Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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The 2004 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 2004 season.

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 Bonds23.211.65.1
6.5
1Barry Bonds23.211.65.1
6.5
2Jim Edmonds23.514.04.5
6.0
2Jim Edmonds23.514.04.5
6.0
3Scott Rolen22.913.84.1
5.5
3Scott Rolen22.913.84.1
5.5
4Johan Santana15.48.14.0
5.3
4Johan Santana15.48.14.0
5.3
5J.D. Drew23.614.93.8
5.3
5J.D. Drew23.614.93.8
5.3
6Adrian Beltre24.616.23.7
5.3
6Adrian Beltre24.616.23.7
5.3
7Jason Schmidt16.211.03.5
4.9
7Jason Schmidt16.211.03.5
4.9
8Albert Pujols21.513.43.2
4.6
8Albert Pujols21.513.43.2
4.6
9Curt Schilling14.79.03.2
4.5
9Curt Schilling14.79.03.2
4.5
10Derek Jeter22.818.12.9
4.5
10Derek Jeter22.818.12.9
4.5


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 Bonds23.712.15.1
6.5
1Barry Bonds23.712.15.1
6.5
2Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson16.710.63.9
5.3
2Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson16.710.63.9
5.3
3Johan Santana15.38.53.8
5.1
3Johan Santana15.38.53.8
5.1
4Albert Pujols22.013.53.4
4.7
4Albert Pujols22.013.53.4
4.7
5Jim Edmonds21.514.33.3
4.7
5Jim Edmonds21.514.33.3
4.7
6Jason Schmidt15.310.63.1
4.5
6Jason Schmidt15.310.63.1
4.5
7Ben Sheets16.112.22.8
4.3
7Ben Sheets16.112.22.8
4.3
8Scott Rolen19.913.42.8
4.1
8J.D. Drew22.616.12.7
4.2
9Curt Schilling14.19.32.8
4.1
9Curt Schilling14.19.32.8
4.1
10J.D. Drew22.616.12.7
4.2
10Scott Rolen19.913.42.8
4.1


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. Anyway, Barry Bonds's 5-year stretch from 2000 - 2004 was, of course, historically great. Very few players in major-league history have put together a 5-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
121.367.20.64423.3
31.0
120.967.50.64222.930.6
Barry Bonds, 1991 - 1995 (adj.)
772
127.483.90.60318.4
26.8
127.482.50.59918.425.4


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
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1986PIT21
112
15.515.10.507-0.2
1.0
16.113.00.5531.22.2
1987PIT22
150
18.817.00.5250.3
1.7
19.416.20.5451.02.4
1988PIT23
144
21.415.90.5742.1
3.6
20.916.30.5621.73.1
1989PIT24
159
21.119.10.5260.3
1.7
22.719.80.5340.62.2
1990PIT25
151
24.116.50.5933.0
4.5
22.816.30.5842.53.9
1991PIT26
153
24.315.80.6063.7
5.2
22.216.10.5802.54.0
1992PIT27
140
22.214.70.6023.2
4.6
23.015.30.6013.34.7
1993SFN28
159
26.915.60.6334.9
6.6
25.815.40.6264.56.1
1994SFN29
112
18.613.20.5852.2
3.6
18.512.30.6012.73.9
1995SFN30
144
24.717.10.5903.1
4.8
23.416.30.5892.94.5
1996SFN31
158
25.617.70.5923.1
4.9
25.616.60.6063.65.3
1997SFN32
159
24.817.40.5883.3
5.0
24.917.40.5883.35.0
1998SFN33
156
24.616.80.5953.4
5.0
23.616.70.5852.94.5
1999SFN34
102
15.611.00.5881.9
3.0
14.110.10.5831.62.6
2000SFN35
142
23.815.30.6093.5
5.1
21.814.80.5952.84.3
2001SFN36
153
28.015.50.6435.3
7.2
29.415.70.6515.97.9
2002SFN37
143
25.413.20.6575.3
6.8
24.612.80.6575.16.6
2003SFN38
130
21.011.60.6454.0
5.3
21.312.00.6403.95.3
2004SFN39
147
23.211.60.6685.1
6.5
23.712.10.6635.16.5
2005SFN40
14
1.71.40.5590.1
0.2
1.81.10.6140.30.4
2006SFN41
130
15.311.80.5641.3
2.3
15.511.80.5681.42.4
2007SFN42
126
15.412.00.5611.3
2.3
15.712.00.5681.52.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,984
462.1315.10.59560.3
90.8
456.8310.20.59660.390.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
48
6.46.30.505 0.36.95.30.568 1.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
3,032
468.5321.40.595
91.1
463.7315.40.596 91.4


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 on 3 of the 4 previous tables - 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 pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
Jim Edmonds
153
23.514.00.6274.5
6.0
21.514.30.6013.34.7
Albert Pujols
154
21.513.40.6173.2
4.6
22.013.50.6193.44.7
Scott Rolen
142
22.913.80.6244.1
5.5
19.913.40.5972.84.1


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 Edmonds2.7-0.0
0.4
-0.1
1.7
4.7
Albert Pujols3.00.2
0.5
-0.6
1.7
4.7
Scott Rolen2.10.1
0.6
-0.2
1.5
4.1


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 six 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.

,
Duke Snider 1953 - 1956
Mickey Mantle 1953 - 1957, 1960 - 1964
Pedro Martinez 1999 - 2003
Jason Giambi 2000 - 2003
Barry Bonds 2000 - 2004
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
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
2000MIN21
30
2.43.20.424-0.5
-0.1
4.45.10.466-0.40.2
2001MIN22
15
1.61.30.5380.1
0.3
2.12.80.436-0.3-0.0
2002MIN23
27
7.55.50.5771.1
1.8
6.75.20.5630.81.5
2003MIN24
45
10.36.10.6302.2
3.2
9.46.80.5801.32.3
2004MIN25
34
15.48.10.6564.0
5.3
15.38.50.6443.85.1
2005MIN26
33
14.58.50.6293.2
4.4
15.69.60.6193.24.5
2006MIN27
34
15.99.90.6163.3
4.7
14.89.90.6002.74.1
2007MIN28
33
13.510.80.5551.6
3.0
14.211.10.5621.93.3
2008NYN29
34
15.111.80.5612.4
3.7
15.513.40.5361.83.3
2009NYN30
25
11.39.20.5501.6
2.6
10.710.00.5181.02.0
2010NYN31
29
12.612.70.4970.5
1.8
12.611.40.5261.22.4
2012NYN33
21
8.410.00.456-0.4
0.5
7.18.30.461-0.20.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
360
128.597.40.56919.1
31.1
128.5101.90.55816.829.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
11
2.21.80.552 0.52.11.50.595 0.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
371
130.799.20.569
31.6
130.6103.30.558 29.7


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
pWins pLosses pWORL
David OrtizBOS2.50.81.0
Albert PujolsSLN3.01.21.0
Carlos BeltranHOU2.81.40.9
Mark BellhornBOS2.11.10.6
Curt SchillingBOS1.71.00.6
Keith FoulkeBOS1.30.40.5
Jeff KentHOU2.21.50.5
Manny RamirezBOS2.21.50.5
Hideki MatsuiNYA2.01.20.5
Mariano RiveraNYA1.20.40.4
Brad LidgeHOU1.20.40.4
Derek LoweBOS1.10.50.4
Alex RodriguezNYA1.81.20.4
Jason VaritekBOS1.40.90.4
Johnny DamonBOS2.31.90.4
Rafael FurcalATL1.30.70.4
Johan SantanaMIN1.00.50.4
Orlando CabreraBOS1.71.30.4


Top postseason players by round were as follows.

2004 Postseason: World Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Mark BellhornBOS1.10.20.5
Manny RamirezBOS0.90.30.3
Curt SchillingBOS0.60.20.3
Derek LoweBOS0.60.20.3

2004 Postseason: League Championship Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Carlos BeltranHOU1.50.60.5
Albert PujolsSLN1.50.50.5
Jeff KentHOU1.50.80.5
David OrtizBOS1.30.50.5
Scott RolenSLN1.50.70.4
Brad LidgeHOU0.80.10.4
Hideki MatsuiNYA1.40.80.4

2004 Postseason: Division Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Edgar RenteriaSLN1.10.30.5
Albert PujolsSLN1.10.30.4
David OrtizBOS0.80.10.4
Alex RodriguezNYA1.10.40.4
Rafael FurcalATL1.30.70.4
Johan SantanaMIN1.00.50.4
Carlos BeltranHOU1.30.80.3
Jose LimaLAN0.80.30.3
John SmoltzATL0.60.10.3


Best of 2004 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 2004 in eWOPA by factor were as follows.

Batting
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Barry Bonds17.26.65.1

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Baserunning
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Johnny Damon1.50.80.3
Rafael Furcal1.81.10.3
Carlos Beltran1.40.70.3
Dave R. Roberts1.20.50.3
Willie Bloomquist1.00.40.3
Carl Crawford2.11.50.3
Ryan Freel1.71.10.3
Scott Podsednik2.01.40.3
Tony Womack1.40.80.3
Luis A. Castillo1.61.00.3
Ichiro Suzuki1.91.40.3
Albert Pujols1.10.60.2
Alfonso Soriano0.90.50.2
Alex Rodriguez1.20.80.2
Eric Byrnes1.00.60.2
Alexis Rios0.90.50.2
Rocco Baldelli1.00.60.2
Kerry Robinson0.60.20.2
Jimmy Rollins1.61.20.2
Derek Jeter1.51.20.2
Craig Biggio1.30.90.2
Cristian Guzman1.30.90.2
Bobby Abreu1.51.10.2
Brian S. Giles1.30.90.2
Willie Harris1.10.80.2

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Pitching
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson13.98.65.3
Johan Santana13.18.25.0


Fielding, P
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Barry Zito0.90.20.7


Fielding, C
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Jason Kendall2.11.60.5
Brian Schneider1.61.20.5


Fielding, 1B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Albert Pujols3.02.11.0


Fielding, 2B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Orlando Hudson5.54.60.9
Luis A. Castillo5.44.50.9


Fielding, 3B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Scott Rolen4.63.51.1


Fielding, SS
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Julio Lugo6.65.21.4


Fielding, LF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Lew Ford3.32.31.0


Fielding, CF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Mark Kotsay6.14.91.2


Fielding, RF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Ichiro Suzuki7.05.71.3


Best by Position
Next, we look at 2004 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
Jason Varitek12.110.21.5


First Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Albert Pujols21.613.43.2


Second Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Mark Loretta21.418.51.5


Third Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Scott Rolen19.713.62.6


Shortstop
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Miguel Tejada23.620.72.0


Left Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Barry Bonds22.112.14.2


Center Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jim Edmonds20.714.42.9


Right Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
J.D. Drew21.715.52.6


Starting Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson14.18.92.9
Johan Santana13.38.42.7


Relief Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Mariano Rivera4.82.51.0


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 2004 in context, in terms of pWins and pWOPA.

Top Relief Pitchers of 2004, based on pWORL
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
Mariano Rivera9.43.60.7232.63.5
Francisco Cordero9.14.10.6882.23.0
Brad Lidge9.34.90.6571.92.8
Joe Nathan7.62.90.7232.12.8
Eric Gagne8.03.50.6962.02.8


Designated Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Travis Hafner12.48.91.6


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
Shawn Estes1.21.60.4
Randy Wolf1.01.10.4
Jason Marquis1.21.50.4


Pinch Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Mark Sweeney1.91.40.3
Dustan Mohr0.80.30.3
Todd Hollandsworth0.70.30.3
Jose Offerman1.00.60.3
Marlon Anderson1.41.00.3
Julio Franco1.30.90.3


Pinch Runner
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Willie Bloomquist0.60.20.2


Noteworthy Players of 2004

Finally, let's take a look at some players who had noteworthy 2004 seasons.

Notable Debuts
It is too early to tell who, if anybody, among players who debuted in 2004 might eventually make the Baseball Hall of Fame. To date, the two best careers among players who debuted in 2004 probably belong to New York Mets third baseman David Wright and Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer.

The next table compares the career records of Wright and Mauer, as measured by Player won-lost records.

David Wright Joe Mauer
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
2004698.07.60.511-0.0
0.6
353.02.60.5360.30.6
200516021.018.60.5310.9
2.3
13112.011.50.5090.71.6
200615422.617.10.5692.2
3.6
14015.812.40.5612.13.2
200716021.916.90.5642.1
3.5
10910.89.90.5210.81.7
200816021.917.00.5642.1
3.5
14616.412.10.5752.73.7
200914418.817.30.5210.6
1.9
13814.810.50.5842.53.6
201015720.719.10.5200.6
2.1
13713.911.30.5521.72.7
201110213.111.60.5290.7
1.7
827.67.00.5210.41.0
201215620.417.20.5421.2
2.5
14715.313.50.5310.92.1
201311214.913.10.5320.7
1.8
11310.510.10.5090.31.2
201413414.014.10.497-0.3
0.7
12010.811.40.486-0.60.2
2015384.64.60.497-0.2
0.2
15815.414.00.5230.21.4
2016374.64.40.508-0.1
0.3
13410.813.20.451-1.5-0.5
2017
 
14114.812.10.5510.91.9
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS1,583206.4178.70.53610.4
24.6
1,731171.9151.80.53111.424.4


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
 
415.44.40.5510.61.0
1987
 
12314.413.90.5090.61.8
198814320.217.00.5421.7
3.1
15122.918.90.5482.33.9
198915822.219.80.5291.1
2.6
9713.69.90.5772.13.0
199014519.418.90.5070.3
1.7
15822.818.60.5512.64.1
199116023.621.00.5291.4
3.1
12219.015.30.5542.13.4
199215223.017.70.5652.9
4.4
14021.316.10.5693.04.4
199315323.417.40.5733.4
5.0
9913.712.30.5271.02.0
199410713.012.80.5050.4
1.5
11016.213.70.5421.62.9
199513015.016.10.482-0.2
1.1
13119.915.00.5692.84.2
199615321.816.30.5733.4
4.9
15222.018.40.5452.23.8
199711015.313.30.5361.4
2.5
738.28.30.4970.10.8
199814717.419.10.476-0.5
0.9
14519.916.60.5452.03.4
199915923.016.50.5823.6
5.1
16122.517.50.5642.94.4
200015519.417.90.5201.2
2.7
10211.812.90.477-0.40.6
200115721.716.30.5723.0
4.7
455.74.70.5450.51.0
200214916.517.70.483-0.4
1.0
14513.915.60.471-0.70.5
200314015.017.30.463-1.0
0.3
707.86.60.5430.71.3
2004554.45.60.438-0.6
-0.2
11110.810.60.5040.21.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS2,373314.4280.70.52820.9
44.3
2,176291.8249.40.53926.347.5


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.



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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