Hardball Retrospective – The “Original” 1999 Texas Rangers

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. Therefore, Fergie Jenkins is listed on the Phillies roster for the duration of his career while the Pirates claim Barry Bonds and the Rays declare Carl Crawford. 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. The print edition is coming soon. 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 1999 Texas Rangers         OWAR: 50.4     OWS: 284     OPW%: .512

GM Tom Grieve acquired 79% (38 of 48) of the ballplayers on the 1999 Rangers roster. 38 of the 48 team members were selected through the Amateur Draft process. Based on the revised standings the “Original” 1999 Rangers placed six games behind the Mariners in the American League Western Division race. Texas (83-79) claimed the Wild Card by a one-game margin over Chicago and Kansas City.

Perennial All-Star backstop Ivan Rodriguez enhanced his trophy case with the 1999 A.L. MVP award. “Pudge” produced a .332 BA while notching career-bests in home runs (35), RBI (113), runs scored (116), base hits (199) and stolen bases (25). Rodriguez collected 13 Gold Glove Awards including 10 in consecutive seasons (1992-2001). “Slammin’” Sammy Sosa launched 63 moon-shots, drove in 141 baserunners and registered 114 tallies. Juan “Igor” Gonzalez belted 39 round-trippers, knocked in 128 runs and delivered a .328 BA after an MVP season in the previous campaign.

Fernando Tatis (.298/34/107) enjoyed a career year over at the hot corner, scoring 104 runs and swiping 21 bags. Rusty Greer clubbed 41 doubles, 20 big-flies and plated 101 baserunners while eclipsing the .300 mark for the fourth successive season. Rich Aurilia (.281/22/80) and Mike Stanley (.281/19/72) supplied additional thump towards the bottom of the lineup. Warren Morris parlayed a .288 BA and 15 long balls into a third-place finish in the Rookie of the Year balloting.

Rodriguez slots into 13th place in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” among backstops. He certainly elevated his ranking after playing ten additional years following the publication of NBJHBA in 2001. Right fielders Sosa and Gonzalez are listed in 45th and 52th place, respectively.

LINEUP POS WAR WS
Warren Morris 2B 1.71 15.4
Ivan Rodriguez C 5.22 28.63
Fernando Tatis 3B 5.05 23.74
Sammy Sosa RF 4.98 26.64
Juan Gonzalez DH/RF 2.88 24.42
Rich Aurilia SS 3.06 18.11
Rusty Greer LF 2.32 21.03
Mike Stanley 1B 1.82 13.67
Terrell Lowery CF -0.17 3.21
BENCH POS WAR WS
Rey Sanchez SS 2.59 11.29
Jose Hernandez SS 2.3 16.33
Dean Palmer 3B 1.04 16.71
Hanley Frias SS 0.22 4.42
Edwin Diaz 2B 0.17 0.62
Kevin L. Brown C 0.12 0.58
Jon Shave SS 0.09 1.98
Bill Haselman C -0.04 3.84
Jeff Frye 2B -0.13 2.35
Ruben Mateo CF -0.26 1.9
Kelly Dransfeldt SS -0.26 0.8
Chad Kreuter C -0.58 3.51

Kevin J. Brown, the undisputed ace of the Texas rotation, compiled a record of 18-9 with a 3.00 ERA, 1.066 WHIP and 221 strikeouts. The balance of the starting staff submitted sub-par efforts in contrast to their career norms. Jeff Zimmerman (9-3, 2.36) fashioned a 0.833 WHIP and received an invitation to the Mid-Summer Classic during his rookie campaign.

ROTATION POS WAR WS
Kevin J. Brown SP 5.54 19.92
Darren Oliver SP 3.94 12.45
Rick Helling SP 3.78 12.52
Kenny Rogers SP 2.97 11.57
Wilson Alvarez SP 1.89 9.95
BULLPEN POS WAR WS
Jeff Zimmerman RP 3.67 14.64
Mike Venafro RP 1.19 7.36
Mark Petkovsek RP 0.84 9.49
Terry Mathews RP 0.31 2.54
Danny Kolb RP 0.13 1.9
Brian Bohanon SP 1.63 9.68
Ryan Dempster SP 1.45 6.98
Jim Brower SP 0.42 1.87
Robb Nen RP 0.07 7.89
Danny Patterson RP -0.08 2.64
Mike Cather RP -0.17 0
Corey Lee RP -0.2 0
Jonathan Johnson RP -0.26 0
Bobby Witt SP -0.28 4.52
Billy Taylor RP -0.3 5.54
Dan Smith SP -0.34 1.73
Tony Fossas RP -0.39 0
Ryan Glynn SP -0.42 0
Scott Eyre RP -0.66 0
Doug Davis RP -0.66 0
Julio Santana SP -1 0.17
Matt Whiteside RP -1.1 0

The “Original” 1999 Texas Rangers roster

NAME POS WAR WS General Manager Scouting Director
Kevin Brown SP 5.54 19.92 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Ivan Rodriguez C 5.22 28.63 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Fernando Tatis 3B 5.05 23.74 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Sammy Sosa RF 4.98 26.64 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Darren Oliver SP 3.94 12.45 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Rick Helling SP 3.78 12.52 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Jeff Zimmerman RP 3.67 14.64 Doug Melvin Chuck McMichael
Rich Aurilia SS 3.06 18.11 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Kenny Rogers SP 2.97 11.57 Eddie Robinson Joe Klein
Juan Gonzalez RF 2.88 24.42 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Rey Sanchez SS 2.59 11.29 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Rusty Greer LF 2.32 21.03 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Jose Hernandez SS 2.3 16.33 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Wilson Alvarez SP 1.89 9.95 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Mike Stanley 1B 1.82 13.67 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Warren Morris 2B 1.71 15.4 Doug Melvin
Brian Bohanon SP 1.63 9.68 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Ryan Dempster SP 1.45 6.98 Doug Melvin Sandy Johnson
Mike Venafro RP 1.19 7.36 Doug Melvin Sandy Johnson
Dean Palmer 3B 1.04 16.71 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Mark Petkovsek RP 0.84 9.49 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Jim Brower SP 0.42 1.87 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Terry Mathews RP 0.31 2.54 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Hanley Frias SS 0.22 4.42 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Edwin Diaz 2B 0.17 0.62 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Danny Kolb RP 0.13 1.9 Doug Melvin Sandy Johnson
Kevin Brown C 0.12 0.58 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Jon Shave SS 0.09 1.98 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Robb Nen RP 0.07 7.89 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Bill Haselman C -0.04 3.84 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Danny Patterson RP -0.08 2.64 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Jeff Frye 2B -0.13 2.35 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Terrell Lowery CF -0.17 3.21 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Mike Cather RP -0.17 0 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Corey Lee RP -0.2 0 Doug Melvin
Ruben Mateo CF -0.26 1.9 Doug Melvin Sandy Johnson
Jonathan Johnson RP -0.26 0 Doug Melvin Sandy Johnson
Kelly Dransfeldt SS -0.26 0.8 Doug Melvin
Bobby Witt SP -0.28 4.52 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Billy Taylor RP -0.3 5.54 Eddie Robinson
Dan Smith SP -0.34 1.73 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Tony Fossas RP -0.39 0 Eddie Robinson
Ryan Glynn SP -0.42 0 Doug Melvin Sandy Johnson
Chad Kreuter C -0.58 3.51 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Scott Eyre RP -0.66 0 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Doug Davis RP -0.66 0 Doug Melvin
Julio Santana SP -1 0.17 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson
Matt Whiteside RP -1.1 0 Tom Grieve Sandy Johnson

Honorable Mention

The “Original” 2001 Rangers              OWAR: 48.4     OWS: 278     OPW%: .513

Sosa shredded opposition pitching to the tune of a .328 BA while launching 64 moon-shots, registering 160 RBI and scoring a League-best 146 runs. Aurilia delivered career-bests with a .324 BA, 37 dingers, 97 ribbies and 114 tallies as he topped the circuit with 206 safeties. Gonzalez swatted 35 big-flies and knocked in 140 baserunners. Zimmerman notched 28 saves and Brown furnished a 2.65 ERA in 19 starts.

On Deck

The “Original” 1924 Senators

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

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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