Results tagged ‘ WAR ’

Top 10 Rays of All-Time

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The Tampa Bay Rays have a very short, but interesting history. The franchise has changed so much in a 13-year span, probably more than any other team. It’s a team that has suffered through plenty of bad seasons, but have had some miraculous ones too. So far there aren’t any Rays jerseys hanging in Cooperstown, but the emerging young talent is looking to change that. On this list I will rank the top 10 overall-best Tampa Bay Rays players; all the way from 1998. All position players who played over 300 games for the Rays and pitchers who were on the roster for at least two seasons, are eligible for the list. This automatically excludes some star names, like Jose Canseco and Wade Boggs. Still, super stars such as Carl Crawford, Fred McGriff, and Evan Longoria highlight a great top 10.

10.) David Price- David Price has done so much in his short time in the big leagues. In just over three seasons, Price has been selected to two All Star Games, won 41 games, finished second in the 2009 Cy Young voting, and closed out Game 7 of the ALCS to win the pennant. At just 26 years old, it looks like it’s just the beginning of a great career for Price. Here are Price’s career stats:
Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO
TBR 0 0 1.93 5 1 0 0 0 14.0 9 4 3 1 4 0 12
TBR 10 7 .588 4.42 23 23 0 0 0 128.1 119 72 63 17 54 0 102
TBR 19 6 .760 2.72 32 31 2 1 0 208.2 170 71 63 15 79 1 188
TBR 12 13 .480 3.49 34 34 0 0 0 224.1 192 93 87 22 63 5 218
4 Seasons 41 26 .612 3.38 94 89 2 1 0 575.1 490 240 216 55 200 6 520
9.) Carlos Pena- Carlos Pena was an absolute power machine in his four years as a Ray. He currently is the franchise leader in homeruns, belting out 144 dingers for the Rays. Pena not only gave the Rays great offensive production, but he also was one of the slickest defensive first basemen in the game. His Gold Glove award that he won back in 2008 is amongst a few of Pena’s accolades. He was selected to the All Star Game once, has one a Silver Slugger award, and a Comeback Player of the Year award. The best part about all his awards, is that he earned them all as Ray. Here are his career stats as member of the Rays:
G AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB Awards
148 490 99 138 29 46 121 1 103 142 .282 .411 .627 1.037 307 MVP-9,SS
139 490 76 121 24 31 102 1 96 166 .247 .377 .494 .871 242 MVP-9,GG
135 471 91 107 25 39 100 3 87 163 .227 .356 .537 .893 253 AS
144 484 64 95 18 28 84 5 87 158 .196 .325 .407 .732 197
566 1935 330 461 96 144 407 10 373 629 .238 .368 .516 .884 999
8.) Ben Zobrist- The Tampa Bay Rays have never had a utility man as good as Ben Zobrist. They also haven’t had much players more valuable to the team than Zobrist either. At 18.7, “Zorilla” has the fifth highest WAR (Wins Above Replacement) in the franchise’s history. Zobrist has meant so much to the club in the last few years, boosting both the defense and offense. Besides playing up to seven positions, Zobrist was also able to knock in 91 runs twice in the last three years. He’s also has double-digit homerun power and plays stellar defense, at wherever he is on the diamond. Here are his career stats:
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB Awards
52 183 10 41 6 2 2 18 2 10 26 .224 .260 .311 .572 57
31 97 8 15 2 0 1 9 2 3 21 .155 .184 .206 .391 20
62 198 32 50 10 2 12 30 3 25 37 .253 .339 .505 .844 100
152 501 91 149 28 7 27 91 17 91 104 .297 .405 .543 .948 272 AS,MVP-8
151 541 77 129 28 2 10 75 24 92 107 .238 .346 .353 .699 191
156 588 99 158 46 6 20 91 19 77 128 .269 .353 .469 .822 276 MVP-16
604 2108 317 542 120 19 72 314 67 298 423 .257 .348 .435 .782 916

7.) B.J. Upton- B.J. Upton has proved to be one of the most valuable players to ever wear a Rays uniform. His career WAR of 19.8 is the fourth highest of all time for the franchise. He’s been a big part of the Rays’ past success, but still hasn’t played up to his full potential. Upton (along with Longoria) carried the Rays through the 2008 magical postseason run, blasting seven homeruns in the playoffs. Upton has been a huge part of the club for seven years now. His terrific speed, power, and great defense in center are all reasons why BJ is a big name in Tampa Bay. Below are Upton’s career stats:

Year G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB Awards
2004 45 159 19 41 8 2 4 12 4 15 46 .258 .324 .409 .733 65
2006 50 175 20 43 5 0 1 10 11 13 40 .246 .302 .291 .593 51
2007 129 474 86 142 25 1 24 82 22 65 154 .300 .386 .508 .894 241
2008 145 531 85 145 37 2 9 67 44 97 134 .273 .383 .401 .784 213
2009 144 560 79 135 33 4 11 55 42 57 152 .241 .313 .373 .686 209
2010 154 536 89 127 38 4 18 62 42 67 164 .237 .322 .424 .745 227
2011 153 560 82 136 27 4 23 81 36 71 161 .243 .331 .429 .759 240
7 Seasons 820 2995 460 769 173 17 90 369 201 385 851 .257 .342 .416 .759 1246

6.) Fred McGriff- Fred McGriff, the “Crime Dog”, was one of the premier sluggers of the Devil Ray era. He spent five years playing for his hometown team in Tampa Bay, starting from the ’98 Inaugural Year. The six-time All Star was the franchise’s first real good hitter, along with Hall of Famer Wade Boggs. McGriff closed out his great career strong as a Devil Ray, hitting 99 homers and batting over .290 through his five seasons. Here are his career Tampa Bay Devil Rays stats:

Year G AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB Awards
1998 151 564 73 160 33 19 81 7 79 118 .284 .371 .443 .815 250
1999 144 529 75 164 30 32 104 1 86 107 .310 .405 .552 .957 292
2000 158 566 82 157 18 27 106 2 91 120 .277 .373 .452 .826 256 AS
2001 97 343 40 109 18 19 61 1 40 69 .318 .387 .536 .923 184
2004 27 72 7 13 3 2 7 0 9 19 .181 .272 .306 .577 22
TBD (5 yrs) 577 2074 277 603 102 99 359 11 305 433 .291 .380 .484 .864 1004

5.) Scott Kazmir- Scott Kazmir was the ace of the Rays’ rotation in four out of his six years on the team. He was amongst the franchise’s three original farm-gown stars, including his Texas-native teammates Aubrey Huff and Carl Crawford. Kazmir was really the only starting pitching the Rays had until 2008, when the team went worst to first. Considering the Devil Rays’ lack of arms in the rotation, the two-time All Star was one of baseball most valuable pitchers for a while. Kazmir’s years are probably behind him, but he had a heck of a run with the Rays. Here are career numbers as a Ray:

Year W L W-L% ERA G IP H R HR BB IBB SO WHIP Awards
2004 2 3 .400 5.67 8 33.1 33 22 4 21 0 41 1.620
2005 10 9 .526 3.77 32 186.0 172 90 12 100 3 174 1.462 RoY-9
2006 10 8 .556 3.24 24 144.2 132 59 15 52 3 163 1.272 AS
2007 13 9 .591 3.48 34 206.2 196 91 18 89 1 239 1.379
2008 12 8 .600 3.49 27 152.1 123 61 23 70 2 166 1.267 AS
2009 8 7 .533 5.92 20 111.0 121 77 15 50 0 91 1.541
TBR (6 yrs) 55 44 .556 3.92 145 834.0 777 400 87 382 9 874 1.390

4.) Aubrey Huff- Aubrey Huff was the team’s main power source in most of his seven years as a member of the Devil Rays. Huff was an offensive machine for the team in his seasons, raking 128 homeruns and knocking in 449 runs. His solid defense at first base and ability to hit well for average, also added to his player value. Here are his stats for his Devil Rays career:

Year G AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB Awards
2000 39 122 12 35 7 4 14 0 5 18 .287 .318 .443 .760 54
2001 111 411 42 102 25 8 45 1 23 72 .248 .288 .372 .660 153
2002 113 454 67 142 25 23 59 4 37 55 .313 .364 .520 .884 236
2003 162 636 91 198 47 34 107 2 53 80 .311 .367 .555 .922 353 MVP-24
2004 157 600 92 178 27 29 104 5 56 74 .297 .360 .493 .853 296
2005 154 575 70 150 26 22 92 8 49 88 .261 .321 .428 .749 246
2006 131 454 57 121 25 21 66 0 50 64 .267 .344 .469 .813 213
2006 63 230 26 65 15 8 28 0 24 25 .283 .348 .461 .809 106
TBD (7 yrs) 799 3028 400 870 172 128 449 20 247 412 .287 .343 .477 .819 1444

3.) James Shields- Statistics don’t show how much “Big Game James” has meant to the Rays. More than any other Rays starter in history, Shields wins games. Especially the the big games (hence the nickname). Shields has played six seasons for the Rays, and has been a big part of the rotation for most of his short career. After a disappointing 2010 season, Shields came back with an incredible season last year. He lead the terrific young Rays pitching staff, with a 2.82 ERA and 16 wins. He finished third in the Cy Young voting, and was elected to his first All Star Game. He’s the most valuable Rays pitcher of all time, and he looks like he’s just getting better. Here are his lifetime stats:

Year W L W-L% ERA G CG IP H R ER BB IBB SO WHIP Awards
2006 6 8 .429 4.84 21 1 124.2 141 69 67 38 5 104 1.436
2007 12 8 .600 3.85 31 1 215.0 202 98 92 36 0 184 1.107
2008 14 8 .636 3.56 33 3 215.0 208 94 85 40 0 160 1.153
2009 11 12 .478 4.14 33 0 219.2 239 113 101 52 1 167 1.325
2010 13 15 .464 5.18 34 0 203.1 246 128 117 51 2 187 1.461
2011 16 12 .571 2.82 33 11 249.1 195 83 78 65 1 225 1.043 AS,CYA-3,MVP-16
6 Seasons 72 63 .533 3.96 185 16 1227.0 1231 585 540 282 9 1027 1.233

2.) Evan Longoria- Since Carl Crawford departed to Boston last winter, Longoria has been the face of the franchise. The true leader of the team; the man who’s been carrying the Rays every since his monster rookie year back in ’08. Not only is Longoria a hometown hero in Tampa, but he’s also one of the best players in all the big leagues. The 27 year-old has big-time power, amazing defense, and hits in the clutch better than any Ray ever. He’s played only four seasons in the majors, but has already blasted over 100 homers and 400 RBIs. It’s only a matter of time before Longoria becomes the best Tampa Bay Rays player ever. Here are his career stats:

Year G AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB Awards
2008 122 448 67 122 31 27 85 7 46 122 .272 .343 .531 .874 238 AS,MVP-11,RoY-1
2009 157 584 100 164 44 33 113 9 72 140 .281 .364 .526 .889 307 AS,MVP-19,GG,SS
2010 151 574 96 169 46 22 104 15 72 124 .294 .372 .507 .879 291 AS,MVP-6,GG
2011 133 483 78 118 26 31 99 3 80 93 .244 .355 .495 .850 239 MVP-10
4 Seasons 563 2089 341 573 147 113 401 34 270 479 .274 .360 .515 .874 1075

1.) Carl Crawford- I don’t think there’s a question of who’s the best Ray ever. Carl Crawford leads the franchise’s history in average, RBIs, runs, hits, stolen bases, WAR (36.8), and games played. All the way from 2002 to 2010, Crawford was the heart and soul of the franchise. CC was there for the good times and the bad, but was a great baseball player the whole way through.

Year G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB Awards
2002 63 259 23 67 11 6 2 30 9 9 41 .259 .290 .371 .661 96
2003 151 630 80 177 18 9 5 54 55 26 102 .281 .309 .362 .671 228
2004 152 626 104 185 26 19 11 55 59 35 81 .296 .331 .450 .781 282 AS
2005 156 644 101 194 33 15 15 81 46 27 84 .301 .331 .469 .800 302
2006 151 600 89 183 20 16 18 77 58 37 85 .305 .348 .482 .830 289 MVP-26
2007 143 584 93 184 37 9 11 80 50 32 112 .315 .355 .466 .820 272 AS
2008 109 443 69 121 12 10 8 57 25 30 60 .273 .319 .400 .718 177
2009 156 606 96 185 28 8 15 68 60 51 99 .305 .364 .452 .816 274 AS
2010 154 600 110 184 30 13 19 90 47 46 104 .307 .356 .495 .851 297 AS,MVP-7,GG,SS
2011 130 506 65 129 29 7 11 56 18 23 104 .255 .289 .405 .694 205
TBR (9 yrs) 1235 4992 765 1480 215 105 104 592 409 293 768 .296 .337 .444 .781 2217

BBA Awards: The Stan Musial Award

Last but definitely not least, the Stan Musial Award is the highest honor of all the BBA Awards. It acknowledges the the (AL) MVP of league. To learn more about BBA and the BBA Awards read my earlier post. Deciding the top players in the AL was a long thinking and research process, and ultimately an extremely tough choice. So many players put up terrific numbers in 2011, making it nearly impossible for me to order the top ten best. Here they are:

1.) Miguel Cabrera- Another great year to a great career for the slugging first baseman. Last year Cabrera finished second in the AL MVP voting, right behind Josh Hamilton. It looks like he will definitely be finishing in the top three again, as he has put out some terrific numbers. First off, Cabrera leads the MLB with a stellar .344 BA. He also has 30 homers, 105 RBI’s, and 111 runs. He leads the AL in doubles, OBP (by far), and games played (161 G). Incredible for a big guy like Miggy, to only miss 1 game, hit the most doubles, lead in OBP, and lead in average. The only part of his game that is not MVP- caliber, is his speed and defense. When I considered that all his competitors were good in at least one of those two things, it made the choice even tougher. But I decided to give it to him because he lead in the most stats, and quite frankly has hit the baseball better than anybody in the MLB. My last factor in this vote, was that his team went farther than any of the other candidates (besides Michael Young and Verlander). 

2.) Adrian Gonzalez- Another terrific slugging first baseman, similar to Cabrera. With the second-best avg. (tied with Michael Young) in the Majors (.338), Gonzalez has probably had the best year of his career so far. Adrian has really made a bid for first in this award, knocking in 12 more RBI’s than Cabrera and playing much better defense. I still had to give it to Cabrera though, because he leads in everything else and they both aren’t good baserunners. Also, Gonzalez had more hits, but Cabrera’s less K’s in more ABs definitely evened that out. 

3.) Jacoby Ellsbury- At number 3, Ellsbury was almost good enough for me to put him at #1. It was really hard for me to put the young center fielder at #3, after the amazing season he had this year. Every part of his game was MVP- caliber, but the most surprising was the power numbers. Incredibly, Ellsbury has more homers that Gonzalez and Cabrera with 32. Also, he knocked in 105 runs which is tied with Cabrera. He finished the season ranking top 5 in every offensive stat; including runs, hits, and stolen bases. His 39 thefts are much better than any other MVP candidate (including Granderson). Also, his Gold Glove worthy defense in CF is definitely not something I overlooked. Really, the only thing that kept out of #1 or #2 in the voting was his average. A .321 average is terrific, but it’s just not as good as Gonzalez’s or Cabrera’s. Considering the lack of speed of those two big guys, having a higher average than Ellsbury means that they hit a lot more solid line-drives.

4.) Curtis Granderson- The only thing that got in the way of a #1 vote, was Granderson’s .262 average. Average is something that I weigh heavily in these votes, and .262 is not an MVP number. Besides that, everything else Granderson does on the baseball field is MVP- caliber. His run-producing numbers are ridiculous, and he’s also an impressive outfielder and baserunner.

5.) Jose Bautista- It’s really hard for me to put a player like Bautista 5th in this voting. Out of all these candidates, Jose may mean the most to his team. He leads the league in WAR and is the MLB home run champion. His fielding is also above average. The average is really what brought him down.

6.) Michael Young- Let me just start with this: the Rangers would not be in the World Series if it wasn’t for Young. A true ballplayer, Young was moved to SS this year and still performed. His .338 average is second-best in baseball and his 106 RBIs are also remarkable. 

7.) Adrian Beltre- Another great Ranger infielder. Beltre struggled through hamstring injuries throughout the year, and still amazingly was able to rack up 105. RBIs.  In addition to that, his stellar defense and high average were also impressive.

8.) Robinson Cano- Cano’s ridiculous second half of the season is what puts him in the conversation. He ended the season with 118 RBIs (2nd in AL) and a .302 average. He also had another great year at second base.

9.) Paul Konerko- Now here’s a great baseball player that doesn’t get nearly enough credit. Once again, Pauly has posted terrific offensive numbers. He hit .300 with 105 RBIs and 31 dingers. 

10.) Evan Longoria- Well this one may be a little bit bias. Longoria saved his season by ending it on fire. After recovering from an early-season injury, Longo still ended the season with 99 RBIs and 31 homers. His defense was terrific once again, and it looks like he will get his 3rd Gold Glove Award this year. His .244 average is what hurt him though.

Honorable mentions- Some other players with great seasons include:  Justin Verlander (pitching Triple Crown champ), Mark Teixeira (111 RBIs, Gold Glove- caliber season), Victor Martinez (.330 average, 103 RBIs), and Josh Hamilton (.298, 94 RBIs, great defense)

If you are a member of the BBA and have posted your Willie Mays Award (or any other award) votes, I’d really like to see what you think. Comment the link of your post below. I would also love to see anyone else’s opinions. You also can rate the post from 1-5 stars, evaluating my voting. If you’re a blogger interested and joining the BBA, click here.

And remember to check out the previous 4 BBA Awards: The Connie Mack Award, The Willie Mays Award, The Goose Gossage Award, and The Walter Johnson Award.

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