- Scott Spratt, Baseball Info Solutions
Mike Trout led baseball last season with 10.9 WAR, according to Baseball-Reference. The Los Angeles Angels were loaded with star power with Trout, Albert Pujols and Jered Weaver, but they still fell short of the playoffs.
Meanwhile a collection of unheralded and often unwanted players on the Oakland Athletics made the playoffs in the Angels' division. Josh Reddick led the A's with 4.8 WAR, less than half the total of Trout and also behind Pujols and Weaver. However, while the Angels were thin behind their star power, the A's were loaded with players that could provide average production, especially on their pitching staff.
Baseball-Reference has a statistic similar to WAR called WAA (wins above average) that measures value above average as opposed to above replacement. Last season, the Angels gave 88 percent of their plate appearances to above-average players based on WAA. The A's could only give 75 percent of their plate appearances to above-average players. However, things were more than reversed in pitching. The Angels had just 27 percent of their innings thrown by above-average pitchers. In contrast, the A's had an incredible 92 percent of their innings thrown by above-average pitchers.
Average players are frequently overlooked, but they are critical to team success. Given their importance, it seems overdue that average players have their day. What follows is an attempt to identify the five most average players in baseball today.
6hInterview by Buster Olney