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Monday, August 19, 2002

Win Values:  A New Method to Evaluate Starting Pitchers - Part 8

Top Stars


Part   1: Introduction
  Part   2: Conceptual Framework
  Part 3: High-Level Results

  Part   4: Formulas
  Part   5: Empirical Data for AL 2000
  Part   6: Example: David Wells in AL 2000
  Part   7: Yearly Results for 1978-2001
  Part 8: Top Stars
  Part   9: Concluding Remarks

Top Stars

In this section I will present the season-by-season Win Values for several   of the top starting pitchers of the 1978-2001 era.? In all cases, their entire   careers to date will be presented.[1]

Along with Win Values, I will report the pitcher?s W-L, ERA+, and WAA figures.?   We will then be able to see if some pitchers? career Win Value significantly   exceed their WAA.? In such a case, the pitcher can be said to be under-valued   by traditional sabermetric methods.?

It will also be interesting to see if there are any pitchers for whom their   seasonal Win Values regularly exceed their WAA figures throughout their career.?   If so, such a pitcher may possess the ability to successfully ?pitch to the   score? insofar as his contributions to winning would be systematically greater   than reflected in his ERA?s.

23 top pitchers of the 1978-2001 era will be presented in order of their   career Win Values.[2]?   Table 33 lists these pitchers career (or career-to-date) stats.?

Table 33: Win Values for Top Stars in 1978-2001[3]


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  W-L ERA+ WAA Win         Value
Roger Clemens (a) 280-145 145 65.2 66.56
Greg Maddux (a) 257-146 145 58.0 56.92
Randy Johnson (a) 200-101 141 41.8 42.36
Pedro Martinez (a) 132-59 169 36.8 35.09
Mike Mussina (a) 164-92 131 28.7 31.59
Kevin Brown (a) 180-118 131 33.6 30.64
Tom Glavine (a) 224-132 122 28.3 30.53
Bret Saberhagen 167-117 125 27.0 28.30
David Cone 193-123 119 25.1 27.45
Kevin Appier (a) 147-115 125 23.8 26.64
Jimmy Key 186-117 122 23.8 25.31
Curt Schilling (a) 132-101 126 23.1 25.07
Ron Guidry 170-91 119 19.9 24.28
Chuck Finley (a) 189-158 116 21.3 23.49
Dave Stieb 176-137 122 27.2 22.84
John Smoltz (a) 160-116 122 22.0 22.73
Orel Hershiser 204-150 111 17.3 21.23
Jack Morris 254-186 105 7.4 18.79
Dwight Gooden 194-112 110 13.9 18.60
Bob Welch 211-146 106 8.9 17.82
Frank Viola 176-150 112 16.0 17.14
David Wells (a) 166-114 110 11.1 14.12
Dave Stewart 168-129 100 -1.0 7.84

  Here is more evidence that Win Values are reasonable.? Virtually every expert
  would name Clemens, Maddux, Johnson, and Martinez as the top four starting pitchers
  of the last 25 years, and, from a career value perspective, probably in that
  order.? The second tier includes Mussina, Brown, Glavine, Saberhagen, Cone,
  and Schilling moving up with a bullet.?

We will now turn to a season-by-season
  review of each of these top starting pitchers.

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[4]


Table 34: Win Values for Roger Clemens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  Year W-L ERA+ WAA Win       Value
Roger Clemens 1984 9-4 97 -0.3 -0.54
Roger Clemens 1985 7-5 130 1.2 1.20
Roger Clemens 1986 24-4 168 5.5 5.75
Roger Clemens 1987 20-9 153 5.4 4.73
Roger Clemens 1988 18-12 141 4.1 5.11
Roger Clemens 1989 17-11 131 3.1 2.95
Roger Clemens 1990 21-6 212 6.4 7.38
Roger Clemens 1991 18-10 164 5.8 4.77
Roger Clemens 1992 18-11 175 5.7 5.25
Roger Clemens 1993 11-14 104 0.4 1.38
Roger Clemens 1994 9-7 177 4.2 4.07
Roger Clemens 1995 10-5 117 0.9 1.81
Roger Clemens 1996 10-13 140 4.0 3.07
Roger Clemens 1997 21-7 225 8.2 8.22
Roger Clemens 1998 20-6 176 5.5 5.94
Roger Clemens 1999 14-10 103 -0.4 0.55
Roger Clemens 2000 13-8 130 3.0 2.08
Roger Clemens 2001 20-3 128 2.5 2.83
           
Career-to-date  280-145 145 65.2 66.56

  Roger Clemens is the best pitcher of the modern era according to Win Values
  and virtually every other method.? Indeed Clemens may well be one of the best
  three or four pitchers of all-time.



Table 35: Win Values for Greg Maddux

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  Year W-L ERA+ WAA Win       Value
Greg Maddux 1986 2-4 73 -0.6 -0.46
Greg Maddux 1987 6-14 76 -2.6 -2.25
Greg Maddux 1988 18-8 114 1.6 3.46
Greg Maddux 1989 19-12 128 2.7 2.61
Greg Maddux 1990 15-15 118 1.9 0.40
Greg Maddux 1991 15-11 116 1.7 1.41
Greg Maddux 1992 20-11 165 5.4 5.35
Greg Maddux 1993 20-10 170 5.9 5.10
Greg Maddux 1994 16-6 272 7.0 6.34
Greg Maddux 1995 19-2 262 7.0 8.43
Greg Maddux 1996 15-11 162 5.0 4.79
Greg Maddux 1997 19-4 191 5.9 6.57
Greg Maddux 1998 18-9 187 6.5 5.33
Greg Maddux 1999 19-9 126 2.0 1.48
Greg Maddux 2000 19-9 151 4.8 4.46
Greg Maddux 2001 17-11 144 3.8 3.91
           
Career-to-date  257-146 145 58.0 56.92

  Greg Maddux is just a little behind Roger Clemens at this time in career win
  values.? Of course, since Maddux is still pitching very well, he may well eclipse
  Clemens as this era?s best pitcher before he retires.? I do not have the data
  to calculate win values prior to 1978, but I would be surprised if any pitcher
  had a better run than Maddux had from 1992-1998 (or 1992-2001).? Maybe Walter
  Johnson from 1910-1919.


Table 36: Win Values for Randy Johnson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  Year W-L ERA+ WAA Win       Value
Randy Johnson 1988 3-0 149 0.4 0.30
Randy Johnson 1989 7-13 85 -2.0 -1.48
Randy Johnson 1990 14-11 109 0.8 0.56
Randy Johnson 1991 13-10 104 0.4 1.09
Randy Johnson 1992 12-14 106 0.5 0.47
Randy Johnson 1993 19-8 136 3.5 3.46
Randy Johnson 1994 13-6 153 3.4 3.86
Randy Johnson 1995 18-2 191 5.9 6.34
Randy Johnson 1996 5-0 135 0.9 0.76
Randy Johnson 1997 20-4 197 5.8 5.66
Randy Johnson 1998 19-11 179 3.5 3.69
Randy Johnson 1999 17-9 184 6.5 6.19
Randy Johnson 2000 19-7 175 6.0 5.40
Randy Johnson 2001 21-6 184 6.2 6.06
           
Career-to-date  200-101 141 41.8 42.36

  Randy Johnson has also had 8 great seasons of the past 9 (he was injured for
  most of 1996).? Note that in these tables, the entries for each year reflect
  both leagues if the pitcher was traded to the other league in mid-season (such
  as Johnson in 1998).


Table 37: Win Values for Pedro Martinez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  Year W-L ERA+ WAA Win       Value
Pedro Martinez 1992 0-1 153 0.1 0.01
Pedro Martinez 1993 10-5 147 1.8 -0.53
Pedro Martinez 1994 11-5 124 1.4 1.36
Pedro Martinez 1995 14-10 122 1.7 2.18
Pedro Martinez 1996 13-10 117 1.6 0.99
Pedro Martinez 1997 17-8 221 7.2 7.01
Pedro Martinez 1998 19-7 163 4.8 5.36
Pedro Martinez 1999 23-4 241 7.2 7.22
Pedro Martinez 2000 18-6 292 8.0 8.02
Pedro Martinez 2001 7-3 189 3.0 3.48
           
Career-to-date  132-59 169 36.8 35.09

  Pedro Martinez is still young enough to make a run at Clemens and Maddux as
  the best pitcher of this era.? Currently Pedro is making a comeback from his
  injury-plagued 2001 season.? Note that Pedro?s 1993 season looks strange above,
  but remember that Win Values only reflects his starts (he had two poor starts
  for the Dodgers) whereas WAA reflects all 65 of his appearances.? Deriving win
  values for relief appearances is an area I hope to look into.


Table 38: Win Values for Mike Mussina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
  Year W-L ERA+ WAA Win       Value
Mike Mussina 1991 4-5 138 1.3 1.36
Mike Mussina 1992 18-5 159 4.6 5.47
Mike Mussina 1993 14-6 101 -0.2 1.23
Mike Mussina 1994 16-5 164 3.9 3.89
Mike Mussina 1995 19-9 145 4.1 4.41
Mike Mussina 1996 19-11 102 0.2 0.82
Mike Mussina 1997 15-8 138 3.2 2.86
Mike Mussina 1998 13-10 131 2.5 2.27
Mike Mussina 1999 18-7 134 3.0 2.55
Mike Mussina 2000 11-15 126 2.5 2.46
Mike Mussina 2001 17-11 142 3.6 4.27
           
Career-to-date  164-92 131 28.7 31.59

  Mike Mussina has been consistently very good for his entire career.? I am not
  sure that he receives all the recognition that he deserves.



Table 39: Win Values for Kevin Brown

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  Year W-L ERA+ WAA Win       Value
Kevin Brown 1986 1-0 120 0.0 0.08
Kevin Brown 1987 Dnp - - -
Kevin Brown 1988 1-1 96 -0.1 -0.55
Kevin Brown 1989 12-9 119 1.5 0.88
Kevin Brown 1990 12-10 109 0.6 0.32
Kevin Brown 1991 9-12 92 -1.1 -0.81
Kevin Brown 1992 21-11 115 1.6 1.89
Kevin Brown 1993 15-12 116 1.6 0.94
Kevin Brown 1994 7-9 100 -0.1 -0.44
Kevin Brown 1995 10-9 132 2.5 2.30
Kevin Brown 1996 17-11 215 6.7 5.88
Kevin Brown 1997 16-8 150 4.1 4.07
Kevin Brown 1998 18-7 164 5.0 5.31
Kevin Brown 1999 18-9 143 4.4 3.33
Kevin Brown 2000 13-6 170 4.9 5.39
Kevin Brown 2001 10-4 152 2.0 2.05
           
Career-to-date  180-118 131 33.6 30.64

  Kevin Brown is an intense competitor.? Thus, it surprises me to see that his
  career win value total is somewhat less than his career WAA figure.? I guess
  that shows that the two stats do not necessarily move together and that great
  care should be taken before any inferences (such as the pitcher is a ?winner?)
  are drawn based upon small differences.


Table 40: Win Values for Tom Glavine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
  Year W-L ERA+ WAA Win       Value
Tom Glavine 1987 2-4 79 -0.8 -0.57
Tom Glavine 1988 7-17 81 -2.3 -2.26
Tom Glavine 1989 14-8 99 -0.1 0.46
Tom Glavine 1990 10-12 94 -0.8 -0.61
Tom Glavine 1991 20-11 152 4.5 3.48
Tom Glavine 1992 20-8 133 2.8 2.50
Tom Glavine 1993 22-6 126 2.6 4.02
Tom Glavine 1994 13-9 107 0.5 1.41
Tom Glavine 1995 16-7 139 2.9 3.81
Tom Glavine 1996 15-10 148 4.0 3.57
Tom Glavine 1997 14-7 142 3.7 3.26
Tom Glavine 1998 20-6 168 5.2 4.73
Tom Glavine 1999 14-11 109 0.5 1.40
Tom Glavine 2000 21-9 133 3.5 3.34
Tom Glavine 2001 16-7 123 2.1 1.98
           
Career-to-date  224-132 122 28.3 30.53

  Tom Glavine has also been consistently very good, at least since 1991.? Glavine
  and Maddux make up one of the best long-running pair of pitching teammates since
  Spahn & Burdette and Koufax & Drysdale.? Before they are through, Glavine
  & Maddux may be considered one of the best pitching duos of all-time.


Table 41: Win Values for Bret Saberhagen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  Year W-L ERA+ WAA Win       Value
Bret Saberhagen 1984 10-11 116 1.1 -0.19
Bret Saberhagen 1985 20-6 145 3.8 4.62
Bret Saberhagen 1986 7-12 103 0.1 0.53
Bret Saberhagen 1987 18-10 136 3.6 3.49
Bret Saberhagen 1988 14-16 105 0.6 -0.55
Bret Saberhagen 1989 23-6 178 6.0 5.81
Bret Saberhagen 1990 5-9 118 1.0 1.49
Bret Saberhagen 1991 13-8 134 2.6 2.96
Bret Saberhagen 1992 3-5 99 0.0 1.18
Bret Saberhagen 1993 7-7 122 1.1 1.07
Bret Saberhagen 1994 14-4 153 3.2 3.28
Bret Saberhagen 1995 7-6 106 0.7 0.83
Bret Saberhagen 1996 Dnp - - -
Bret Saberhagen 1997 0-1 71 -0.6 -0.63
Bret Saberhagen 1998 15-8 119 1.3 2.17
Bret Saberhagen 1999 10-6 169 2.8 2.72
Bret Saberhagen 2000 Dnp - - -
Bret Saberhagen 2001 1-2 75 -0.3 -0.50
           
Career  167-117 125 27.0 28.30

  To steal a line from Bill James (about Mickey Vernon, I think), Bret Saberhagen
  would have had a helluva career if only he had filled in the gaps between brilliant
  seasons with better performances.? Saberhagen?s roller-coaster career is aptly
  reflected in the pattern of his win values.? He led the league twice in win
  values, but had too many ?wasted? seasons.? Let?s just say that there?s not
  much of a chance that Saberhagen will make Cooperstown.



Table 42: Win Values for David Cone

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  Year W-L ERA+ WAA Win       Value
David Cone 1986 0-0 77 -0.4 0.00
David Cone 1987 5-6 102 0.1 0.50
David Cone 1988 20-3 145 3.5 3.56
David Cone 1989 14-8 93 -0.9 0.63
David Cone 1990 14-10 116 1.5 1.17
David Cone 1991 14-14 111 1.1 0.88
David Cone 1992 17-10 129 2.8 2.03
David Cone 1993 11-14 138 3.6 3.19
David Cone 1994 16-5 171 4.0 3.88
David Cone 1995 18-8 131 2.8 3.20
David Cone 1996 7-2 172 1.7 1.85
David Cone 1997 12-6 158 3.8 4.06
David Cone 1998 20-7 123 2.2 2.66
David Cone 1999 12-9 138 2.3 2.13
David Cone 2000 4-14 69 -3.3 -2.64
David Cone 2001 9-7 105 0.3 0.36
           
Career  193-123 119 25.1 27.45

  David Cone is another pitcher, like Saberhagen, who had a lot of very good seasons.?
  However, when his story is written I bet the theme will be of unfulfilled potential.?
  Cone is not pitching currently (April 2002) but I have not heard that he is
  officially retired.? I wonder if he would like another chance so that he can
  reach 200 career wins.


Table 43: Win Values for Kevin Appier

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  Year W-L ERA+ WAA Win       Value
Kevin Appier 1989 1-4 42 -1.6 -0.99
Kevin Appier 1990 12-8 139 2.6 2.24
Kevin Appier 1991 13-10 120 1.9 0.71
Kevin Appier 1992 15-8 165 4.3 4.92
Kevin Appier 1993 18-8 179 5.7 5.91
Kevin Appier 1994 7-6 131 2.0 2.73
Kevin Appier 1995 15-10 123 2.1 3.16
Kevin Appier 1996 14-11 138 3.0 3.86
Kevin Appier 1997 9-13 139 3.5 3.13
Kevin Appier 1998 1-2 62 -0.5 -0.50
Kevin Appier 1999 16-14 95 -0.8 -0.28
Kevin Appier 2000 15-11 106 0.3 -0.01
Kevin Appier 2001 11-10 115 1.3 1.76
           
Career-to-date  147-115 125 23.8 26.64

  Kevin Appier is one of the most over-looked pitchers of the modern era.? Of
  course, he has pitched the majority of his career in Kansas City
  for some pretty mediocre Royals teams.? So Appier has received next to no national
  recognition.? I am not saying that he is a great, great pitcher or that he deserves
  serious consideration for the Hall of Fame, but circumstances seemed to have
  conspired against Appier throughout his career.


Table 44: Win Values for Jimmy Key

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  Year W-L ERA+ WAA Win       Value
Jimmy Key 1984 4-5 88 -0.4 0.00
Jimmy Key 1985 14-6 140 3.2 3.94
Jimmy Key 1986 14-11 118 1.8 2.18
Jimmy Key 1987 17-8 163 5.5 4.87
Jimmy Key 1988 12-5 120 1.1 1.60
Jimmy Key 1989 13-14 98 -0.4 0.34
Jimmy Key 1990 13-7 93 -0.7 0.32
Jim
Rob Wood Posted: August 19, 2002 at 06:00 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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