The 2016 All-WAR Team

The regular season is over. The playoffs are upon us. Award season will soon be rearing its head. Let’s take a very simple look at each position’s resident WAR leaders. All WAR data taken from FanGraphs.

1st Team
National League American League
C:  Buster Posey
1B: Freddie Freeman
2B: Daniel Murphy
3B: Kris Bryant
SS: Corey Seager
LF: Christian Yelich
CF: Dexter Fowler
RF: Bryce Harper
4.0
6.1
5.5
8.4
7.5
4.2
4.8
3.4
C:  Jonathan Lucroy
1B: Miguel Cabrera
2B: Jose Altuve
3B: Josh Donaldson
SS: Fransico Lindor
LF: Jose Ramirez
CF: Mike Trout
RF: Mookie Betts
4.6
4.9
6.6
7.6
6.3
4.6
9.4
7.7
TOTAL: 43.9
AVG: 5.5
TOTAL: 51.7
AVG: 6.5
2nd Team
National League American League
C:  Wilson Ramos
1B: Anthony Rizzo
2B: Jean Segura
3B: Justin Turner
SS: Brandon Crawford
LF: Starling Marte
CF: Charlie Blackmon
RF: Stephen Piscotty
3.5
5.1
5.0
5.6
5.6
4.0
4.1
2.7
C:  Salvador Perez
1B: Edwin Encarnacion
2B: Robinson Cano
3B: Manny Machado
SS: Carlos Correa
LF: Khris Davis
CF: Jackie Bradley Jr.
RF: Adam Eaton
2.2
3.8
6.0
6.4
4.9
2.6
4.9
6.0
TOTAL: 35.6
AVG: 4.5
TOTAL: 36.8
AVG: 4.6

I have excluded the DH as to keep both leagues’ data as similar as possible for comparison.

Interesting notes:

  • The AL has a much higher WAR overall and per player.
  • The top NL outfielders had a rough year with WAR. Not only do they total 12 WAR (2/player) less than the AL; outside of the C position, they are the lowest in the NL.
  • The NL players account for 79.5/285.5 WAR or 28% of the NL WAR total. While the AL accounts for 88.5/284, or around 31% of their total.

I find it particularly interesting that you only have to go two deep before finding players who didn’t manage a 3 WAR seeing as a 3 WAR is generally considered a solid MLB starter.

Players WAR 2016 (971)
WAR 7.0+ 6.0 5.0 4.0 3.0
# Players 5 13 23 47 62
% of League .5% 1.3% 2.4% 4.8% 6.4%

It’s not hard to see how truly exceptional the top players in the league are when compared to their peers across a 162-game season.

What sticks out most to you?



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YKnotDisco
Member
YKnotDisco

What I find interesting is, Gary Sanchez (and also 5 more catchers) accumulated more WAR playing for an AL team than Jonathan Lucroy did (3.1 vs 1.7). I do see Lucroy has the most combined WAR (4.6) at the C position between both leagues (2.9 NL + 1.7 AL) and needs to be recognized for this. Based on WAR he was the best C in the MLB. Just not in the NL or AL. I found the semantics(?) interesting.

YKnotDisco
Member
YKnotDisco

* The WAR totals include when they played other positions as well. Lucroy had 5.1 WAR while catching only. He lost .5 WAR combined when playing 1B, DH, and PH. Sanchez had 2.7 WAR while catching only. He gained .4 WAR when at DH. Posey is another example from playing at 1st. I wish the list reflected WAR when playing at the specific position only.

Michael Herring
Member
Member

Sanchez, Gattis, and Leon each accumulated more WAR than Perez.