Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
Home     List of Articles



Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson

2015 Hall of Fame Ballot Series: Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson

The first table below presents Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson's career as measured by Player won-lost records.

Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1988MON24
4
1.81.30.5690.3
0.4
1.61.80.480-0.00.1
25
29
9.210.70.461-0.5
0.4
9.710.20.489-0.00.9
1990SEA26
33
13.912.50.5261.0
2.2
13.313.90.490-0.01.3
1991SEA27
33
14.013.50.5100.5
1.9
12.912.60.5060.31.6
1992SEA28
31
14.315.50.479-0.3
1.3
12.812.00.5150.62.0
1993SEA29
36
17.011.30.6013.0
4.3
16.611.50.5902.74.0
1994SEA30
23
11.28.50.5701.5
2.6
11.47.50.6052.13.1
1995SEA31
30
16.57.50.6884.8
6.1
14.67.60.6573.85.0
1996SEA32
14
3.92.60.6040.7
1.1
3.72.90.5580.40.8
1997SEA33
30
16.28.50.6584.1
5.6
14.38.40.6303.24.5
34
34
18.014.90.5482.2
3.8
16.112.50.5632.33.8
1999ARI35
35
18.513.30.5823.4
4.9
17.814.20.5572.64.1
2000ARI36
35
18.613.40.5813.4
5.0
16.612.40.5722.84.2
2001ARI37
35
19.112.50.6054.2
5.8
17.111.90.5883.34.8
2002ARI38
35
19.110.40.6465.1
6.5
17.513.00.5733.04.5
2003ARI39
18
7.57.60.4960.3
1.1
7.87.90.4980.31.2
2004ARI40
35
15.512.60.5522.3
3.8
16.710.60.6123.95.3
2005NYA41
34
13.210.90.5461.4
2.6
13.311.70.5331.12.4
2006NYA42
33
11.811.30.5100.5
1.7
12.511.50.5200.72.0
2007ARI43
10
3.53.50.5030.2
0.5
3.73.20.5310.40.7
2008ARI44
30
11.511.50.5010.6
1.8
11.711.00.5160.92.1
2009SFN45
22
7.07.40.4860.1
0.8
5.87.20.446-0.40.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
619
281.3221.00.56038.5
64.3
267.6215.50.55434.158.9
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
19
7.97.40.518 1.48.36.40.565 2.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
638
289.2228.40.560
65.7
275.9221.90.554 60.9


Randy Johnson has 5 of the top 6 single-season strikeout totals by a lefthanded pitcher since 1905. The top single-season strikeout total by a lefthanded pitcher over that time period belongs to Sandy Koufax, who struck out what was then a modern major-league record 382 batters in 1965 (Nolan Ryan broke Koufax's record by one in 1973; Johnson's career high was 372 strikeouts in 2001).

Sandy Koufax and Randy Johnson were both high-strikeout lefthanded pitchers who won multiple Cy Young awards. But beyond that, their careers were basically nothing alike. Sandy Koufax pitched his final season at age 30. Randy Johnson won his first Cy Young award at age 31.

The next table compares the careers of Sandy Koufax and Randy Johnson, as measured by Player won-lost records, with a twist. The numbers shown here are for Koufax from age 20 through 30; the numbers for Johnson are when he was 10 years older, from age 30 through 40.

Sandy Koufax Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson
Age Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Age Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
20163.44.40.440-0.4
0.0
302311.28.50.5701.52.6
21345.35.80.479-0.1
0.4
313016.57.50.6884.86.1
224010.212.00.461-0.6
0.4
32143.92.60.6040.71.1
23359.79.40.5070.4
1.3
333016.28.50.6584.15.6
243710.612.40.459-0.5
0.5
343418.014.90.5482.23.8
254217.615.80.5271.5
3.0
353518.513.30.5823.44.9
262811.89.20.5631.8
2.7
363518.613.40.5813.45.0
274022.613.20.6315.5
7.2
373519.112.50.6054.25.8
282915.911.20.5872.9
4.3
383519.110.40.6465.16.5
294325.014.50.6326.2
8.0
39187.57.60.4960.31.1
304123.016.00.5904.2
5.9
403515.512.60.5522.33.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
TOTALS
(for seasons shown)
385155.1123.90.55621.1
33.6
324164.1111.60.59532.046.3


Not only did Koufax's career end early, but his time as an elite starter also started fairly late, so that Koufax was really only "Sandy Koufax, the Left Arm of God" for about four (or perhaps five) seasons. In contrast, while Randy Johnson didn't really get going until his late 20's (he was Cy Young runner-up in 1993 at age 28), he remained effective for more than a decade, bookending his career with a Cy Young runner-up finish in 2004 at age 40. As a result, while Koufax has the top two individual seasons in the above table (his 1963 and 1965 seasons), Johnson blows him away in total value for the decade, as measured by pWins over either average or replacement level.

The next table compares the career values of Sandy Koufax Randy Johnson. The final row of the table shows the hypothetical career value of "Sandy Johnson" who matched Koufax's career through age 30 and then performed equivalently to Randy Johnson from age 31 through age 45.

Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
Sandy Koufax, career
397
157.6126.30.55521.1
34.0
147.6138.30.51610.223.1
Randy Johnson, career
619
281.3221.00.56038.5
64.3
267.6215.50.55434.158.9
'Sandy Johnson' (Koufax, thru age 30; Johnson, age 31+)
827
357.5274.00.56654.4
85.1
336.8284.30.54238.668.8


In order to help evaluate the value of "Sandy Johnson"'s career, the final table below presents the top 10 players in career pWins over positional average and replacement level among all players for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records. The real player most similar in value to the hypothetical "Sandy Johnson" is probably Willie Mays.



pWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
          pWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL           Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
1Barry Bonds462.1315.160.3
90.8
1Barry Bonds462.1315.160.3
90.8
2Babe Ruth306.4178.654.2
74.1
2Willie Mays460.1335.249.6
81.8
3Roger Clemens318.2228.251.1
79.6
3Roger Clemens318.2228.251.1
79.6
4Mickey Mantle351.8230.750.2
73.9
4Hank Aaron492.5372.942.2
77.9
5Willie Mays460.1335.249.6
81.8
5Babe Ruth306.4178.654.2
74.1
6Joe L. Morgan374.0292.346.2
72.7
6Mickey Mantle351.8230.750.2
73.9
7Lefty Grove248.3169.644.9
63.8
7Greg Maddux328.5271.444.8
73.5
8Greg Maddux328.5271.444.8
73.5
8Joe L. Morgan374.0292.346.2
72.7
9Ted Williams369.6253.644.5
69.9
9Warren Spahn354.2293.643.8
71.8
10Warren Spahn354.2293.643.8
71.8
10Ted Williams369.6253.644.5
69.9


2015 Hall of Fame Ballot Series




Home     List of Articles