Thursday, September 04, 2014

WAR what is it good for? Howard vs Schmidt career WAR numbers



Mike Schmidt and Ryan Howard from October 31, 2009 in the World Series vs. the New York Yankees






The Phillies hired a sabermetrics guy this year, but so far we haven't seen too much of what he's been doing. There hasn't been too much talk in the press about the Phillies using sabermetrics all that much either.

Let's look at two of the Phillies best ever power hitters: Mike Schmidt and Ryan Howard. How is their WAR numbers looking for each player?

Incidentally, WAR is a calculation of wins that this player is supposed to contribute to a team instead of a replacement player


Here's Mike Schmidt: (sorted by best years of WAR)

Year Age Tm G WAR ▾ Salary Pos Awards
1974 ★ 24 PHI 162 9.7 $35,000 *5 AS,MVP-6
1980 ★ 30 PHI 150 8.8 $560,000 *5 AS,MVP-1,GG,SS
1977 ★ 27 PHI 154 8.8 $560,000 *5/64 AS,MVP-10,GG
1976 ★ 26 PHI 160 8.0 $120,000 *5 AS,MVP-3,GG
1979 ★ 29 PHI 160 7.9 $560,000 *5/6 AS,MVP-13,GG
1981 ★ 31 PHI 102 7.7 $560,000 *5 AS,MVP-1,GG,SS
1975 25 PHI 158 7.7 $65,000 *56 MVP-16
1982 ★ 32 PHI 148 7.4 $1,533,333 *5 AS,MVP-6,GG,SS
1984 ★ 34 PHI 151 7.0 $2,023,208 *5/36 AS,MVP-7,GG,SS
1983 ★ 33 PHI 154 6.8 $1,785,670 *5/6 AS,MVP-3,GG,SS
1978 28 PHI 145 6.2 $560,000 *5/6 GG
1986 ★ 36 PHI 160 6.1 $2,136,666 *53 AS,MVP-1,GG,SS
1987 ★ 37 PHI 147 6.1 $2,127,333 *5/36 AS,MVP-14
1985 35 PHI 158 5.0 $2,130,300 35/6
1973 23 PHI 132 1.9 $15,000 *5/436
1988 38 PHI 108 1.8 $2,250,000 5/3
1972 22 PHI 13 0.1 $13,500 5/4
1989 ★ 39 PHI 42 -0.4 5 AS
18 Seasons 2404 106.5 $17,035,010
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/3/2014.


Pretty impressive is Schmidt, it's easy to see how he is a Hall of Famer, not only was he a League MVP over his career for 3 seasons, his WAR numbers reflect very few 'bad' years. Take not of the salary that Schmidt earned too, he earned a lot of money for the time, but my how times have changed when it's in relation to baseball salaries.


Here's Ryan Howard's WAR numbers, again sorted from best years of WAR:


Year Age Tm G WAR ▾ Salary Pos Awards
2006 ★ 26 PHI 159 5.2 $355,000 *3 AS,MVP-1,SS
2009 ★ 29 PHI 160 3.8 $15,000,000 *3/D AS,MVP-3
2005 25 PHI 88 3.1 3 RoY-1
2007 27 PHI 144 2.9 $900,000 *3/D MVP-5
2008 28 PHI 162 1.8 $10,000,000 *3/D MVP-2
2010 ★ 30 PHI 143 1.2 $19,000,000 *3/D AS,MVP-10
2011 31 PHI 152 1.2 $20,000,000 *3/D MVP-10
2013 33 PHI 80 0.8 $20,000,000 3
2004 24 PHI 19 0.3 /3
2014 34 PHI 131 -0.9 $25,000,000 *3/D
2012 32 PHI 71 -1.2 $20,000,000 3
11 Seasons 1309 18.1 $130,255,000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/3/2014.


You can see by the comparison of WAR numbers, at least in this category,  it shows the differences in what each player meant to the Phillies team. Howard's best WAR year was 2006, for a brief stretch of 3 seasons between 2006-2008, it seemed if Howard would hit 700 HR's and then he trailed off. By WAR numbers, Howard is having his second worse season along with his worst season, 2012.

Let's take a look at one of the best player ever in the game with his WAR numbers, Micky Mantle as a comparison with Schmidt and Howard:

Year Age Tm G WAR ▾ Salary Pos Awards
1957 ★ 25 NYY 144 11.3 $60,000 *8 AS,MVP-1
1956 ★ 24 NYY 150 11.2 $32,000 *8 AS,MVP-1
1961 ★ 29 NYY 153 10.5 $70,000 *8 AS,MVP-2
1955 ★ 23 NYY 147 9.5 $25,000 *8/6 AS,MVP-5
1958 ★ 26 NYY 150 8.7 $65,000 *8 AS,MVP-5
1954 ★ 22 NYY 146 6.9 $21,000 *8/649 AS,MVP-15
1959 ★ 27 NYY 144 6.6 $70,000 *8 AS,MVP-17
1952 ★ 20 NYY 142 6.5 $10,000 *O89/5 AS,MVP-3
1960 ★ 28 NYY 153 6.3 $60,000 *8 AS,MVP-2
1962 ★ 30 NYY 123 5.9 $90,000 *89 AS,MVP-1,GG
1953 ★ 21 NYY 127 5.3 $17,500 *O8/976 AS,MVP-22
1964 ★ 32 NYY 143 4.8 $100,000 *879 AS,MVP-2
1967 ★ 35 NYY 144 3.9 $100,000 *3 AS
1966 34 NYY 108 3.5 $100,000 8/7 MVP-19
1963 ★ 31 NYY 65 2.9 $100,000 8 AS
1968 ★ 36 NYY 144 2.6 $100,000 *3 AS
1965 ★ 33 NYY 122 1.8 $100,000 7 AS,MVP-25
1951 19 NYY 96 1.5 $7,500 O9/8
18 Seasons 2401 109.7 $1,128,000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/3/2014.


Mantle really never had a 'bad' year according to his WAR numbers. He too was a 3-time MVP player along with numerous 2nd place finishes in the MVP race. Schmidt and Mantle have nearly identical totals with G and WAR total numbers.

Lastly, let's look at the newest player on the baseball diamond that has taken the baseball world by storm over the past 3 seasons. That of course Mike Trout, what are his numbers for WAR?

Mike Trout's WAR numbers (sorted from best years) shows that he's already a quarter to the total WAR numbers put up by Schmidt and Mantle in his first 3 full seasons and 2014 isn't over yet. He was called up in 2011 by the Angels as a 19 year old rookie. When was the last time we saw a rookie that age for the Phillies?

Year Age Tm G WAR ▾ Salary Pos Awards
2012 ★ 20 LAA 139 10.8 *87/9 AS,MVP-2,RoY-1,SS
2013 ★ 21 LAA 157 8.9 $510,000 *87/D AS,MVP-2,SS
2014 ★ 22 LAA 133 6.6 $1,000,000 *8/D AS
2011 19 LAA 40 0.7 897/D
4 Seasons 469 26.9 $1,510,000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/3/2014.

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