Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Historical WAR Races

Perusing Fangraphs, I uncovered some interesting WAR races worth paying attention to over the next couple years.

Astros Catchers v. Jeff Bagwell

According to Fangraphs, Jeff Bagwell was worth 83.9 WAR over the course of his career. Astros (and Colt .45's) Catchers, from 1962-2012, have totaled 72.1. We've already looked at the challenges the Astros catcher position has had over the last 10 years, but there is some hope on the horizon. And, Bagwell is at least not currently padding his lead. Still 11+ WAR is a lot of ground to cover. Barring a sudden MVP level explosion from Jason Castro, this will take several years.

ETA -  2019 - After several good years from Jason Castro, Max Stassi takes over the position full time in 2016. Entering his age 28 season, Astros catchers find themselves less than 2 WAR behind Bagwell. Stassi, and occasional injury replacement and backup catcher Carlos Perez, blow by this, with all star level production. Astros catchers end the year with 4+ WAR, and never look back.

Astros Shortstops v. Craig Biggio

A similar story exists with Astros Shortstops and Craig Biggio. Biggio currently leads 50 years of Astros Shortstops 70.5 to 65.1. Astros County patron saint Dickie Thon has done his part, but after that, its pretty bleak. To put it in perspective, by fWAR, Jed Lowrie is the 10th best Astros shortstop of all time. But the current gap is only 5. And the shortstop cavalry is on its way. Expect this race to be over before the catcher position.

ETA - 2016 - No significant progress is made in 2013 and 2014, but a large chunk is taken out in 2015, as Nolan Fontana mans the position for a year and puts up a 2.5 WAR based on his .400+ on base percentage and fielding skills. Then, at the tender age of 21, Carlos Correa takes over and never lets go. He blows by the 2.5 mark necessary for the shortstops to pass Biggio in his rookie season, and starts to put some real distance in subsequent years. Its not long before Dickie Thon is forever known as the second greatest shortstop in Astros history.

I'd love to hear your predictions in the comments.

1 comment:

Bigbot said...

I can only hope what you say about Correa comes to be.