Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 14, 2004
BASEBALL: Slicing The Pie

OK, I've been on something of a Win Shares kick lately, playing around with the latest data. Here's something else I came up with from looking at The Hardball Times' tables of in-season 2004 Win Shares: the players who are contributing the greatest share of their teams' Win Shares (through Thursday's action). I broke the list between contending and non-contending teams (using .500, for now, as the break, since a team under .500 can't contend unless they improve), and, due to the DH, between AL and NL. I also used un-rounded Win Shares rather than the rounded-off numbers, since it's still early enough in the season that the rounding makes a significant impact. So, who's carrying the biggest load for their team?

NL Contenders:

#PlayerWin SharesTeamTeam Wins%
1Barry Bonds20.1SF3022.3
2Sean Casey19.6CIN3419.2
3Scott Rolen18.1STL3417.8
4Bobby Abreu15.8PHI3017.6
5Ken Griffey15.3CIN3415.3
6Adam Dunn14.6CIN3414.6
7Johnny Estrada12.2ATL2914.0
8Lance Berkman13.2HOU3213.8
9Mike Lowell13.7FLA3413.2
10Albert Pujols13.2STL3412.9

Bonds, as always, dominates these lists . . . You can certainly see that the Reds are heavily dependent on three players for nearly half the team's value, two of whom have underachieved in recent years and the third of whom has been injury prone. Fingers crossed . . . Johnny Estrada? . . . .

AL Contenders:

#PlayerWin SharesTeamTeam Wins%
1Vladimir Guerrero13.6ANA3413.3
2Michael Young12.2TEX3312.3
3Manny Ramirez12.0BOS3511.4
4Alex Rodriguez12.7NYY3811.1
5Jose Guillen10.5ANA3410.3
6Frank Thomas9.1CHW319.8
7Lew Ford9.5MIN339.6
8Curt Schilling9.8BOS359.3
9TTim Hudson9.3OAK349.1
9TScott Hatteberg9.3OAK349.1

No surprise that Guerrero tops this list . . . As with the NL leaders, there are still some pretenders here (Lew Ford, Hatteberg). There are also fewer winning teams in the AL to pick from. In general, AL teams are less dependent on their stars at this stage, partly due to the concentration of stars on the Yankees.

NL Non-Contenders:

#PlayerWin SharesTeamTeam Wins%
1Craig Wilson11.8PIT2416.4
2Todd Helton8.8COL2114.0
3Randy Johnson9.9AZ2413.8
4Luis Gonzalez9.8AZ2413.6
5Jack Wilson9.5PIT2413.2

Like some of the NL leaders, a few of the bad teams are also top-heavy with a few decent contributors.

AL Non-Contenders:

#PlayerWin SharesTeamTeam Wins%
1Melvin Mora13.1BAL2616.8
2Carlos Beltran10.0KC2115.9
3Ivan Rodriguez11.2DET2713.8
4Julio Lugo8.8TB2312.8
5Carlos Guillen10.3DET2712.7

Interestingly, these are all up-the-middle defensive players.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 07:25 AM | Baseball 2004 | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

D'oh! Brain cramp. I forgot Mora's a third baseman now.

Posted by: The Crank at June 14, 2004 09:13 AM

Is Detroit really a non-contender right now? They aren't that far out of things in the Central.

Posted by: Josh at June 14, 2004 10:17 AM

I would highly recommend that you use Win Shares Above Average for this exercise. The problem with Win Shares, as you've used them here, is that a team's Win Shares leader could also be its Loss Shares leader.

As an example, Moises Alou leads the Cubs in Win Shares, but Carlos Zambrano leads them in Wins Shares Above Average. He's contributed more than Alou, given their relative "playing" time.

Better example: Joe Kennedy has actually contributed more to the Rockies than Todd Helton, based on WSAA. The best thing to do would be to compute Win Shares Above Replacement, depending on your belief of what replacement level is.

But your approach will always overvalue hitters and undervalue pitchers.

Posted by: studes at June 14, 2004 02:30 PM

I had considered using the WSAA numbers, but I was looking more at the issue of who has carried the biggest load for the contending teams vs. who has made the highest marginal contributions. But maybe a follow-on post would be interesting.

Posted by: The Crank at June 14, 2004 05:31 PM
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