Season 24 kicked off today, so it’s probably about time to look at how teams stack up on paper.
Here’s the power rankings of starting pitchers. For a pitcher to be considered a starter, the team’s owner had to have had him in the starting rotation, as judged by the “Player Search —> starters” tool.
For those new to the world, I have a set of formulas built into spreadsheets that I use to judge players on. It’s the same formula I use to determine trades and free agent signings for my own team. So that’s probably why I’m near the top, not that I don’t have good pitchers or anything. Average WAR is what I would expect each pitcher to contribute in terms of wins above a replacement player in WIS. Average OVR is just my own overall rating that works better than WIS’ in my opinion. The column this is sorted by is “Overall,” which is the total projected WAR for the starters on each team because rotation size typically doesn’t stray too far from five usually.
It turns out that Tacoma has, on paper, a better rotation than I currently do.
As you can also see, Montreal and Tampa Bay only have two starters as of tonight, and St. Louis has three.
Here are the relievers:
Same concept as starters, except sorted by average WAR as bullpen size can vary depending on personal preferences.
Sorry this is late. I had hoped to get this up sometime before award voting was done, but a number of events conspired to prevent me from doing so. Here are the top five for each league, as well as team ratings that are used as one half of the team power rankings later.
Olmedo Oliva – DET – 8.0
Mike Lawrie – NY1 – 6.5
Willie Rooney – SAL – 6.4
Ossie Borchard – SAL – 5.9
Albert Granados – SEA – 5.2
Season 23 Cy Young Winner
Jody DuBose was around 16th in the AL with 3.9.
Malcolm McCartin – COL – 10.2
Harry Perez – TAC – 6.6
Don Carter – TAC – 6.3
Willie Ellis – LOU – 6.2
Emmanuel Estrada – TAC – 6.1
As you can see, McCartin accounted for about 28 percent of Colorado’s pitching performance by himself this year. In the two years in Colorado he’s contributed 20.9 wins above replacement, and been paid $45 million, meaning each win he puts up cost amohoop34 $2.15 million. From stuff I’ve read about MLB, each win on the free agent market costs about $2.5 million. Translate that into HBD and McCartin should have been paid more than $50 million in those two years. We’ll see how his body holds up in the remaining years of the contract, but right now he’s been an unbelievable bargain.
I was bored while watching the Stanley Cup game, and the girlfriend is out of town for the week. So I thought about how could Kansas City, who is admittedly tanking, could’ve built a team that was better, at a somewhat similar cost.
Below is the team I came up with, from readily available players in the world. For the sake of this exercise I defined “readily available” as any player over 27 years old, in the minor leagues, and under $2 million. I’m sure the owners of these guys wouldn’t demand too much in a trade.
I guarantee that this team would perform better than Kansas City
Keith Stockton – SAL – $327k
Robert Damon – SYR – $327k
Logan Bradley – CLE – $1.6 mil
Dewayne Brooks – WAS – $725k
Javy Lee – RIC – $327k
Ronald Terrell – LA – $327k
Michel Contreras – DET – $327k
Chuck Simms – SEA – $360k
Rafael Romero – SCO – $515k
Jimmy Simon – HAR – $765k
Andy Brooks – HON – $378k
Marcus Ransom – BUF – $327k
Douglas Ford – NY1 – $327k
Wilt Rivers – AUS – $327k
Fernando Lee – HON – $327k
Total Cost: $10.6 million
I think a lot of us suspected Kansas City was in the start of blowing up his team and tanking for a couple of seasons. Only time will tell if that’s the ultimate direction, but holy hell does it sure look like it right now.
The worst rotation in the league by two points, the second worst bullpen, and the worst batters by a whopping five overall points. Yes, my overall rating is very subjective, but it’s based on solid overall statistical projections for batters.
No offense to Buffalo, but the Wings destroyed Kansas City 26- 7 during the opening series, and they didn’t exactly put up much of a fight against Tacoma. Their one win so far was more of a fluke than anything;
Donn Christians got lucky while
Harry Perez had some poor defense behind him.
Currently Kansas City has a total major league payroll of $13 million. Only three players make more than the major league minimum, and one (
Dave Witte) just got designated for assignment despite being arguably the third best position player on the team to make way for a THE worst player in the majors (
Charlie Callaway) at second base. I rate Callaway as a -1.6 WAR player over the course of 600 PAs, and that’s if he hits his projections of a .503 OPS and a .243 wOBA. At least the guy can play a lick of defense. Yes, I did say Callaway is the worst player in the majors right now by my measures, right behind
Huston Kielty. Sidenote: Kietly’s WARs the last four seasons: .056, .022, .446, and -1.32.
This is even before we get to players like
Damaso Marquez, and
David Crow holding down everyday starting jobs in the field. Out of those five guys only one, Crow, I predict will have a positive WAR come the end of the season.
Let’s get into pitching.
There are currently, as of tonight’s PM2 cycle, 161 pitchers listed as starters. Guess who has three of the worst 10?
Obviously the answer is Kansas City.
This is how I rank the KC starters:
Remember the five “tiers” I outlined with the pitching ranks? All five KC starters are in that last tier, which I defined as marginal major leaguers/life time AAA.
I’m not even going to bother talking about relievers, because what’s the point?
It’s obvious he’s tanking.
The next in the series of Season 20 data is the wRAA totals for both AL and NL batters. I’ll post the top five players for each league.
Nerio Evers – LR – 47.7
Cleatus Frazier – RIC – 43.5
Giovanni Boyd – NB – 42.6
Khalil Lee – MIN – 42.4
Ewell Torrealba – FLA – 40.3
Jonathan Todd – LOU – 63
Sid O'Keefe – TAC – 54.4
Rodney Johnson – CH1 – 43.6
Darrel Sweeney – NO – 41.2
Lonny Allen – BUF – 36.8
This data will be combined with the fielding data I’ve compiled with the next post to provide a definitive look at the overall value a player has made to their team. I think some of the players near the top might surprise people. Hint:
Jonathan Todd was not the NL MVP that year.
Here are the NL pitcher WAR values for season 21 using the same formula as the AL.
NL Top Starters:
Harry Perez – TAC – 8.3
Glenn Swift – COL – 6.2
Pep Zimmerman – LOU – 5.8
Horacio Rodriguez – HON – 5.4
Al Lee – JAX – 5.3
Vic Martinez – KC – 5.26
Carlos Nieves – KC – 5.22
Hipolito Aguilera – KC – 4.9
Odalis Feliz – CH1 – 4.716
Rocky Mercedes – HON – 4.711
Henry Byrne – HON – 2.7
P.T. Andrews – CLB – 2.2
Chance Rapp – JAX – 1.9
These aren’t park adjusted, but if they were, it’d be interesting to see if Swift could benefit enough from it to overtake Perez at the top.