Sunday, January 15, 2012

Top 10 All-Time Most Valuable Reds


Given the fact the city of Cincinnati is home to the oldest franchise in professional baseball, it only makes sense that it boasts a long list of great players. With that in mind, how does one truly go about ranking the top ten Reds of all-time? Do you go strictly off of statistical numbers alone? Or do you consider number of All-Star appearances, team winning percentage and/or other individual accolades?

While the exact answer to this precarious question is still up for debate, one thing "experts" have relied on recently is the use of a sabermetric tool called Wins Above Replacement (WAR). (Fangraphs.com provides a pretty solid definition and explanation of how to measure it -- you can view that here.) But basically what WAR tries to do is calculate the value a certain player provides to their team (usually expressed in wins) over a a minor leaguer or bench player (known as a replacement-level player).

The following is a list of ten Reds players who tallied more career WAR - and arguably more value - than any other men in franchise history:

10) Noodles Hahn 39.6
9) Edd Roush 41.4
8) Tony Perez 43.8
7) Vada Pinson 45.1
6) Bid McPhee 57.9
5) Joe Morgan 61.3
4) Frank Robinson 61.5
3) Barry Larkin 68.9
2) Johnny Bench 71.3
1) Pete Rose 74.6

"Charlie Hustle"

Although it's without question Pete Rose helped win a lot of games for the Cincinnati Reds, he also benefited from playing a whopping 24 seasons and playing in more games (3,562), recording more plate appearances (15,861), and tallying more at bats (14,053) than any player in Major League Baseball history.

Nonetheless, if you take into consideration his career WAR total, his career offensive numbers, his 17 All-Star selections, his three World Series rings, and countless other accolades and accomplishments, he has to be the Most Valuable player in Reds history.

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