Saber-Friendly Blogging 101: Best Position Players In Franchise History


BtB reader and Rangers' fan philkid3 has a cool post up at LSB about the best players in Rangers history (well, since 1955, at least).  He included pitchers via a different method, which you can tackle if interested, but here's how to come up with a neat list of the best position players for your own team.  As always, feel free to throw links to your own post in the comments of this one.

  1. Jot down 25 or so names that you think might be in the top 10.  Don't skimp on slick fielders, 2B/SS/CA, or people born before you.  For some help, generate a list of the top OPS+ in franchise history using B-Ref's PI tool
  2. Look up those 25ish players in Sean Smith's historical WAR database.  Why use this source?  Because Sean accounts for basically all significant aspects of a player's context-neutral on-field production: hitting, baserunning, GIDPs, range, position, turning DPs, catcher defense, etc.
  3. Add up their WAR for all seasons as a member of your team.  These players did the most to help your team win games since 1955.
  4. Add up the WAR of their best five consecutive seasons for your team and divide by five.  This is one way find the average production of a player's peak.
  5. Add up the WAR of their best three season for your team and divide by three.  This is another way to find the average production of a player at his peak.
  6. Rank the players you looked up by any or all of the three metrics outline in points 3 to 5 above.  Maybe think about only presenting the top ten and provide some interesting words about each, such as where they derived most of their value (offense, defense, baserunning, whatever -- Sean lists it all at his site.)
  7. Don't do any of the above, and wait for Sean to create leader boards for his WAR data.  ETA: anywhere from one day to one year.

Update: Brew Crew Ball is taking this position by position, which is even cooler.

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