The Legend

The Legend

Friday, September 2, 2016

wRC+ (Fun With Numbers)

When you can't sleep what better way to spend your time then looking up stats! Last night I was playing around on Fangraphs and was looking at historical numbers for the Pirates.  This time I ran a report that gave the all time highest wRC+ (weighted runs created plus) in Pirates history.

Basically wRC+ is a context neutral catch all type of offensive measuring stick.  If you have a wRC+ of 100 that is considered league average.  Give the link above a click for the complete definiton.

Above Average75115
Below Average6080

Before I get to the Pirates here is the all time top ten (at least 3000 pa)
1. Babe Ruth  197
2. Ted Williams 188
3. Lou Gehrig 173
4. Rogers Hornsby 173
5. Barry Bonds 173
6. Mickey Mantle 170
7. Mike Trout 167
8. Ty Cobb 165
9. Joe Jackson 165
10. Stan Musial 158

Mike Trout is keeping some pretty good company! I'm guessing some guys like Willie Mays and Hank Greenberg would have easily cracked the top 10, but they played a few to many seasons.  The only active players in the top 30 are Trout, Votto (16th), Pujols (22nd) and Miggy (26th).  Just out of curiosity I wanted to see where Pujols would be if it was just his Cardinals years. Turns out he would be tied with Trout!

Here are the Pirate leaders
1. Brian Giles 156
2. Ralph Kiner 154
3. Honus Wagner 151
4. Willie Stargell 145
5. Barry Bonds 145
6. Arky Vaughan 144
7. Andrew McCutchen 139
8. Paul Waner 138
9. Fred Clarke 134
10. Bobby Bonilla 132

Giles being number 1 really surprise me.  Looking into the numbers you can really see why though. Giles had an obp of .426 during his Pirates tenure and played all his prime years with the Buccos! He also kept a low k rate (10%) for being a power hitter. If I had to guess before making the list I would have picked Kiner.

Several big names just missed the cut like Dave Parker (13th) and Clemente (16th).  Obviously Clemente's value goes up in all around statistics like WAR.  

Hope everyone enjoys the long weekend! 


  1. In terms of evaluating pure offensive output, I always look at wRC+. Even in the minors.

  2. I like the stat, plus it is easy to explain by saying 100 is average.

    1. I agree. I like the "new" stats that keep it simple.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks John. It took me a long time to find that card.

  4. Wow, Giles 1 is a surprise. Impressive.

    1. His numbers were outrageous. Plus the Pirates were able to flip him for Bay who is in the top 15 all time as well!

  5. I also like numbers. For example, 2, 3, and 4. Which also equals the packages that have now made their way into the mail system for WV

    1. Is it bad to be looking forward to seeing the results of a war?

    2. Well, I just fired back myself. I have a few tricks up my sleeve. War is fun!