Hardball Retrospective – The “Original” 2002 Toronto Blue Jays

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, Jim Edmonds is listed on the Angels roster for the duration of his career while the Astros declare Rusty Staub and the Athletics claim Lefty Grove. 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. Additional information and 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 2002 Toronto Blue Jays         OWAR: 51.4     OWS: 312     OPW%: .572

GM Pat Gillick acquired 65% (35/54) of the ballplayers on the 2002 Blue Jays roster. 43 team members were drafted by the club. Based on the revised standings the “Original” 2002 Blue Jays captured the American League Eastern Division title by nine games over the New York Yankees and topped the Junior Circuit in OWAR and OWS.

The middle of the Blue Jays’ batting order was stacked. Shawn Green (.285/42/114) scored 110 runs and placed fifth in the MVP balloting. Jeff Kent (.313/37/108) laced 42 doubles and recorded a career-best in home runs. Carlos Delgado tallied 103 runs scored and blasted 33 round-trippers in the midst of a ten-year streak with at least 30 home runs per season (1997-2006). John Olerud (.300/22/102) rapped 39 two-base knocks and garnered his second Gold Glove Award. Shannon Stewart contributed a .303 BA and registered 103 tallies from the leadoff spot. Alex S. Gonzalez slashed 27 doubles and clubbed 18 circuit clouts while fellow shortstop Chris Woodward batted .276 with 13 dingers. Vernon Wells produced a .275 BA with 23 four-baggers and 100 ribbies.

Kent placed 48th at the keystone position in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” and Olerud ranked 53rd among first sackers.

LINEUP POS WAR WS
Shannon Stewart LF 2.37 18.47
Alex Gonzalez SS 2.78 14.36
Shawn Green RF 6.18 32.07
Jeff Kent 2B 6.04 29.93
Carlos Delgado DH/1B 4.76 25.97
John Olerud 1B 4.64 25.92
Vernon Wells CF 0.83 16.7
Greg Myers C 0.57 5.57
Chris Stynes 3B -0.02 3.46
BENCH POS WAR WS
Chris Woodward SS 2.17 11.74
Josh Phelps DH 1.46 9.8
Orlando Hudson 2B 1.17 5.89
Craig Wilson RF 0.95 10.78
Jay Gibbons RF 0.59 11.97
Ryan Thompson LF 0.14 2.84
Felipe Lopez SS 0.08 5.8
Pat Borders DH 0.06 0.36
Abraham Nunez 2B 0.04 4.88
Casey Blake 3B -0.11 0.11
Kevin Cash C -0.14 0.08
Mike Coolbaugh 3B -0.17 0.16
Brent Abernathy 2B -0.44 4.99
Michael Young 2B -0.63 10.72
Cesar Izturis SS -0.68 3.77
Joe Lawrence 2B -0.83 1.48

Roy “Doc” Halladay (19-7, 2.93) led the American League with 239.1 innings pitched and merited the first of eight All-Star invitations. David “Boomer” Wells equaled Halladay’s win-loss record. Billy Koch amassed 11 victories and saved 44 contests while Jose Mesa closed out 45 games with a 2.97 ERA. Steve Karsay (3.26, 12 SV) and Ben Weber (2.54, 7 SV) provided solid relief in the late innings.

ROTATION POS WAR WS
Roy Halladay SP 6.74 21.67
David Wells SP 3.99 14.79
Woody Williams SP 3.2 9.65
Mark Hendrickson SP 1.23 4.01
Chris Carpenter SP 0.41 2.73
BULLPEN POS WAR WS
Steve Karsay RP 2.01 11
Billy Koch RP 1.44 18.37
Ben Weber RP 1.33 10.48
Jose Mesa RP 1.28 12.4
David Weathers RP 1.02 6.68
Mike Timlin RP 1 8.04
Giovanni Carrara RP 0.62 6.77
Kelvim Escobar RP 0.53 9.14
Carlos Almanzar SW 0.24 0.94
Jim Mann RP 0.18 1.02
Jose Silva RP 0.11 1.38
Brian Bowles RP 0.04 1.37
Gary Glover SP 0.03 4.54
Mark Lukasiewicz RP 0 1.17
Aaron Small RP -0.08 0
Pasqual Coco RP -0.13 0
Tom Davey RP -0.36 0.17
Todd Stottlemyre SP -0.38 0
Scott Cassidy RP -0.43 1.67
Mike Smith SP -0.45 0
Bob File RP -0.47 0
Graeme Lloyd RP -0.53 1.89
Pat Hentgen SP -0.54 0
Brandon Lyon SP -0.56 0

 The “Original” 2002 Toronto Blue Jays roster

NAME POS WAR WS General Manager Scouting Director
Roy Halladay SP 6.74 21.67 Gord Ash Bob Engle
Shawn Green RF 6.18 32.07 Pat Gillick Bob Engle
Jeff Kent 2B 6.04 29.93 Pat Gillick
Carlos Delgado 1B 4.76 25.97 Pat Gillick
John Olerud 1B 4.64 25.92 Pat Gillick
David Wells SP 3.99 14.79 Pat Gillick
Woody Williams SP 3.2 9.65 Pat Gillick
Alex Gonzalez SS 2.78 14.36 Pat Gillick Bob Engle
Shannon Stewart LF 2.37 18.47 Pat Gillick Bob Engle
Chris Woodward SS 2.17 11.74 Pat Gillick Bob Engle
Steve Karsay RP 2.01 11 Pat Gillick
Josh Phelps DH 1.46 9.8 Gord Ash Tim Wilken
Billy Koch RP 1.44 18.37 Gord Ash Tim Wilken
Ben Weber RP 1.33 10.48 Pat Gillick Bob Engle
Jose Mesa RP 1.28 12.4 Pat Gillick
Mark Hendrickson SP 1.23 4.01 Gord Ash Tim Wilken
Orlando Hudson 2B 1.17 5.89 Gord Ash Tim Wilken
David Weathers RP 1.02 6.68 Pat Gillick
Mike Timlin RP 1 8.04 Pat Gillick
Craig Wilson RF 0.95 10.78 Gord Ash Bob Engle
Vernon Wells CF 0.83 16.7 Gord Ash Tim Wilken
Giovanni Carrara RP 0.62 6.77 Pat Gillick
Jay Gibbons RF 0.59 11.97 Gord Ash Tim Wilken
Greg Myers C 0.57 5.57 Pat Gillick
Kelvim Escobar RP 0.53 9.14 Pat Gillick Bob Engle
Chris Carpenter SP 0.41 2.73 Pat Gillick Bob Engle
Carlos Almanzar SW 0.24 0.94 Pat Gillick
Jim Mann RP 0.18 1.02 Pat Gillick Bob Engle
Ryan Thompson LF 0.14 2.84 Pat Gillick
Jose Silva RP 0.11 1.38 Pat Gillick Bob Engle
Felipe Lopez SS 0.08 5.8 Gord Ash Tim Wilken
Pat Borders DH 0.06 0.36 Pat Gillick
Brian Bowles RP 0.04 1.37 Pat Gillick Bob Engle
Abraham Nunez 2B 0.04 4.88 Pat Gillick Bob Engle
Gary Glover SP 0.03 4.54 Pat Gillick Bob Engle
Mark Lukasiewicz RP 0 1.17 Pat Gillick Bob Engle
Chris Stynes 3B -0.02 3.46 Pat Gillick Bob Engle
Aaron Small RP -0.08 0 Pat Gillick
Casey Blake 3B -0.11 0.11 Gord Ash Tim Wilken
Pasqual Coco RP -0.13 0 Pat Gillick Bob Engle
Kevin Cash C -0.14 0.08 Gord Ash Tim Wilken
Mike Coolbaugh 3B -0.17 0.16 Pat Gillick
Tom Davey RP -0.36 0.17 Pat Gillick Bob Engle
Todd Stottlemyre SP -0.38 0 Pat Gillick
Scott Cassidy RP -0.43 1.67 Gord Ash Tim Wilken
Brent Abernathy 2B -0.44 4.99 Gord Ash Tim Wilken
Mike Smith SP -0.45 0 Gord Ash Tim Wilken
Bob File RP -0.47 0 Gord Ash Tim Wilken
Graeme Lloyd RP -0.53 1.89 Pat Gillick
Pat Hentgen SP -0.54 0 Pat Gillick
Brandon Lyon SP -0.56 0 Gord Ash Tim Wilken
Michael Young 2B -0.63 10.72 Gord Ash Tim Wilken
Cesar Izturis SS -0.68 3.77 Gord Ash Tim Wilken
Joe Lawrence 2B -0.83 1.48 Gord Ash Tim Wilken

Honorable Mention

The “Original” 2001 Blue Jays           OWAR: 51.5     OWS: 297     OPW%: .547

Toronto outpaced Boston to claim the A.L. East by a four-game margin. Shawn Green dialed long distance 49 times and plated 125 baserunners. John Olerud (.302/21/95) earned his second All-Star nod. Carlos Delgado launched 39 moon-shots and Jeff Kent drilled a career-high 49 two-baggers.

On Deck

The “Original” 1953 Braves

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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