Generally, I consider myself a pretty peaceful guy. You know, picking daisies out of the ground to stick into the barrels of guns, that kind of stuff. But frankly, I love WAR. I love the concept.
Now, as shocking as this may be, I'm in fact talking about Wins Above Replacement, and not some sort of violent military conflict. I personally prefer FanGraphs' incarnation of WAR for 2002 to the present, and Rally's WAR for historical data, which probably isn't surprising as these are the most commonly referenced WAR statistics available.
So I was making my daily rounds through the WAR leaderboard over at FanGraphs, which don't include fielding data yet as UZR presents data weekly and we haven't completed a full week of baseball yet, and the two names at the top of the respective AL and NL lists were pretty surprising.
In the AL? Why, it's just Mr. Vernon Wells. He's 6-for-10 with four home runs, two walks, a hit-by-pitch, and a .929 wOBA, good for a 0.7 WAR thus far, just in terms of hitting. Pretty good for a guy who's owed $98.5 million over the next five years, he's a steal if he can keep this up.
In the NL? Of course, it's Sir Edgar Renteria. At 8-for-11 with a double and three walks, he's been an OBP machine thus far (.786 OBP, 10) and already has accumulated half of a win in value, a mere run of value ahead of Colby Rasmus. So this explains why Sabean gave him $18 million.
So yeah. Just as a reminder of how little a few games mean relative to the entire season, when we're talking about individual performance, I present to you the two most valuable players in each league of April 9th: Vernon Wells and Edgar Renteria. Go figure.