Thursday, February 10, 2011

WAR and Age and Royals

Now that I know the top seasons by age I decided to look at the 2011 roster and their ages this year, basically I just wanted to see if any of them can add their name to that list. With most of the roster filled with placeholders I figured maybe only one or two would be likely to outperform the previous top season, and I didn't bother with guys I suspect won't see much or any playing time. I also decided to break it down by position just to make it interesting. So I'll list the players, their age, and their 2010 WAR and then I'll list the top WAR at that same age and then another at that age/position (for positional purposes I set time at that position at 50%). I do realize all of this is completely and utterly pointless but I still find it extremely fascinating.

Jason Kendall 37
2010 WAR - 1.0
WAR to beat - 4.6 (Brett)

Either there haven't been any 37 year old catchers in team history or they just sucked so bad that play index refuses to acknowledge them. So while Kendall isn't capable of topping Brett a simple 0.1 gives him the age/position title. For what it's worth Bob Boone had a 2.2 WAR at age 41 in 1989, that of course is irrelevant to Kendall this season but I thought it was interesting nonetheless.

Brayan Pena 29
2010 WAR - 0.3
WAR to beat - 5.8 (Brett)

Pena isn't topping Brett either. Mike Macfarlane's 3.2 is the top WAR for a 29 year old catcher, probably also unreachable.

Kila Ka'aihue 27
2010 WAR - 0.2
WAR to beat - 9.6 (Brett)

Brett achieved that WAR in his epic 1980 season and it probably will never be broken. Mike Sweeney owns the top WAR at 1B with 4.3 and Calvin Pickering's 0.6 tops all other DH's, Ken Harvey was second here with -0.2. I know what you're thinking and I agree, debate settled!!! Kila probably surpasses Pick but not Sweeney.

Billy Butler 25
2010 WAR - 4.5
WAR to beat - 5.1 (Al Cowens)

It wouldn't surprise me if he tops Cowens, I won't predict it but it's very possible. I think Butler has the best chance out of anyone on the team to get on the top season by age list. John Mayberry's 1.5 is history.

Chris Getz 27
2010 WAR - -0.1
WAR to beat - 9.6 (Brett)

No. Frank White's 3.6 is also safe.

Alcides Escobar 24
2010 WAR - -0.7
WAR to beat - 7.8 (Willie Wilson)

He's not touching Wilson's mark but Kurt Stillwell's 1.9 is definitely within reach. I'll even call it, he will top Stillwell this year.

Mike Aviles 30
2010 WAR - 0.9
WAR to beat - 5.4 (Hal McRae)

Aviles will give way to Moustakas at some point, which doesn't matter because neither McRae's mark or Brett's 4.1 are a realistic possibility. If he end up playing half his games at 2B then Bill Pecota's 2.2 is reachable.

Wilson Betemit 29
2010 WAR - 1.2
WAR to beat - 5.8 (Brett)

Betemit won't see much time at 3B unless something goes horribly wrong so Brett's mark is safe. Sweeney's 2.4 at DH I suppose can be reached but I doubt Betemit sees much time there either.

Mike Moustakas 22
WAR to beat - 5.1 (Brett)

Not likely but considering he won't be called up until mid May at the soonest he could rake and still fall short. Besides in the last 50 years only two 22 year old third  basemen have bested Brett's 5.1, and that's in all of baseball. This will definitely be a more interesting topic after Hosmer and Myers join Moose in KC.

Alex Gordon 27
2010 WAR - -0.1
WAR to beat - 9.6 (Brett)

There's Brett's 1980 again, it's still safe and we'll see it one more time (spoiler alert, it'll be safe then too). Tom Goodwin surprisingly owns the left field high with a paltry 0.1. That almost seems like it can't be right. Is Goodwin really the only 27 year old left fielder in team history to post a positive WAR? Well according to play index he is, Gordon tops this fairly easily I imagine.

Lorenzo Cain 25
2010 WAR - 0.9
WAR to beat - 5.1 (Cowens)

Cain likely starts the season in Omaha so he's unlikely to challenge Cowens. For that reason he's also unlikely to pass the position high either. You see while 27 year old left fielders have been a rarity 25 year old center fielders have not. No shame in finishing behind these four.

1 David DeJesus 4.4 2005 25 9 56 5 .293 .359 .445
2 Carlos Beltran 3.9 2002 25 29 105 35 .273 .346 .501
3 Amos Otis 2.8 1972 25 11 54 28 .293 .352 .413
4 Brian McRae 2.6 1993 25 12 69 23 .282 .325 .413

Melky Cabrera 26
2010 WAR - -0.4
WAR to beat - 8.7 (Brett)

So same deal here except those 25 year old center fielders are now 26. Beltran's 7.4 at that age will not be approached, especially since Cabrera is just at 4.9 for his career.

Jeff Francoeur 27
2010 WAR - 0.7
WAR to beat - 9.6 (Brett)

If I told you that Danny Tartabull, Al Cowens, and Jermaine Dye all played right field in KC at age 27 what would you guess the top WAR would be? 5? 4? 3? Try again.

Rk Player WAR Year
1 Danny Tartabull 1.2 1990
2 Al Cowens 1.1 1979
3 Jermaine Dye 0.7 2001

Now Francoeur has topped 1.2 three times in his career but hasn't since 2007. I'm not sure he will this year either.

1 comment:

  1. Why don't you define WAR in your article?