In “Hardball Retrospective: Evaluating Scouting and Development Outcomes for the Modern-Era Franchises”, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original team. Accordingly, Ken Griffey, Jr. is listed on the Mariners roster for the duration of his career while the Marlins claim Miguel Cabrera and the Nationals declare Vladimir Guerrero. I calculated revised standings for every season based entirely on the performance of each team’s “original” players. I discuss every team’s “original” players and seasons at length along with organizational performance with respect to the Amateur Draft (or First-Year Player Draft), amateur free agent signings and other methods of player acquisition. Season standings, WAR and Win Shares totals for the “original” teams are compared against the “actual” team results to assess each franchise’s scouting, development and general management skills.
Expanding on my research for the book, the following series of articles will reveal the finest single-season rosters for every Major League organization based on overall rankings in OWAR and OWS along with the general managers and scouting directors that constructed the teams. “Hardball Retrospective” is available in digital format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes and KoboBooks. Additional information and a discussion forum are available at TuataraSoftware.com.
OWAR – Wins Above Replacement for players on “original” teams
OWS – Win Shares for players on “original” teams
OPW% – Pythagorean Won-Loss record for the “original” teams
The 1992 Milwaukee Brewers OWAR: 48.2 OWS: 290 OPW%: .587
GM Harry Dalton acquired 85% (29 of 34) of the ballplayers on the 1992 Brewers roster. All of the team members were selected during the Amateur Draft with the exception of Frank DiPino and Dave Nilsson (signed as amateur free agents). Based on the revised standings the “Original” 1992 Brewers finished eight games ahead of the Yankees and secured the American League pennant.
Gary Sheffield (.330/33/100) paced the Brew Crew with 32 Win Shares, collected the batting crown and placed third in the MVP race. Paul “The Ignitor” Molitor nabbed 31 bags, drilled 36 doubles and delivered a .320 BA. Fleet-footed shortstop Pat Listach earned Rookie of the Year honors, swiping 54 bases and scoring 93 runs while batting .290 from the leadoff spot. Center fielder Robin Yount slashed 40 two-base hits in his penultimate campaign. Darryl Hamilton contributed a personal-best 41 stolen bases and posted a .298 BA.
Yount placed fourth behind Honus Wagner, Arky Vaughan and Cal Ripken Jr. in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” for the best shortstop of All-Time. Molitor (3B – 8th), Greg Vaughn (LF – 68th) and B.J. Surhoff (LF – 97th) finished in the top 100 at their respective positions.
|B. J. Surhoff||C||1.58||13.54|
Bill Wegman compiled a 1.169 WHIP while supporting a workload of 261.2 innings. Jaime Navarro topped the pitching staff with 17 victories and an ERA of 3.33. Chris Bosio (16-6, 3.62) fashioned a 1.154 WHIP. Rookie right-hander Cal Eldred notched an 11-2 record with a 1.79 ERA and a 0.987 WHIP subsequent to a promotion from the Minor Leagues in mid-July.
Doug Jones (11-8, 1.85) rebounded from an off-year in ’91, posting 36 saves and leading the AL with 70 games finished in 80 relief appearances. Jeff Parrett (9-1, 3.02) and Dan Plesac (5-4, 3.68) held opponents at bay.
The “Original” 1992 Milwaukee Brewers roster
|NAME||POS||WAR||WS||General Manager||Scouting Director|
|Gary Sheffield||3B||5.92||32.28||Harry Dalton||Dan Duquette|
|Paul Molitor||DH||4.87||28.44||Jim Baumer||Dee Fondy / Al Widmar|
|Pat Listach||SS||4.67||22.88||Harry Dalton||Dick Foster|
|Cal Eldred||SP||3.76||11.58||Harry Dalton||Dick Foster|
|Bill Wegman||SP||3.73||15.72||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
|Darryl Hamilton||RF||3.55||18.71||Harry Dalton||Dan Duquette|
|Jaime Navarro||SP||3.47||15.6||Harry Dalton||Dan Duquette|
|Doug Jones||RP||2.6||17.59||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
|Chris Bosio||SP||2.41||13.26||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
|Robin Yount||CF||2.29||19.45||Jim Wilson||Jim Baumer|
|Greg Vaughn||LF||1.7||14.43||Harry Dalton||Dan Duquette|
|B. J. Surhoff||C||1.58||13.54||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
|Mike Felder||CF||0.93||10.14||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
|Dan Plesac||RP||0.92||5.9||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
|Jeff Parrett||RP||0.91||8.43||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
|Dion James||RF||0.45||4.29||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
|Frank DiPino||RP||0.31||1.29||Jim Baumer||Dee Fondy / Al Widmar|
|Glenn Braggs||LF||0.31||6.9||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
|John Jaha||1B||0.31||2.63||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
|Dave Nilsson||C||0.27||5.19||Harry Dalton||Dan Duquette|
|Kevin Bass||LF||0.26||10.84||Jim Baumer||Dee Fondy / Al Widmar|
|Dale Sveum||SS||0.08||3.61||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
|Bill Spiers||SS||0.05||0.58||Harry Dalton||Dan Duquette|
|Ernie Riles||SS||0.03||1.34||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
|Brian Drahman||RP||0||0.58||Harry Dalton||Dan Duquette|
|Russ McGinnis||C||-0.11||0.71||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
|Bert Heffernan||C||-0.15||0.06||Harry Dalton||Dick Foster|
|Randy Ready||DH||-0.21||2.92||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
|Jim Gantner||2B||-0.24||4.96||Jim Wilson||Jim Baumer|
|Mike Birkbeck||SP||-0.3||0||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
|Tim McIntosh||C||-0.66||0.62||Harry Dalton||Dan Duquette|
|Doug Henry||RP||-0.71||5.72||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
|Tim Crews||RP||-1.11||0.05||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
|Chuck Crim||RP||-1.52||2.41||Harry Dalton||Ray Poitevint|
The “Original” 1987 Brewers OWAR: 46.1 OWS: 258 OPW%: .555
Milwaukee rallied to a 90-72 record and finished seven games ahead of Detroit to achieve its first pennant. Paul Molitor (.353/16/75) sparked the Brewers’ offense with a League-leading 41 doubles and 114 runs scored. He pilfered 45 stolen bases and placed fifth in the A.L. MVP balloting. Teddy Higuera whiffed 240 batsmen and registered an 18-10 mark in the course of a four-year run in which he averaged 17 wins, a 3.25 ERA and 192 strikeouts per season. Robin Yount (.312/21/103) tallied 99 runs and 198 base knocks.
The “Original” 1999 Rangers
References and Resources
James, Bill. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. New York, NY.: The Free Press, 2001. Print.
James, Bill, with Jim Henzler. Win Shares. Morton Grove, Ill.: STATS, 2002. Print.
Derek Bain is a New Jersey native with a passion for baseball, statistics, computers and video games. He has written a number of articles for Fangraphs and Seamheads, and enjoys spending quality time with his family.