This True Team idea is based off of a Twitter conversation with Jason Wojciechowski about True Teams. This past season, Grant Green - a prospect in the Oakland Athletics organization - was moved from shortstop to center field because his defense wasn't good enough. However, Billy Beane told Green that the purpose of this move was that Cliff Pennington was blocking him at short. I snarkily replied that "Cliff Pennington is a True Athletic. Can't move him from short."
We often hear about a player being a True Yankee, but what about the rest of the teams? I'll run through each team in alphabetical order.
Many of the players on these teams will be current players, just because they haven't had the opportunity to go elsewhere just yet. The average amount of current players per team is nine.
Here are the links to the previous posts in this series:
Angels | Astros | Athletics | Blue Jays | Braves | Brewers | Cardinals | Cubs | Diamondbacks | Dodgers | Giants | Indians | Mariners | Marlins | Mets | Nationals (Expos) | Orioles | Padres | Phillies | Pirates | Rangers | Rays | Red Sox | Reds
1. The player must have played for the team in question for their entire career, as found by the "C" column in the Franchise Encyclopedia on baseball-reference. The reason for this is simply to make the data gathering process as simple as possible. Unfortunately, this strict rule leads to the omissions of players such as Willie Mays and Hanley Ramirez.
2. Players are ranked based on fWAR for batters and rWAR for pitchers (this is based on the relative ability to gain these values. Plus, pitcher WAR is not available on Fangraphs as far back as it is on baseball-reference.)
3. Pitchers are defined as starting pitchers if they have started more than 60% their career appearances.
4. For hitters, the position they play on the All-True Team may not have been their main position in real life, but they must have played there at some point in their career.
5. If two players are similar in overall WAR, their length of career will be the deciding factor as to which one makes the team.
6. A 25-man roster will be chosen for each team. This includes a starting player for each defensive position, five starting pitchers, five relief pitchers and seven bench players. These bench players will be the seven best remaining players.
7. A Mr. Team may be chosen if their career WAR is greater than 30% of the total All-Team WAR. There will be nine Mr. Teams chosen.
|BENCH (OF)||Jorge Piedra||0.7|
|BENCH (C)||JD Closser||0.5|
|BENCH (C)||Jayhawk Owens||0.3|
|BENCH (2B)||Eddy Garabito||0.2|
|BENCH (OF)||Derrick Gibson||0.2|
|BENCH (RP)||Ryan Speier||0.8|
|BENCH (RP)||Matt Daley||0.4|
Team Established: 1993
Total Team WAR: 139.8
Total WAR Rank: 23/30 teams
Mr. Rockie: Todd Helton, with 44% of the total team WAR. This is the second largest amount behind Tony Gwynn.
Team MVP: Todd Helton, 61.4 WAR.
Number of Active Players: 16. This is the seven more than the average for all true teams and is tied with the largest amount of active players in this series.
Free Agent: Aaron Cook. Cook's option was declined by the Rockies and the Pirates have shown interest in him. He would be replaced by Mike Saipe, -0.3 career WAR.
Players That Just Missed (90% of Career on Team): Garrett Atkins (95% of PA, 9.2 WAR in COL), Brad Hawpe (92% of PA, 5.3 WAR in COL), Ubaldo Jimenez (93% of IP, 17.5 WAR in COL)
Chris Iannetta was originally the starting catcher on this team, but he was traded to the Angels this offseason.
The Rockies are yet another of the recently established teams who rely on the strength of the active players for the organization. Helton and Tulowitzki help their cause, but the team still ranks only 7th out of the 14 newer teams.
There won't be many conclusions drawn here, but feel free to discuss this team in the comments. Anyone I missed, any surprises, any memories of specific players?
Read about the Rockies on SBNation at Purple Row!
Follow me on Twitter at Steal of Home!