Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Barry Bonds
2014 Hall of Fame Ballot Series: Barry Bonds

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

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


This is Barry Bonds's second appearance on the Hall-of-Fame ballot. In my 2013 Hall-of-Fame ballot series, I compared Bonds to the best non-Bonds position players in the major leagues over Barry Bonds's prime: 1990 - 2004. That article can be found here.

This past summer, Retrosheet released play-by-play data for the 1927 season, including every game for the 1927 New York Yankees. That means that we can compare Barry Bonds's 2001 season to Babe Ruth's 1927 season.

In 1927, Babe Ruth batted .356/.486/.772 (an OPS of 1.258) with 60 home runs, 158 runs scored, 164 RBI, 137 walks, and 417 total bases.

In 2001, Barry Bonds batted .328/.515/.863 (an OPS of 1.379) with 73 home runs, 129 runs scored, 137 RBI, 177 walks, and 411 total bases.

Barry Bonds hit 13 more home runs than Ruth, but, on the other hand, Babe Ruth out-homered every other team in the 1927 American League. Which was the more impressive feat?

The next two tables compare Barry Bonds's 2001 season to Babe Ruth's 1927 season using Player won-lost records. The first table compares their overall records in both pWins and eWins. The second table compares their (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) Player won-lost records for batting, baserunning, and fielding.

Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
Barry Bonds, 2001
153
28.015.50.6435.3
7.2
29.415.70.6515.97.9
Babe Ruth, 1927
151
30.615.10.6706.9
8.8
27.514.90.6495.57.3


Batting Baserunning Fielding
eWins eLosses eWOPA eWins eLosses eWOPA eWins eLosses eWOPA
Barry Bonds, 200120.48.3
5.8
1.10.9
0.1
7.47.1
0.1
Babe Ruth, 192719.49.0
5.0
1.30.9
0.2
6.35.8
0.3


Ruth has a clear edge over Bonds in context, which is mostly a function of Ruth having better teammates, which enabled him to put his performance in the context of 110 wins in a 154-game season, whereas Bonds's Giants only managed to win 90 games in 2001.

Controlling for context and teammate-quality, though, it's actually pretty remarkable how close in value Bonds and Ruth were: identical Player winning percentages and within 0.2 eWins over either positional average or replacement level.

Breaking it down by factor is interesting. Barry Bonds stole over 500 bases and won 8 Gold Gloves in his career. Babe Ruth is remembered mostly as a fat guy. The fact is, Ruth was much more than just a fat guy who hit home runs: he hit over 100 triples in his career (he out-tripled Bonds 136-77 for their careers) and stole over 100 bases (although at a terrible rate), and he even played at least 74 games in center field in his career (Bonds played 171 career games in CF). And we can see that here: Ruth actually beat Bonds in baserunning and fielding in the above table to make up for the fact that Bonds produced more value batting.

2014 Hall of Fame Ballot Series


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