Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Rocky Colavito

Rocky Colavito as Seen Through Player Won-Lost Records



In an earlier article, I looked at players who have been elected to the Hall of Fame and Hall of Merit as viewed using Player won-lost records. At the end of that article, I put together a table of the best players in neither the Hall of Fame nor the Hall of Merit, as measured by Player won-lost records. That table is repeated here.

Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Tommy John
761
278.0247.923.6
47.3
278.3259.918.042.1
Jim Kaat
974
271.2255.917.5
41.2
272.6268.712.036.4
Luis Tiant
573
225.8195.020.9
40.2
210.1193.013.832.3
Vern Stephens
1,719
247.0207.621.4
39.5
231.8200.517.234.5
Bert Campaneris
2,305
288.4281.415.2
38.1
290.7284.714.837.8
Amos Otis
1,991
262.6222.816.3
35.5
256.5227.011.130.2
Orel Hershiser
516
195.1176.617.7
35.4
193.2178.016.133.8
Jose Canseco
1,886
224.7186.714.3
33.7
219.7185.812.331.5
Toby Harrah
2,145
254.1233.514.7
33.6
257.7229.318.637.4
Larry Jackson
583
205.6190.915.4
32.9
202.7188.814.932.2
Ron Cey
2,070
255.8217.414.5
32.8
246.2212.512.330.0
Jim Fregosi
1,896
229.3210.813.9
31.8
225.4207.413.631.2
Curt Simmons
593
207.4197.513.0
31.2
209.5198.413.632.0
Jerry Koosman
612
229.2223.310.7
30.6
228.7222.910.630.5
Brian Downing
2,341
235.6211.110.3
30.3
237.5208.512.632.6


This article takes a look at one of those players, whose peak (1958 - 1962) coincides with a time period about which I have written several recent articles: Rocky Colavito.

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


Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1955CLE1955
4
0.40.30.5550.0
0.1
0.40.20.6430.10.1
1956CLE1956
101
12.610.70.5420.6
1.5
11.79.40.5540.81.6
1957CLE1957
134
16.814.80.5320.6
1.9
17.914.70.5491.22.5
1958CLE1958
143
20.915.30.5792.1
3.5
21.615.20.5872.53.9
1959CLE1959
154
23.517.50.5732.0
3.6
21.317.50.5490.92.5
1960DET1960
145
18.919.70.489-1.0
0.5
19.218.20.513-0.11.4
1961DET1961
163
26.618.30.5933.5
5.5
25.917.40.5983.55.5
1962DET1962
161
25.519.20.5712.1
3.8
24.318.40.5692.03.6
1963DET1963
160
23.621.00.5300.4
2.1
23.119.80.5380.72.3
1964KC11964
160
22.120.10.5240.0
1.7
22.319.20.5380.62.2
1965CLE1965
162
23.919.70.5491.2
2.9
22.718.70.5481.12.7
1966CLE1966
151
17.918.20.495-1.0
0.4
19.517.70.5250.11.5
1967
123
12.512.20.506-0.4
0.7
11.911.60.506-0.40.6
1968
79
7.37.20.505-0.2
0.4
6.86.70.506-0.20.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,840
252.6214.10.5419.8
28.5
248.7204.70.54812.831.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
0
0.00.0 0.00.00.0 0.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,840
252.6214.10.541
28.5
248.7204.70.548 31.0


For people interested in a pretty good biography of Rocky Colavito, a biography of Colavito is availabe on the SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) website as part of their BioProject. Here are some basic biographical facts about Rocky Colavito. In addition to the SABR Bio, some of this information also came from Baseball-Reference and Wikipedia.
The Colavito-Kuenn trade is fairly famous. The two of them are compared in the next table via Player won-lost records. The season before the trade, 1959, is bolded, and their records after the trade are compared in the final row of the table.

Rocky Colavito Harvey Kuenn
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1952
 
192.32.70.466-0.10.1
1953
 
15519.121.10.476-0.61.1
1954
 
15520.922.60.480-0.41.4
195540.40.30.5550.0
0.1
14518.019.10.486-0.11.4
195610112.610.70.5420.6
1.5
14620.118.20.5251.53.1
195713416.814.80.5320.6
1.9
15118.619.80.485-0.31.3
195814320.915.30.5792.1
3.5
13917.217.30.499-0.70.7
195915423.517.50.5732.0
3.6
13919.816.80.5410.72.1
196014518.919.70.489-1.0
0.5
12615.514.70.512-0.11.1
196116326.618.30.5933.5
5.5
13114.915.10.495-0.60.8
196216125.519.20.5712.1
3.8
13015.514.10.5240.11.3
196316023.621.00.5300.4
2.1
12011.011.40.491-0.50.4
196416022.120.10.5240.0
1.7
1119.48.60.522-0.00.7
196516223.919.70.5491.2
2.9
774.55.50.446-0.7-0.3
196615117.918.20.495-1.0
0.4
874.25.40.441-0.6-0.2
196712312.512.20.506-0.4
0.7
1968797.37.20.505-0.2
0.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS1,840252.6214.10.5419.8
28.5
1,831211.0212.40.498-2.414.9
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
Post-Trade1,304178.4155.50.5344.5
17.9
78274.974.80.500-2.43.8


Players most Similar to Rocky Colavito according to Player Won-Lost Records
The ten players most similar to Rocky Colavito according to Player won-lost records are shown in the next table.

Most Similar Players to in Value
Wins over Baseline
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL Batting Baserunning Fielding
Rocky Colavito
1840
252.6214.19.8
28.5
16.3-1.25.4
Ron Cey
2070
255.8217.414.5
32.8
13.2-1.84.9
Fred Lynn
1967
244.2220.59.5
27.5
15.0-0.13.8
Tim Salmon
1668
203.1181.86.2
23.1
13.7-0.64.4
Ron Santo
2243
293.6258.812.7
35.2
16.3-1.86.0
Jose 'Joey Bats' Bautista
1668
202.6178.39.0
23.5
12.1-0.34.9
George Foster
1965
263.8223.212.0
30.7
13.70.14.8
Sammy Sosa
2349
313.8281.45.9
29.9
18.9-1.45.8
Augie Galan
1604
202.1170.510.8
26.2
11.6-0.54.4
Jim Rice
2089
281.7249.411.0
33.3
14.1-0.52.6
Bob Elliott
1976
260.8230.79.6
29.3
13.4-0.32.4


There are two Hall-of-Famers on the list and another player in the Hall of Merit. There are also two players who are not eligible for either yet but seem like good bets to make at least the Hall of Merit, and one player who would probably be in the Hall of Fame (if not already, then very soon) if the voters were voting purely on his statistical record. Overall, that's (at least) six players with at least somewhat reasonable statistical Hall-of-Fame cases. That's pretty good.

Or, put it this way: what if a player had the same basic career as Sammy Sosa minus the crappy seasons at the beginning and end of his career and also minus the steroid stink? Should that guy be a serious Hall-of-Fame candidate? I would think so.

The next table shows Rocky Colavito's career Player won-lost record divided by three of the four major factors: batting, baserunning, and fielding (Colavito also picked up a handful of pitching player decisions thanks to 5.2 innings pitched in his career).

Batting Baserunning Fielding
eWins eLosses eWOPA eWins eLosses eWOPA eWins eLosses eWOPA
168.1129.7
16.3
10.012.1
-1.2
69.964.52.7


Rocky Colavito excelled in two things: batting and fielding.

Rocky Colavito's Batting
Overall, Rocky Colavito's 16.3 career batting wins over non-pitcher average rank 73rd among players for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records. Player won-lost records are calculated in nine Components. Batting decisions are shared within seven of these components: 3: Balls not in Play, 4: Balls in Play, 5: Hits vs. Outs on Balls in Play, 6: Singles vs. Doubles vs. Triples, 7: Double Plays, 8: Baserunner Outs, and 9: Baserunner Advancements.

The next table decomposes Rocky Colavito's batting Player won-lost records by component.

Batting Won-Lost Records by Component
Component 3 Component 4 Component 5 Component 6 Component 7 Component 8 Component 9
eWins eLosses eWins eLosses eWins eLosses eWins eLosses eWins eLosses eWins eLosses eWins eLosses
30.2
18.9
83.5
49.9
42.4
47.9
4.9
4.9
1.5
2.7
1.3
1.4
4.43.9


In a separate article, I compared Batting to Baserunning and noted that several components of what I (and most baseball people) call "batting" include a "baserunning" component, including Components 5 - e.g., the ability to beat out infield hits - 6 - e.g., the ability to leg out doubles and triples - and 7 - the ability to beat out double-play ground balls. In that article, I speculate that Component 5 can perhaps be thought of as 70% batting and 30% baserunning, Component 6 can perhaps best be thought as 50% batting and 50% baserunning, and Component 7 can perhaps best be viewed as baserunning instead of batting.

Looking at the above table, you can see this in Rocky Colavito's record. He was a great pure hitter - Components 3 and 4 - but much more average at anything related to baserunning (at which he was below average for his career).

Considering only Components 3 and 4 - which can be thought of as the basic elements of "pure batting", pitch selection and the ability to hit the ball and hit it hard - Rocky Colavito earned 18.7 career Component 3 and 4 wins over non-pitcher average, which ranks 43rd among all players for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records.

Obviously, the abilities to beat out infield hits and double-play grounders and stretch doubles into triples are real abilities with real value (and abilities in which Colavito was relatively lacking), but one could argue, based on Player won-lost records, that Rocky Colavito was perhaps one of the 50 best pure hitters of the past 70 years.

In terms of just batting, Rocky Colavito is comparable, for example, to Greg Luzinski, who finished 2nd in MVP voting twice and top-10 in MVP voting two other times during his 4-year peak (1975 - 78).

Total Batting Components 3 & 4
eWins eLosses eWOPA eWins eLosses eWOPA
Rocky Colavito168.1129.7
16.3
113.768.820.7
Greg Luzinski157.4124.0
14.8
100.572.413.0


Luzinski, though, was a famously bad outfielder who became a full-time DH at the age of 30. Rocky Colavito, on the other hand, was most famous defensively for his rocket arm. I look at Rocky Colavito's fielding next.

Rocky Colavito's Fielding
The next table shows the top 25 players in career net fielding wins (Wins minus Losses) among corner outfielders for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records.

Career Net Fielding Wins, Corner Outfielders
(Context-Neutral, Teammate-Adjusted)
Player eWins eLosses eWin Pct. Net Wins
Ichiro Suzuki82.472.00.53410.4
Mel Ott86.576.30.53110.1
Carl Furillo61.451.30.54410.0
Jesse Barfield58.648.90.5459.7
Al Kaline77.968.50.5329.5
Roberto Clemente104.595.90.5218.6
Joe Rudi51.843.20.5458.5
Barry Bonds109.4101.40.5198.0
Tony Oliva47.440.50.5407.0
Brian Jordan48.641.70.5386.8
Geoff Jenkins53.246.70.5336.6
Reggie L. Sanders56.249.70.5316.5
Roger Maris43.337.00.5396.3
Ellis Valentine35.929.60.5486.3
Alexis Rios51.445.60.5305.8
Rickey Henderson97.992.20.5155.8
Johnny Callison76.170.40.5205.7
Willie Wilson34.528.80.5455.7
Jo-Jo Moore46.440.80.5325.6
Al Simmons52.747.20.5285.5
Rocky Colavito69.864.30.5205.5
Indian Bob Johnson76.771.30.5185.4
B.J. Surhoff38.032.80.5365.1
Tony Armas Sr.31.426.60.5424.8
Alex Gordon44.840.10.5284.7


Fielding decisions by outfielders are accumulated within 4 of the 9 components of Player won-lost records: 5 - Hits vs. Outs on Balls in Play, 6 - Singles vs. Doubles vs. Triples on Hits in Play, 8 - Baserunner Outs, and 9 - Baserunner Advancements. The next table decomposes Rocky Colavito's fielding record (as an outfielder) by component.

Fielding Won-Lost Records by Component
Component 5 Component 6 Component 8 Component 9
eWins eLosses eWins eLosses eWins eLosses eWins eLosses
34.9
32.7
11.3
9.8
7.9
7.2
15.614.6


To some extent, Rocky Colavito's excellence as a fielder is the exact opposite of his excellence as a hitter. As a hitter, Colavito was excellent at the pure act of hitting but gave back some of that value via some of the more minor aspects of batting (and baserunning, in general).

In contrast, Rocky Colavito's fielding excellence was much more well-balanced. The purest component of fielding - and the primary one measured by most defensive systems - is Component 5, the ability to turn balls in play into outs (instead of hits). Not only was Rocky Colavito very good at this aspect of fielding, but but his performance in Components 6, 8, and 9, i.e., his ability to limit extra-base hits, control baserunner advancement, and throw out baserunners who were reckless enough to test his arm, were all well above average as well.

The next two tables show the top 25 corner outfielders in career net fielding wins in Component 5 (first table) and Components 6, 8, and 9 (second table).

Career Net Fielding Wins, Corner Outfielders
(Component 5)
Player eWins eLosses eWin Pct. Net Wins
Ichiro Suzuki47.838.90.5518.9
Carl Furillo32.023.40.5778.5
Roy White38.331.40.5496.9
Brian Jordan27.421.90.5565.5
Willie Wilson20.014.60.5785.4
Barry Bonds58.553.50.5235.1
Mel Ott43.438.40.5315.0
Rickey Henderson53.248.50.5234.7
Joe Rudi27.122.50.5464.6
Geoff Jenkins28.824.30.5434.6
Tony Oliva24.820.30.5504.5
Al Kaline39.635.20.5304.5
Carl Crawford36.331.80.5334.5
Roger Maris23.819.40.5514.4
Austin Kearns23.519.50.5474.0
Paul Waner50.146.10.5203.9
Jay Bruce31.828.00.5323.8
Johnny Callison38.835.00.5263.8
Reggie L. Sanders30.927.20.5333.8
Johnny Damon18.214.60.5553.6
Al Simmons28.024.40.5343.6
Sammy Sosa45.742.10.5203.6
Jason Heyward23.420.00.5403.4
Alexis Rios28.825.40.5313.4
Paul O'Neill37.534.20.5233.2


Career Net Fielding Wins, Corner Outfielders
(Components 6, 8, and 9)
Player eWins eLosses eWin Pct. Net Wins
Roberto Clemente55.848.20.5377.7
Jesse Barfield29.022.50.5636.5
Ellis Valentine20.214.60.5815.6
Mel Ott43.138.00.5325.1
Al Kaline38.333.30.5355.0
Indian Bob Johnson40.735.80.5324.9
Raul Mondesi Sr.27.723.10.5454.6
Dwight Evans43.238.90.5264.3
Jeff Francoeur30.726.50.5374.2
Jose 'Joey Bats' Bautista20.716.60.5554.1
Joe Rudi24.720.80.5433.9
Jo-Jo Moore24.420.60.5433.8
Roy Cullenbine22.419.10.5403.3
Rocky Colavito34.831.60.5243.2
B.J. Surhoff17.614.50.5483.1
Juan Rivera14.711.70.5573.0
Barry Bonds50.948.00.5152.9
Alex Gordon20.918.00.5372.9
Carl Yastrzemski47.745.00.5152.8
Bob Kennedy16.013.20.5482.8
Tommy Henrich18.816.00.5402.8
Willie Stargell28.826.00.5252.8
Reggie L. Sanders25.322.50.5282.7
Tony Armas Sr.15.612.90.5472.7
Bobby Abreu38.235.60.5182.6


And that's Rocky Colavito, as viewed through Player won-lost records: excellent pure hitter, good basic fielder who rises to excellent thanks to an exceptional throwing arm. Put it together and Rocky Colavito was an exceptionally valuable player who, in my opinion, has a legitimate Hall-of-Fame and/or Hall-of-Merit case.



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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