Stan Javier vs. Aubrey Huff
Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Stan Javier vs. Aubrey Huff: Win Shares as a Counting Stat

Letís compare a player on the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who won 116 games, and a player on the 2001 Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who won 62 games. Specifically, letís compare Stan Javier and Aubrey Huff. Hereís what Javier and Huff did in 2001.

Basic Offensive Statistics, 2001

Player Position G PA AB H 2B 3B HR R RBI BB SO Outs BA OBP SLG
Stan Javier LF 89 323 281 82 14 1 4 44 33 36 47 212 0.292 0.375 0.391
Aubrey Huff 3B 111 434 411 102 25 1 8 42 45 23 72 330 0.248 0.288 0.372

Advanced Offensive Statistics, 2001

Player OPS OPS+ RC RC/27 Win Shares pWins pWORL
Stan Javier 0.766 109 41
Aubrey Huff 0.660 74 44

Bill James credits Stan Javier with 11 Win Shares for the Seattle Mariners in 2001 and Aubrey Huff with a mere 5 Win Shares for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Given their relative performances, this seems reasonable at first glance. Javier created 5.22 runs per 27 outs with an OPS+ of 109, while Huff created more than 30% fewer runs per 27 outs (3.60) with an OPS that was also more than 100 points below Javier.

But Win Shares and pWins are not rate stats: they are counting stats. Stan Javier reached base 120 times (82 hits, 36 walks, 2 hit-by-pitch) and accumulated 110 total bases. Aubrey Huff reached base 125 times and accumulated 153 total bases. Javier scored 44 runs and drove in 33; Huff scored 42 and drove in 45.

Putting it all together, Stan Javier created 41 runs, while Aubrey Huff created 44 runs.
Aubrey Huff created 7% more runs than Stan Javier.

And Huff accumulated 12% more context-neutral offensive player wins (7.2 - 6.4).
Of course, this doesnít mean that Aubrey Huff was a better player in 2001 than Stan Javier. He quite clearly was not. And their Player Won-Lost records reflect this.
Aubrey Huff won 9.1 games against 11.7 losses, good for a 0.438 winning percentage. He was actually a slightly below replacement-level player, worth 0.4 Wins below Replacement Level.

Stan Javier, meanwhile, won only 9.5 games, similar to Huff. But unlike Huff, he only lost 7.9 games, good for a 0.544 winning percentage and 1.3 Wins over Replacement Level.
Look at it this way. Aubrey Huff created 7% more runs than Stan Javier and earned 12% more offensive wins for doing so. But, Aubrey Huff also used up nearly 56% more outs than Stan Javier (330 vs. 212) and earned 45% more offensive losses (9.0 - 6.2) for doing so.

Win Shares want to be both a pure counting stat but also a measure of the relative quality of players. But you canít be both. Stan Javier and Aubrey Huff generated the same number of runs and, hence, nearly the same number of wins for their teams. But Stan Javier had a much better season. Player Wins and Losses let you see both of these facts clearly.

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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