WAR Comparison Chart

Main WAR page

WAR-like stats Timeline

  • 1980's - Pete Palmer publishes Total Player Rating (TPR) in Total Baseball (Wiki)
  • 1992 - The Baseball Sabermetric by Brock Hanke publishes leaderboards of Total, Offensive and Defensive "Wins Above Replacement" (tweet)
  • 1993 - First found reference to "Wins Above Replacement" on rec.sport.baseball (google groups)
  • 1995 - Keith Woolner develops Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) on the Bosox Mailing List (Google Groups, Archive.org)
  • 2001 or so - Baseball Prospectus launches Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP) (Google Groups reference)
  • 2002 - Bill James publishes Win Shares (Wiki)
  • November 2008 - Sean Smith publishes his work on replacement level and WAR in the Hardball Times (now with Fangraphs, previously an independent website). Values later appear on baseballprojection.com. (archive.org, archive.org)
  • Tom Tango publishes a how-to for what is the current framework for most WAR implementations. (Link)
  • December 2008 - Fangraphs adds WAR (Blog post)
  • May 2010 - Baseball-Reference adds WAR from Sean Smith of BaseballProjection (Blog post)

WAR is really just an idea of how to value players. Once you have the idea in place, there are dozens of implementation details that have multiple reasonable approaches to take. We've summarized the major frameworks below for easy comparison.

FanGraphs also has an explanation of their WAR and our previous WAR framework. Baseball Prospectus has their framework, WARP. I'm happy to add more WAR frameworks if folks want to help me fill in the details below.

Name Previous B-R WAR, 1.0 FanGraphs WAR Updated B-R WAR, 2.2 Prospectus PBP WARP Prospectus Historical WARP
Abbreviation rWAR (for Rally WAR, "RallyMonkey", Sean Smith created this version) fWAR rWAR or bWAR WARP WARP
Offensive Batting Metric Used BaseRuns based offensive measure, so sum of players batting runs equals team total. wRAA wRAA with additional tweaks Deserved Runs (DRC+) BaseRuns-derived LWTS
Fielding #'s Used Total Zone Ratings using PBP when possible. TZR pre-2002, Ultimate Zone Rating 2002 and after TZR pre-2003, Baseball Info Solutions Defensive Runs Saved with Batted Ball Timer 2003 and after FRAA FRAA (non pbp)
Starting Point for Pitching WAR Runs Allowed Fielding Independent Pitching Runs Allowed Deserved Runs (DRA)
Batting Details
Adjusted for park Yes 5-year regressed park factors 3-year park factors Yes, directly modeled year by year
Park Factor Applied to Batter or League Average Batter Batter Batter Applied at the PA level League
Computes Batting Lg Avgs using entire MLB or individual leagues Ind. Leagues Ind. Leagues Ind. Leagues NA
Includes P's in Lg Avg No No No NA
Includes ROE Yes No Yes Infield ROE for batters and pitchers, all ROE for fielders
Estimates CS for seasons it is unknown Yes No Yes No
Includes SB/CS in Batting or Baserunning In Baserunning In Baserunning In Baserunning In Baserunning
Includes Positional Adjustments Yes Yes Yes, across lgs always sum to 0 Yes
Varies Replacement Level by Lg's Quality of Competition Yes No Yes Yes
Caps total contribution by Replacement Level Runs to prevent overvaluing of leadoff hitters Yes No No No
Counts SO and non-SO outs separately Yes No Yes Yes
Directly uses the PythagenPat WL% estimator to compute Wins Above Avg No No Yes No
Runs to win calculation includes the league run environment Yes Yes Yes Yes
Runs to wins calculation includes the runs the player adds or subtracts No No Yes No
Differentiates between infield and outfield singles from 2003 on. No No Yes All Seasons
Adjusts for ability to avoid double plays Yes Yes Yes Yes
Adjusts for Non-basestealing baserunning Yes Yes Yes Yes
Available in a form with fielding metrics excluded Yes, oWAR is WAR with defensive runs assumed to be zero or average No Yes, oWAR for offensive WAR VORP
Fielding Details
Uses measures for player range Yes, TZR Yes, UZR or OAA Yes, DRS or TZR Yes, FRAA
Uses measures for OF arms and DP ability Yes Yes Yes BRR_ARM and OF_AST measure different facets of OF arms. DP ability is not measured.
Uses measures for catcher throwing Yes Yes, rSB from DRS Yes, DRS Yes, SRAA and TRAA
Uses measures for good plays and misplays like relay throws or missing the cutoff man No No Yes, DRS No
Uses measures for catcher defense including blocking pitches and framing No Yes, FRM for framing, RPP for blocking Yes (DRS), but does not include framing Yes, CSAA and EPAA
Pitching Details
Years Available 1871-present 1871-present 1871-present 1950-Present, pre-1950 coverage will increase
Uses Park Factors Yes, 3-year Yes, 5-year, regressed Yes, 3-year Yes, directly modeled year by year
Adjusts Park Factors to parks actually pitched in No No Yes Yes
Park Factor applied to pitcher or run support? Lg Avg Pitcher Pitcher Lg Avg Pitcher NA. It is applied at the PA level Run Support
Adjusts league average by teams pitched against Yes No Yes No
Adjusts league average for interleague play No No Yes No
Adjusts replacement level by quality of league Yes No Yes Yes
Recent replacement level .320 (52-110) .294 (48-114) (link) .294 (48-114) N/A (replacement level is not set to a specific team record)
Directly uses the PythagenPat WL% estimator to compute Wins Above Avg No No Yes No
Runs to win calculation includes the league run environment Yes Yes, but not described for batters Yes Yes
Runs to wins calculation includes the runs the player adds or subtracts No Yes Yes Yes
Adjusts runs to win calculation by length of pitcher's outings No Unclear Yes Yes Yes
Adjusts runs above replacement level for when pitcher is starter or reliever Yes Yes, as part of replacement level calculation Yes, but it is applied to avg rather than replacement Yes Yes
Adjusts performance by team defense Yes Not applicable since FIP-based Yes As appropriate Yes
Adjusts Reliever WAR by Leverage Index Yes Yes Yes, Applied to WAA and then recentered to not affect league total WAA No No
Credits starting pitcher for effect on saving/taxing bullpen No No No No
Other Details
Converts WAR into FA Salary Values No Yes No No
Downloadable No Yes, annual and custom reports dowloadable to excel Yes, full historical csv updated daily and usable by anyone with citation and link No, except for 2020-2021, but eventually yes, via leaderboards No (but eventually yes)