Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
Home     List of Articles



Orel Hershiser

2019 Today's Game Era Hall of Fame Ballot: Orel Hershiser

On Monday, November 5, 2018, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced the candidates for the 2019 "Today's Game Era" ballot, the latest version of the Hall-of-Fame's Veterans' Committee. The ballot included six players (plus two managers who had significant, but not Hall-of-Fame caliber, playing careers). This article looks at the only starting pitcher among these players: Orel Hershiser.

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

Orel Hershiser
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1983LAN24
8
0.50.30.6200.1
0.1
0.40.40.453-0.00.0
1984LAN25
45
10.88.10.5721.7
2.5
10.18.80.5330.91.8
1985LAN26
37
13.810.30.5742.2
3.3
13.610.50.5642.03.1
1986LAN27
37
15.515.10.5060.7
2.1
16.014.70.5211.22.5
1987LAN28
40
16.615.20.5221.4
2.8
17.014.70.5361.83.3
1988LAN29
36
20.313.40.6024.0
5.5
18.315.40.5442.13.5
1989LAN30
35
14.614.30.5050.7
1.9
16.112.90.5552.13.4
1990LAN31
4
1.31.70.445-0.1
0.0
1.51.50.4970.00.2
1991LAN32
21
7.14.30.6221.6
2.1
6.64.80.5771.11.6
1992LAN33
35
12.412.90.4900.2
1.4
12.512.70.4960.41.6
1993LAN34
33
13.713.50.5050.7
1.9
14.412.80.5281.32.5
1994LAN35
21
7.89.00.463-0.3
0.6
7.39.50.434-0.80.1
1995CLE36
26
9.88.30.5440.8
1.8
9.78.40.5360.71.6
1996CLE37
33
14.010.50.5701.7
3.1
13.311.20.5421.02.4
1997CLE38
32
11.010.70.5070.2
1.4
10.511.10.486-0.31.0
1998SFN39
34
12.712.60.5030.5
1.7
11.913.40.472-0.30.9
1999NYN40
32
11.612.60.478-0.0
1.1
11.512.60.477-0.11.1
2000LAN41
10
1.43.70.270-1.1
-0.9
1.63.50.322-0.9-0.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
519
195.0176.50.52515.0
32.5
192.4179.10.51812.429.9
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
22
7.76.20.553 1.68.26.70.551 1.7
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
541
202.7182.70.525
34.1
200.6185.80.518 31.6


The next table shows the 10 players most similar to Orel Hershiser in career value, as measured by Player won-lost records.

Most Similar Players to Orel Hershiser in Value
Ages 0 through 100 (seasons normalized to 162 games) (missing player games extrapolated)
Wins over Baseline
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL Batting Baserunning Pitching Fielding
Orel Hershiser
519
195.0176.515.0
32.5
-3.2-0.27.00.3
Don Drysdale
547
219.9204.614.8
33.1
-3.8-0.16.91.0
Rick Reuschel
579
219.9205.814.2
32.2
-6.0-0.27.50.6
David Cone
451
184.5153.718.1
35.1
-2.3-0.17.80.5
Dwight Gooden
434
184.0156.019.4
35.1
-3.1-0.15.90.5
Mark Buehrle
518
195.5175.410.8
30.7
-1.1-0.07.00.8
Luis Tiant
573
225.8194.918.6
37.8
-2.9-0.18.00.3
Curt Simmons
609
207.4197.411.0
29.0
-5.7-0.07.50.6
David Wells
660
206.9179.714.8
35.5
-1.1-0.17.00.3
George Uhle
575
168.3149.514.1
27.5
-1.1-0.13.60.6
Dizzy Trout
535
169.2153.812.5
27.5
-2.10.17.00.4


The list includes two Hall-of-Famers - Drysdale and Newhouser - and two additional players who have been voted into the Hall of Merit - Cone and Reuschel. On the other hand, none of the other six players seem likely to be elected to either Hall any time soon - although Luis Tiant has a decent number of supporters at the Hall of Merit.

Clearly, in terms of career value, Hershiser is, at best, a borderline Hall-of-Fame candidate.

At his best, however, Hershiser clearly had Hall-of-Fame talent. His peak season was 1988 and what a peak it was. In the regular season, Hershiser went 23-8 with a 2.26 ERA in a league-leading 267 inning pitched. Hershiser also led the league in complete games (15) and shutouts (8) and finished the regular-season with a major-league record 59 consecutive scoreless innings. He followed that up by going 3-0 with a 1.05 ERA in 42.2 postseason innings. For all of that, Hershiser was named the National League Cy Young award winner and the MVP of both the National League Championship Series and World Series.

The next table shows the top 10 players in regular-season pWins over either positional average or replacement level in 1988.

pWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
          pWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL           Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
1Darryl Strawberry26.216.34.0
5.6
1Darryl Strawberry26.216.34.0
5.6
2Orel Hershiser20.313.44.0
5.5
2Orel Hershiser20.313.44.0
5.5
3Jose Canseco25.616.83.7
5.4
3Jose Canseco25.616.83.7
5.4
4Alan Trammell21.014.83.6
5.0
4Alan Trammell21.014.83.6
5.0
5Danny Jackson18.313.23.1
4.5
5Mike Greenwell26.519.33.1
4.9
6Mike Greenwell26.519.33.1
4.9
6Roger Clemens18.011.93.1
4.5
7Roger Clemens18.011.93.1
4.5
7Danny Jackson18.313.23.1
4.5
8Greg Maddux17.412.53.0
4.3
8Frank Viola17.611.63.0
4.4
9Frank Viola17.611.63.0
4.4
9Kirby Puckett24.819.02.7
4.4
10Eric Davis20.714.02.9
4.2
10Ozzie Smith22.617.82.8
4.3


Player won-lost records agree with Cy Young voters but disagree with MVP voters who placed Hershiser 6th in the 1988 NL MVP voting. He should have won that one, too.

The final table, then, shows the top postseason performers of 1988 as ranked by pWORL.

1988 Postseason: Total
pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
1Orel Hershiser2.51.70.50.7
2Kirk Gibson1.80.70.50.6
3Mickey Hatcher1.80.70.50.6
4Steve Sax1.61.10.30.4
5Mike A. Marshall1.71.10.30.4
6Mike Davis0.70.10.30.3
7Ron Hassey0.70.20.30.3
8Carney Lansford1.20.80.20.3
9Dave Henderson1.20.80.20.3
10Gene Nelson0.60.20.20.3


Orel Hershiser was the best player in the 1988 regular season and he was the best player in the 1988 postseason.



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.

Home     List of Articles