Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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The 2005 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 2005 season. The highlights of the 2005 season included 100 regular-season wins for the St. Louis Cardinals, the first World Series appearance by the Houston Astros in their history, and the first World Series win by the Chicago White Sox in 88 years.

The Best of 2005

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
1Dontrelle Willis18.511.64.4
5.8
1Dontrelle Willis18.511.64.4
5.8
2Alex Rodriguez25.717.54.1
5.6
2Alex Rodriguez25.717.54.1
5.6
3Chris Carpenter (1997)17.211.23.8
5.1
3David Ortiz20.111.93.6
5.5
4David Ortiz20.111.93.6
5.5
4Chris Carpenter (1997)17.211.23.8
5.1
5Jim Edmonds21.714.63.3
4.7
5Jim Edmonds21.714.63.3
4.7
6Johan Santana14.48.63.1
4.3
6Roy Oswalt18.313.83.1
4.6
7Roy Oswalt18.313.83.1
4.6
7Chase Utley21.214.73.1
4.4
8Chase Utley21.214.73.1
4.4
8Andruw Jones24.518.32.8
4.3
9Carlos Zambrano15.511.32.9
4.1
9Johan Santana14.48.63.1
4.3
10Roy Halladay11.05.72.8
3.7
10Travis Hafner15.59.42.7
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
1Dontrelle Willis16.411.23.5
4.7
1Dontrelle Willis16.411.23.5
4.7
2Alex Rodriguez23.517.13.1
4.6
2Alex Rodriguez23.517.13.1
4.6
3Roger Clemens14.09.03.1
4.2
3Johan Santana14.79.13.0
4.2
4Johan Santana14.79.13.0
4.2
4Roger Clemens14.09.03.1
4.2
5Derrek Lee21.514.52.6
3.9
5David Ortiz17.812.52.2
4.0
6Pedro J. Martinez14.010.22.5
3.7
6Derrek Lee21.514.52.6
3.9
7Chris Carpenter (1997)15.311.82.5
3.7
7Chris Carpenter (1997)15.311.82.5
3.7
8Albert Pujols21.214.52.4
3.7
8Albert Pujols21.214.52.4
3.7
9Carlos Zambrano15.612.52.4
3.6
9Pedro J. Martinez14.010.22.5
3.7
10Jake Peavy13.510.12.3
3.4
10Carlos Zambrano15.612.52.4
3.6


The race for the 2005 AL MVP was a two-man race between Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz. This race was so interesting that it deserved its own article: so I wrote one.

The best player in the National League (and arguably, in the major leagues) in 2005, based on Player won-lost records, Dontrelle Willis, also has his own article looking at his 2005 season.

That still leaves a couple of interesting player comparisons worth looking at here.

Jim Edmonds and Albert Pujols: Same Team, Different Context
As I noted above, a player who earns more pWins (or pWORL) than eWins (eWORL) contributed to more team wins than expected and can be thought of as having been better in context, while a player who earns more eWins (eWORL) than pWins (pWORL) contributed to fewer actual team wins than expected and can be thought of as having been worse in context.

There are essentially two ways that a player can be "better in context" than expected: the player could have actually performed better in clutch situations ("late and close", "high leverage", etc.) or the player could have better-than-average teammates, so that a player's positive contributions are more likely to have occurred within the context of team wins than team losses. The latter of these two possibilities will tend to be similar for teammates, of course. For example, in 2005, Jim Edmonds and Albert Pujols shared an excellent set of teammates who combined to win more regular-season games than any other team in Major-League Baseball. Yet, Pujols only appears on the eWins top 10 lists above while Edmonds only appears on the pWins top 10 lists.

The next table compares Pujols's and Edmonds's 2005 seasons, in and out of context.

Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
Jim Edmonds
142
21.714.60.5983.3
4.7
19.014.30.5702.13.3
Albert Pujols
161
20.914.60.5892.2
3.5
21.214.50.5932.43.7


Pujols's performance looks virtually the same in and out of context, and the benefit of playing on such a good team is offset by the fact that Pujols's performance was somewhat better in lower-context situations. For example, by leverage, Pujols's OPS was 0.996, 0.995, and 1.081 in high-, medium-, and low-leverage plate appearances, respectively. In late and close situations, Pujols's OPS was 0.852, a fine number, but well below his overall season OPS of 1.039.

In contrast, Jim Edmonds's performance was better in high-leverage situations (0.957) than in low-leverage situations (0.854). Looking at Edmonds's OPS splits by the score of the game is perhaps most illustrative. In tie games, Edmonds had an OPS of 1.141; when the Cardinals were leading or trailing by exactly one run, Edmonds's OPS was 1.054. With run differentials of 2, 3, and 4, runs, Edmonds posted OPS's of 0.971, 0.931, and 0.909, respectively. The only run-differential at which Edmonds posted a higher OPS than Pujols was in tie games (Pujols's OPS in tie games was 1.093).

In addition to his clutch batting, Edmonds also was extremely clutch in his fielding in 2005, which added another 0.5 pWins for Edmonds.

NL MVP Race: Albert Pujols, Andruw Jones, and Derrek Lee
The 2005 NL MVP voting came down to a 3-man race between Albert Pujols, Andruw Jones, and Derrek Lee.

Derrek Lee batted .335/.418/.662, with 46 home runs, 107 RBI, and 120 runs scored. Albert Pujols put up very similar numbers: .330/.430/.609, 41, 117, and 129. They even stole a similar number of bases (16 for Pujols, 15 for Lee). Both of them were also first basemen with reputations as very good fielders (Lee won the Gold Glove in 2005; Pujols won the first of his two Gold Gloves the next season).

Andruw Jones's offensive statistics were distinctly worse than Pujols and Lee, but he did lead the National League with 51 home runs and 128 runs batted in. He also played a much more difficult defensive position, center field, and played it brilliantly, winning his 8th consecutive Gold Glove in 2005 (he would then win two more Gold Gloves in 2006 and 2007).

Looking at the top 10 tables above, Pujols, Lee, and Jones all appear among the top 10 players in eWins over replacement level (eWORL) (along with two NL starting pitchers and Phillies' second baseman Chase Utley). The next table decomposes their (context-neutral) performance to show how they accumulated their value.

Decomposition of eWORL
Wins over Average
Batting Baserunning Fielding Position Replacement eWORL
Derrek Lee3.1-0.1
0.1
-0.7
1.5
3.9
Albert Pujols2.40.2
0.2
-0.7
1.5
3.7
Andruw Jones1.7-0.1
0.2
-0.1
1.6
3.5


The numbers largely tell us the same story as I outlined above, but it quantifies things a bit more. Lee had the best offensive season of the three, but Pujols gained most of that back with his better baserunning and fielding. Jones and Pujols were similarly above-average at fielding their positions, but Jones played the more difficult position and was rewarded accordingly for that.

The three players had similar playing time in 2005 (158 - 161 games played, 672 - 700 plate appearances). Jones gets a bit of a boost relative to Pujols and Lee for playing time ("Replacement") because center fielders earn more Player decisions than first basemen.

The final results confirm that all three players ended up extremely similar in terms of their overall (context-neutral) value. Of course, had I had a 2005 NL MVP vote (and access to these Player won-lost records), I would have given my first-place vote to Dontrelle Willis, who received no first-place votes and finished in 11th place in the actual voting.

2005 Postseason

The 2005 World Series matched up a team that had never been in a World Series in its 43-year history and a team who hadn't won a World Series in 88 years.

The top players in terms of postseason pWins over replacement level (pWORL) were Roy Oswalt of the Astros, who won the clinching game of the NLCS (as well as two earlier playoff games), and White Sox captain Paul Konerko who had 5 home runs and 15 RBIs in 12 postseason games, including a grand slam in Game 2 of the World Series.

2005 Postseason: Total
pWins pLosses pWORL
Roy OswaltHOU2.31.20.8
Paul KonerkoCHA2.51.10.8


Top postseason players by round were as follows.

2005 Postseason: World Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Paul KonerkoCHA0.80.30.3
Bobby JenksCHA0.70.20.3
Jermaine DyeCHA0.70.20.3
Freddy Antonio GarciaCHA0.60.20.2
Joe CredeCHA0.60.30.2
Juan UribeCHA0.60.30.2
Scott PodsednikCHA0.60.40.2


The White Sox swept the World Series, although they won the four games by a combined six runs with Game 3 going 14 innings and Game 2 being won in the bottom of the ninth inning.

As the table above shows, the White Sox' World Series win was a real team effort.

2005 Postseason: League Championship Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Roy OswaltHOU1.50.70.6

2005 Postseason: Division Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
David EcksteinSLN1.10.20.5


Best of 2005 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 2005 in eWOPA by factor were as follows.

Batting
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Derrek Lee17.410.73.1
Alex Rodriguez17.210.83.1

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Baserunning
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jose B. Reyes2.41.20.5
Jimmy Rollins2.21.20.5
Alfonso Soriano1.60.70.4
Ryan Freel1.91.00.4
Kenny Lofton1.30.60.4

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Pitching
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Johan Santana12.88.84.0
Dontrelle Willis12.99.03.9
Roger Clemens11.57.63.8
Pedro J. Martinez11.98.23.7
Chris Carpenter (1997)12.99.53.4
Andy Pettitte11.78.73.0


Fielding, P
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Ryan Dempster0.40.00.4


Fielding, C
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Yadier Molina1.30.90.4


Fielding, 1B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Justin Morneau2.31.60.7


Fielding, 2B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Craig Counsell5.24.30.9


Fielding, 3B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Eric Chavez4.73.80.9


Fielding, SS
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Jack Wilson7.05.71.3


Fielding, LF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Cliff Floyd6.55.11.4


Fielding, CF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Jim Edmonds5.74.41.3


Fielding, RF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Ichiro Suzuki7.45.91.5


Best by Position
Next, we look at 2005 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 Varitek13.210.91.7


First Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Derrek Lee21.414.72.4


Second Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Chase Utley19.414.92.1


Third Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Alex Rodriguez23.017.32.8


Shortstop
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Derek Jeter22.820.31.8


Left Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Manny Ramirez22.218.61.5
Cliff Floyd20.516.51.5


Center Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jim Edmonds18.614.31.9
Andruw Jones22.518.11.9


Right Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Vladimir Guerrero17.113.71.4
Gary Sheffield17.914.61.4


Starting Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Johan Santana13.19.02.3
Roger Clemens11.87.82.2
Chris Carpenter (1997)13.49.62.1


Relief Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Mariano Rivera4.62.51.0


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 2005 in context, in terms of pWins and pWOPA.

Top Relief Pitchers of 2005, based on pWORL
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
Frankie Rodriguez8.44.20.6671.92.8
Mariano Rivera7.63.30.6962.02.7
Brian Fuentes8.04.50.6411.52.4
Brad Lidge7.33.80.6561.52.3
Francisco Cordero7.13.70.6591.52.3


Designated Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
David Ortiz16.411.42.1


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
Jason Marquis1.71.50.6
Dontrelle Willis1.71.80.6


Pinch Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jorge Piedra1.10.60.3
Wes Helms1.20.80.3
Mark Sweeney1.71.40.3
Alex Cintron1.30.90.3
Tony Clark1.20.80.3


Pinch Runner
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Eric Bruntlett0.30.10.1
Tony Womack0.20.10.1
Corey Hart0.10.00.1


Noteworthy Players of 2005

Finally, let's take a look at some of the great players for whom 2005 was their final season. There are no members of the Hall-of-Fame, yet, for whom 2005 was their final season. There are, however, four members of the Hall of Merit whose final season was 2005. Their careers are presented in the final two tables of this article.

Jeff Bagwell Larry Walker
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1989
 
201.51.40.5280.00.2
1990
 
13214.813.70.5200.21.2
199115617.816.00.5270.2
1.5
13616.715.80.513-0.21.0
199216222.416.90.5701.7
3.2
14321.215.60.5762.33.7
199314216.614.00.5430.4
1.6
13822.215.10.5963.14.5
199411016.910.00.6282.6
3.7
10315.911.40.5831.62.7
199511415.210.70.5871.4
2.4
13118.816.80.5280.31.7
199616222.714.90.6042.8
4.3
839.28.90.509-0.00.7
199716222.214.60.6032.4
3.8
15324.818.50.5732.23.8
199814719.614.00.5841.7
3.0
13016.014.30.5280.11.3
199916222.414.30.6103.0
4.4
12716.513.40.5520.92.0
200015919.015.50.5510.6
2.0
8611.110.70.509-0.20.7
200116122.814.10.6183.2
4.8
14219.615.50.5581.32.8
200215819.614.90.5671.2
2.6
13620.015.50.5631.53.0
200316018.716.20.5360.3
1.7
14317.415.20.5340.51.8
200415616.714.00.5440.6
1.8
8210.08.20.5480.61.4
2005393.13.10.501-0.1
0.1
9913.98.60.6182.33.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS2,150275.8203.20.57621.9
40.9
1,984269.7218.60.55216.635.9


Rafael Palmeiro J. Kevin Brown
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1986222.62.30.5350.1
0.3
10.30.30.5270.00.0
1987836.16.00.505-0.2
0.3
198815217.318.80.480-1.4
0.0
41.11.50.413-0.2-0.1
198915515.014.10.515-0.3
0.8
2811.310.70.5140.51.6
199015417.616.00.5240.2
1.4
2710.89.40.5350.91.9
199115917.415.40.5310.6
1.9
3311.312.10.482-0.30.9
199215916.715.60.517-0.0
1.2
3517.912.10.5963.24.8
199316018.514.40.5611.3
2.6
3514.511.90.5511.42.7
199411112.910.40.5530.7
1.7
269.59.80.492-0.11.1
199514317.815.00.5420.7
2.0
269.77.70.5581.22.2
199616219.414.70.5681.7
3.1
3416.211.00.5963.44.8
199715818.814.40.5671.3
2.6
3314.111.10.5592.13.5
199816220.617.20.5450.8
2.3
3616.910.90.6093.85.1
199915817.912.00.5982.4
4.2
3517.913.80.5642.84.3
200015815.913.40.5430.6
2.0
3315.710.60.5963.24.4
200116018.314.30.5611.4
3.0
208.66.60.5671.42.2
200215516.413.00.5581.1
2.6
173.94.80.448-0.30.2
200315415.313.40.5330.5
2.0
3214.010.70.5672.33.6
200415413.815.60.469-1.3
-0.1
227.96.50.5490.91.7
20051109.410.50.473-0.9
-0.1
134.05.00.445-0.40.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS2,829307.6266.60.5369.3
33.6
490205.5166.40.55325.945.0




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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