As a break from the daily free agent chatter, I wanted to see how the careers of current Phillies (including free agent headliner Werth) compare to other notable players at the same positions. If you're familiar with Fangraphs, you've probably seen their WAR graphs, where up to four players at a time can be compared using three methods:
- nth best season -- ranks the seasons by WAR for each player (X=1st, 2nd, etc., Y=annual WAR)
- cumulative WAR -- WAR compiled by a given age (X=age, Y=cumulative WAR)
- annual WAR -- WAR compiled each year (X=age, Y=annual WAR)
The cumulative WAR graph is the one I'll be referring to in most cases.
JAYSON WERTH vs. Carl Crawford, Matt Holliday, and Jason Bay
- Crawford is surprisingly far ahead in this group. He and Holliday have about the same career WAR, but Crawford is two years younger, 28 vs. 30.
- Holliday and Bay were comparable through age 27, but over the past four years Holliday has surged ahead. Of course a negative WAR season in 2007 did not help Bay.
- After a slow start, Werth has now caught up to Bay.
(more after the break)
CHASE UTLEY vs. Bobby Grich, Jeff Kent, and Robinson Cano
- If you're under the age of 35 or so, you're probably asking "Bobby who?" Bobby Grich played his entire career in the AL (Orioles 70-76, Angels 77-86) making him even more of an unknown to Phillies fans. But with a career BB% of 13.2%, OPS+ of 125, and good fielding stats, he amassed 74.1 WAR. Yet he only received 11 votes the one time he was on a Hall of Fame ballot, while new inductee Andre Dawson had 62.3 WAR in his career.
- Utley has a decent chance of catching up to Grich in spite of Grich's 3-year head start, and he is far ahead of where Jeff Kent was at the same age. However Kent had a very productive mid-30s and Utley has his work cut out for him to ensure he stays ahead.
- Cano got an earlier start than Utley, but he is only slightly ahead of where Utley was at the same age.
Adding in Joe Morgan shows Utley with a slim chance of getting close to the HOFer, but only if he remains very productive into his late 30s.
RYAN HOWARD vs. Albert Pujols, Willie McCovey, and Willie Stargell
- Yawn, yet another demonstration of Pujols' awesomeness.
- Howard is tracking very close to Stargell so far.
JIMMY ROLLINS vs. Ozzie Smith, Larry Bowa, and Edgar Renteria
- During the NLCS there was some poo-pooing of Renteria in Philly blogs, but his career WAR looks surprisingly similar to Rollins'. However I like to think that by the time their careers are done there will be some separation with Rollins pulling ahead.
- Bowa doesn't compare well, with essentially 0 value after age 33.
or vs. Alan Trammell and Jim Fregosi
- Fregosi had a torrid start, but multiple injuries and illnesses meant he was relegated to very little action in his 30s, before becoming manager of the Angels at age 36.
- Trammell and Smith have very similar curves, except with Ozzie lagging 3-4 years behind.
CARLOS RUIZ vs. Mike Lieberthal, Johnny Estrada, and Darren Daulton
- It's interesting how close Liberthal's and Daulton's career WARs ended up, as Daulton caught up after a late start.
- Ruiz is late into the race, but at least he has passed our pal Johnny Estrada.
SHANE VICTORINO vs. Garry Maddox, Lenny Dykstra, and Aaron Rowand
- Maddox and Dykstra are bunched together on the higher track, with Dykstra ultimately finishing ahead.
- Victorino and Rowand are very close on the lower track, although it appears that Victorino may have more playing time in his future than Rowand will.
and just for kicks...
- Surprising that Rolen stayed close to Schmidt for as long as he did
- Bell and Hayes were joined at the hip, WAR-wise
- Rodriquez has been tracking with Mathews but is likely about to pull ahead
ADDENDUM, in honor of Ron Santo's passing on Dec. 2.