Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
Home     List of Articles



The 1980s

The 1980s as seen through the Prism of Player Won-Lost Records

My series of articles on the seasons for which I have calculated Player won-lost records has made it back to 1980. With that, I have now completed articles on all of the seasons of the 1980s (all of which can be found here). This article, then, takes a look at the decade of the 1980s as measured by Player won-lost records.

The Best of The 1980s

I calculate Player won-lost records two ways: pWins, which tie to team wins and eWins, which control for context and the ability of one's teammates. For players with more pWins than eWins, their Player wins contributed to more team wins than one might expect; for players with more eWins than pWins, just the opposite is true: their Player wins translated into fewer team wins than expected. Or more briefly: a player with more pWins than eWins was better in context, a player with more eWins than pWins was worse in context.

The top 10 players in pWins above Positional Average and Replacement Level were as follows.

pWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
pWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
1Rickey Henderson213.0165.939.9
57.8
1Rickey Henderson213.0165.939.9
57.8
2Alan Trammell184.2159.037.7
53.8
2Robin Yount202.1169.636.6
54.3
3Robin Yount202.1169.636.6
54.3
3Alan Trammell184.2159.037.7
53.8
4Mike Schmidt187.9145.935.7
51.3
4Mike Schmidt187.9145.935.7
51.3
5Darryl Strawberry147.2105.434.5
46.3
5Dwight Evans201.2162.032.2
49.5
6Lou Whitaker183.6157.732.4
48.3
6Ozzie Smith198.6176.931.4
49.0
7Dwight Evans201.2162.032.2
49.5
7Lou Whitaker183.6157.732.4
48.3
8Cal Ripken179.5158.831.8
47.4
8Cal Ripken179.5158.831.8
47.4
9Ozzie Smith198.6176.931.4
49.0
9Darryl Strawberry147.2105.434.5
46.3
10George Brett162.4128.529.6
43.5
10George Brett162.4128.529.6
43.5


The top 10 players in eWins above Positional Average and Replacement Level were as follows.

eWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
eWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL Player eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
1Mike Schmidt191.0142.742.6
58.2
1Rickey Henderson213.7165.341.5
59.3
2Rickey Henderson213.7165.341.5
59.3
2Mike Schmidt191.0142.742.6
58.2
3Robin Yount201.7170.036.2
53.8
3Robin Yount201.7170.036.2
53.8
4Cal Ripken180.2158.133.3
48.9
4Dale Murphy221.1179.732.1
50.8
5Alan Trammell181.8161.433.0
49.1
5Alan Trammell181.8161.433.0
49.1
6Dale Murphy221.1179.732.1
50.8
6Cal Ripken180.2158.133.3
48.9
7Wade Boggs154.9123.230.6
43.5
7Dwight Evans198.7164.527.4
44.7
8Dwight Evans198.7164.527.4
44.7
8Wade Boggs154.9123.230.6
43.5
9George Brett160.6130.326.6
40.4
9Lou Whitaker180.1161.126.0
41.9
10Gary Carter149.3127.326.3
39.2
10Ozzie Smith194.6181.023.4
41.0




Postseason



1980s Postseason: Total
Player pWins pLosses pWORL
Dave Henderson4.72.42.6
Kirk Gibson4.12.22.1
Fernando Valenzuela4.53.32.0
Rickey Henderson3.01.41.8
Mike Moore1.90.51.6
Gary Carter4.13.01.6
Steve Garvey3.62.21.5
Mike Scott1.90.71.4
Lenny Dykstra2.91.61.4
Orel Hershiser3.22.41.3


Top postseason players by round were as follows.

1980s World Series
Player pWins pLosses Net Wins
Kirk Gibson2.00.41.5
Mike Moore1.40.31.0
Willie Aikens1.20.30.9
Pedro Guerrero1.40.50.9
Alan Trammell1.30.40.8
Dave Henderson2.41.60.8
Orel Hershiser1.30.50.8
Bruce Hurst1.70.90.8
Rickey Henderson1.00.20.7
Jack Morris1.30.60.7

1980s Postseason: League Championship Series
Player pWins pLosses Net Wins
Will Clark2.71.01.7
Dave Henderson2.30.81.5
Dave Stewart2.31.11.2
Mike Scott1.90.71.2
Lenny Dykstra1.90.91.1
Gary Matthews Sr.2.01.01.0
Ozzie Smith2.71.70.9
Steve Garvey1.80.90.9
Darryl Strawberry2.51.70.8
Dennis Eckersley1.60.80.8


Best of The 1980s by Factor and Position

Next, let's look at the top players in (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) eWins over Positional Average in various aspects of the game.
Best by Factor: Batting, Baserunning, Pitching, Fielding
There are four basic factors for which players earn Player won-lost records: Batting, Baserunning, Pitching, and Fielding. The top players in 1980s in eWOPA by factor were as follows.

Batting
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLoss eWOPA Player pWins pLoss pWOPA
1Mike Schmidt138.093.5
40.8
1Mike Schmidt136.994.638.7
2Dwight Evans136.9105.3
31.6
2Dwight Evans139.5102.736.9
3Jack Clark115.882.1
31.0
3Eddie Murray147.7110.836.4
4Eddie Murray144.8113.7
30.7
4Jack Clark116.881.232.9
5Dale Murphy144.6109.9
30.5
5Pedro Guerrero114.980.831.0
6Pedro Guerrero113.981.8
29.0
6Darryl Strawberry97.364.630.3
7George Brett118.791.4
27.3
7George Brett120.090.129.9
8Rickey Henderson122.996.3
26.6
8Dale Murphy144.0110.629.2
9Darryl Strawberry95.166.8
25.7
9Rickey Henderson123.695.628.0
10Wade Boggs109.184.4
24.7
10Kirk Gibson98.672.425.7
Positional Average excludes pitcher offense
Baserunning
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLoss eWOPA Player pWins pLoss pWOPA
1Rickey Henderson31.719.7
12.0
1Rickey Henderson31.519.811.8
2Tim Raines Sr.24.113.5
10.1
2Willie Wilson21.010.810.2
3Willie Wilson20.611.1
9.5
3Tim Raines Sr.23.314.28.6
4Vince Coleman18.010.3
7.3
4Mookie Wilson16.610.55.7
5Mookie Wilson16.510.6
5.4
5Vince Coleman17.211.15.7
6Robin Yount13.99.3
4.7
6Paul Molitor16.011.14.9
7Paul Molitor15.911.2
4.6
7Robin Yount13.99.34.6
8Gary Redus11.67.4
4.0
8Eric Davis8.54.14.2
9Eric Davis8.34.3
3.9
9Lou Whitaker14.610.64.0
10Alan Wiggins11.87.9
3.8
10Kirk Gibson11.27.53.7
Positional Average excludes pitcher offense
Pitching
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLoss Net eWins Player pWins pLoss Net pWins
1Roger Clemens76.957.9
18.9
1Dan Quisenberry65.339.625.7
2Bret Saberhagen75.860.0
15.8
2Dwight Gooden80.255.225.0
3Dave Stieb132.2116.7
15.5
3Roger Clemens79.755.124.6
4Orel Hershiser80.965.9
14.9
4Dave Righetti79.458.421.0
5Dan Quisenberry59.645.3
14.3
5Rich Gossage62.241.320.9
6Dwight Gooden74.760.7
14.0
6Bret Saberhagen77.758.219.5
7Rich Gossage57.546.0
11.6
7Teddy Higuera68.549.119.4
8Dave Righetti74.763.1
11.5
8Bob Welch121.4102.019.3
9Nolan Ryan125.5113.9
11.5
9Dave Stieb134.0114.919.1
10Teddy Higuera64.553.0
11.5
10Orel Hershiser82.364.517.9


Fielding by Position


Fielding, P
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Dave Stieb3.82.6
1.2
1Dan Quisenberry3.21.51.7
2Jimmy Key2.11.1
1.0
2Bert Blyleven2.91.81.1
3Fernando Valenzuela4.93.9
1.0
3Fernando Valenzuela5.03.81.1
4Zane Smith2.31.4
0.9
4Dave Stieb3.72.61.1
5Larry Gura1.91.1
0.9
5Larry Gura1.91.10.9
6Charlie Leibrandt3.52.7
0.8
6Joaquin Andujar2.71.80.9
7Dan Petry2.51.8
0.8
7Jimmy Key2.01.20.8
8Bud Black2.21.4
0.8
8Dwight Gooden2.71.90.8
9Joaquin Andujar2.61.9
0.7
9Rick Rhoden2.71.90.8
10John Candelaria1.91.2
0.7
10Charlie Hough2.71.90.8


Fielding, C
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Gary Carter21.918.5
3.4
1Gary Carter22.218.14.1
2Tony Pena Sr.20.317.3
3.0
2Tony Pena Sr.20.517.23.2
3Bob Boone17.615.3
2.3
3Bob Boone18.015.03.0
4Lance Parrish16.815.3
1.6
4Mike Scioscia17.114.92.3
5Terry Kennedy18.216.6
1.5
5Lance Parrish17.115.02.1
6Jim Sundberg13.512.0
1.5
6Rick Dempsey12.711.01.7
7Bruce Benedict13.812.4
1.4
7Rich Gedman10.89.11.6
8Steve Yeager7.26.0
1.3
8Steve Yeager7.45.81.6
9Jody Davis17.616.4
1.2
9Bruce Benedict13.912.31.5
10Rick Dempsey12.411.4
1.1
10Bo Diaz13.512.31.1


Fielding, 1B
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Pete M. O'Brien19.116.3
2.9
1Keith Hernandez25.220.64.6
2Keith Hernandez24.021.8
2.1
2Pete M. O'Brien18.916.52.4
3Chris Chambliss12.510.7
1.8
3Darrell Evans12.210.12.1
4Will Clark10.48.6
1.8
4Don Mattingly15.113.21.9
5Sid Bream9.58.0
1.6
5Sid Bream9.77.81.9
6Wally Joyner11.410.1
1.3
6Will Clark10.48.61.8
7Don Mattingly14.813.6
1.2
7Wally Joyner11.69.91.8
8Greg Brock12.311.2
1.1
8Greg Brock12.610.91.7
9Kent Hrbek16.815.8
1.0
9Chris Chambliss12.410.81.6
10Glenn Davis13.212.3
0.9
10Dan Driessen12.510.91.6


Fielding, 2B
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Glenn Hubbard49.845.8
4.1
1Frank White56.649.37.3
2Frank White54.751.2
3.4
2Lou Whitaker51.845.36.5
3Willie Randolph48.345.0
3.3
3Willie Randolph49.643.75.9
4Tom Herr45.442.0
3.3
4Tom Herr46.341.15.2
5Lou Whitaker49.947.2
2.7
5Glenn Hubbard49.646.03.7
6Julio Cruz30.328.1
2.1
6Robby Thompson20.918.12.8
7Robby Thompson20.518.6
1.9
7Jim Gantner46.444.02.4
8Johnny Ray44.542.6
1.9
8Steve Lombardozzi, Sr.14.612.32.3
9Bill D. Doran39.137.3
1.8
9Mike Gallego6.64.71.9
10John Castino8.06.9
1.2
10Rob Wilfong18.917.21.7


Fielding, 3B
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Terry Pendleton30.325.3
5.0
1Terry Pendleton30.924.76.3
2Tim Wallach39.135.7
3.4
2Tim Wallach39.635.24.4
3Wade Boggs33.029.9
3.1
3Doug DeCinces32.128.13.9
4Buddy Bell39.436.4
3.0
4Wade Boggs33.229.83.4
5Mike Schmidt39.937.1
2.8
5Buddy Bell39.636.33.4
6Doug DeCinces30.929.3
1.6
6George Brett27.324.42.9
7Kelly Gruber13.011.4
1.6
7Paul Molitor26.123.32.8
8Gary Gaetti35.734.2
1.5
8Mike Schmidt39.637.42.2
9Ken Oberkfell29.428.0
1.4
9Kelly Gruber13.311.22.1
10Art Howe7.25.8
1.3
10Art Howe7.45.61.8


Fielding, SS
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Ozzie Smith69.659.2
10.4
1Ozzie Smith72.955.917.0
2Alan Trammell53.247.7
5.5
2Alan Trammell54.246.77.5
3Ozzie Guillen32.727.9
4.8
3Tony Fernandez37.030.07.0
4Tony Fernandez35.931.2
4.6
4Garry Templeton57.150.46.7
5Jose Uribe30.426.3
4.2
5Ozzie Guillen32.528.14.4
6Garry Templeton55.851.8
4.0
6Jose Uribe30.326.43.9
7Cal Ripken53.149.5
3.6
7Robin Yount29.826.33.5
8Scott Fletcher29.226.7
2.6
8Scott Fletcher29.726.23.5
9Rick Burleson15.413.6
1.8
9Dick Schofield Jr.33.129.63.4
10Dick Schofield Jr.32.130.6
1.5
10Cal Ripken52.949.73.2


Fielding, LF
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Rickey Henderson45.439.5
5.9
1Willie Wilson23.717.16.6
2Gary Ward36.432.1
4.3
2Rickey Henderson45.639.46.2
3Willie Wilson22.318.4
3.9
3Dan Gladden17.012.24.7
4Kevin McReynolds22.219.2
3.0
4Barry Bonds18.414.83.5
5Dan Gladden15.813.4
2.4
5Kevin McReynolds22.219.23.0
6Barry Bonds17.715.5
2.3
6Larry Herndon32.429.52.9
7Vince Coleman29.527.6
1.9
7Vince Coleman30.027.22.8
8Larry Herndon31.830.1
1.7
8Jose Cruz Sr.48.345.92.4
9Luis Polonia10.28.7
1.5
9Luis Polonia10.68.22.4
10Mickey Hatcher14.813.4
1.5
10Gary Roenicke18.316.12.2


Fielding, CF
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Gary Pettis31.327.3
4.0
1Dwayne Murphy43.838.75.1
2Dave Henderson29.926.6
3.3
2Amos Otis15.911.14.8
3Dwayne Murphy42.839.7
3.1
3Gary Pettis31.527.14.4
4Eddie Milner23.821.4
2.4
4Andre Dawson26.622.54.1
5Andy Van Slyke18.916.6
2.3
5Dave Henderson30.226.24.0
6Andre Dawson25.523.5
2.1
6Lenny Dykstra19.515.63.8
7Devon White13.811.7
2.0
7Andy Van Slyke19.515.93.6
8John Shelby22.920.9
2.0
8Kirby Puckett36.333.23.1
9Amos Otis14.312.7
1.6
9Eddie Milner24.021.12.9
10Willie McGee39.037.5
1.5
10Kevin McReynolds17.514.82.7


Fielding, RF
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses Net eWins Player pWins pLosses Net pWins
1Jesse Barfield49.040.3
8.7
1Jesse Barfield49.539.89.8
2Glenn Wilson36.533.1
3.4
2Darryl Strawberry39.131.77.4
3Tony Armas Sr.22.218.9
3.3
3Glenn Wilson37.332.44.8
4Tony Gwynn Sr.36.433.1
3.3
4Tony Armas Sr.22.618.54.0
5Dale Murphy18.816.7
2.1
5Tony Gwynn Sr.36.732.84.0
6Ellis Valentine14.212.3
1.9
6Tom Brunansky47.845.22.6
7Ruben Sierra21.920.1
1.8
7Terry Puhl27.325.02.3
8Lee Lacy21.119.3
1.8
8Mickey Hatcher5.93.82.1
9Von Hayes14.012.3
1.7
9Andy Van Slyke11.39.32.0
10Darryl Strawberry36.134.7
1.5
10Jose Canseco11.39.41.9


Best by Position
Next, we look at 1980s Major-League leaders in eWOPA by position. The figures shown here only include Player decisions earned while playing this particular position, and include no contextual adjustments (expected or actual).



Catcher
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Gary Carter142.0123.0
23.1
1Gary Carter144.3120.727.6
2Carlton Fisk105.093.8
17.2
2Carlton Fisk104.893.916.9
3Lance Parrish120.2112.4
14.4
3Lance Parrish120.4112.214.8
4Ernie Whitt84.882.8
7.5
4Ernie Whitt86.880.911.4
5Bob Brenly62.056.9
7.2
5Darrell Porter57.650.38.8
6Ted Simmons48.344.7
5.4
6Ted Simmons49.243.87.2
7Gene Tenace16.812.8
4.2
7Ron Hassey60.657.96.2
8Darrell Porter55.352.7
4.1
8Matt Nokes27.223.95.3
9Tony Pena Sr.111.4111.6
3.9
9Mike Scioscia85.484.64.1
10Ozzie Virgil Jr.59.157.4
3.8
10Bo Diaz79.178.14.0


First Base
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Eddie Murray167.9139.7
17.8
1Eddie Murray170.8136.823.7
2Kent Hrbek119.698.7
13.9
2Keith Hernandez153.6120.321.4
3Keith Hernandez150.0123.9
13.8
3Will Clark71.850.015.8
4Will Clark70.451.4
12.7
4Darrell Evans72.356.411.3
5Jack Clark58.642.4
10.9
5Kent Hrbek118.1100.210.8
6Don Mattingly108.691.3
9.9
6Cecil Cooper105.890.110.6
7Cecil Cooper104.291.7
7.3
7Jack Clark58.442.510.6
8Glenn Davis86.271.0
6.8
8Don Mattingly108.691.39.8
9Alvin Davis90.878.1
6.4
9Mark McGwire51.438.69.0
10Darrell Evans69.758.9
6.1
10Glenn Davis86.870.58.0


Second Base
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Lou Whitaker177.1160.3
23.3
1Lou Whitaker181.8155.632.6
2Ryne Sandberg148.4133.4
16.7
2Willie Randolph162.6147.620.5
3Willie Randolph160.2150.1
15.7
3Ryne Sandberg148.4133.416.7
4Bobby Grich95.284.7
14.0
4Joe L. Morgan73.760.814.5
5Bill D. Doran132.2121.7
12.2
5Bill D. Doran132.6121.312.9
6Joe L. Morgan71.563.1
10.1
6Frank White166.7162.011.4
7Tom Herr146.7141.6
7.4
7Glenn Hubbard137.5129.910.2
8Glenn Hubbard136.1131.3
7.4
8Tom Herr148.1140.210.2
9Robby Thompson66.061.2
5.7
9Bobby Grich93.286.79.9
10Paul Molitor19.215.1
4.8
10Robby Thompson67.160.27.7


Third Base
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Mike Schmidt168.3129.4
34.1
1Mike Schmidt167.1130.631.7
2Wade Boggs146.7119.4
26.5
2George Brett112.484.926.5
3George Brett108.788.6
19.1
3Wade Boggs146.2119.825.7
4Doug DeCinces120.0108.9
9.9
4Doug DeCinces122.6106.415.0
5Bob Horner67.355.6
9.4
5Paul Molitor105.189.814.4
6Paul Molitor102.692.4
9.2
6Howard Johnson75.964.110.4
7Buddy Bell149.5137.5
9.0
7Bob Horner67.355.69.5
8Toby Harrah74.365.3
8.0
8Buddy Bell148.9138.17.9
9Tim Wallach148.5136.2
7.5
9Toby Harrah74.165.67.5
10Ron Cey107.096.4
6.9
10Graig Nettles93.383.87.5


Shortstop
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Alan Trammell177.3159.9
30.1
1Alan Trammell180.8156.436.9
2Cal Ripken170.3151.7
29.8
2Ozzie Smith198.2176.131.8
3Robin Yount94.679.2
21.6
3Cal Ripken170.7151.430.5
4Ozzie Smith192.7181.6
21.0
4Robin Yount96.277.624.7
5Tony Fernandez105.9103.1
10.6
5Tony Fernandez108.4100.615.5
6Dickie Thon82.878.8
7.6
6Barry Larkin54.746.79.9
7Roy Smalley III49.546.2
6.9
7Dickie Thon83.977.79.8
8Scott Fletcher85.986.3
6.1
8Garry Templeton151.6151.38.5
9Barry Larkin52.748.7
6.1
9Scott Fletcher86.685.67.4
10Howard Johnson16.312.5
4.4
10Dick Schofield Jr.83.582.66.9


Left Field
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Rickey Henderson155.8124.0
25.4
1Rickey Henderson157.0124.027.9
2Tim Raines Sr.152.7128.4
15.1
2Tim Raines Sr.152.9128.415.5
3Kevin McReynolds72.860.4
8.0
3George Bell120.9106.312.2
4Brian Downing97.785.9
7.8
4Kirk Gibson52.440.911.5
5George Bell118.7106.3
7.7
5Ben Oglivie101.089.99.4
6Kirk Gibson50.340.9
7.0
6Kevin McReynolds73.560.49.4
7Mike Greenwell53.744.6
7.0
7Jose Cruz Sr.155.9139.19.2
8Kal Daniels48.238.9
6.7
8Mike Greenwell54.844.69.1
9Pedro Guerrero30.222.4
6.4
9Kevin Mitchell34.826.18.0
10Willie Wilson57.048.4
6.3
10Brian Downing97.785.97.8


Center Field
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Dale Murphy147.8122.1
20.5
1Dale Murphy148.2121.721.3
2Andre Dawson89.971.9
15.2
2Eric Davis76.855.618.8
3Eric Davis74.957.4
15.0
3Andre Dawson90.871.116.8
4Robin Yount86.073.8
10.9
4Dwayne Murphy136.4119.714.4
5Rickey Henderson50.939.3
10.7
5Chet Lemon113.699.012.4
6Dwayne Murphy134.3121.8
10.0
6Rickey Henderson51.738.512.3
7Fred Lynn112.9101.9
9.0
7Robin Yount86.673.212.2
8Andy Van Slyke60.749.8
8.8
8Amos Otis51.541.69.2
9Chet Lemon111.5101.1
8.1
9Andy Van Slyke60.649.88.8
10Kirby Puckett123.7115.6
5.8
10Kirby Puckett125.1114.38.5


Right Field
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Darryl Strawberry134.4104.8
22.3
1Darryl Strawberry140.598.734.8
2Dwight Evans169.2141.5
21.8
2Dwight Evans171.9138.827.3
3Jesse Barfield135.5116.8
14.1
3Jesse Barfield138.0114.219.3
4Jack Clark86.370.7
11.1
4Jack Clark87.469.613.5
5Dave Winfield120.0104.7
9.9
5Tony Gwynn Sr.124.6103.713.3
6Tony Gwynn Sr.122.7105.6
9.3
6Dave Winfield121.5103.212.9
7Jose Canseco38.330.1
6.7
7Kirk Gibson59.445.212.0
8Dale Murphy59.349.3
6.3
8Jose Canseco40.427.911.1
9Kirk Gibson56.548.1
5.9
9Terry Puhl88.575.38.2
10Reggie Jackson59.452.4
5.2
10Tony Armas Sr.65.955.97.7


Starting Pitcher
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Roger Clemens78.159.2
20.0
1Dwight Gooden82.356.926.3
2Dave Stieb135.4118.6
18.7
2Roger Clemens80.956.525.5
3Bret Saberhagen75.560.1
16.4
3Dave Stieb137.2116.922.3
4Orel Hershiser81.066.6
15.4
4Bob Welch124.5104.521.8
5Dwight Gooden76.562.7
14.6
5Bret Saberhagen77.658.020.7
6Nolan Ryan127.6117.0
12.5
6Teddy Higuera69.850.120.5
7Teddy Higuera65.654.3
12.1
7Orel Hershiser82.165.517.6
8Fernando Valenzuela124.2114.5
11.5
8Jack Morris146.5131.816.8
9Bob Welch119.3109.7
11.3
9Nolan Ryan129.6114.916.6
10Mark Gubicza74.964.6
11.3
10Fernando Valenzuela126.3112.415.7


Relief Pitcher
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Dan Quisenberry62.247.4
12.9
1Dan Quisenberry68.541.125.2
2Rich Gossage58.246.9
9.5
2Rich Gossage62.942.218.8
3Tom Henke32.423.2
8.1
3Lee Smith65.346.217.2
4Lee Smith60.551.0
7.6
4Jeff Reardon70.154.413.5
5Kent Tekulve51.743.0
7.1
5Dave Righetti50.936.313.1
6Bob Stanley55.547.2
6.5
6Steve Bedrosian51.737.212.7
7Dave S. Smith43.936.3
6.3
7Bob Stanley57.545.110.6
8Doug Jones22.815.7
6.3
8Jesse Orosco47.635.710.5
9Dave Righetti47.239.9
6.0
9Bruce Sutter53.841.810.3
10Willie Hernandez45.738.9
5.5
10John Franco40.228.710.3


Designated Hitter
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Ken Phelps34.826.3
7.4
1Don Baylor93.580.59.2
2Brian Downing46.839.7
6.0
2Cliff Johnson47.538.77.1
3Greg Luzinski49.442.1
4.9
3Brian Downing47.239.46.6
4Cliff Johnson46.439.8
4.8
4Greg Luzinski49.841.75.7
5Andre Thornton65.458.8
3.7
5Ken Phelps33.127.94.0
6Don Baylor90.783.3
3.5
6Darrell Evans19.315.33.2
7Harold Baines33.429.3
3.2
7Reggie Jackson44.639.63.0
8Darrell Evans19.015.6
2.6
8Darrell Porter8.25.02.9
9Hal McRae67.061.5
2.6
9Harold Baines33.329.52.9
10Eddie Murray9.16.2
2.6
10Mike Easler33.629.72.7


Finally, here are the best at three oft-forgotten positions that can nevertheless matter: pitcher offense, pinch hitting, and pinch running.

Pitcher Offense
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Don Robinson6.66.8
3.2
1Don Robinson7.26.24.1
2Bob Forsch8.110.2
2.9
2Rick Rhoden9.211.03.6
3Rick Rhoden8.611.6
2.7
3Bob Forsch8.110.22.9
4Tim Lollar4.34.6
2.0
4Tim Lollar4.84.12.7
5Fernando Valenzuela9.715.9
1.7
5Steve Carlton8.111.12.4
6Orel Hershiser6.29.7
1.4
6Mike Krukow7.611.22.0
7Rick Sutcliffe5.89.1
1.3
7Fernando Valenzuela9.815.81.9
8Mike Krukow7.111.8
1.1
8Dwight Gooden6.28.81.8
9Dwight Gooden5.79.3
1.1
9Orel Hershiser6.59.51.8
10Steve Carlton7.112.1
1.0
10Rick Sutcliffe6.08.91.6


Pinch Hitter
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Steve Braun8.56.4
2.5
1Steve Braun8.56.42.5
2Jeff Burroughs5.44.1
1.8
2Terry Crowley6.85.51.7
3Thad Bosley8.47.4
1.6
3Larry Sheets3.22.01.5
4Joel Youngblood8.57.6
1.5
4Jim Dwyer8.37.81.2
5Kurt Bevacqua7.36.1
1.5
5Mike Easler4.13.01.2
6Rusty Staub10.09.1
1.4
6Tony Perez5.44.61.1
7Johnny Grubb5.44.3
1.4
7Terry Steinbach1.60.61.1
8Ken Griffey Sr.5.54.5
1.4
8Luis Salazar2.71.71.1
9Jim Dwyer8.37.7
1.4
9George Hendrick3.93.11.1
10Denny Walling8.47.5
1.4
10John Kruk3.02.01.0


Pinch Runner
Context-Neutral Context-Dependent
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA Player pWins pLosses pWOPA
1Miguel Dilone1.20.5
0.7
1Eric Davis0.80.20.6
2Eric Davis0.80.2
0.6
2Miguel Dilone1.10.60.6
3John Moses1.10.6
0.6
3Billy Hatcher0.60.10.6
4Billy Hatcher0.60.1
0.5
4Mark Davidson0.80.30.4
5(Rogers) Bobby Brown0.90.5
0.4
5Tom Lawless1.10.60.4
6Otis Nixon2.11.6
0.4
6(Rogers) Bobby Brown0.90.50.4
7Rex Hudler0.80.4
0.4
7Mike Felder0.70.20.4
8Bob Dernier1.00.6
0.4
8Tony Walker0.70.30.4
9Tom Lawless1.00.6
0.4
9Scott Loucks0.40.00.4
10Tony Walker0.60.3
0.4
10Alan Wiggins0.50.20.3


Noteworthy Players of the 1980s

I have written several articles about players whose careers overlapped at least partly with the 1980s. These - and all of my previous articles - can be found here.

I look at a few of the top players of the 1980s next.

Alan Trammell
Perhaps the most surprising player in the top 5 in any of the first four tables of this article - pWins and eWins over either positional average or replacement level - actually is in the top 5 in all four tables: Detroit Tigers' shortstop Alan Trammell.

If anything, one might have thought that comparing to positional averages would work against Trammell. He shared a position with two Hall-of-Fame players who won MVP awards while playing shortstop in the 1980s as well as a third first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.

The first table below compares the MVP seasons of Robin Yount (1982) and Cal Ripken (1983) with the season in which Alan Trammell should have won an MVP award, 1987.

Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
Robin Yount, 1982
156
24.917.90.5828.3
10.2
24.318.50.5677.29.1
Cal Ripken, 1983
162
24.819.40.5616.5
8.4
24.220.10.5465.27.2
Alan Trammell, 1987
151
23.116.00.5918.3
10.0
22.216.90.5676.58.3


The next table compares the records of Yount, Ripken, and Trammell during the 1980s. Hall-of-Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith is also shown here.

Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
Robin Yount
1,446
202.1169.60.54436.6
54.3
201.7170.00.54336.253.8
Cal Ripken
1,315
179.5158.80.53131.8
47.4
180.2158.10.53333.348.9
Alan Trammell
1,389
184.2159.00.53737.7
53.8
181.8161.40.53033.049.1
Ozzie Smith
1,468
198.6176.90.52931.4
49.0
194.6181.00.51823.441.0


Finally, the next table compares the career records of the same four players, as measured by Player won-lost records.

Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
Robin Yount
2,856
366.7345.70.51533.9
67.8
368.2344.30.51736.970.8
Cal Ripken
3,001
382.3351.60.52150.5
85.1
382.6351.40.52151.185.7
Alan Trammell
2,292
281.6257.90.52242.6
68.1
280.5258.90.52040.866.3
Ozzie Smith
2,573
333.3312.50.51637.3
67.7
328.9316.90.50929.059.4


The next table presents the career record of Alan Trammell, as measured by Player won-lost records.

Alan Trammell
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
1977DET19
19
0.81.3-0.5
-0.4
0.81.3-0.4-0.3
1978DET20
139
14.714.11.7
3.1
14.514.21.52.9
1979DET21
142
13.813.81.2
2.5
13.514.20.61.9
1980DET22
146
18.916.83.7
5.3
18.916.83.65.2
1981DET23
105
13.812.32.6
4.0
13.113.01.32.7
1982DET24
157
17.015.22.9
4.3
16.715.52.43.8
1983DET25
142
18.616.33.3
4.8
18.816.03.75.3
1984DET26
139
20.015.26.1
7.8
18.716.53.85.5
1985DET27
149
17.919.8-0.1
1.6
18.619.01.33.0
1986DET28
151
19.517.73.2
4.9
20.017.24.25.9
1987DET29
151
23.116.08.3
10.0
22.216.96.58.3
1988DET30
128
20.914.96.9
8.7
19.716.14.56.3
1989DET31
121
14.714.80.9
2.3
15.114.31.83.2
1990DET32
146
19.717.13.8
5.4
19.817.13.95.6
1991DET33
100
13.212.51.4
2.6
13.312.41.52.7
1992DET34
29
3.93.60.6
0.9
3.83.70.30.6
1993DET35
112
13.411.42.4
3.6
13.011.81.93.1
1994DET36
76
7.110.1-2.4
-1.5
8.28.9-0.20.7
1995DET37
74
6.77.6-0.3
0.4
6.97.40.00.7
1996DET38
66
4.17.4-2.9
-2.3
4.96.6-1.3-0.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,292
281.6257.942.6
68.1
280.5258.940.866.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
13
2.21.5 1.12.01.7 0.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,305
283.8259.4
69.2
282.6260.6 67.0


Robin Yount
Robin Yount won two MVP awards in the 1980s, in 1982 and 1989. Robin Yount won his two MVP awards at different positions, shortstop and center field.

The next table shows the top 15 players in career eWins over positional average (eWOPA) at shortstop since MLB integration (i.e., since 1947), considering only games played at shortstop.

Top 15 Shortstops
(career eWOPA at Shortstop, since 1947)
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Cal Ripken306.7278.20.52448.5
2Alex Rodriguez179.5144.40.55443.1
3Barry Larkin281.8252.60.52739.1
4Alan Trammell266.5247.60.51837.9
5Ernie Banks167.2137.30.54935.7
6Derek Jeter347.4330.50.51233.9
7Pee Wee Reese198.4174.00.53330.1
8Ozzie Smith326.2316.20.50826.5
9Bert Campaneris269.6266.70.50325.1
10Jim Fregosi187.5173.50.51923.6
11Robin Yount195.8188.40.51023.3
12Nomar Garciaparra147.3131.50.52823.0
13Hanley Ramirez147.8128.30.53522.6
14Troy Tulowitzki170.6152.20.52922.4
15Dave Concepcion259.8256.00.50421.2


Robin Yount shows up here, but this table underrates Robin Yount's career, because he moved from shortstop to center field at age 29 and proceeded to put up nine solid seasons there.

The next table shows the top 25 players in career eWOPA at up-the-middle defensive positions - C, 2B, SS, and CF - again, since 1947.

Top 25 Up-the-Middle Players
(career eWOPA at C, 2B, SS, CF, since 1947)
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Willie Mays435.6331.90.56882.5
2Mickey Mantle271.9181.80.59978.0
3Joe L. Morgan358.1294.90.54872.2
4Cal Ripken306.7278.20.52448.5
5Mike Trout156.5108.70.59046.7
6Mike Piazza192.1154.90.55443.8
7Alex Rodriguez179.5144.40.55443.1
8Ken Griffey Jr.292.1246.80.54242.1
9Johnny Bench193.1154.40.55641.7
10Carlton Fisk227.2196.10.53741.7
11Bobby Grich241.5209.70.53541.4
12Duke Snider216.7166.00.56639.7
13Barry Larkin282.1252.80.52739.1
14Lou Whitaker290.6261.60.52638.8
15Alan Trammell267.5249.50.51737.1
16Jim Edmonds234.0194.20.54636.9
17Ernie Banks167.2137.30.54935.7
18Ryne Sandberg270.5237.70.53235.1
19Yogi Berra188.4157.50.54534.7
20Gary Carter219.9190.60.53634.2
21Derek Jeter347.4330.50.51233.9
22Robin Yount343.9324.30.51533.3
23Craig Biggio338.6311.60.52130.4
24Pee Wee Reese198.4174.00.53330.1
25Chase Utley226.2196.10.53629.5


The number of players eligible for this list is much larger than the population of players from the previous list, of course, because the number of positions has quadrupled. Even with this much larger population, however, Robin Yount ranks in the top 25, by getting credit for his above-average performances at both shortstop as well as in center field.

The next table presents the career record of Robin Yount, as measured by Player won-lost records.

Robin Yount
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
1974MIL18
107
10.513.4-1.8
-0.7
11.612.30.21.3
1975MIL19
147
16.020.0-2.1
-0.4
17.019.0-0.21.4
1976MIL20
161
18.822.6-2.0
0.1
19.122.3-1.40.7
1977MIL21
154
17.520.9-1.1
0.9
18.719.71.23.1
1978MIL22
127
18.316.43.1
4.8
17.617.01.83.5
1979MIL23
149
18.517.72.5
4.2
17.418.90.32.0
1980MIL24
143
21.618.15.1
6.9
21.817.95.57.4
1981MIL25
96
14.610.74.8
6.2
13.711.63.24.6
1982MIL26
156
24.917.98.3
10.2
24.318.57.29.1
1983MIL27
149
21.216.55.6
7.3
20.916.85.06.7
1984MIL28
160
20.019.41.8
3.8
20.818.63.45.3
1985MIL29
122
15.615.4-0.3
1.2
16.114.90.72.2
1986MIL30
140
16.915.90.6
2.2
17.315.51.53.0
1987MIL31
158
20.917.92.5
4.3
20.418.41.53.3
1988MIL32
162
24.219.54.2
6.4
23.819.93.65.7
1989MIL33
160
22.218.33.9
5.8
22.518.04.56.4
1990MIL34
158
18.718.7-0.6
1.1
19.118.30.42.1
1991MIL35
130
16.014.81.1
2.5
15.215.6-0.50.9
1992MIL36
150
18.217.00.9
2.5
17.617.6-0.41.3
1993MIL37
127
12.114.7-2.8
-1.4
13.113.6-0.70.7
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,856
366.7345.733.9
67.8
368.2344.336.970.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
17
2.53.1 -0.22.82.7 0.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,873
369.2348.9
67.6
371.0347.1 71.4


Lou Whitaker
I like to include at least one Hall-of-Famer among the set of players that I write about in these decade writeups. For the 1980s, the choice of what non-Hall-of-Famer to write about was pretty easy. Lou Whitaker ranks among the top 10 players in three of the first four tables presented in this article: pWOPA (#6), pWORL (#7), and eWORL (#9).

The next table shows the top 10 players in career pWins over replacement level who are not (yet) in the Hall of Fame, among all players for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records.

Top Players not in the Hall of Fame
(sorted by pWORL)
pWins pLosses pWinPct pWORL
1Barry Bonds466.8310.6137.3174.8
2Roger Clemens316.9228.694.0129.3
3Alex Rodriguez373.8298.780.8114.1
4Albert Pujols359.9267.372.9105.3
5Manny Ramirez320.0247.660.188.5
6David Ortiz250.9189.051.880.9
7Lou Whitaker303.8262.651.278.0
8Dwight Evans330.1271.946.375.5
9Gary Sheffield343.2288.040.972.3
10J. Kevin Brown204.2164.547.971.2


Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, and David Ortiz are not yet eligible for the Hall of Fame. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have well-known issues (which Rodriguez and Ramirez are likely to share).

And then there's Lou Whitaker.

So, why exactly is Lou Whitaker not in the Hall of Fame? I explored that a bit in an earlier article.

The next table presents the career record of Lou Whitaker, as measured by Player won-lost records.

Lou Whitaker
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
1977DET20
11
0.71.0-0.2
-0.1
0.71.0-0.1-0.1
1978DET21
139
17.415.03.3
4.8
16.516.01.42.9
1979DET22
127
16.613.04.2
5.7
15.813.92.74.1
1980DET23
145
15.515.01.4
2.8
14.615.8-0.31.1
1981DET24
109
12.910.43.0
4.2
12.411.01.93.1
1982DET25
152
19.917.03.6
5.3
19.517.33.04.6
1983DET26
161
23.418.75.5
7.4
23.218.85.27.1
1984DET27
143
19.315.34.8
6.4
18.216.52.64.2
1985DET28
152
21.118.82.5
4.4
21.118.82.64.5
1986DET29
144
19.516.04.4
6.0
18.716.82.84.5
1987DET30
149
20.217.43.7
5.4
19.318.32.03.7
1988DET31
115
13.511.92.1
3.4
13.511.82.23.5
1989DET32
148
18.417.21.5
3.1
19.616.04.05.6
1990DET33
132
15.314.81.0
2.3
15.614.51.52.9
1991DET34
138
18.714.24.6
6.1
18.414.54.15.6
1992DET35
130
16.515.31.4
2.9
16.914.92.33.8
1993DET36
117
15.013.32.1
3.5
15.412.93.04.4
1994DET37
92
11.110.21.2
2.3
11.110.21.22.3
1995DET38
83
8.98.11.2
2.1
9.08.01.32.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,387
303.8262.651.2
78.0
299.5266.843.370.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
13
1.51.5 0.21.61.4 0.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,400
305.3264.0
78.2
301.1268.2 70.5


George Brett
The 1980s were a golden era for two positions: shortstop, which has already been discussed, and third base.

The next table shows the top ten players in career eWins over positional average at third base, among players for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records.

Top Ten Third Basemen
(career eWOPA at Third Base)
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Mike Schmidt315.2240.90.56765.3
2Eddie Mathews293.4229.50.56155.6
3Chipper Jones266.7214.90.55445.6
4Ron Santo286.6244.00.54033.8
5Scott Rolen261.3224.60.53831.3
6George Brett220.6187.40.54131.3
7Wade Boggs272.9240.90.53131.1
8Adrian Beltre339.5306.00.52629.3
9Alex Rodriguez160.9132.00.54927.6
10Ron Cey249.4215.70.53625.4


The careers of three of the top seven third baseman of the past 100 years overlapped for most of the 1980s. The performances of George Brett, Mike Schmidt, and Wade Boggs for the decade of the 1980s, as measured by Player won-lost records, are compared in the next table.

Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
George Brett
1,251
162.4128.50.55829.6
43.5
160.6130.30.55226.640.4
Mike Schmidt
1,320
187.9145.90.56335.7
51.3
191.0142.70.57242.658.2
Wade Boggs
1,182
152.9125.20.55026.7
39.6
154.9123.20.55730.643.5


How great a decade was it for third basemen? A case can be made that George Brett was merely the third-best third baseman of the best decade of his career.

The next table presents the career record of George Brett, as measured by Player won-lost records.

George Brett
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
1973KCA20
13
0.61.0-0.4
-0.3
0.61.0-0.4-0.3
1974KCA21
133
13.014.6-1.8
-0.5
13.514.1-0.70.5
1975KCA22
159
20.917.93.0
4.8
20.218.61.53.3
1976KCA23
159
22.317.25.0
7.0
22.117.44.56.5
1977KCA24
139
21.215.75.3
7.2
20.116.83.25.1
1978KCA25
128
16.514.22.2
3.6
16.414.31.93.3
1979KCA26
154
21.216.84.2
6.0
20.917.13.65.4
1980KCA27
117
18.510.38.1
9.5
17.411.36.07.3
1981KCA28
89
10.610.5-0.2
1.0
11.110.00.81.9
1982KCA29
144
18.615.13.1
4.6
18.415.32.84.3
1983KCA30
123
16.813.82.7
4.1
16.813.82.64.0
1984KCA31
104
14.910.94.1
5.3
13.312.41.12.3
1985KCA32
155
22.215.46.8
8.6
21.216.55.27.0
1986KCA33
123
15.613.22.0
3.4
16.012.82.94.2
1987KCA34
115
12.611.8-0.2
1.0
13.311.11.22.3
1988KCA35
157
18.215.02.3
4.0
18.614.53.24.9
1989KCA36
124
14.512.50.8
2.1
14.412.50.82.1
1990KCA37
142
15.314.20.2
1.6
16.213.31.93.3
1991KCA38
131
11.011.3-1.1
0.3
10.911.4-1.5-0.1
1992KCA39
152
11.312.2-1.5
-0.1
11.911.7-0.41.0
1993KCA40
145
11.912.4-0.8
0.9
11.912.4-0.80.9
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,706
327.7275.943.8
73.8
325.2278.439.569.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
43
5.85.5 0.86.25.1 1.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,749
333.5281.4
74.6
331.4283.5 71.1


Ozzie Smith
Staying with the theme of infielders on the left side, we look at the best defensive shortstop of the 1980s. The next table shows the top 10 defensive shortstops for their career, ranked by net fielding wins.

Top 10 Defensive Shortstops
(ranked by career Net Fielding Wins at SS)
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Ozzie Smith118.6103.70.53314.9
2Pee Wee Reese88.676.90.53511.7
3Lou Boudreau71.660.60.54211.0
4Mark Belanger76.666.50.53510.1
5Cal Ripken92.884.80.5238.0
6Tim Foli67.460.70.5266.6
7Alan Trammell82.576.10.5206.4
8Andrelton Simmons38.932.60.5446.3
9Rabbit Maranville72.967.00.5215.9
10Eddie R. Miller71.966.20.5215.7


Ozzie Smith was the best defensive shortstop of at least the past 100 years, as measured by Player won-lost records, by a fairly comfortable margin.

Fielding player won-lost records, as with all fielding measures of which I am aware, are calculated relative to position. Because of that, the numbers in the above table are not directly comparable to fielding won-lost records amassed at other positions.

The next table attempts to answer the question: "Was Ozzie Smith the greatest fielding in major-league history?" (or at least, since 1916 or so). To do this, instead of comparing to average, I calculate Player fielding wins over replacement level. In my work, I set replacement level one standard deviation below positional average. Positional average tends to be lower for more important defensive positions (such as shortstop) than for more offense-first positions (e.g., first base), so that shortstops are being measured against a lower replacement level than first basemen. By measuring against replacement level, players are also given credit for playing below average for their position so long as they are not too bad defensively (where, again, the standard for what is "too bad" is lower for more difficult defensive positions).

I like this as a conceptual way to compare defensive value across positions and I find that the results tend to produce very reasonable results, albeit not necessarily perfect ones.

Anyway, with the explanation and caveats out of the way, the next table ranks the top 10 players in career fielding wins over replacement level.

Career Fielding Wins over Replacement Level (all positions)
eWins eLosses eWORL
1Ozzie Smith116.5102.124.8
2Mel Ott114.0101.623.8
3Brooks Robinson93.679.822.3
4Ichiro Suzuki98.786.521.2
5Pee Wee Reese90.778.820.9
6Al Kaline98.687.320.8
7Barry Bonds118.9109.220.6
8Cal Ripken113.2103.819.6
9Roberto Clemente108.499.319.6
10Carl Furillo70.758.519.1


So there you have it: Ozzie Smith was (arguably) the greatest fielder in major-league history.

The next table presents the career record of Ozzie Smith, as measured by Player won-lost records.

Ozzie Smith
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
1978SDN23
159
20.921.80.4
2.4
20.522.1-0.21.8
1979SDN24
156
17.319.1-0.5
1.3
17.219.2-0.41.4
1980SDN25
158
21.121.31.2
3.2
21.121.31.13.1
1981SDN26
110
13.115.5-1.4
0.2
13.715.0-0.31.2
1982SLN27
140
19.517.03.4
5.1
18.817.72.23.8
1983SLN28
159
20.117.92.7
4.4
19.418.51.53.2
1984SLN29
124
17.915.83.3
4.8
17.216.52.03.5
1985SLN30
158
22.518.35.3
7.2
21.319.53.04.9
1986SLN31
153
18.716.92.8
4.5
18.317.32.03.7
1987SLN32
158
22.917.56.3
8.1
22.617.85.77.5
1988SLN33
153
22.317.85.1
7.1
21.918.24.36.3
1989SLN34
155
20.619.02.6
4.4
20.319.22.03.8
1990SLN35
143
16.017.4-0.6
0.9
16.816.61.02.4
1991SLN36
150
20.717.63.7
5.5
20.417.93.25.0
1992SLN37
132
18.516.72.6
4.3
18.216.92.13.8
1993SLN38
141
18.318.10.9
2.7
18.018.40.32.1
1994SLN39
98
10.812.5-1.0
0.1
11.312.1-0.30.9
1995SLN40
44
4.85.6-0.6
-0.1
4.75.7-0.9-0.3
1996SLN41
82
7.56.80.9
1.6
7.37.00.71.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,573
333.3312.537.3
67.7
328.9316.929.059.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
42
4.64.8 0.54.54.9 0.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,615
337.9317.3
68.2
333.4321.8 59.6


There is one glaring omission from the set of players that I have looked at in this article. None of them were pitchers. I look at who the best pitchers of the 1980s were in a separate article.

Article last updated: March 16, 2020

Wins over positional average and replacement level are calculated using single-season data. Positional averages for starting pitching and relief pitching are calculated using single-year data for all starting pitchers and all relief pitchers.

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.

Home     List of Articles