.0-0.70.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
360
128.097.435.0
49.7
125.699.830.945.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
11
2.21.8 0.72.41.6 1.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
371
130.399.2
50.5
128.0101.4 46.7


Last Hurrahs
Finally, 2004 was the final season for two Hall-of-Fame middle infielders, Roberto Alomar and Barry Larkin.

The final table of this article compares the career records of Roberto Alomar and Barry Larkin, as measured by Player won-lost records.

Roberto Alomar Barry Larkin
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1986
415.44.40.5491.21.7
1987
12514.514.00.5091.22.5
198814320.117.10.5403.3
5.1
15122.719.10.5434.26.3
198915821.820.00.5221.6
3.5
9713.510.00.5733.95.0
199014719.219.20.5000.0
1.7
15822.518.40.5515.06.8
199116123.421.20.5242.2
4.2
12319.015.40.5544.25.8
199215223.017.60.5655.6
7.5
14021.516.10.5716.17.8
199315323.317.50.5706.3
8.3
10013.512.30.5231.72.9
199410712.812.90.4970.3
1.6
11016.013.60.5403.14.5
199513015.116.40.480-0.5
1.0
13119.915.10.5695.57.2
199615321.616.30.5706.2
8.0
15222.018.30.5464.46.3
199711015.313.10.5392.8
4.1
738.28.20.4980.31.1
199814717.419.20.475-1.2
0.7
14520.016.60.5464.05.9
199915922.716.40.5806.7
8.6
16122.417.60.5615.57.5
200015519.318.10.5161.9
3.7
10211.713.00.473-0.90.3
200115721.516.50.5665.5
7.5
455.74.70.5451.11.6
200214916.618.30.476-1.2
0.6
14514.515.30.487-0.41.2
200314014.817.40.459-2.3
-0.7
707.86.60.5401.42.1
2004564.35.70.431-1.3
-0.7
11110.710.60.5020.41.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS2,377311.9282.80.52536.0
64.8
2,180291.4249.50.53951.877.9


Both Roberto Alomar and Barry Larkin are highly deserving Hall-of-Famers. Roberto Alomar missed first-ballot election by 8 votes and got 90.0% of the vote in his second year on the ballot, while Barry Larkin debuted at just over 50% of the vote (51.6%) and took three years to be elected (with 86.4% of the vote). Yet, as measured by Player won-lost records, Larkin clearly had the better career of the two.

Article last updated: October 14, 2019

Wins over positional average and replacement level are calculated using data only for the 2004 season. Positional averages for starting pitching and relief pitching are calculated using single-year data for all starting pitchers and all relief pitchers.

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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