Posted by John Autin on July 24, 2011
- #2 - Dustin Pedroia, 5.3
- #3 (tie) - Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Gonzalez, 4.8
- #5 (tie) - Kevin Youkilis and Adrian Beltre (Texas), 3.9.
All 4 hitters are on pace for at least 6.4 WAR. No team has had 4 position players at that level.
Only one team ever had 4 position players with 6 Wins Above Replacement (often called the threshold of "MVP level"): the 1902 Pirates, who went 103-36, a .741 W% that's 2nd best in modern history.
Dropping the threshold a bit, here are the nine teams with 4 position players >= 5.5 WAR:
|1||2001||Seattle Mariners||AL||4||Bret Boone / Mike Cameron / Edgar Martinez / Ichiro Suzuki|
|2||1999||Cleveland Indians||AL||4||Roberto Alomar / Kenny Lofton / Manny Ramirez / Omar Vizquel|
|3||1998||New York Yankees||AL||4||Scott Brosius / Derek Jeter / Paul O'Neill / Bernie Williams|
|4||1993||Toronto Blue Jays||AL||4||Roberto Alomar / Paul Molitor / John Olerud / Devon White|
|5||1982||Milwaukee Brewers||AL||4||Cecil Cooper / Paul Molitor / Gorman Thomas / Robin Yount|
|6||1968||Detroit Tigers||AL||4||Bill Freehan / Willie Horton / Dick McAuliffe / Jim Northrup|
|7||1939||New York Yankees||AL||4||Joe DiMaggio / Joe Gordon / Red Rolfe / George Selkirk|
|8||1927||New York Yankees||AL||4||Earle Combs / Lou Gehrig / Tony Lazzeri / Babe Ruth|
|9||1902||Pittsburgh Pirates||NL||4||Ginger Beaumont / Fred Clarke / Tommy Leach / Honus Wagner|
It's a pretty strong group, eh? Out of 9 teams, we have:
- 5 World Series champions (averaging 2 Hall of Famers per team);
- 1 NL champ that predates the WS (also with 2 HOFers);
- 1 AL champ that lost a 7-game WS (another 2 HOFers); and
- 2 runaway division winners that lost in the playoffs.
The average W% was .663, which translates to a 107-55 record in today's schedule.
Is it just an accident that 8 out of 9 are AL teams? (And the Red Sox would make it 9 of 10.) Your thoughts?
Finally ... Only 2 players appear twice on this list. Both are Hall of Famers; they were teammates on the Blue Jays, and ran amok in the '93 Series.