Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Tony Gwynn

Hall-of-Famers as Seen Through Player Won-Lost Records: Tony Gwynn

Tony Gwynn was elected to the Hall of Fame in his 1st year of eligibility, 2001, with 97.6% of the vote.

Five highlights of Tony Gwynn's career: The first two tables below present Tony Gwynn'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
1982SDN22
54
5.76.4-0.5-1.0
1983SDN23
86
11.09.71.60.7
1984SDN24
158
25.518.08.05.9
1985SDN25
154
22.019.82.90.9
1986SDN26
160
22.220.02.70.7
1987SDN27
157
21.119.12.50.6
1988SDN28
133
18.915.44.02.4
1989SDN29
158
21.018.93.11.2
1990SDN30
141
18.119.7-1.3-3.0
1991SDN31
134
18.515.43.51.9
1992SDN32
128
16.614.13.01.5
1993SDN33
122
16.615.51.60.0
1994SDN34
110
14.914.60.8-0.7
1995SDN35
135
19.316.73.11.3
1996SDN36
116
14.113.40.9-0.4
1997SDN37
149
19.817.13.21.4
1998SDN38
127
14.112.12.20.9
1999SDN39
111
13.113.10.2-1.1
2000SDN40
36
3.74.2-0.3-0.7
2001SDN41
71
3.23.20.3-0.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,440
319.5286.241.612.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
27
3.43.10.40.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,467
322.9289.242.012.5


Expected Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games eWins eLosses eWORL eWOPA
1982SDN22
54
6.06.00.2-0.4
1983SDN23
86
10.610.00.9-0.1
1984SDN24
158
23.719.94.22.1
1985SDN25
154
22.219.63.21.2
1986SDN26
160
22.919.34.12.1
1987SDN27
157
22.218.04.72.9
1988SDN28
133
18.116.22.40.8
1989SDN29
158
21.218.73.51.6
1990SDN30
141
19.418.41.4-0.4
1991SDN31
134
18.115.82.71.1
1992SDN32
128
15.914.71.70.2
1993SDN33
122
17.214.92.81.3
1994SDN34
110
16.313.33.41.9
1995SDN35
135
18.517.51.3-0.5
1996SDN36
116
14.113.40.9-0.4
1997SDN37
149
19.717.32.91.1
1998SDN38
127
14.012.22.10.7
1999SDN39
111
13.213.00.4-0.9
2000SDN40
36
4.03.90.2-0.2
2001SDN41
71
3.43.00.70.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,440
320.6285.043.814.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
27
3.43.10.3-0.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,467
324.0288.144.114.6


Baseball-Reference's bullpen entry on Tony Gwynn opens with a perfect description of Tony Gwynn, the baseball player: "Tony Gwynn was easily one of baseball's best pure hitters of all time." Looking at Tony Gwynn's batting splits at Baseball-Reference, it's hard to find splits in which Tony Gwynn batted below .300. He batted .345 against right-handed pitchers, .325 vs. lefties. His lowest career batting average for any month was .325 in July. His lowest batting average by number of outs in the inning was .317 with two outs. His lowest batting average based on the position of baserunners was .308 with runners on 1st and 2nd. And my favorite batting split for Tony Gwynn: for his career, he batted .302 with two strikes on him.

Basically, there were two aspects of batting at which Tony Gwynn did not excel. He did not walk very often - because, when you bat .338 for your career, you don't really need to walk very often - and he did not hit a lot of home runs (although he had 135 career home runs). But Tony Gwynn could spray hard-hit line drives all over the field as well as anybody.

Batting won-lost records are compiled across seven components. The three most significant components of batting are what I identify as Components 3, 4, and 5.

Component 3 measures the value of plate appearances that do not result in the batter making contact: strikeouts, walks, hit-by-pitches.

Component 4 measures the expected value of balls on which the batter makes contact - including home runs - based on the how the ball was hit (line drive, fly ball, ground ball). Defensively, Component 4 decisions are assigned entirely to pitchers.

So, Components 3 and 4 are the essence of the batter-pitcher matchup.

Component 5 assigns value based on whether a ball-in-play became a hit or an out. Defensively, Component 5 decisions are shared between pitchers and fielders.
Let's look at how Tony Gwynn ranked in the key components of hitting.

Component 3
As I noted above, Tony Gwynn did not walk very often - only 790 times (including 203 IBB) in 10,232 career plate appearances (54 walks per 700 PA). But he struck out even less often - only 434 times. Because Tony Gwynn walked and struck out so infrequently, he amassed a very low share of his batting decisions in Component 3. In fact, Gwynn amassed an historically low share of his batting decisions in Component 3.

The next table shows the players with the lowest percentage of their total batting decisions amassed in Component 3 since 1969, among players with at least 50 batting wins.

Top 25 Batters
(Component 3, lowest share of total Batting decisions)
eWins eLosses eWinPct % of Total
1Manny Sanguillen5.46.90.4386.2%
2Bill Buckner13.79.70.5846.3%
3Brian Harper4.64.00.5346.6%
4Tommy Helms4.94.10.5447.1%
5Ozzie Guillen6.811.20.3777.3%
6Felix Millan10.54.10.7187.4%
7Doug Flynn3.36.70.3307.4%
8Mickey Hatcher5.15.20.4967.8%
9Tony Gwynn Sr.21.69.20.7007.9%
10Matty Alou5.93.50.6297.9%
11Rennie Stennett6.07.20.4537.9%
12Tim Foli8.98.50.5128.0%
13Damaso Garcia4.76.90.4088.0%
14Willie Davis6.69.00.4248.2%
15Don Mattingly15.39.50.6158.4%
16Dan T. Meyer6.66.00.5268.4%
17Ralph Garr7.29.40.4348.6%
18Bengie Molina7.210.20.4128.6%
19Larry Bowa14.611.80.5538.6%
20Johnny Ray10.97.10.6078.7%
21Mickey Rivers8.910.20.4648.7%
22Deivi Cruz4.39.30.3168.7%
23Lance Johnson9.78.30.5378.8%
24Gary DiSarcina5.46.70.4488.8%
25Tony Oliva6.26.80.4768.9%


Because of Gwynn's low number of Component 3 decisions, he doesn't show up particularly high in something like net Component 3 wins. But his Component 3 winning percentage was exceptional. The next table shows the top batters in Component 3 winning percentage (minimum of 20 Component 3 decisions).

Top 25 Batters
(Component 3, winning percentage - min. 20 component 3 decisions)
eWins eLosses eWinPct
1Greg Gross16.25.30.753
2Joe L. Morgan51.317.20.749
3Willie Randolph39.514.40.732
4Ozzie Smith33.112.50.727
5Pete Rose Sr.41.415.60.726
6Mike Scioscia16.66.50.717
7Mike Hargrove30.912.20.717
8Wade Boggs38.816.10.707
9Rusty Staub29.412.40.703
10Tony Gwynn Sr.21.69.20.700
11Ken Oberkfell16.77.40.692
12Mark Grace30.213.80.686
13Butch Wynegar19.69.20.680
14Eric Young Sr.20.49.80.676
15Barry Bonds68.332.80.676
16Carl Yastrzemski34.116.60.673
17Toby Harrah37.718.80.667
18Roy White24.812.70.662
19Steve Braun18.19.30.661
20Ted Sizemore14.37.30.660
21Hank Aaron15.88.30.655
22Brian S. Giles34.118.00.654
23Tim Raines Sr.38.920.60.654
24Jason Kendall27.514.70.652
25Ron Fairly16.28.70.652


Component 4
As I explained above, Component 4 measures the expected value of balls on which the batter makes contact, including home runs. As I also noted above, home runs were one of the very few relatively weak parts of Tony Gwynn's offensive game.

It is fairly common, however, in sabermetric measures, to separate home runs from "balls in play". The next table does this. The table below shows the top batters in Component 4 batting wins, excluding home runs, relative to average, since 1969.

Top 25 Batters
(Component 4, excluding home runs)
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Joey Votto36.436.80.4979.4
2Freddie Freeman30.629.40.5108.4
3Miguel Cabrera45.756.40.4488.0
4Tony Gwynn Sr.54.872.00.4328.0
5Wade Boggs53.369.90.4337.9
6Adrian Gonzalez40.047.50.4577.7
7Will Clark40.148.50.4537.4
8Rod Carew46.459.50.4387.4
9Dave Magadan28.629.30.4937.2
10Mark Grace48.663.80.4327.2
11Pete Rose Sr.54.173.90.4236.9
12Matt Kemp31.836.40.4666.7
13Yadier Molina41.152.40.4406.6
14David Wright32.237.50.4626.5
15Joe Mauer38.949.80.4386.2
16Keith Hernandez38.649.30.4396.2
17Michael Young42.355.80.4316.1
18Daniel Murphy31.538.00.4535.9
19Andrew McCutchen30.236.60.4525.6
20Buster Posey26.830.90.4645.5
21Bobby Abreu41.355.90.4255.4
22Pedro Guerrero28.634.40.4545.4
23Al Oliver48.168.30.4135.1
24George Brett54.980.30.4065.1
25Paul Goldschmidt22.725.30.4735.0


Not surprisingly, Tony Gwynn ranks very high on this list.

Component 5
Component 5 allocates value based on whether a ball in play becomes a hit or an out, given where and how a ball was hit. Some of the factors that help lead to high Component 5 winning percentages include baserunning speed - e.g., the ability to beat out infield hits - and how hard one hits the ball - e.g., hard-hit line drives become hits more often than weaker-hit line drives. Tony Gwynn excelled at both of these skills and, consequently, he excelled at Component 5.

The next table shows the top players in Component 5 wins over (non-pitcher) average since 1969.

Top 25 Batters
(Component 5)
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Rod Carew82.463.20.56618.7
2Derek Jeter97.481.60.54415.5
3Kirby Puckett64.049.50.56414.5
4Mickey Rivers53.539.70.57413.6
5Willie McGee70.955.50.56113.4
6Tony Gwynn Sr.91.575.50.54813.2
7Ichiro Suzuki92.779.30.53912.7
8Paul Molitor93.080.50.53612.5
9Willie Wilson66.354.60.54911.7
10Jose Cruz Sr.66.654.40.55110.2
11Larry Walker53.441.80.56110.2
12Ken Griffey Sr.61.050.00.5509.7
13Ralph Garr46.536.30.5629.3
14Wade Boggs82.172.90.5309.2
15Andres Galarraga59.048.20.5519.1
16Lou Brock52.441.70.5579.1
17Carl Crawford57.047.50.5458.9
18Hunter Pence52.041.80.5548.9
19Johnny Damon77.668.50.5318.8
20Claudell Washington53.143.90.5488.6
21Dave Parker71.461.30.5388.3
22Ron LeFlore37.829.40.5638.3
23Brett Butler72.863.00.5368.1
24Reggie Jackson59.951.30.5398.1
25Kenny Lofton70.462.00.5327.8


Overall Value on Balls in Play
Combining Component 4, excluding home runs, and Component 5 can be thought of as essentially measuring batter value on balls in play. The next table shows the top players in combined Component 4 and 5 batting wins, excluding home runs, above average. Rather than only going back to 1969, this table includes all players for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records.

Top 25 Batters on Balls in Play
(Components 4 & 5, excluding home runs)
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Rod Carew143.2136.10.51319.9
2Roberto Clemente135.2131.90.50617.4
3Tony Gwynn Sr.146.2147.50.49816.7
4Lou Brock139.1138.50.50116.6
5Pete Rose Sr.196.4213.60.47915.5
6Derek Jeter149.7158.20.48613.8
7Paul Waner141.0149.10.48613.0
8Willie McGee106.9106.60.50112.7
9Wade Boggs135.5142.80.48712.7
10Rogers Hornsby83.076.70.52012.5
11Joe Medwick109.3112.40.49311.5
12Miguel Cabrera112.6116.60.49111.5
13Ichiro Suzuki142.7156.40.47710.7
14Kiki Cuyler96.998.60.49610.7
15Paul Molitor145.5160.10.47610.6
16Joey Votto80.077.40.50810.6
17Bill Terry88.688.30.50110.5
18Stan Musial149.3166.10.47310.1
19Joe Torre105.4110.60.48810.1
20Will Clark93.295.50.4949.9
21Freddie Freeman66.361.60.5199.9
22Tony Perez118.1128.30.4799.4
23Dick Allen76.075.30.5029.2
24David Wright78.078.00.5009.2
25Keith Hernandez98.0103.30.4879.1


There you go: Tony Gwynn was one of the top five batters for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records in major-league history on balls in play.

Article last updated: February 12, 2019



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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