Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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The 2014 Season as seen through the Prism of Player Won-Lost Records

Earlier this week, Retrosheet released play-by-play data for the 2014 season. I have recently updated my Player won-lost records to incorporate the 2014 season.

This article takes a look at the 2014 season as measured by Player won-lost records.

The Best of 2014

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
1Clayton Kershaw15.28.14.1
5.2
1Mike Trout24.015.93.8
5.3
2Mike Trout24.015.93.8
5.3
2Clayton Kershaw15.28.14.1
5.2
3Alex Gordon22.716.72.8
4.3
3Alex Gordon22.716.72.8
4.3
4Johnny Cueto17.012.62.8
4.2
4Johnny Cueto17.012.62.8
4.2
5Max Scherzer15.410.12.7
4.0
5Josh Donaldson22.617.62.5
4.0
6Steven Pearce13.47.62.7
3.5
6Max Scherzer15.410.12.7
4.0
7Buster Posey17.712.22.7
3.8
7Corey Kluber15.910.82.6
4.0
8Corey Kluber15.910.82.6
4.0
8Jayson Werth22.616.82.4
3.9
9Josh Donaldson22.617.62.5
4.0
9Anthony Rendon21.916.72.4
3.8
10Anthony Rendon21.916.72.4
3.8
10Adam Wainwright16.112.52.4
3.8


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
1Clayton Kershaw14.49.03.2
4.3
1Mike Trout23.316.63.1
4.6
2Mike Trout23.316.63.1
4.6
2Clayton Kershaw14.49.03.2
4.3
3Jose 'Joey Bats' Bautista22.816.92.7
4.2
3Jose 'Joey Bats' Bautista22.816.92.7
4.2
4Andrew McCutchen20.314.42.5
3.7
4Giancarlo Stanton22.016.12.4
3.8
5Giancarlo Stanton22.016.12.4
3.8
5Corey Kluber15.711.02.4
3.8
6Corey Kluber15.711.02.4
3.8
6Andrew McCutchen20.314.42.5
3.7
7Adam Wainwright15.912.72.2
3.6
7Justin Upton23.818.62.2
3.7
8Justin Upton23.818.62.2
3.7
8Josh Donaldson22.218.02.1
3.6
9Jake Arrieta11.27.72.1
3.0
9Adam Wainwright15.912.72.2
3.6
10Josh Donaldson22.218.02.1
3.6
10Robinson Cano21.017.52.0
3.4


Judged by Player won-lost records, major awards voters did an outstanding job with their choices in 2014. The two best players in major-league baseball in all four of the above tables won the two league MVP awards. And the Cy Young award winners were tops in their league in (at least) 3 of the 4 tables.

Clayton Kershaw
The best player in major-league baseball in 2014, measured by either pWins or eWins over either positional average or replacement level, was Clayton Kershaw. This was not some heretofore hidden gem of a season uncovered by Player won-lost records. Clayton Kershaw's season was outstanding using traditional statistics - 21-3, 1.77, 239 K in 198.1 IP - using conventional sabermetric statistics - a major-league leading 8.0 WAR - and, of course, using Player won-lost records.

For that, Kershaw was uanimously voted his third Cy Young award and (not unanimously) his first MVP award.

Clayton Kershaw's career record, as measured by Player won-lost records, is presented in the next table.

Clayton Kershaw
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
2008LAN20
22
6.87.10.4920.1
0.8
6.57.40.465-0.30.4
2009LAN21
31
9.79.00.5200.7
1.6
10.38.40.5511.32.2
2010LAN22
32
14.512.50.5371.5
2.8
14.312.60.5321.32.6
2011LAN23
33
16.911.50.5943.2
4.5
16.911.50.5953.34.6
2012LAN24
34
15.011.30.5712.4
3.5
15.111.20.5742.43.6
2013LAN25
35
15.610.90.5903.0
4.3
15.411.10.5812.84.0
2014LAN26
27
15.28.10.6524.1
5.2
14.49.00.6153.24.3
2015LAN27
34
15.410.80.5872.7
4.0
15.610.60.5952.94.3
2016LAN28
23
12.26.30.6593.4
4.3
11.86.70.6373.03.9
2017LAN29
27
13.38.90.5982.7
3.8
12.49.80.5601.82.9
2018LAN30
27
10.08.20.5501.3
2.3
9.98.40.5411.22.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
325
144.7104.60.58025.0
37.0
142.6106.80.57222.934.9
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
31
10.69.60.524 1.910.59.30.531 2.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
356
155.3114.30.580
39.0
153.1116.10.572 36.9


To give some perspective for Kershaw's career, the next table shows the 10 players most similar to Kershaw in value through age 26, as measured by Player won-lost records.

Most Similar Players to Clayton Kershaw in Value
through Age 26
Wins over Baseline
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL Batting Baserunning Pitching Fielding
Clayton Kershaw
214
93.870.414.9
22.6
-2.6-0.09.70.5
Robin Roberts
231
109.985.914.8
23.3
-3.0-0.18.00.4
Roger Clemens
175
81.456.612.4
19.1
0.00.08.40.1
Tom Seaver
194
94.569.915.1
22.0
-1.60.07.30.3
Dwight Gooden
239
118.088.718.7
27.6
-2.7-0.07.20.3
Bert Blyleven
282
127.5105.812.1
22.7
-1.50.010.10.5
Bret Saberhagen
228
87.966.510.7
18.3
0.0-0.07.90.3
Hal Newhouser
302
127.2106.513.7
24.2
-2.5-0.16.70.7
Bob Feller
213
108.283.015.2
23.6
-2.3-0.16.6-0.0
Felix Hernandez
238
100.281.09.8
19.3
-0.1-0.06.90.4
Pedro J. Martinez
218
75.860.89.3
16.4
-2.2-0.07.00.0


An intriguing mix of all-time greats and reminders that sometimes pitchers get hurt and/or don't age well.

Mike Trout
The best player in the American League in 2014, measured by either pWins or eWins over either positional average or replacement level, was Mike Trout. This is the third straight season when Mike Trout was widely regarded as the best player in the American League as measured by most sabermetric measures. It is, however, the first time that MVP voters agreed.

Mike Trout's career has thus far been one of consistent excellence. Trout's career, as measured by Player won-lost records, is presented next, followed by the 10 players most similar to Trout through age 22, as measured by Player won-lost records. The list of players most similar to Trout is an impressive one.

Mike Trout
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
2011ANA19
40
4.53.30.5800.6
0.9
4.13.80.5160.10.4
2012ANA20
139
22.515.70.5893.1
4.5
22.116.20.5772.74.0
2013ANA21
157
21.016.60.5582.0
3.4
22.115.50.5873.14.5
2014ANA22
157
24.015.90.6023.8
5.3
23.316.60.5843.14.6
2015ANA23
159
23.715.90.5983.7
5.2
23.216.50.5843.24.6
2016ANA24
159
23.816.70.5883.5
5.0
24.216.30.5983.95.4
2017ANA25
114
17.711.80.6002.9
4.0
18.011.50.6103.24.3
2018ANA26
140
19.813.70.5903.0
4.3
20.912.60.6254.25.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,065
157.0109.60.58922.7
32.6
157.7108.90.59223.433.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
3
0.40.70.352 -0.10.40.50.479 0.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,068
157.4110.20.589
32.5
158.2109.30.592 33.3


Most Similar Players to Mike Trout in Value
through Age 22
Wins over Baseline
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL Batting Baserunning Pitching Fielding
Mike Trout
493
72.151.59.5
14.1
8.10.70.01.1
Ted Williams
436
72.151.08.3
13.4
9.20.30.00.7
Mickey Mantle
510
79.352.011.8
17.1
6.70.70.02.5
Alex Rodriguez
513
71.060.67.5
12.7
4.30.90.02.0
Bryce Harper
510
74.458.06.5
11.4
5.30.30.01.4
Eddie Mathews
440
61.946.16.4
10.8
6.50.10.00.8
Jimmie Foxx
491
59.639.28.0
12.3
5.90.20.00.4
Mel Ott
612
86.066.06.9
13.5
7.8-0.30.02.5
Carlos Correa
361
52.543.35.4
8.8
3.60.30.01.1
Stan Musial
309
50.231.77.5
10.7
4.60.10.01.3
Ken Griffey Jr.
578
73.167.32.4
7.6
4.40.30.01.5


Corey Kluber
The winner of the American League Cy Young Award has had a somewhat less impressive career than Kershaw and Trout (of course, the vast majority of major-league players through history have had less impressive careers than Kershaw and Trout). Nevertheless, like Kershaw and Trout, Player won-lost records (mostly) agree that Corey Kluber was the best pitcher in the American League in 2014.

Corey Kluber's career to date, as measured by Player won-lost records, is presented in the next table.

Corey Kluber
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
2011CLE25
3
0.00.00.414-0.0
-0.0
0.00.00.398-0.0-0.0
2012CLE26
12
3.45.30.395-0.9
-0.5
3.84.90.442-0.5-0.1
2013CLE27
26
8.68.00.5160.3
1.2
8.68.00.5190.31.2
2014CLE28
36
15.910.80.5962.6
4.0
15.711.00.5872.43.8
2015CLE29
32
13.012.20.5150.4
1.8
14.011.30.5541.42.8
2016CLE30
32
14.512.20.5431.2
2.7
15.111.70.5631.73.3
2017CLE31
29
13.57.50.6433.0
4.2
13.17.80.6272.73.8
2018CLE32
33
14.610.50.5822.1
3.5
14.610.50.5832.13.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
203
83.666.60.5578.7
16.9
85.065.20.56610.118.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
9
3.72.90.562 0.83.33.20.508 0.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
212
87.369.50.557
17.7
88.268.30.566 18.7


2014 Postseason

The 2014 postseason began with a 12-inning thriller and ended with a World Series Game 7 in the same stadium that ended with the tying run at third base.

The San Francisco Giants won their third World Series in five seasons. But the darling of the 2014 postseason was the Kansas City Royals, making their first playoff appearance in almost thirty years.

The best players of the 2014 postseason, as measured by Player won-lost records, are presented in the next set of tables.

2014 Postseason: Total
pWins pLosses pWORL
Madison BumgarnerSFN3.82.41.2


Top postseason players by round were as follows.

2014 Postseason: World Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Madison BumgarnerSFN2.00.60.9

2014 Postseason: League Championship Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Travis IshikawaSFN1.00.30.4
Gregor BlancoSFN1.10.60.3
Alex GordonKCA0.90.40.3
Greg HollandKCA0.60.10.3
Wade DavisKCA0.50.00.3
Madison BumgarnerSFN0.90.70.2
Lorenzo CainKCA0.60.30.2
Kelvin HerreraKCA0.50.20.2
Alcides EscobarKCA0.70.40.2
Jeremy GuthrieKCA0.40.10.2
Brandon BeltSFN0.60.30.2
Omar InfanteKCA0.50.20.2
Pablo SandovalSFN0.70.50.2

2014 Postseason: Division Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Matt CarpenterSLN1.10.30.4
Eric HosmerKCA0.90.20.4
Nelson R. CruzBAL0.80.10.4

2014 Postseason: Wild Card Round
pWins pLosses pWORL
Brandon CrawfordSFN0.60.30.2
Madison BumgarnerSFN0.50.20.2
Brandon BeltSFN0.30.00.2
Eric HosmerKCA0.30.00.2
Hunter PenceSFN0.20.10.1
Pablo SandovalSFN0.20.10.1
Christian ColonKCA0.20.00.1
Brandon FinneganKCA0.10.00.1
Travis SniderPIT0.20.10.1
Josh WillinghamKCA0.10.00.1
Billy ButlerKCA0.10.00.1


Best of 2014 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 2014 in eWOPA by factor were as follows.

Batting
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Mike Trout17.011.12.9
Andrew McCutchen16.310.42.7
Jose Abreu15.810.62.6

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Baserunning
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Ben Revere2.41.30.5
Jacoby Ellsbury1.70.80.5
Dee Gordon2.31.40.4
Billy Hamilton2.41.50.4

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Pitching
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Clayton Kershaw10.66.83.8
Corey Kluber13.410.13.4
Felix Hernandez12.09.12.9
Chris Sale10.17.22.9
Jon Lester12.29.42.8


Fielding, P
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Koji Uehara0.40.10.3


Fielding, C
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Robinson Chirinos1.40.80.6


Fielding, 1B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Miguel Cabrera2.21.70.5
Steven Pearce1.00.50.5
Adam Rosales0.90.40.5


Fielding, 2B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Dustin Pedroia5.34.01.3


Fielding, 3B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Josh Donaldson5.44.11.3


Fielding, SS
eWins eLosses Net Wins
J.J. Hardy5.64.51.1


Fielding, LF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Alex Gordon7.36.11.2


Fielding, CF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Leonys Martin6.55.11.4


Fielding, RF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Jason Heyward7.36.50.8
Josh Reddick3.93.10.8


Best by Position
Next, we look at 2014 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
Jonathan Lucroy15.012.11.5


First Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Anthony Rizzo17.612.91.6
Jose Abreu14.910.91.6


Second Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Robinson Cano19.516.51.8


Third Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Josh Donaldson20.116.51.8


Shortstop
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Troy Tulowitzki13.110.41.4


Left Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Justin Upton20.816.51.8


Center Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Mike Trout22.416.22.8


Right Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Giancarlo Stanton23.617.82.4


Starting Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Clayton Kershaw10.97.02.0


Relief Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Wade Davis4.42.21.1
Dellin Betances5.33.21.1


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 2014 in context, in terms of pWins and pWOPA.

Top Relief Pitchers of 2014, based on pWORL
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
Craig Kimbrel7.43.60.6731.92.7
Greg Holland6.52.70.7121.92.6
Trevor Rosenthal8.95.90.6021.52.6
Kenley Jansen7.33.90.6561.82.6
Huston Street6.43.00.6831.72.4


Designated Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Victor Martinez11.78.61.3
David Ortiz13.310.51.2


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
Madison Bumgarner1.41.30.6
Travis Wood1.31.10.6


Pinch Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
John Mayberry Jr.1.20.50.4


Pinch Runner
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Leury Garcia0.40.10.1
Gregorio Petit0.20.00.1
Rajai Davis0.20.00.1
Tony Campana0.20.00.1
Antoan Richardson0.20.00.1
Craig Gentry0.10.00.1
Quintin Berry0.10.00.1


Noteworthy Players of 2014

The 2014 season was the final season for two players who enjoyed something of a year-long retirement ceremony - one being much more extensive and getting much more coverage than the other: longtime New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and longtime Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko.

A simple comparison of their careers probably isn't that interesting: Derek Jeter is a deserving Hall-of-Famer and Paul Konerko is a deserving member of the Hall of Good Guys. But that is because Derek Jeter was an outstanding baserunner and a shortstop, while Paul Konerko was an exceptionally slow first baseman. But as hitters, they were actually surprisingly similar in value: Jeter batted .310/.377/.440 in 12,602 career plate appearances while Konerko batted .279/.354/.486 in 9,505 career plate appearances.

Their career (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) batting won-lost records are compared in the final table of this article.

Derek Jeter Paul Konerko
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. Net Wins Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. Net Wins
1995150.80.90.445
-0.2
199615712.011.70.507
0.3
199715913.613.20.509
0.5
50.10.20.287-0.1
199814914.211.40.555
2.8
753.64.60.440-1.0
199915816.111.70.578
4.4
14211.010.10.5231.0
200014813.111.00.545
2.1
14310.410.20.5050.2
200115013.911.40.548
2.4
15612.811.30.5301.5
200215714.012.40.529
1.5
15111.910.40.5341.5
200311910.39.10.530
1.2
1378.49.50.470-1.1
200415413.612.80.516
0.9
15513.411.20.5442.1
200515914.412.40.537
2.0
15814.711.50.5623.2
200615414.811.70.557
3.0
15213.811.20.5522.6
200715613.912.00.537
1.9
15112.510.90.5331.6
200815012.312.10.504
0.2
1229.89.20.5160.6
200915315.212.90.540
2.3
15212.210.80.5311.4
201015712.013.00.479
-1.1
14914.59.90.5954.6
201113110.410.40.499
-0.0
14914.310.70.5713.5
201215915.013.90.519
1.1
14412.610.70.5401.9
2013170.91.30.417
-0.4
1269.110.20.471-1.1
201414510.412.60.454
-2.1
813.44.60.430-1.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS2,747240.9218.10.525
22.9
2,348188.5167.20.53021.4


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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