Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Roger Clemens
2013 Hall of Fame Ballot Series: Roger Clemens

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

Roger Clemens
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1984BOS21
21
7.35.80.5570.9
1.4
8.36.70.5530.91.6
1985BOS22
15
5.94.60.5610.7
1.3
5.84.30.5770.91.4
1986BOS23
33
17.39.90.6373.9
5.2
16.310.60.6063.14.4
1987BOS24
36
18.311.70.6093.6
5.1
18.011.90.6033.44.9
1988BOS25
35
18.011.90.6033.3
4.7
16.510.30.6153.34.6
1989BOS26
35
14.812.70.5371.2
2.6
15.412.10.5591.93.2
1990BOS27
31
16.78.70.6574.2
5.5
14.68.50.6333.34.4
1991BOS28
35
16.811.10.6023.0
4.5
16.110.70.6012.94.3
1992BOS29
32
15.510.20.6032.9
4.3
15.810.20.6073.04.4
1993BOS30
29
12.712.60.5020.2
1.4
12.09.90.5471.12.2
1994BOS31
24
10.68.00.5701.4
2.5
10.77.70.5831.62.7
1995BOS32
23
8.86.70.5691.3
2.1
8.68.10.5160.51.4
1996BOS33
34
13.411.00.5491.5
2.9
16.011.40.5852.74.2
1997TOR34
34
18.69.80.6554.7
6.4
17.98.60.6774.96.5
1998TOR35
33
15.79.30.6283.5
4.8
15.410.10.6032.94.3
1999NYA36
30
13.212.30.5160.6
2.0
11.810.90.5200.61.8
2000NYA37
32
14.012.00.5381.2
2.6
12.711.30.5290.92.2
2001NYA38
33
13.98.80.6112.8
4.1
13.211.00.5461.42.8
2002NYA39
29
11.59.10.5591.4
2.5
11.29.60.5401.02.2
2003NYA40
33
13.411.00.5481.4
2.8
13.011.30.5361.12.5
2004HOU41
33
14.810.80.5782.8
4.1
13.911.00.5572.23.5
2005HOU42
32
14.19.80.5902.8
3.9
14.59.00.6163.34.4
2006HOU43
19
7.24.80.5981.5
2.1
7.35.10.5871.42.0
2007NYA44
18
5.95.50.5190.3
1.0
5.75.30.5200.31.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
709
318.2228.20.58251.1
79.6
310.8225.50.58048.776.7
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
35
12.611.20.530 2.312.610.40.549 2.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
744
330.7239.30.582
81.9
323.5235.90.580 79.3


I compared Roger Clemens to Greg Maddux in a separate article.

When comparing players, there's a natural tendency to compare players who played the same, or at least similar, positions. But I think that sometimes it can be more fun and interesting to compare players at different positions. When doing so with Player won-lost records, though, it is important to keep in mind that different players have different positional averages against which they need to be judged.

If you look at the top players as measured by Player won-lost records, the player closest to Roger Clemens in Player wins over positional average (pWOPA) and replacement level (pWORL) is Mickey Mantle. Here is how Roger Clemens and Mickey Mantle compare in pWins.

Roger Clemens Mickey Mantle
Age Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
19
 
9612.89.00.5871.72.6
20
 
14222.314.80.6003.34.8
21
217.35.80.5570.9
1.4
12720.213.00.6093.14.5
22
155.94.60.5610.7
1.3
14524.015.20.6123.65.2
23
3317.39.90.6373.9
5.2
14724.614.10.6364.56.1
24
3618.311.70.6093.6
5.1
15024.915.10.6234.25.9
25
3518.011.90.6033.3
4.7
14424.812.80.6605.36.9
26
3514.812.70.5371.2
2.6
15023.016.00.5902.84.3
27
3116.78.70.6574.2
5.5
14420.315.00.5752.13.5
28
3516.811.10.6023.0
4.5
15323.313.50.6334.25.6
29
3215.510.20.6032.9
4.3
15325.814.90.6354.86.6
30
2912.712.60.5020.2
1.4
12319.911.30.6373.85.0
31
2410.68.00.5701.4
2.5
659.04.90.6461.92.4
32
238.86.70.5691.3
2.1
14321.013.80.6043.14.5
33
3413.411.00.5491.5
2.9
12213.413.10.505-0.40.7
34
3418.69.80.6554.7
6.4
10812.411.50.5210.11.0
35
3315.79.30.6283.5
4.8
14415.711.90.5701.12.3
36
3013.212.30.5160.6
2.0
14414.310.80.5701.02.1
37
3214.012.00.5381.2
2.6
38
3313.98.80.6112.8
4.1
39
2911.59.10.5591.4
2.5
40
3313.411.00.5481.4
2.8
41
3314.810.80.5782.8
4.1
42
3214.19.80.5902.8
3.9
43
197.24.80.5981.5
2.1
44
185.95.50.5190.3
1.0
45
 
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS709318.2228.20.58251.1
79.6
2,400351.8230.70.60450.273.9
note: I am currently missing play-by-play data for 1 games early in Mickey Mantle's career.


The shape of Mantle's and Clemens's careers are somewhat different, with Mantle having a higher pWORL than Clemens's career-best in 2 different seasons. Clemens makes up for Mantle's better peak, however, by putting together an incredible string of 24 consecutive above-average seasons.

As I noted above, Mantle and Clemens are very close to each other in career pWOPA and pWORL. Interestingly, they are even closer in pLosses (2.5). But Mickey Mantle accumulated 33.7 more pWins than Roger Clemens and, consequently, had a higher career winning percentage.

What then brings Clemens back up to Mickey Mantle's level in pWOPA and pWORL is an offsetting difference in the two players' positional average.

In his career, players who played the same position(s) as Mickey Mantle (mostly CF) amassed an average Player winning percentage of 0.518. Mickey Mantle spent his entire career in leagues in which pitchers batted. Because pitchers are well below-average offensively, everybody else - including, of course, center fielders - is above average offensively, basically by definition. This serves to raise the positional average against which Mickey Mantle is compared in his career.

In contrast, players who played the same position(s) as Roger Clemens (i.e., starting pitchers) amassed an average Player winning percentage of 0.489. On average, starting pitchers are, of course, well below average offensively. In addition, starting pitchers have a lower average winning percentage than relief pitchers. Both of these factors serve to lower the positional average against which Roger Clemens is compared in his career.

I set replacement level one weighted standard deviation below positional average, with separate standard deviations calculated for pitchers and non-pitchers. The standard deviation for non-pitcher winning percentage during Mantle's career is 0.041, leading to a positional replacement level for Mantle of 0.477. In contrast, the standard deviation for pitchers over Clemens's career was 0.052, for a replacement level for Clemens of 0.437.

Put it all together and we get two very different players with very similar career values.

2013 Hall of Fame Ballot Series


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