Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Paul Molitor

Hall-of-Famers as Seen Through Player Won-Lost Records: Paul Molitor

Paul Molitor was elected to the Hall of Fame in his 1st year of eligibility, 2004, with 85.2% of the vote.

Five highlights of Paul Molitor's career: The first two tables below present Paul Molitor'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
1978MIL21
125
15.915.13.21.7
1979MIL22
140
20.716.56.85.0
1980MIL23
111
15.414.23.31.9
1981MIL24
64
7.07.00.6-0.2
1982MIL25
160
22.317.76.34.4
1983MIL26
152
17.417.31.6-0.0
1984MIL27
13
1.11.2-0.1-0.2
1985MIL28
140
17.616.72.40.8
1986MIL29
105
14.211.63.62.4
1987MIL30
118
15.310.46.14.7
1988MIL31
154
20.816.46.24.2
1989MIL32
155
19.416.94.22.4
1990MIL33
103
11.711.81.0-0.1
1991MIL34
158
18.815.14.72.7
1992MIL35
158
17.913.55.53.7
1993TOR36
160
18.412.77.05.0
1994TOR37
115
11.39.42.71.3
1995TOR38
130
10.711.00.5-1.0
1996MIN39
161
16.714.33.51.5
1997MIN40
135
13.012.91.1-0.6
1998MIN41
126
11.311.60.4-1.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,683
316.8273.370.838.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
29
4.43.01.81.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,712
321.2276.372.639.8


Expected Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games eWins eLosses eWORL eWOPA
1978MIL21
125
15.415.62.20.7
1979MIL22
140
19.717.54.83.0
1980MIL23
111
16.013.54.73.2
1981MIL24
64
7.16.90.80.0
1982MIL25
160
21.618.54.82.9
1983MIL26
152
17.717.02.00.4
1984MIL27
13
1.01.2-0.1-0.2
1985MIL28
140
17.616.72.60.9
1986MIL29
105
13.512.32.31.1
1987MIL30
118
14.810.95.13.7
1988MIL31
154
20.316.95.13.2
1989MIL32
155
19.516.84.42.6
1990MIL33
103
12.411.02.51.4
1991MIL34
158
18.815.14.72.7
1992MIL35
158
17.413.94.62.7
1993TOR36
160
17.613.55.43.5
1994TOR37
115
11.59.23.21.8
1995TOR38
130
11.010.71.1-0.4
1996MIN39
161
16.115.02.30.2
1997MIN40
135
13.312.61.7-0.0
1998MIN41
126
11.111.80.2-1.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,683
313.4276.764.432.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
29
4.33.11.51.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,712
317.7279.865.933.1


Paul Molitor had an extremely well-balanced game. He batted over .300 12 times, with career highs (in different seasons) of 41 doubles, 13 triples, and 22 home runs. He scored 100 runs 5 times (as well as one 99-run season); he drove in 100 runs twice. He stole 30 or more bases eight times with a career high of 45. On the defensive side, while he played a plurality of his games as a designated hitter, that was because of injuries, not fielding. Molitor played all four infield positions as well as a few games in center field. And he played them all well.

Paul Molitor's Player won-lost records reflect this balance. The next table shows his (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) career record by factor: Batting, Baserunning, and Fielding.

Batting Baserunning Fielding
eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWins eLosses eWin Pct.
231.9207.4
0.528
31.221.9
0.587
49.248.50.504


Paul Molitor had an extremely well-balanced game. But was it an historically well-balanced game? I tried to come up with a way to identify and rank players who were above average at everything. The first step in doing this, then, is to define "average". For batting and baserunning, instead of .500, I used the average offensive winning percentage for non-pitchers (by season-league). For fielding, instead of .500, I used positional average. I did this in an attempt to give more credit to, say, a good defensive shortstop than, say, a good defensive left fielder.

What I did then was to subtract these (player-specific) factor averages from a player's batting, baserunning, and fielding winning percentage. Doing this, the resulting numbers will be positive if the winning percentage is above average, negative if below.

I then multiplied these three numbers together. The product of three numbers will be positive if either all three are positive - which is what I want - or if exactly two of the three are negative. I weeded out these latter players. Multiplying the three numbers together effectively weights all three values equally and gives more value to being equivalently above-average in everything than being essentially average in one factor but very good in two. So, for example, the product of 3, 3, and 3 (27) is greater than the product of 1, 4, and 4 (16), even though the average value in both cases is the same (3).

For players with at least 10 eWins each in batting, baserunning, and fielding, here, then, are the top 25 players in this statistic.


Players with Most Well-Rounded Excellence
Batting Baserunning Fielding
Player Games eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWins eLosses eWin Pct.
1Mike Trout
1,199
124.279.7
0.609
11.98.6
0.580
39.836.00.525
2Mel Ott
2,664
275.4178.1
0.607
18.916.4
0.536
111.8100.10.528
3Paul Molitor
2,683
231.9207.4
0.528
31.221.9
0.587
49.248.50.504
4Al Kaline
2,833
255.5199.7
0.561
21.517.1
0.557
98.787.20.531
5Lou Whitaker
2,387
194.5173.5
0.529
21.316.8
0.560
81.877.80.512
6Jackie Robinson
1,382
128.9100.3
0.562
15.112.1
0.554
43.136.80.539
7Chase Utley
1,934
159.7137.4
0.538
14.010.2
0.580
61.557.70.516
8Tim Raines Sr.
2,500
196.7170.6
0.535
35.721.5
0.624
82.781.40.504
9Barry Bonds
2,985
309.4187.3
0.623
28.624.1
0.542
118.8109.20.521
10Vern Stephens
1,720
161.4133.7
0.547
10.38.0
0.563
71.070.90.500
11Toby Harrah
2,155
166.5146.1
0.533
19.915.6
0.560
70.870.00.503
12Carlton Fisk
2,498
201.8178.3
0.531
16.613.8
0.547
30.929.90.509
13Arky Vaughan
1,817
166.9128.3
0.565
17.414.1
0.552
82.881.30.505
14Barry Larkin
2,180
180.7159.8
0.531
21.815.0
0.592
82.581.20.504
15Joe DiMaggio
1,736
189.0132.8
0.587
13.39.8
0.575
70.765.00.521
16Joe Mauer
1,858
153.6136.7
0.529
11.810.3
0.534
17.516.80.510
17Larry Doby
1,530
146.3109.3
0.572
11.09.6
0.532
52.150.80.506
18Bobby Grich
2,006
162.2135.6
0.545
15.914.6
0.520
73.268.80.516
19Amos Otis
1,997
159.7145.7
0.523
19.413.6
0.588
77.068.80.528
20Rickey Henderson
3,080
259.4209.9
0.553
55.638.5
0.591
110.6104.40.514
21Bill Terry
1,609
147.7114.3
0.564
12.09.6
0.556
26.924.80.520
22Joe Gordon
1,566
136.4114.3
0.544
12.110.5
0.535
60.055.40.520
23Albert Pujols
2,823
281.0215.0
0.567
18.916.9
0.529
50.844.50.533
24Pee Wee Reese
2,166
172.1160.0
0.518
21.016.6
0.558
90.879.00.535
25Yogi Berra
2,119
190.3159.1
0.545
12.310.6
0.536
28.827.70.509


So, was the balance of Paul Molitor's career historically great? I'd say that having one of the top 5 most well-balanced careers of the past 100 years is pretty historically great.

Article last updated: March 17, 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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