Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Larry Walker
2013 Hall of Fame Ballot Series: Larry Walker

The first table below presents Larry Walker's career as measured by Player won-lost records.

Larry Walker
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1989MON22
20
1.51.40.5220.0
0.1
1.41.70.454-0.2-0.1
1990MON23
131
14.613.60.5190.2
1.2
15.913.40.5420.81.9
1991MON24
136
16.215.40.513-0.2
1.0
16.415.30.517-0.11.1
1992MON25
143
20.314.90.5772.3
3.6
18.614.30.5641.72.9
1993MON26
138
22.115.00.5963.1
4.5
20.015.40.5651.83.2
1994MON27
103
15.811.30.5831.6
2.7
14.711.00.5721.22.3
1995COL28
131
18.816.70.5290.3
1.7
18.515.40.5450.82.2
1996COL29
83
8.98.70.505-0.1
0.6
8.78.30.5130.00.7
1997COL30
153
24.417.60.5812.4
4.1
24.317.60.5802.34.0
1998COL31
130
16.114.30.5280.2
1.4
17.513.00.5721.52.7
1999COL32
127
16.413.20.5540.9
2.1
17.813.10.5761.72.9
2000COL33
86
11.110.60.512-0.1
0.8
11.210.80.508-0.20.7
2001COL34
142
19.314.60.5691.6
3.1
20.213.50.5982.64.1
2002COL35
136
19.615.10.5651.6
3.0
18.114.40.5571.22.6
2003COL36
143
17.615.10.5380.7
2.0
17.114.80.5360.61.8
37
82
10.08.20.5470.6
1.3
10.57.70.5761.11.9
2005SLN38
99
14.08.80.6152.2
3.1
11.19.00.5540.81.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,983
266.9214.70.55417.2
36.3
261.8208.80.55617.736.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
28
3.43.20.520 0.33.42.80.551 0.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,011
270.3217.80.554
36.6
265.2211.60.556 36.9


Larry Walker put up some eye-popping offensive numbers in 1998. He led the National League in batting average with a .363 mark, with an on-base percentage of .445, and a slugging percentage of .630. He hit 46 doubles and 23 home runs and scored 113 runs.

One thing that really helped make those offensive numbers so eye-popping was where Larry Walker played his home games. In 1998, Larry Walker played for the Colorado Rockies. Because of the thin air at the high altitude in the Mile-High city, the Rockies' home stadium, Coors Field had a ballpark run factor of 138.5, meaning that Coors Field increased run-scoring by 38.5% compared to an average National League ballpark. On top of that, 1998 was one of the highest-scoring seasons in major-league history, even in average ballparks, with the average NL team scoring 4.60 runs per game (in 2012, the average NL team scored 4.22 runs per game).

Looking at Larry Walker's raw numbers, his 1994 numbers pale in comparison to 1998: .306/.381/.607, 19 HRs, 76 R, 86 RBI. But 1994 was a very different for Larry Walker than 1998. Run-scoring for the National League as a whole in 1994 was comparable to 1998, 4.62 runs per game. But, Larry Walker didn't play in Colorado in 1994, he played in Montreal, which had a ballpark factor of only 109.2. Also, the 1994 season ended prematurely because of a strike, so the 1994 Expos only played 114 games versus the 162 games played by the 1998 Rockies.

How do these two seasons compare in Player won-lost records? The next table compares Larry Walker's context-neutral, teammate-adjusted Player won-lost records in the two seasons. The numbers for 1994 have been blown up to 162-game equivalents based on the number of games actually played by the Expos that season (114).

Batting Baserunning Fielding
Season eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWins eLosses eWin Pct.
199414.810.4
0.588
1.81.3
0.583
4.34.30.499
199812.08.5
0.587
1.20.6
0.659
4.14.10.500


The results are reasonably similar: certainly much closer than Walker's raw statistics in the two seasons. In fact, in terms of net wins (Wins minus Losses), the batting results are essentially identical: 4.44 net wins in 1994, 3.58 net wins in 1998.

The next set of tables attempt to show how ballpark factors affect player value and lead to Walker's 1994 season ending up comparable in value to his 1998 season. Please note that the numbers here are a quick-and-dirty approximation. Actual player won-lost records are calculated on a play-by-play basis taking into account very specific details about the specific ballparks in which each play took place.

The first table shows Larry Walker's basic batting statistics for 1994 and 1998, with the former numbers pro-rated to a 162-game Expos' season.

Season PA S/ROE D T HR W/HBP Outs GIDP
1994 642 97 63 3 27 72 381 11
1998 524 98 46 3 23 68 286 11


The next table shows net win values for these events in the 1994 and 1998 National Leagues. As noted above, overall run scoring was very similar in these two leagues. Not surprisingly, therefore, these numbers are also very similar.

Season S/ROE D T HR W/HBP Outs GIDP
1994 0.0330.0600.0770.1400.026-0.023-0.060
1998 0.0340.0590.0770.1410.028-0.023-0.060


These league-wide net win values have to be adjusted for the specific ballparks in which the 1994 Expos and 1998 Rockies played. The Team Run Factor (which is a weighted average of Ballpark run factors for all of the ballparks in which a team plays) for the '94 Expos was 103.5 vs. 117.8 for the '98 Rockies.

Adjusting for run-scoring context is not exactly as simple as, say, dividing by Team Run Factors, because the relationship between specific offensive events and wins is not linear. I have written two articles which explore net win values for various events. The first of these looks at net win values for various events in general. The second article looks more specifically at the effect of run-scoring environment on net win values by comparing two extreme seasons: 1968 and 2000.

Adjusting the league-wide net win values above for the specific contexts in which the 1994 Montreal Expos and 1998 Colorado Rockies played produces the following net win factors. The numbers shown here are really just an approximation. Specific net win values are calculated for each ballpark and Player won-lost records are then calculated on a play by play basis based on the specific ballparks in which the plays took place. The numbers shown next are also adjusted to incorporate the specific baserunner advancement value of Larry Walker's performance in these seasons (e.g., outfield hits have more value than infield hits, all other things being equal) - i.e., these figures are approximated to be specific to Larry Walker's actual performance in these two seasons.

Season S/ROE D T HR W/HBP Outs GIDP
1994 0.0380.0690.0890.1610.031-0.025-0.067
1998 0.0370.0600.0780.1440.031-0.027-0.072


Larry Walker's (context-neutral) batting won-lost record is then roughly equal to the product of these two tables - raw batting events times the net win value of these events:

Season S/ROE D T HR W/HBP Outs GIDP Net Wins
1994 3.74.30.34.32.2-9.6-0.74.4
1998 3.62.80.23.32.1-7.7-0.83.6


Again, this is not precisely how Player won-lost records are calculated, but hopefully it gives a broad sense of exactly how run-scoring context can affect player value as measured by Player won-lost records.

2013 Hall of Fame Ballot Series


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