Hardball Retrospective – The “Original” 1992 Milwaukee Brewers

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.

Terminology 

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

Assessment

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. 

LINEUP POS WAR WS
Pat Listach SS 4.67 22.88
Darryl Hamilton RF 3.55 18.71
Paul Molitor DH 4.87 28.44
Gary Sheffield 3B 5.92 32.28
Robin Yount CF 2.29 19.45
Greg Vaughn LF 1.7 14.43
B. J. Surhoff C 1.58 13.54
John Jaha 1B 0.31 2.63
Jim Gantner 2B -0.24 4.96
BENCH POS WAR WS
Mike Felder CF 0.93 10.14
Dion James RF 0.45 4.29
Glenn Braggs LF 0.31 6.9
Dave Nilsson C 0.27 5.19
Kevin Bass LF 0.26 10.84
Dale Sveum SS 0.08 3.61
Bill Spiers SS 0.05 0.58
Ernie Riles SS 0.03 1.34
Russ McGinnis C -0.11 0.71
Bert Heffernan C -0.15 0.06
Randy Ready DH -0.21 2.92
Tim McIntosh C -0.66 0.62

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.

ROTATION POS WAR WS
Bill Wegman SP 3.73 15.72
Jaime Navarro SP 3.47 15.6
Chris Bosio SP 2.41 13.26
Cal Eldred SP 3.76 11.58
Mike Birkbeck SP -0.3 0
BULLPEN POS WAR WS
Doug Jones RP 2.6 17.59
Dan Plesac RP 0.92 5.9
Jeff Parrett RP 0.91 8.43
Frank DiPino RP 0.31 1.29
Brian Drahman RP 0 0.58
Doug Henry RP -0.71 5.72
Tim Crews RP -1.11 0.05
Chuck Crim RP -1.52 2.41

 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

Honorable Mention

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.

On Deck

The “Original” 1999 Rangers

References and Resources 

Baseball America – Executive Database

Baseball-Reference

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.

Retrosheet – Transactions Database – Transaction a – Executive 

Seamheads – Baseball Gauge

Sean Lahman Baseball Archive



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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.

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