WAR is just what it sounds like, and although there are many ways to figure it, I'm using Tom Tango's method for hitters and the Dodger Sims method for pitchers. You can click the links if you are interested in the dirty details, but the basic idea is to take the all the component player contributions, quantify them in terms of wins and then measure the difference versus an entirely replacement-level team.
I'm using Bill James's projections from Fangraphs for offense and pitching for most players and Marcel for players James doesn't project. The Tango method is built around the composite offensive stat wOBA, which without getting into the nitty-gritty is basically a measure of overall offensive performance adjusted to look like OBP.
For defensive projections, I'm using the last three years of each player's UZR and Rate2 numbers to generate a composite runs above average metric (this is a change from what I originally posted two days ago). Because of the still pretty slippery nature of defensive metrics, I'm just trying to get the decent sample size of a couple different stats. (I've explained UZR and Rate2 in previous posts, so you can just click control-F and search the page you're looking at for those terms.) Note that even after summing all their career innings played, however, Anderson Hernandez and Kory Casto still have so few opportunities that I just substituted average defense for them. And since Rate2 and UZR basically tell us nothing about catcher defense (it only looks at how they field balls in play--nubbers, bunts, pop-ups), I list all catchers as average defensively.
Offensive playing time is entirely my best guess--not what I think the team should do but what seems most likely based on the current roster. Innings projections are from James (or Marcel if James didn't project the player). Because of the holes in the bullpen I'm filling 120 innings with TBD replacement-level pitchers. (Although if those innings go to the likes of Jorge Sosa we'll be longing for replacement.)
So without further ado, here's where the Nationals are at right now (keep in mind an entirely replacement level team will win about 47 games, so add 47 to the Nationals total WAR for a projection of their 2009 win total):
|Pos||Name||PT||wOBA||Def. RAA||Pos adj||WAR|
Total Team WAR
|Total Offense WAR||18.66|
|Total Defense WAR||1.16|
|Total SP WAR||8.46|
|Total RP WAR||-0.02|
- Update: If you are interested in seeing the full spreadsheet, it is published on Google spreadsheets here.
- Update 2: At 11 pm 12/25, I made some corrections and revisions that affect player WARs but not the overall team WAR. I also revised the Google spreadsheet to unhide some inadvertently hidden columns and make some other calcluations easier to follow.
- Update 3: at 10 am 12/26, I revised the defensive metrics as described above to include an average of 3 years worth of UZR and Rate2 data instead of just 2008. For this I just counted the runs saved per 150 games for each system and averaged them out after weighting them by innings sample size. The result is that the Nationals overall become out about a win better, with guys like Belliard, Zimmerman, and Kearns improving, while Willingham and a coupe others did worse.
- Update 4: in case you're curious, adding Tex would have added a net 2.5 WAR, elevating the Nationals from a 75-win team to a hair under 78.