Sports

It's Time For By The Numbers

With yet another baseball season upon us, it’s time for another summer of By the Numbers columns. We kick this season off with a stat that I totally made up.

Not that it’s terribly creative, but I was wondering which players were the best values for the money last season. The answer could be found by taking Wins Above Replacement and dividing by salary. Here are the top 10 position players and top 10 pitchers for each league in terms of Value On the Dollar:

NATIONAL LEAGUE PITCHERS

1, Clayton Kershaw; 2, Ian Kennedy; 3, Jhoulys Chacin; 4, Jonny Venters; 5, Tyler Clippard; 6, Craig Kimbrel; 7, Jordan Zimmermann; 8, Madison Baumgarner; 9, Daniel Hudson; 10, John Axford.

NATIONAL LEAGUE POSITION PLAYERS

1, Giancarlo Stanton; 2, Pablo Sandoval; 3, Andrew McCutchen; 4, Ryan Roberts; 5, Nick Hundley; 6, Allen Craig; 7, Cameron Maybin; 8, Gaby Sanchez; 9, Drew Stubbs; 10, John Mayberry.

AMERICAN LEAGUE PITCHERS

1, Doug Fister; 2, Gio Gonzalez; 3, Jeremy Hellickson; 4, Matt Harrison; 5, Justin Masterson; 6, David Robertson; 7, Ivan Nova; 8, Alexi Ogando; 9, Trevor Cahill; 10, Michael Pineda (yes, one year ago the Mariners had two of these guys, and now they have none).

AMERICAN LEAGUE POSITION PLAYERS

1, Alex Avila; 2, Peter Bourjos; 3, Carlos Santana; 4, Matt Wieters; 5, Brett Gardner; 6, Elvis Andrus; 7, Matthew Joyce; 8, Sean Rodriguez; 9, Austin Jackson; 10, Michael Brantley.

Obviously, these are young players who aren’t making big money yet. But as I explain in the column, as you examine the list you can learn a lot about the depth of a franchise and its ability to effectively plug holes or develop young talent.

For example, among AL position players last year, the Mariners had two of the top 72 players in terms of VOD. But that probably comes as no surprise.

As far as teams go, the Rays got the most bang for their buck, winning 91 games with a payroll of $41 million. The Yankees had the worst ratio despite their 97 wins, because their payroll was $30 million higher than any other team. The Mariners, with 67 wins and a payroll of $86.5 million, had the 21st best ratio in the majors.