Hardball Retrospective – The “Original” 2001 Seattle Mariners

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, Joe Torre is listed on the Braves roster for the duration of his career while the Brewers declare Darrell Porter and the Cardinals claim Keith Hernandez. 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 paperback edition is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and CreateSpace. Supplemental Statistics, Charts and Graphs along with a discussion forum are offered at TuataraSoftware.com.

Don Daglow (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, Earl Weaver Baseball, Tony LaRussa Baseball) contributed the foreword for Hardball Retrospective. The foreword and preview of my book are accessible here.

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 2001 Seattle Mariners          OWAR: 59.1     OWS: 326     OPW%: .567

Based on the revised standings the “Original” 2001 Mariners outpaced the Athletics, taking the American League pennant by four games. Seattle topped the circuit in OWS and OWAR. GM Woody Woodward acquired 32 of the 38 ballplayers (84%) on the M’s 2001 roster.

Ichiro Suzuki (.350/8/69) earned the 2001 American League MVP and Rookie of the Year Awards following a spectacular season. Suzuki topped the leader boards with 242 base knocks, 56 stolen bases and seized the batting crown. Bret Boone (.331/37/141) supplied career-highs in virtually every offensive category and placed third in the MVP race. Alex Rodriguez (.318/52/135) surpassed the 50-home run mark for the first time in his career and paced the League with 133 tallies. Edgar Martinez rapped 40 doubles and supplied a .306 BA with 23 jacks and 116 RBI. First-sacker Tino Martinez (.280/34/113) and Ken Griffey, Jr. (.286/22/65) provided additional thump while outfielder Jose Cruz Jr. posted a 30-30 campaign.

Ken Griffey, Jr. places seventh among center fielders according to Bill James in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.” Teammates listed in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include Rodriguez (17th-SS), Edgar Martinez (31st-3B) and Omar Vizquel (61st-SS). “A-Rod” only had five full seasons under his belt at the time which accounts for his low rating.

LINEUP POS WAR WS
Ichiro Suzuki RF 6.43 31.91
Bret Boone 2B 5.72 34.96
Alex Rodriguez SS 8.2 34.67
Edgar Martinez DH 4.83 25.22
Tino Martinez 1B 2.24 20.14
Ken Griffey, Jr. CF 1.94 12.8
Jose Cruz, Jr. LF/CF 1.83 18.14
Jason Varitek C 1.41 6.62
Desi Relaford 3B/2B 1.63 13.24
BENCH POS WAR WS
Raul Ibanez DH 0.66 7.05
David Ortiz DH 0.16 6.83
Jermaine Clark DH -0.01 0
Darren Bragg RF -0.07 1.2
Charles Gipson LF -0.23 1.01
Ramon Vazquez SS -0.23 0.32
Wilson Delgado SS -0.25 0.35
Omar Vizquel SS -0.49 12.72
Andy Sheets SS -0.6 1.73

Joe Mays deserved his lone All-Star nod, notching 17 victories with a 3.16 ERA. Mike Hampton accrued 14 wins while Joel Piñiero fashioned a 2.03 ERA in 11 starts. Kazuhiro Sasaki locked down 45 contests and Derek Lowe added 24 saves, forming a stout relief corps.

ROTATION POS WAR WS
Joe Mays SP 7.13 22.29
Mike Hampton SP 2.86 10.64
Joel Pineiro SP 2.12 7.28
Shawn Estes SP 1.66 7.72
Ron Villone SP -0.27 2.95
BULLPEN POS WAR WS
Derek Lowe RP 1.72 11.21
Kazuhiro Sasaki RP 0.96 11.84
Kerry Ligtenberg RP 0.63 5.04
Jim Mecir RP 0.6 5.68
Ryan Franklin RP 0.44 5.33
Matt Mantei RP 0.22 0.86
Brian Fuentes RP -0.06 0.52
Damaso Marte RP -0.12 1.36
Trey Moore RP -0.22 0.28
Leslie Brea RP -0.28 0
Roy Smith RP -0.5 0
Brett Hinchliffe SP -0.51 0
Denny Stark SP -0.56 0
Mac Suzuki SP -0.85 2.98
Dave Burba SP -0.99 2.27

The “Original” 2001 Seattle Mariners roster

NAME POS WAR WS General Manager Scouting Director
Alex Rodriguez SS 8.2 34.67 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Joe Mays SP 7.13 22.29 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Ichiro Suzuki RF 6.43 31.91 Pat Gillick Frank Mattox
Bret Boone 2B 5.72 34.96 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Edgar Martinez DH 4.83 25.22 Dan O’Brien
Mike Hampton SP 2.86 10.64 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Tino Martinez 1B 2.24 20.14 Dick Balderson Roger Jongewaard
Joel Pineiro SP 2.12 7.28 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Ken Griffey, Jr. CF 1.94 12.8 Dick Balderson Roger Jongewaard
Jose Cruz, Jr. CF 1.83 18.14 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Derek Lowe RP 1.72 11.21 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Shawn Estes SP 1.66 7.72 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Desi Relaford 2B 1.63 13.24 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Jason Varitek C 1.41 6.62 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Kazuhiro Sasaki RP 0.96 11.84 Woody Woodward Frank Mattox
Raul Ibanez DH 0.66 7.05 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Kerry Ligtenberg RP 0.63 5.04 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Jim Mecir RP 0.6 5.68 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Ryan Franklin RP 0.44 5.33 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Matt Mantei RP 0.22 0.86 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
David Ortiz DH 0.16 6.83 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Jermaine Clark DH -0.01 0 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Brian Fuentes RP -0.06 0.52 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Darren Bragg RF -0.07 1.2 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Damaso Marte RP -0.12 1.36 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Trey Moore RP -0.22 0.28 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Charles Gipson LF -0.23 1.01 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Ramon Vazquez SS -0.23 0.32 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Wilson Delgado SS -0.25 0.35 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Ron Villone SP -0.27 2.95 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Leslie Brea RP -0.28 0 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Omar Vizquel SS -0.49 12.72 Hal Keller
Roy Smith RP -0.5 0 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Brett Hinchliffe SP -0.51 0 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Denny Stark SP -0.56 0 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Andy Sheets SS -0.6 1.73 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Mac Suzuki SP -0.85 2.98 Woody Woodward Roger Jongewaard
Dave Burba SP -0.99 2.27 Dick Balderson Roger Jongewaard

Honorable Mention

The “Original” 2007 Mariners OWAR: 55.1     OWS: 317     OPW%: .591

Seattle obliterated the competition in the American League Western division by a 16-game margin, securing the pennant while tallying the highest OWS and OWAR scores in the Majors. Alex Rodriguez (.314/54/156) claimed his third A.L. MVP Award and paced the circuit in home runs, RBI, runs scored (143) and SLG (.645). Ichiro Suzuki delivered a .351 BA and topped the American League with 238 base hits. David Ortiz blasted 35 round-trippers and knocked in 117 baserunners. “Big Papi” registered 116 tallies and topped the charts with 111 bases on balls along with a .445 OBP.  Kenji Johjima whacked 29 doubles and batted .287 in his sophomore season. Raul Ibanez contributed a .291 BA with 35 two-base hits, 21 dingers and 105 ribbies. Ken Griffey Jr. dialed long distance 30 times and merited his thirteenth and final visit to the Midsummer Classic. J.J. Putz fashioned a 1.38 ERA, saved 40 contests and earned his lone All-Star appearance.

On Deck

The “Original” 1997 Red Sox

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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