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. Consequently, Hank Aaron is listed on the Braves roster for the duration of his career while the Blue Jays claim Carlos Delgado and the Brewers declare Paul Molitor. 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 2012 Tampa Bay Rays OWAR: 46.4 OWS: 254 OPW%: .607
GM Chuck Lamar acquired 77.7% (21 of 27) of the ballplayers on the 2012 Rays roster. With the exception of Elliot Johnson and Jose Veras all of the players were selected during the Amateur Draft. Based on the revised standings the “Original” 2012 Rays registered 98 victories and secured the American League Eastern division title by a 16-game margin over the New York Yankees.
David Price (20-5, 2.56) collected the 2012 AL Cy Young Award for his superlative campaign in which he topped the Junior Circuit in victories and ERA while striking out 205 batters. “Big Game” James Shields (15-10, 3.52) tallied 223 whiffs and fashioned a 1.168 WHIP. Jeremy Hellickson (10-11, 3.10) provided a reliable effort in his sophomore season and added a Gold Glove Award to his trophy case. Jason Hammel (8-6, 3.43) and Matt Moore (11-11, 3.81) stabilized the back-end of the rotation.
Jake McGee led the bullpen crew with a 1.95 ERA and a WHIP of 0.795. Wade Davis contributed an ERA of 2.43 in 54 relief appearances after starting 64 contests in the three prior campaigns.
Josh Hamilton blasted 43 round-trippers and scored 103 runs (both career-bests) en route to a fifth-place finish in the 2012 A.L. MVP balloting. B.J. Upton and protégé Desmond Jennings nabbed 31 bags apiece at the top of the order. Upton established a personal best with 28 circuit clouts. Evan Longoria batted .289 with 17 jacks despite missing 88 games due to a partially torn hamstring. John Jaso delivered a career-high .394 OBP and Jonny “Ironsides” Gomes swatted 18 big-flies.
|B. J. Upton||CF||2.56||19.64|
The “Original” 2012 Tampa Bay Rays roster
|NAME||POS||WAR||WS||General Manager||Scouting Director|
|David Price||SP||6.4||19.12||Andrew Friedman||R.J. Harrison|
|Josh Hamilton||CF||4.39||25.5||Chuck LaMar||Dan Jennings|
|Jeremy Hellickson||SP||3.57||11.21||Chuck LaMar||Tim Wilken|
|James Shields||SP||2.85||12.33||Chuck LaMar||Dan Jennings|
|John Jaso||DH||2.83||15.96||Chuck LaMar|
|Jason Hammel||SP||2.82||9.74||Chuck LaMar||Dan Jennings|
|B. J. Upton||CF||2.56||19.64||Chuck LaMar||Dan Jennings|
|Evan Longoria||3B||2.39||11.12||Andrew Friedman||R.J. Harrison|
|Jonny Gomes||DH||2.05||13.04||Chuck LaMar||Dan Jennings|
|Matt Moore||SP||1.76||8.07||Andrew Friedman||R.J. Harrison|
|Desmond Jennings||LF||1.62||15.18||Andrew Friedman||R.J. Harrison|
|Alex Cobb||SP||1.14||6.18||Andrew Friedman||R.J. Harrison|
|Jake McGee||RP||1.09||7.5||Chuck LaMar||Cam Bonifay|
|Elliot Johnson||SS||1.02||8.62||Chuck LaMar||Dan Jennings|
|Wade Davis||RP||0.9||6.43||Chuck LaMar||Cam Bonifay|
|Jose Veras||RP||0.75||5.01||Chuck LaMar||Dan Jennings|
|Jeff Niemann||SP||0.5||2.07||Chuck LaMar||Cam Bonifay|
|Carl Crawford||LF||0.46||3.19||Chuck LaMar||Dan Jennings|
|Chris Seddon||SW||0.37||1.97||Chuck LaMar||Dan Jennings|
|Jason Pridie||RF||0.1||0.5||Chuck LaMar||Dan Jennings|
|Aubrey Huff||1B||0.07||1.14||Chuck LaMar||Dan Jennings|
|Reid Brignac||SS||-0.19||0.52||Chuck LaMar||Cam Bonifay|
|Matt Diaz||LF||-0.25||1.61||Chuck LaMar||Dan Jennings|
|Stephen Vogt||C||-0.35||0.16||Andrew Friedman||R.J. Harrison|
|Chad Gaudin||RP||-0.46||2.68||Chuck LaMar||Dan Jennings|
|Dan Wheeler||RP||-0.68||0||Chuck LaMar|
|Delmon Young||DH||-1.37||6.95||Chuck LaMar|
The “Original” 2008 Rays OWAR: 39.4 OWS: 276 OPW%: .528
Five members of the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays accrued at least 20 Win Shares including Josh Hamilton, B.J. Upton, Aubrey Huff, Evan Longoria and Akinori Iwamura. Hamilton hit .304 with 32 jacks and a League-leading 130 RBI. “Huff Daddy” launched 32 four-baggers and knocked in 108 baserunners. Longoria (.272/27/85) claimed Rookie of the Year honors and Upton swiped 44 bases.
The “Original” 2009 Rockies
References and Resources
James, Bill, with Jim Henzler. Win Shares. Morton Grove, Ill.: STATS, 2002. Print.
SB Nation – “Evan Longoria injury – 2012 return in question”
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.