Monday, November 14, 2011

The greatest Brewers team ever

Inspired by one of my favorite baseball stat geek blogs Beyond the Boxscore and their All True Brewers Team I wanted to take a different approach.

What if you could field a team consisting of players that had the best single seasons in franchise history.

How we're going to do this:

  • Strictly based on WAR (wins above replacement) according to Baseball Reference
  • 5 starting pitchers
  • 7 relief pitchers (6 with a DH substituted in for an AL lineup)
    • 2 relievers will be converted starters to fill long relief needs
    • 1 will be the closer
  • 2 backup infielders
  • 2 backup outfielders
  • 1 backup catcher

The 25/26 man roster:




POSITIONPLAYERWARYEAR
SPTeddy Higuera8.41986
SPMike Caldwell7.51978
SPTeddy Higuera7.01988
SPBen Sheets6.32004
SPTeddy Higuera6.11987
RPMarty Pattin5.21970
RPBen McDonald5.11996
RPKen Sanders3.51970
RPKen Sanders3.51971
RPDoug Jones3.21997
RP*Derrick Turnbow3.02005
CPRollie Fingers4.11981
CDarrell Porter3.81975
CTed Simmons3.81983
1BCecil Cooper6.71980
2BPaul Molitor4.91979
3BTommy Harper7.71970
SSRobin Yount11.51982
IFRobin Yount7.51983
IFPaul Molitor7.01982
LFRyan Braun7.72011
CFScott Podsednik6.32003
RFSixto Lezcano5.21979
OFGreg Vaughn7.41993
OFBen Oglive6.41980
DH*Paul Molitor6.21987


*7th RP is replaced by DH in AL games

The breakdown:

SP1: Teddy Higuera 1986
  • 8.4 WAR
  • 20-11
  • 2.79 ERA
  • 248.1 IP
  • 15 CG
  • 4 SHO
  • Cy Young runner-up
SP2: Mike Caldwell 1978
  • 7.5 WAR
  • 22-9
  • 2.36 ERA
  • 293.1 IP
  • 23 CG
  • 6 SHO
  • Cy Young runner-up
SP3: Teddy Higuera 1988
  • 7.0 WAR
  • 16-9
  • 2.45 ERA
  • 227.1 IP
  • 0.999 WHIP
SP4: Ben Sheets 2004
  • 6.3 WAR
  • 12-14
  • 2.70 ERA
  • 237.0 IP
  • 0.983 WHIP
  • 10.0 K/9
  • 8.25 K/BB
SP5: Teddy Higuera 1987
  • 6.1 WAR
  • 18-10
  • 3.85 ERA
  • 261.2 IP
  • 240 K's
  • 14 CG
  • 6th in Cy Young voting
RP1: Marty Pattin 1970
  • 5.2 WAR
  • 14-12
  • 3.39 ERA
  • 233.1 IP
  • 11 CG
RP2: Ben McDonald 1996
  • 5.2 WAR
  • 12.10
  • 3.90 ERA
  • 221.1 IP
RP3: Ken Sanders 1970
  • 3.5 WAR
  • 5-2
  • 1.75 ERA
  • 13 SV
  • 0.964 WHIP
RP4: Ken Sanders 1971
  • 3.5 WAR
  • 7-12
  • 136.1 IP
  • 1.91 ERA
  • 31 SV (league leader)
  • 1.064 WHIP
  • 83 games, 77 finishes (both led league)
  • 16th in MVP voting
RP5: Doug Jones 1997
  • 3.2 WAR
  • 6-6
  • 2.02 ERA
  • 36 SV
  • 0.884 WHIP
  • 9.11 K/BB
  • 73 games finished (league leader)
RP6: Derrick Turnbow 2005 *
  • 3.0 WAR**
  • 7-1**
  • 1.74 ERA**
  • 39 SV**
  • 1.084 WHIP**
*noooooooooooo

**yes these all really happened

    CP: Rollie Fingers 1981
    • 4.1 WAR
    • 6-3
    • 1.04 ERA
    • 28 SV (league leader)
    • 0.872 WHIP
    • AL Cy Young winner
    • AL MVP
    C: Darrell Porter 1975
    • 3.8 WAR
    • .232/.371/.418
    • 18 HR
    • 60 RBI
    • 89 BB
    C: Ted Simmons 1983
    • 3.8 WAR
    • .308/.351/.448
    • 13 HR
    • 108 RBI
    • 76 R
    • 185 H
    • 39 2B
    1B: Cecil Cooper 1980
    • 6.7 WAR
    • .352/.387/.539
    • 25 HR
    • 122 RBI (league leader)
    • 335 TB (league leader)
    • 219 H
    • 33 2B
    • gold glove
    • silver slugger
    • 5th in MVP voting
    2B: Paul Molitor 1979
    • 4.9 WAR
    • .322/.372/.469
    • 9 HR
    • 62 RBI
    • 188 H
    • 274 TB
    • 27 2B
    • 33 SB
    3B: Tommy Harper 1970
    • 7.7 WAR
    • .296/.377/.522
    • 31 HR
    • 82 RBI
    • 179 H
    • 315 TB
    • 35 2B
    • 38 SB
    • 6th in MVP voting
    SS: Robin Yount 1982
    • 11.5 WAR (team record)
    • .331/.379/.578
    • .578 slugging and .957 OPS both led league
    • 210 H (led league)
    • 46 2B (led league)
    • 12 3B
    • 29 HR
    • 114 RBI
    • 129 R
    • gold glove
    • silver slugger
    • AL MVP
        IF: Robin Yount 1983
        • 7.5 WAR
        • .308/.383/.503
        • 178 H
        • 42 2B
        • 10 3B (led league)
        • 17 HR
        • 80 RBI
        • 291 TB
        IF: Paul Molitor 1982
        • 7.0 WAR
        • .302/.366/.450
        • 751 PA (led league)
        • 666 AB (led league)
        • 136 R (led league)
        • 201 H
        • 26 2B
        • 300 TB
        • 41 SB
        • 12th (!!) in MVP voting (4th place among Brewers!!)
        LF: Ryan Braun 2011
        • 7.7 WAR
        • .332/.397/.597
        • .597 slugging and .994 OPS led league
        • 187 H
        • 109 R
        • 38 2B
        • 33 HR
        • 111 RBI
        • 33 SB
        • silver slugger
        • (*MVP status to be determined*)
        CF: Scott Podsednik 2003
        • 6.3 WAR
        • .314/.379/.443
        • 175 H
        • 100 R
        • 29 2B
        • 43 SB
        • 2.0 dWAR
        RF: Sixto Lezcano 1979
        • 5.2 WAR
        • .321/.414/.573
        • 28 HR
        • 101 RBI
        • 77 BB
        • gold glove
        OF: Greg Vaughn 1993
        • 7.4 WAR
        • .267/.369/.482
        • 97 R
        • 28 2B
        • 30 HR
        • 97 RBI
        • 89 BB
        • 2.0 dWAR
        OF: Ben Oglive 1980
        • 6.4 WAR
        • .304/.362/.563
        • 180 H
        • 26 2B
        • 41 HR (led league)
        • 118 RBI
        • 333 TB
        • 13th in MVP voting
        • silver slugger
        DH*: Paul Molitor 1987
        • 6.2 WAR
        • .353/.438/.566
        • 1.003 OPS
        • 114 R (led league) in 118 games
        • 41 2B (led league) in 118 games!!
        • 16 HR
        • 75 RBI
        • 45 SB in 118 games!!
        • 5th in MVP voting
        • silver slugger

              *only to be used in games in AL stadiums


              Notes: 
              • How good was that 1982 team??  They had 6 of the top 18 AL MVP canditates
              • How good was Paul Molitor in 1987??   Led the AL in runs scored and doubles despite only playing 118 games
              • How good were Molitor and Yount??  5 slots between them, yet Yount's 1989 MVP season gets stuck on the bench behind Scott Podsednik
              • How good was Teddy Higuera??  Good enough to not only be the ace of this starting rotation but also take the 3 and 5 slots
              • How good was Ken Sanders??  First 2 seasons in the Brewers history in Milwaukee were the 2nd and 3rd best relief seasons behind Rollie Fingers' Cy Young/MVP performance in 1981
              • Prince Fielder did not make the roster but Derrick Turnbow and Scott Podsednik did
              • JJ Hardy would be the starting SS if not for 5 better seasons by Yount
              • Brewers haven't had a catcher over 3.0 WAR since 1983.  BJ Surhoff had a 3.5 in 1995 but only played 18 games behind the plate
              view more data here

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