Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Tony Perez

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

Tony Perez was elected to the Hall of Fame in his 9th year of eligibility, 2000, with 77.2% of the vote.

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

Tony Perez
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1964CIN22
12
0.30.80.269-0.3
-0.2
0.40.70.402-0.1-0.1
1965CIN23
103
8.07.10.5320.1
0.8
7.77.30.513-0.20.5
1966CIN24
97
7.17.90.472-0.8
-0.2
6.17.00.465-0.8-0.2
1967CIN25
156
19.716.10.5511.3
2.9
18.516.10.5350.72.2
1968CIN26
160
20.518.70.5230.7
2.3
22.019.00.5371.33.0
1969CIN27
160
23.217.60.5692.6
4.3
22.817.30.5692.54.2
1970CIN28
158
23.616.30.5913.0
4.7
21.815.10.5912.84.3
1971CIN29
158
22.217.90.5541.6
3.2
19.617.50.5270.52.0
1972CIN30
136
16.211.10.5921.4
2.5
15.611.50.5761.02.1
1973CIN31
151
19.513.40.5942.2
3.5
18.213.30.5781.62.9
1974CIN32
158
19.115.20.5571.2
2.4
16.513.90.5420.61.7
1975CIN33
137
17.213.20.5661.1
2.3
15.612.20.5610.92.0
1976CIN34
139
15.212.90.5410.4
1.5
15.213.10.5380.41.4
1977MON35
154
17.014.70.5370.4
1.7
15.414.00.5250.01.2
1978MON36
148
14.513.40.520-0.1
1.0
16.113.30.5480.71.8
1979MON37
132
14.313.00.5240.0
1.1
12.912.30.512-0.30.7
1980BOS38
151
15.215.70.492-0.6
0.6
15.214.60.509-0.11.1
1981BOS39
84
7.56.70.5270.3
0.9
7.67.30.5100.00.7
1982BOS40
69
4.94.40.5250.1
0.7
4.44.20.5130.00.5
1983PHI41
91
7.97.30.5190.0
0.6
6.86.80.501-0.20.3
1984CIN42
71
3.43.80.467-0.3
0.0
3.23.80.454-0.4-0.1
1985CIN43
71
6.55.00.5650.5
0.9
5.84.70.5530.30.7
1986CIN44
77
5.25.10.502-0.2
0.2
5.15.30.493-0.30.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,773
308.0257.20.54514.8
37.8
292.4250.10.53911.033.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
47
5.94.90.543 0.65.04.70.514 0.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,820
313.9262.10.545
38.4
297.4254.80.539 33.4


Tony Perez may be the only player in the Baseball Hall of Fame based primarily on his career RBI total (1,652, 28th all-time). The first sentence on Perez's page at the Hall of Fame's website reads: "One of the national pastime's great run producers, Atanasio 'Tony' Perez Rigal was among the best when it came to driving in big runs for Cincinnati's 'Big Red Machine' clubs of the 1970s." His Hall-of-Fame plaque reads, "A clutch performer throughout an illustrious 23-year career, he tormented the opposition with his ability to consistently drive in runs...."

Sabermetricians tend to disdain RBI's as a valid statistical measure of "value", arguing that RBI's are merely a function of (a) general hitting ability, which is better measured by other statistics (e.g., Perez's career batting line of .279/.341/.463), and (b) opportunity, which is outside of the control of a player. Perez, for example, batted 4th (and occasionally 5th) in his career, which tend to provide maximum RBI opportunities within a typical major-league lineup, and Perez tended to bat behind Pete Rose and Joe Morgan, who both finished in the top 5 in the major leagues in times on base every season from 1972 through 1977, which gave Tony Perez lots of baserunners to drive in.

There is definitely something to this. But there is value in actually driving in runs, and Tony Perez did drive in a lot of runs.

Sabermetricians are also naturally skeptical when players are designated as "clutch" hitters. I evaluate the possible persistence of "clutch" hitting (and baserunning, pitching, and fielding) in a separate article. My findings mirror many, if not most, sabermetricians. There may be some ability to hit better in the clutch, but it's an extremely tiny "skill" that is very hard to identify.

That said, Perez did hit better over his career with runners in scoring position - .284/.364/.470 - than with the bases empty - .265/.322/.442. He also hit better in high-leverage situations for his career - .300/.359/.491 - than in either medium- or low-leverage situations (.277/.341/.456 and .269/.331/.456, respectively). In late and close situations, Perez batted .300/.370/.490 for his career. In extra innings, Tony Perez batted .352/.427/.552. Was Tony Perez's "clutch performance" a skill? Maybe. Was Tony Perez's "clutch performance" real? Of course. The runs Perez drove in really scored and those runs contributed to real wins for Perez's teams.

In my aforementioned article looking at the persistence of clutch performance, I defined "clutch" as the difference between context-neutralized player win percentages and player win percentages put into inter-game context. Inter-game context corresponds to leverage and forms the basis of WPA.

The next table shows the top 25 players in the difference between batting wins over non-pitcher batting average (WOPA_b) in inter-game context and context-neutral WOPA_b from 1961 (the first season of the 162-game schedule) and 1999 (the last season before Perez was elected to the Hall of Fame.

Top 25 Clutch Hitters, 1961 - 1999
eWins eLosses eWOPA Additional Clutch Wins
1Willie McCovey211.1147.728.36.7
2Eddie Murray265.4221.920.76.4
3Hank Aaron225.8155.531.84.7
4Tony Taylor113.6120.1-5.44.5
5Harmon Killebrew196.0135.727.34.2
6Harold Baines211.7187.412.14.2
7Ben Oglivie127.9113.86.94.0
8Don Lock61.351.93.63.6
9Billy Williams229.1180.120.93.4
10Dante Bichette112.9104.92.43.3
11Willie Mays171.0115.125.13.1
12Tony Phillips161.5150.35.52.8
13Eric Davis118.692.811.22.8
14Sandy Alomar Sr.78.397.0-10.62.5
15Amos Otis160.4146.56.12.5
16Jeff Burroughs128.6107.29.82.5
17Tony Gwynn Sr.205.0175.211.42.4
18Dwight Evans215.1174.920.02.4
19Ron Fairly164.3140.89.12.4
20Cliff Johnson94.476.38.62.4
21Leroy Stanton53.851.21.12.4
22Tommy Helms88.8102.5-8.62.4
23Darrell Porter125.1110.96.42.4
24Orlando Merced73.566.82.32.4
25Tony Perez225.3188.215.12.4


Did Tony Perez have a "skill" for clutch hitting? Maybe. Was Tony Perez a clutch hitter? Yes.



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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