Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Frank Thomas

Hall-of-Famers as Seen Through Player Won-Lost Records: Frank Thomas

Frank Thomas was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, 2014, with 83.7% of the vote.

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

Frank Thomas
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1990CHA22
60
7.14.90.5920.9
1.3
6.64.60.5880.81.2
1991CHA23
158
18.312.10.6022.6
4.2
18.812.60.6002.64.2
1992CHA24
160
21.615.70.5802.3
3.8
20.915.00.5822.33.7
1993CHA25
153
21.214.10.6012.9
4.3
19.013.80.5792.03.3
1994CHA26
113
15.29.30.6192.4
3.4
15.49.30.6242.53.6
1995CHA27
145
15.812.80.5520.9
2.3
17.812.70.5841.93.4
1996CHA28
141
16.413.50.5480.9
2.1
18.013.20.5761.83.0
1997CHA29
146
17.812.00.5992.2
3.6
17.512.20.5891.93.3
1998CHA30
160
14.912.30.5470.7
2.4
14.812.80.5370.42.1
1999CHA31
135
13.711.30.5480.8
2.1
13.211.30.5380.51.8
2000CHA32
159
17.111.80.5922.1
3.9
16.411.50.5881.93.7
2001CHA33
20
1.11.50.433-0.2
-0.0
1.41.40.505-0.00.2
2002CHA34
148
12.011.80.506-0.1
1.4
11.610.40.5280.41.8
2003CHA35
153
17.112.40.5801.9
3.7
15.511.10.5811.83.3
2004CHA36
74
7.44.60.6151.3
2.0
7.44.60.6141.32.0
2005CHA37
34
2.92.10.5830.4
0.6
3.12.30.5680.30.6
2006OAK38
137
14.810.30.5891.8
3.3
13.310.00.5721.22.7
2007TOR39
155
13.711.90.5340.4
2.0
13.211.00.5450.62.1
40
71
6.06.40.483-0.4
0.4
5.65.70.497-0.20.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,322
254.2190.80.57123.7
46.7
249.5185.50.57424.146.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
16
1.31.50.467 0.01.41.30.521 0.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,338
255.5192.30.571
46.7
250.9186.80.574 46.8


Frank Thomas: Great Hitter
Frank Thomas was the first player elected to the Hall of Fame who played a majority of his career games as a designated hitter (Paul Molitor played more games at DH than any single fielding position, but played a combined 1,495 games in the field vs. 1,173 games at DH). Not surprisingly, then, Frank Thomas was elected to the Hall of Fame on the basis of being one of the greatest hitters in major-league history.

The next table shows the top 25 players in career (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) batting wins over non-pitcher average among players for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records.

Top 25 Players, Batting Won-Lost Record
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Barry Bonds306.8184.60.62456.6
2Ted Williams253.3141.30.64252.2
3Babe Ruth201.198.40.67148.8
4Hank Aaron332.7232.80.58844.8
5Mickey Mantle243.2150.30.61842.8
6Willie Mays294.9200.30.59642.6
7Stan Musial297.8208.90.58839.7
8Lou Gehrig200.3118.00.62938.3
9Frank Robinson276.3191.70.59038.3
10Mel Ott234.7152.10.60737.8
11Jimmie Foxx210.7136.20.60734.0
12Mike Schmidt231.1159.00.59232.5
13Frank E. Thomas222.4157.30.58632.3
14Jim Thome225.7160.80.58431.7
15Alex Rodriguez263.6200.30.56831.1
16Manny Ramirez221.1158.50.58230.7
17Harmon Killebrew226.9159.30.58730.4
18Willie McCovey223.3155.70.58930.2
19Albert Pujols254.0188.70.57430.0
20Reggie Jackson251.2188.90.57129.9
21Eddie Mathews228.2162.20.58529.2
22Mark McGwire178.7118.60.60129.2
23Jeff Bagwell213.3151.70.58427.4
24Carl Yastrzemski293.5233.70.55726.9
25Willie Stargell208.5148.10.58526.8

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



In his prime - e.g., in 1994, when Frank Thomas batted .353/.487/.729 with 38 HR, 101 RBI, 106 runs scored, and 109 walks (in a strike-shortened 113-game season) - there was talk about whether Frank Thomas might end his career as the greatest righthanded hitter ever. The next table shows the top 10 players in career (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) batting wins over non-pitcher average among right-handed batters for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records.

Top 10 Right-Handed Hitters, Batting Won-Lost Record
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Hank Aaron332.7232.80.58844.8
2Willie Mays294.9200.30.59642.6
3Frank Robinson276.3191.70.59038.3
4Jimmie Foxx210.7136.20.60734.0
5Mike Schmidt231.1159.00.59232.5
6Frank E. Thomas222.4157.30.58632.3
7Alex Rodriguez263.6200.30.56831.1
8Manny Ramirez221.1158.50.58230.7
9Harmon Killebrew226.9159.30.58730.4
10Albert Pujols254.0188.70.57430.0
11Mark McGwire178.7118.60.60129.2
12Jeff Bagwell213.3151.70.58427.4
13Gary Sheffield235.5178.20.56926.0
14Miguel Cabrera211.9158.80.57225.3
15Dick Allen172.5119.30.59124.1
16Rickey Henderson259.7210.40.55223.9
17Rogers Hornsby130.379.20.62223.8
18Joe DiMaggio176.5123.40.58923.7
19Al Kaline252.4197.60.56123.4
20Jack Clark180.0131.10.57922.1
21Edgar Martinez181.1137.80.56821.5
22Dave Winfield258.9214.20.54720.8
23Ralph Kiner143.597.90.59420.4
24Frank Howard171.0125.30.57720.1
25Dwight Evans215.1174.90.55120.0

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense

Frank Thomas: Exceptionally Great Pure Hitter
Batting Player won-lost records are calculated across seven components. The next table defines these components and presents Frank Thomas's (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) career record by component.

Component eWins eLosses eWin Pct.
Component 3: Balls not in Play48.630.10.618
Component 4: Balls in Play106.458.60.645
Component 5: Hits vs. Outs on Balls in Play54.254.40.499
Component 6: Singles vs. Doubles vs. Triples4.95.70.463
Component 7: Double Plays2.03.40.367
Component 8: Baserunner Outs1.51.10.584
Component 9: Baserunner Advancements4.84.00.547


Component 3 measures the ability to draw walks (and/or hit-by-pitches) and to avoid strikeouts. Frank Thomas led his league in walks 4 times and is 10th all-time with 1,667 career walks. Frank Thomas also had 270 more walks than strikeouts in his career. Not surprisingly, Frank Thomas was excellent at Component 3.

Component 4 measures balls on which a batter makes contact - including home runs - and measures expected results based on how and where the ball was hit. That is, home runs and line drives are positive Component 4 events; pop ups and weak ground balls are negative Component 4 events. For his career, Frank Thomas hit 521 home runs - tied for 18th alltime - finishing top-10 in his league nine times. For his career, Frank Thomas hit home runs on 12.9% of all fly balls he hit (vs. a league average of 7.6%) and he hit line drives on 23% of all balls he hit in play (excluding home runs) (vs. 21% league average). When Frank Thomas made contact with the baseball, good things (if you were rooting for his team) happened. Not surprisingly, then, Frank Thomas was excellent at Component 4.

I tend to think of Components 3 and 4 as measuring "pure hitting" (and "pure pitching"). There's no complications from fielders or a player's running ability. It's the essence of the pure batter-pitcher matchup.

The next table shows the top 25 players in career batting wins for Components 3 and 4 combined, over non-pitcher average: in essence, the best "pure hitters" for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records.

Top 25 Pure Hitters
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Barry Bonds220.9103.80.68055.6
2Ted Williams170.772.70.70146.7
3Babe Ruth145.654.60.72743.8
4Hank Aaron209.9122.70.63140.6
5Mickey Mantle167.588.10.65537.3
6Willie Mays191.4112.80.62936.4
7Mel Ott152.776.60.66635.9
8Frank Robinson180.3105.00.63235.2
9Harmon Killebrew165.690.80.64635.2
10Albert Pujols168.196.80.63434.0
11Mike Schmidt161.590.70.64033.1
12Frank E. Thomas155.088.60.63633.0
13Mark McGwire141.175.00.65332.4
14Lou Gehrig125.860.70.67430.9
15Jimmie Foxx137.974.60.64929.6
16Stan Musial168.7104.90.61729.3
17Willie McCovey153.790.80.62929.1
18Gary Sheffield155.594.30.62329.0
19Manny Ramirez150.192.30.61928.5
20Jim Thome163.0105.40.60728.3
21Eddie Mathews154.393.80.62227.9
22Alex Rodriguez173.6118.70.59427.1
23Carl Yastrzemski178.1121.50.59526.6
24Jeff Bagwell140.783.70.62726.5
25Rafael Palmeiro163.0112.00.59325.2

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



In an article I wrote several years ago, I looked at how batting and baserunning won-lost records correlate by component. Besides Components 3 and 4, there are two other Components of batting won-lost records that do not involve any baserunning aspect: Components 8 and 9, which, from a batting perspective, measure the extent to which baserunners are able to advance (Component 9) and avoid being put out (Component 8) on the bases. As seen earlier, Frank Thomas was quite good at these aspects of hitting as well. The other components of batting - 5, 6, and 7 - correlate reasonably well with a Player's baserunning record, which makes sense, since they all involve running to at least some degree (e.g., the ability to beat out infield hits, leg out triples, and beat the relay throw on would-be double plays).

The final table, then, combines Components 3, 4, 8, and 9, the components of batting which do not involve baserunning, and presents the top 10 players in career batting wins for Components 3, 4, 8, and 9 combined, over non-pitcher average for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records. In effect, this measures batting, controlling for baserunning.

Top 10 Batters (controlling for baserunning)
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Barry Bonds228.3110.30.67455.9
2Ted Williams179.279.30.69347.5
3Babe Ruth151.658.00.72345.1
4Hank Aaron220.9133.10.62440.7
5Mickey Mantle174.193.20.65138.0
6Mel Ott161.584.40.65736.4
7Willie Mays200.6122.50.62136.0
8Harmon Killebrew172.196.80.64035.3
9Frank Robinson189.1114.00.62435.0
10Albert Pujols176.0104.00.62834.3

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



As I said, Frank Thomas was one of the best hitters in major-league history.

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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