Yesterday, I looked at the idea of Dynasty Points, essentially mapping out team achievements in a point scheme to answer the question of “prolific-ness” for a franchise. I took that a little further for 21st century teams. I added 1 point for any playoff appearance, 1 point for an MVP, and 1 point for a Cy Young. Here’s the rationale behind that.
One would think that giving individual awards credit towards team achievements is unnecessary, as one commenter told me, but I think it’s very much part of that team’s prolific-ness. Part of being prolific doesn’t just mean championships, but that people turned the turnstile for individual feats. We’ll get to what I mean in a second.
Here is the chart in question:
21st Century Dynasty Points
As to be expected, the Red Sox now lead the pack, and that has yet to include Mookie Betts’ MVP season. Second is the San Francisco Giants and here’s why, and this gets back to individual feats. If the century ended today, what two things would you remember about the Giants? It’s Even Year championships, and Barry Bonds.
One individual MVP point is more like a tiebreaker for even appearances between teams, but a game-changing player like Bonds has the prolific-ness effect of a championship; Bonds was fundamentally so much better than the average ballplayer that he impacted how well-known or well-attended the Giants were in that period of time. Even if the early live ball era Yankees didn’t win any championships, Babe Ruth still would have contributed to the lore.
Trailing only slightly are the New York Yankees, and I think if we’re regressing to some mean, projections for the full century would likely have them projected to finish first, both for their proximity to first place and their market and revenue. They have yet to flex their financial muscle in the last half decade, but that could change in a couple of months. They also lead the pack in terms of playoff appearances; which, while not as valuable, shows a level of consistency that no other franchise has this century. Even the Boston had a couple of last place finishes sprinkled in there, while New York has a winning record dating back to 1992.
The Cardinals are the NL favorite, not because of any financial advantage, but because of just superior “process,” scouting, and player development. Some of that is pure luck, like the 2006 squad squeaking through and winning it all, but a lot of that is turning non-prospects into stars out of thin air, best evidenced this century by emerging from the loss of prime Albert Pujols nearly unscathed.
Beyond that, the field is nearly wide open. The Astros are tied with the Dodgers, and while they have an edge on most franchises in terms of analytics, they have yet to flex any financial muscle or showed that they can compete across multiple cores, like Boston and New York have shown. The Dodgers have both the analytics and the cash, so I think they are the favorites for NL team of the century, despite their World Series drought.
Well, there you have it. I’ll be continuing to make modifications to this, I’ll also go back and micro-segment the 20th century as well to show the trends over time. Let me know what you think and what changes should be made, and I hope to roll out some more analysis on this further into the winter.