Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Ozzie Smith

Hall-of-Famers as Seen Through Player Won-Lost Records: Ozzie Smith

Ozzie Smith was elected to the Hall of Fame in his 1st year of eligibility, 2002, with 91.7% of the vote.

Five highlights of Ozzie Smith's career: The first two tables below present Ozzie Smith's career as measured by Player won-lost records, in and out of context.

Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWORL pWOPA
1978SDN23
159
20.921.82.30.3
1979SDN24
156
17.319.11.0-0.7
1980SDN25
158
21.121.33.01.0
1981SDN26
110
13.115.5-0.1-1.5
1982SLN27
140
19.517.05.13.4
1983SLN28
159
20.017.94.72.9
1984SLN29
124
17.915.84.63.0
1985SLN30
158
22.518.37.05.1
1986SLN31
153
18.716.94.42.7
1987SLN32
158
22.917.58.16.2
1988SLN33
153
22.317.87.25.3
1989SLN34
155
20.618.94.42.5
1990SLN35
143
16.017.40.9-0.6
1991SLN36
150
20.717.65.63.8
1992SLN37
132
18.516.74.22.5
1993SLN38
141
18.318.12.70.9
1994SLN39
98
10.812.50.0-1.1
1995SLN40
44
4.85.6-0.1-0.6
1996SLN41
82
7.56.81.60.9
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,573
333.3312.466.635.7
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
42
4.74.80.60.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,615
338.0317.267.235.8


Expected Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games eWins eLosses eWORL eWOPA
1978SDN23
159
20.522.11.7-0.3
1979SDN24
156
17.119.21.1-0.7
1980SDN25
158
21.121.32.90.9
1981SDN26
110
13.715.00.9-0.5
1982SLN27
140
18.817.73.82.1
1983SLN28
159
19.418.53.51.7
1984SLN29
124
17.216.43.21.6
1985SLN30
158
21.319.54.72.7
1986SLN31
153
18.317.33.61.9
1987SLN32
158
22.517.97.45.5
1988SLN33
153
21.918.26.44.5
1989SLN34
155
20.319.23.71.9
1990SLN35
143
16.816.62.50.9
1991SLN36
150
20.417.95.13.2
1992SLN37
132
18.216.93.72.0
1993SLN38
141
18.018.42.00.2
1994SLN39
98
11.312.10.8-0.3
1995SLN40
44
4.75.7-0.4-0.9
1996SLN41
82
7.37.01.30.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,573
328.7317.057.927.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
42
4.55.00.2-0.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,615
333.2322.058.126.8


Ozzie Smith won 13 Gold Gloves at shortstop - more than anybody else in major-league history - and was widely regarded as the best defensive shortstop not merely of his generation, but of all time. The development of better fielding statistics in recent years has done little or nothing to change that perception. Ozzie Smith was an extraordinary fielding shortstop.

But how does Ozzie Smith rank among the greatest fielders in major-league history regardless of position?

There are two challenges in answering this question. First, an average fielding shortstop is more valuable than an average fielding first baseman, because the former is harder to find than the latter. Second, as with baseball players in general, there is value in a player being somewhat below average, as long as that player is better than the alternative(s).

The solution to the first challenge is to look at positional averages, so that a first baseman who amasses a Player winning percentage exactly equal to the average winning percentage of all first basemen is equal in value to a shortstop who amasses a Player winning percentage exactly equal to the average winning percentage of all shortstops. The solution to the second challenge is to compare players against a baseline of replacement level instead of average. In my work, I calculate replacement level relative to positional average, so that using replacement level in my analysis solves both challenges.

In other words, one can measure a player's "position-neutral" fielding value by calculating his fielding wins above replacement level.

The next table, then, presents the top 25 players in career fielding wins over replacement level.

Fielding Wins
Top 25 Players
Player eWins eLosses Win Pct. WORL_f
1Ozzie Smith116.5102.00.53325.0
2Mel Ott111.8100.10.52822.8
3Brooks Robinson93.579.70.54022.4
4Ichiro Suzuki98.886.50.53321.3
5Al Kaline98.787.20.53120.9
6Barry Bonds118.8109.20.52120.7
7Pee Wee Reese90.879.00.53520.7
8Cal Ripken113.3103.70.52220.0
9Roberto Clemente108.299.10.52219.5
10Carl Furillo70.458.40.54718.7
11Lou Boudreau75.564.20.54018.5
12Mark Belanger78.868.40.53517.6
13Willie Davis89.481.10.52416.7
14Rickey Henderson110.6104.40.51416.6
15Al Simmons92.284.80.52116.6
16Andruw Jones81.472.70.52816.3
17Jesse Barfield62.151.60.54615.9
18Mike Schmidt81.373.00.52715.7
19Luis Aparicio113.1108.50.51015.7
20Omar Vizquel108.4103.00.51315.6
21Adrian Beltre84.677.10.52315.5
22Buddy Bell78.370.20.52815.3
23Indian Bob Johnson91.184.80.51815.3
24Amos Otis77.068.80.52815.3
25Dave Concepcion98.392.40.51615.2


And there you have it. Ozzie Smith was the most valuable defensive player in major-league history (at least since 1918).

Article last updated: March 25, 2020



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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