MLB History: 10 Players With A Decent Bat, Great Glove

Ball8StatsBall Eight Stats turns its attention today to fairly useful offensive players who are very, very good if not great in the field.

In modern baseball history, there have been just 10 major league players who have put up an oWAR* of 2.0+ while still managing to post a dWAR** of at least 50 percent greater (3.0+), according to Jon Becker (@mlbrandomfandom) of the Ball Eight research department.

It has happened five times this century, most recently Andrelton Simmons and Manny Machado in 2013 (check out Simmons’ glove, by the way!). Art Fletcher of the New York Giants is the only player who did it multiple times, as you will see below.

Note: These are not the only players who have both 2.0+ oWAR and 3.0+ dWAR. Rather, they are the players  who are solid-ish at the plate while adding that much more value with the glove (2.0+ oWAR and dWAR of 50 percent better – or more). For example, Terry Turner managed an oWAR of 5.2 and a dWAR of 5.4 in 1906 for the Cleveland Indians; he’s not on this list.

Another note: Here are the top dWAR seasons all time. Three of the top 11 were in 2013, including Simmons at No. 1.

Final note: Shortstops accomplished the feat in eight of the 12 seasons it was done in baseball history, with Darin Erstad and Michael Bourn the only outfielders to do it.

Rk Player oWAR dWAR Year ▴ Age Tm Lg G Pos
1 Johnny Evers 2.1 3.3 1907 25 CHC NL 151 *4
2 Rabbit Maranville 2.0 4.2 1914 22 BSN NL 156 *6
3 Art Fletcher 2.0 3.2 1915 30 NYG NL 149 *6
4 Art Fletcher 2.1 3.5 1918 33 NYG NL 124 *6
5 Art Fletcher 2.4 3.9 1919 34 NYG NL 127 *6
6 Marty Marion 2.1 3.6 1944 26 STL NL 144 *6
7 Mark Belanger 2.2 3.5 1974 30 BAL AL 155 *6
8 Darin Erstad 2.5 4.2 2002 28 ANA AL 150 *8/3DH
9 Alex Gonzalez 2.2 3.7 2010 33 TOT ML 157 *6
10 Michael Bourn 2.2 3.5 2010 27 HOU NL 141 *8/H
11 Andrelton Simmons 2.2 5.4 2013 23 ATL NL 157 *6/H
12 Manny Machado 2.4 4.3 2013 20 BAL AL 156 *5

*oWAR (Offensive Wins Above Replacement): This is everything but fielding. The same statistic as Wins Above Replacement for Position Players (WAR), but with the fielding value excluded. It contains the factor for batting stats, baserunning, a positional adjustment, and the replacement player adjustment.

**dWAR (Defensive Wins Above Replacement for position players): A defensive measure of wins above replacement, but given only the defensive stats of the player and his position adjustment. For this calculation, we use a replacement level on defense is the league average.

(Definitions via Baseball-Reference.com)

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