Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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The 2011 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 2011 season. The final day of the 2011 regular season might have been the greatest day of baseball ever. Game 6 of the World Series might have been the greatest World Series game ever. Overall, it was a pretty good year for baseball.

The Best of 2011

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
1Justin Verlander16.79.93.7
5.0
1Justin Verlander16.79.93.7
5.0
2Cliff P. Lee17.312.03.5
4.9
2Matt Kemp26.318.93.2
4.9
3Clayton Kershaw16.911.63.5
4.8
3Jacoby Ellsbury25.018.23.3
4.9
4Roy Halladay15.710.43.4
4.6
4Ryan J. Braun24.316.93.3
4.9
5Ryan J. Braun24.316.93.3
4.9
5Jose 'Joey Bats' Bautista23.516.23.3
4.9
6Jose 'Joey Bats' Bautista23.516.23.3
4.9
6Cliff P. Lee17.312.03.5
4.9
7Jacoby Ellsbury25.018.23.3
4.9
7Clayton Kershaw16.911.63.5
4.8
8Matt Kemp26.318.93.2
4.9
8Roy Halladay15.710.43.4
4.6
9Evan Longoria19.714.03.2
4.4
9Miguel Cabrera22.214.73.1
4.5
10Jered Weaver15.59.83.1
4.4
10Evan Longoria19.714.03.2
4.4


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
1Jose 'Joey Bats' Bautista24.515.14.3
5.9
1Jose 'Joey Bats' Bautista24.515.14.3
5.9
2Clayton Kershaw14.69.93.1
4.2
2Ryan J. Braun22.616.22.9
4.4
3Ryan J. Braun22.616.22.9
4.4
3Clayton Kershaw14.69.93.1
4.2
4Roy Halladay15.211.02.8
4.0
4Roy Halladay15.211.02.8
4.0
5Cliff P. Lee15.311.52.7
3.9
5Justin Verlander15.610.82.7
4.0
6Justin Verlander15.610.82.7
4.0
6Alex Gordon24.019.32.4
4.0
7Jered Weaver14.69.82.6
3.9
7Matt Kemp22.516.62.5
4.0
8Matt Kemp22.516.62.5
4.0
8Cliff P. Lee15.311.52.7
3.9
9Evan Longoria17.613.22.4
3.6
9Jered Weaver14.69.82.6
3.9
10Alex Gordon24.019.32.4
4.0
10Curtis Granderson22.217.42.3
3.8


Four Aces
Featured prominently in the four tables above are four starting pitchers. Trying to choose among them for 2011 is almost a fool's errand: do you prefer pWins or eWins? WOPA or WORL? Bonus for postseason performance?

The next table compares these four aces' 2011 seasons in detail. Numbers shown here include postseason games as well.


Four Aces: Player Won-Lost Records
(including postseason)
Player Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
Roy HalladayPHI34
34
16.511.20.5963.4
4.7
16.111.70.5783.44.2
Cliff P. LeePHI32
35
17.612.50.5853.4
4.8
15.712.00.5683.44.0
Clayton KershawLAN23
33
16.911.60.5943.5
4.8
14.69.90.5973.54.2
Justin VerlanderDET28
38
18.110.90.6243.9
5.4
17.012.10.5853.94.2


Joey Bats!
The best player - by a lot - in eWins over either positional average or replacement level in 2011 was Jose "Joey Bats" Bautista.

Bautista's 2011 season confirmed that his excellent 2010 season was not a one-season fluke and cemented Bautista as one of the most remarkable turnaround stories in major-league history. Bautista's 2011 season was one of the 40 best batting seasons for which I have calculated Player won-lost records as measured by wins over (non-pitcher) average. But Joey Bats was more than just a bat. As will be shown later in this article, Bautista also led the major-leagues in net fielding wins in right field (in only 116 games).

The next table lays out Jose Bautista's career (through 2012) as measured by Player won-lost records.

Jose 'Joey Bats' Bautista
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
23
57
2.32.60.472-0.2
0.1
2.63.00.465-0.20.0
2005PIT24
11
0.60.80.409-0.1
-0.1
0.61.00.375-0.2-0.2
2006PIT25
117
12.213.20.482-0.7
0.2
13.614.20.489-0.60.4
2007PIT26
142
16.516.00.507-0.1
1.1
16.616.40.502-0.30.9
27
128
10.211.60.469-0.9
-0.0
10.911.70.481-0.60.3
2009TOR28
112
10.410.70.493-0.2
0.6
12.010.80.5240.51.3
2010TOR29
161
22.917.90.5612.2
3.7
22.617.20.5672.43.9
2011TOR30
149
23.516.20.5923.3
4.9
24.515.10.6184.35.9
2012TOR31
92
13.09.90.5681.4
2.2
12.99.80.5671.32.2
2013TOR32
118
15.913.20.5461.0
2.2
16.313.10.5531.32.4
2014TOR33
155
22.217.50.5592.1
3.6
23.217.10.5752.74.3
2015TOR34
153
21.015.10.5812.6
4.0
19.815.10.5672.03.4
2016TOR35
116
14.413.40.5180.4
1.5
14.013.40.5110.21.2
2017TOR36
157
17.420.20.463-1.7
-0.3
18.319.30.486-0.80.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,668
202.6178.30.5329.0
23.5
207.6177.50.53912.026.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
Ages 23 - 28
567
52.354.90.488-2.2
1.8
56.257.20.496-1.42.8
Ages 29 - 31
1,101
150.3123.40.54911.2
21.7
151.4120.20.55713.423.8


2011 Postseason

On September 5, 2011, the St. Louis Cardinals ended the day with a 74-67 record, 8.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the race for the National League wild card.

On September 28, 2011, the Atlanta Braves led the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 with one out in the top of the 9th inning, two outs from clinching at least a tie for the wild card with the Cardinals.

On October 5, 2011, the Cardinals trailed the Phillies two games to one in the best-of-five divisional series and were trailing in game four by a score of 2-1 going into the bottom of the 4th inning.

On October 27, 2011, the Cardinals were one strike from their season ending - twice! - against the Texas Rangers.

On October 28, 2011, Jason Motte got David Murphy to fly out to left fielder Allen Craig and the St. Louis Cardinals were 2011 World Champions.
The next table shows the top postseason performers of 2011 across all three rounds, measured by pWins over replacement.

2011 Postseason: Total
pWins pLosses pWORL
David FreeseSLN3.01.70.9
Chris Carpenter (1997)SLN2.71.80.8
Lance BerkmanSLN2.61.40.7
Albert PujolsSLN2.51.30.7


Two of the top three postseason performers delivered the hits that saved the Cardinals when they were down to their last strike in the epic World Series Game 6. The third pitched a complete-game 3-hit shutout that the Cardinals won 1-0 in the deciding Game 5 of the Division Series (and was then the winning pitcher three more times in subsequent rounds).

Top postseason players by round were as follows.

2011 Postseason: World Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Derek HollandTEX0.80.20.4
Lance BerkmanSLN1.00.40.3
David FreeseSLN1.30.90.3
Mike NapoliTEX1.10.80.2
Chris Carpenter (1997)SLN1.21.10.2
Allen CraigSLN1.00.70.2
Yadier MolinaSLN0.90.60.2

2011 Postseason: League Championship Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Albert PujolsSLN1.30.40.5
David FreeseSLN1.20.40.5
Nelson R. CruzTEX1.10.50.4
Miguel CabreraDET1.00.40.3

2011 Postseason: Division Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Ryan J. BraunMIL1.10.20.5
Adrian BeltreTEX1.00.20.4
Chris Carpenter (1997)SLN1.00.40.4
Yovani GallardoMIL0.90.40.3
Kelly ShoppachTBA0.80.30.3
Curtis GrandersonNYA1.10.60.3
Rafael FurcalSLN1.00.60.3
Mike NapoliTEX0.70.20.3


Best of 2011 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 2011 in eWOPA by factor were as follows.

Batting
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jose 'Joey Bats' Bautista16.29.13.5

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Baserunning
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jose B. Reyes2.31.40.4
Ian Kinsler1.71.00.4
Tony Campana1.00.20.4

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



The only reason why Tony Campana isn't alone on the above table is because of playing time. In 2011 and 2012, Campana had two of the ten highest (context-neutral) baserunning winning percentages for seasons with at least one baserunning eWin. All seasons in which a player earned at least one baserunning eWin and amassed a baserunning winning percentage of 0.740 or higher are shown in the next table.

Best Baserunning Seasons Ever
(by Winning Percentage)
Player Season Team eWins eLosses Win Pct.
Tony Campana2011CHN1.00.20.818
Bobby Bonds1972SFN2.60.70.791
Alan Wiggins1982SDN1.70.50.784
Billy Werber1935BOS1.10.30.765
Matt Alexander1976OAK1.00.30.763
Dom DiMaggio1948BOS2.00.70.753
Billy Hamilton2015CIN2.00.70.747
Rex Hudler1988MON1.40.50.746
Tony Campana2012CHN1.00.40.744
Eddie L. Miller1981ATL1.00.40.744
Maury Wills1962LAN4.01.40.742


Pitching
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Roy Halladay12.78.64.1
Clayton Kershaw11.98.23.7
Jered Weaver12.99.33.6
Justin Verlander13.810.23.6


Fielding, P
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Jonathon Niese0.40.10.3


Fielding, C
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Matt Wieters1.61.30.4


Fielding, 1B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Albert Pujols3.32.60.7
Adrian Gonzalez2.72.00.7


Fielding, 2B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Omar Infante6.05.01.0


Fielding, 3B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Pablo Sandoval3.32.50.8


Fielding, SS
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Clint Barmes4.83.81.0


Fielding, LF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Brett Gardner5.94.01.9


Fielding, CF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Austin Jackson5.84.51.3


Fielding, RF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Jose 'Joey Bats' Bautista6.04.91.1


Best by Position
Next, we look at 2011 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 Napoli7.34.41.6


First Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Miguel Cabrera19.914.52.1


Second Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Dustin Pedroia21.618.21.9


Third Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Evan Longoria17.213.12.3


Shortstop
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Troy Tulowitzki19.916.22.0


Left Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Ryan J. Braun22.216.32.7


Center Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Matt Kemp22.116.72.3


Right Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jose 'Joey Bats' Bautista19.212.72.9


Starting Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Roy Halladay13.19.02.3
Clayton Kershaw12.38.42.1
Justin Verlander14.010.42.1


Relief Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Craig Kimbrel4.62.80.8


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 2011 in context, in terms of pWins and pWOPA.

Top Relief Pitchers of 2011, based on pWORL
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
Jose Valverde7.93.70.6791.82.6
John Axford7.63.80.6691.72.5
Drew Storen7.73.90.6621.62.4
J.J. Putz6.62.90.6971.72.3
Tyler Clippard7.13.60.6671.62.3


Designated Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
David Ortiz14.211.31.1


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
Daniel Hudson1.31.50.4
Carlos Zambrano1.01.00.4
Cliff P. Lee1.31.60.4


Pinch Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Matt Downs1.40.80.4


Pinch Runner
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Eric Young Jr.0.10.00.1
Brett Hayes0.10.00.1


Noteworthy Players of 2011

Finally, let's take a look at some players who had noteworthy 2011 seasons.

Notable Debuts
It is obviously far too soon to tell much about the careers of any of the 239 players who made their major-league debut in 2011. Still, there were a couple of players who debuted in 2011 who I thought were notable for how much they improved between 2011 and 2012.

Mike Trout appeared in 40 games in 2011 and batted .220/.281/.390 with 5 home runs and 4 stolen bases. His 2012 season went a little bit better as he won the AL Rookie of the Year award and finished second in MVP voting.

Anthony Rizzo's 2012 season was nowhere close to the caliber of Mike Trout's. But it was still a vast improvement over a 49-game 2011 season in which he batted .141/.281/.242 with 1 home run.

Trout's and Rizzo's 2011 and 2012 seasons are compared below.

Mike Trout Anthony Rizzo
Season Games eWins eLoss Win Pct. eWOPA eWORL Games eWins eLoss Win Pct. eWOPA eWORL
2011384.13.80.5160.1
0.4
492.93.60.447-0.5-0.2
201213920.915.30.5782.5
3.8
879.68.40.5340.20.9
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
Change, 2011 to 201210116.811.40.5952.5
3.5
386.74.80.5830.71.1


Last Hurrahs
Players for whom 2011 was their last season will not appear on a Hall of Fame ballot until 2017. Four players who played their last game in 2011 would typically warrant serious Hall-of-Fame consideration based on their on-field performance: two catchers and two corner outfielders. The final two tables of this article compare the careers of Ivan Rodriguez to Jorge Posada and Manny Ramirez to Vlad Guerrero.

Ivan Rodriguez Jorge Posada
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1991885.87.20.446-0.4
0.1
19921239.310.70.463-0.4
0.4
199313712.112.80.486-0.0
0.9
1994999.08.50.5160.6
1.4
199513012.312.90.4890.1
1.2
10.00.00.000-0.0-0.0
199615316.114.60.5241.3
2.5
70.10.40.150-0.1-0.1
199715015.113.40.5311.3
2.4
604.54.70.4890.00.4
199814515.613.20.5411.8
3.0
1119.67.70.5571.42.1
199914417.014.70.5361.8
3.1
1129.59.20.5080.51.3
2000919.68.10.5411.0
1.7
15115.312.10.5592.03.1
200111110.49.80.5150.9
1.8
13814.312.10.5411.83.0
20021089.29.80.4860.3
1.1
14316.613.30.5542.53.7
200314415.712.90.5501.8
2.9
14216.011.00.5923.04.1
200413512.513.40.4830.1
1.2
13713.611.20.5471.82.7
200512912.112.70.4870.2
1.1
14212.111.30.5170.91.8
200613612.512.60.4990.3
1.3
14314.311.50.5541.82.8
200712910.411.80.469-0.1
0.7
14413.211.90.5261.32.2
20081157.39.50.436-0.8
-0.2
514.14.40.483-0.10.3
20091219.010.40.465-0.4
0.3
11111.99.40.5591.62.5
20101118.911.00.446-0.9
-0.1
12010.09.50.5120.51.3
2011443.64.40.450-0.3
-0.0
1157.67.80.496-0.30.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS2,543233.5234.30.4998.2
26.6
1,828172.7147.50.53918.631.6


Manny Ramirez Vladimir Guerrero
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1993170.41.30.255-0.4
-0.3
19949110.58.80.5430.6
1.4
199513719.113.50.5862.4
3.7
199615221.817.20.5581.8
3.4
90.61.00.364-0.2-0.2
199715019.818.10.5230.3
1.8
9010.812.20.469-1.2-0.3
199815021.917.70.5531.5
3.1
15922.920.00.5340.42.1
199914723.416.70.5852.8
4.4
16024.421.30.5330.52.3
200011817.512.30.5892.4
3.7
15424.220.70.5381.02.8
200114218.814.80.5591.6
3.4
15925.022.40.5270.32.3
200212017.613.20.5711.8
3.3
16126.119.30.5752.44.3
200315421.316.20.5692.1
3.6
11217.213.60.5571.22.4
200415221.317.40.5511.4
3.0
15622.818.00.5582.13.7
200515223.518.80.5562.1
3.6
14120.614.80.5822.63.9
200613018.414.00.5671.9
3.1
15621.319.10.5270.82.4
200713317.116.00.5160.3
1.5
15022.615.80.5893.04.6
200815324.215.30.6134.0
5.6
14318.814.80.5591.63.1
200910412.911.90.5200.2
1.1
1008.58.70.494-0.30.7
2010899.37.40.5570.7
1.5
15216.513.50.5511.33.0
201150.10.50.142-0.2
-0.2
14510.312.60.451-1.5-0.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS2,296319.0250.80.56027.3
50.8
2,147292.3247.70.54114.037.0




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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