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Re-Defining "Good at Everything" (thanks to community feedback)

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Just yesterday I wrote a post that attempted to define which players were "Good at Everything". My original goal of the post was lost a bit with the title I chose. The plan was to find all players that were positive in every Rally WAR component. I did that. But I made it sound like it was a definitive list of who was "Good at Everything". It really wasn't.

Luckily, Beyond the Box Score has some fantastic commenters and they helped me out. So, I've got a new list of guys. This list should come closer to capturing guys who were "Good at everything".

Again, here's the original criteria I used:

  • Batting runs, Baserunning runs, Total Zone runs, and Positional Adjustment runs are all greater than 0.
  • GIDP runs, Reach on Error runs, Infield DP runs, Outfield Arm runs, and Catcher runs are all greater than or equal to 0 (this is because some older players only have a 0 for their career because there isn't any data available for these categories).

Simply running this search yielded 49 players in the history of the game.

[...] batting runs is a pretty broad skill. We can break that up into individual skills. So, I went with the two OPS components—on base percentage (for patience) and slugging percentage (for power). I cut out any players below league average for their careers in either of these categories.

In this second version, I added these criteria:

  • Instead of requiring both Total Zone and Position to be above zero, I required the combination of both to be above zero. However, I excluded players with negative Total Zone who still managed to get a positive TZ+Pos.
  • I ignored the "Reached on Error" category.
  • I cut off the list at a 25 WAR minimum. You gotta put in some time to be good at everything. This seemed to be a good cutoff, right after Hall of Famers Freddie Lindstrom and George Wright.

The new list features 40 players:

Name PlApp Bat ROE BSrun DP TZ IFDP OFarm catcher Pos WAR Pos+TZ
Barry Bonds 12511 1213 -6 45 6 153 0 36 0 -129 171.8 24
Honus Wagner 11518 699 0 45 0 66 19 0 0 104 134.5 170
Tris Speaker 11679 845 0 14 0 92 0 0 0 -72 133.0 20
Nap Lajoie 10239 581 0 2 0 62 21 0 0 6 104.2 68
George Davis 9976 380 0 28 0 143 3 0 0 87 90.7 230
Joe DiMaggio 7657 579 0 30 0 49 0 0 0 -19 83.6 30
Charlie Gehringer 10096 391 0 38 0 30 4 0 0 74 80.9 104
Bill Dahlen 10235 188 0 25 0 139 0 0 0 140 75.9 279
Frankie Frisch 9871 195 0 63 0 115 25 0 0 73 74.8 188
Lou Whitaker 9787 209 -10 33 17 70 7 0 0 51 69.7 121
Alan Trammell 9175 124 12 21 19 59 17 0 0 118 66.9 177
Frank Baker 6507 285 0 7 0 35 0 0 0 52 63.7 87
Jackie Robinson 5689 276 7 39 1 51 28 2 0 20 63.2 71
Sal Bando 8166 208 17 11 5 28 8 0 0 38 60.6 66
Jack Glasscock 7531 116 0 8 0 149 0 0 0 108 58.7 257
Bid McPhee 9359 150 0 37 0 154 0 0 0 42 57.9 196
Billy Herman 8470 167 0 12 0 37 18 0 0 65 55.6 102
Stan Hack 8391 240 0 24 0 2 0 0 0 15 54.8 17
Carlos Beltran 6790 178 11 52 14 67 0 4 0 18 54.7 85
Buck Ewing 5764 231 0 43 0 16 0 0 58 35 51.8 51
Tommy Leach 8811 114 0 43 0 67 0 0 0 5 50.9 72
Ichiro Suzuki 6555 148 3 45 40 93 0 34 0 -52 50.7 41
Max Carey 10480 97 0 106 0 86 0 0 0 -84 50.6 2
Frank Chance 4988 252 0 33 0 47 0 0 0 -25 49.5 22
John McGraw 4894 337 0 24 0 3 0 0 0 34 49.3 37
Hughie Jennings 5538 225 0 20 0 60 0 0 0 51 48.0 111
Heinie Groh 6853 157 0 3 0 35 0 0 0 44 46.4 79
Gil McDougald 5271 94 4 6 2 83 16 0 0 42 40.0 125
Eric Chavez 5242 108 -5 5 4 61 2 0 0 12 36.2 73
Dan McGann 5881 159 0 14 0 37 0 0 0 -34 36.2 3
Don Buford 5266 111 -1 10 12 58 0 4 0 -10 35.5 48
Fred Dunlap 4264 147 0 3 0 80 0 0 0 19 34.7 99
Harlond Clift 6841 141 0 5 0 3 0 0 0 18 34.7 21
Chase Utley 3777 140 1 20 13 49 4 0 0 15 34.5 64
Ross Barnes 2506 252 0 15 0 57 0 0 0 15 33.1 72
Joe Mauer 2959 162 -6 6 2 0 0 0 41 31 33.1 31
Dom DiMaggio 6421 111 0 25 0 37 0 0 0 -11 31.9 26
Robby Thompson 5117 43 18 18 5 18 18 0 0 28 31.0 46
Freddie Lindstrom 5958 79 0 14 0 21 0 0 0 10 29.2 31
George Wright 2942 128 0 16 0 75 0 0 0 35 28.5 110

 

New faces on the list:

  • Barry Bonds: gets on there despite a huge positional adjustment hit thanks to amazing total zone numbers.
  • Tris Speaker: his total zone was also enough to overcome the positional adjustment.
  • Joe DiMaggio: had only a minor positional adjustment hit that was easily overcome.
  • Lou Whitaker: so glad to see him on here—was only left off because of ROE.
  • Ichiro: easily overcomes his positional hit with awesome range. He's another active player for the list.
  • Max Carey: HOFer's range beats out positional adjustment by two runs.
  • Frank Chance: slick-fielding first basemen CAN make this list!
  • Eric Chavez: betchya didn't see THAT coming—only missed the first time because of ROE.
  • Dan McGann: turn of the century slick-fielding first bagger makes that two.
  • Don Buford: call him "slightly above average at everything"—makes up for a minor positional hit.
  • Joe Mauer: only ROE held him back the first time.
  • Dom DiMaggio: when one DiMaggio isn't enough.

I'm more comfortable with this list. Are you?