Watching the "Top 100 Reds" list get updated and seeing Chris St. John's FanPost about the "All True Reds Team" got me thinking - there are about a million different ways to put together the "ultimate" Reds team. The two aforementioned rankings utilize career performance and loyalty, but neither uses a rate of performance per time component. No one's going to argue that Barry Larkin is the best SS to ever play in Cincinnati, but is it possible that a different SS produced more value per season than Larkin. but because of a shorter career, he gets less recognition?
I wanted to more-or-less put together another version of the "ultimate" Reds team, pitchers excluded, this time ignoring length of career and instead focusing on the rate at which each player accumulated WAR. To my knowledge (correct me if I'm wrong here), there's nowhere to find team-specific performance data ranked on a per plate appearance basis. So I figured I'd collect the data, rank the players, and post it here. Unfortunately, my skills in EXCEL still significantly outweigh any skills I have in utilizing this post editor...
Players are ranked based on a WAR/PA stat, equalling their total WAR accumulated as a Red / total PA's accumulated as a Red * 650 PA's to simulate one season's worth of their average production. Each player is listed as playing the position at which he has the most experience as a Red. The top 10 at each position is included as well as players on the current 40-man roster.
A few interesting notes after the jump...
All data was pulled from Fangraphs.com. I've noticed that WAR data differs from source to source, so some of these claims may not be accurate if pulling data from a different source. I'm asking for your understanding here. I've tried to neglect as many outliers as possible by only including players with at least 200 PAs in a Reds uniform. This leaves 503 players that were ranked.
According to the data...
- The most productive player is Reds history is Joe Morgan. His crazy-high 61 WAR in just under 5000 PAs equals 7.97 WAR/650PA, almost 1.3 points higher than any other Red.
- Chris Dickerson (4.74 WAR/650PA) was, on average, a more valuable leftfielder than Pete Rose (4.57).
- In the history of the organization, the elite playing leftfield accounted for better production than any other position. The top 10 leftfielders all finished amongst the top 36 players in Reds history, including 4 in the top 10 (Robinson, Mitchell, Carbo, Foster).
- Positions with the worst production? Shortstop and First base.
- Barry Larkin is indeed not the most productive SS to play for the Reds on a per PA basis. His 5.07 WAR/650PAs is 3rd to Joe Tinker's 6.69 and Buck Herzog's 5.42.
- Current Reds are surprisingly high on each list. Excluding Soft-J, the current projected starter at each of the other 7 positions is ranked no worse than 14th on his respective list, and all are among the top 88 Reds in history (remember, there are 503 total that qualify).
- Best current Red: Votto (best 1B, 12th best overall). Worst current Red: Soft-J (34th best SS, 363rd best overall).
- Miguel Cairo somehow qualifies as the 7th most productive 3B and 69th most productive player in Reds history according to these rankings. Maybe they are flawed...