As the 2023 season begins, we have made some updates to our Wins Above Replacement calculations. You may notice some small changes to figures as you browse the site. As always, you can find full details on how we calculate WAR here.
New Data For Negro Leagues Players
Recently, we updated the site with the latest player records for Negro Leagues players. This update included biographical updates (such as full names, handedness, and birth/death information) but also added data for many new box scores discovered by the team at Seamheads. See the blog post for more details about the scope of this update.
2021 Park Factors
Park factors for 2021 have been re-computed to include the 2022 season, since WAR uses a three-year average for park factors when computing pitching WAR. The most significant changes here are the Milwaukee Brewers, whose pitching park factor fell from 101 to 98 (where <100 represents a pitcher’s park and >100 represents a hitter’s park), and the Los Angeles Dodgers, whose pitching park factor rose from 97 to 100.
The biggest gainers from these changes were Dodgers pitchers Walker Buehler (gaining 0.5 WAR for 2021) and Julio Urías (0.3 WAR), while Brewers ace Corbin Burnes saw his WAR decrease by 0.3 as we adjust American Family Field in Milwaukee from being a modest hitter’s park to a modest pitcher’s park. All other changes to 2021 WAR are smaller in magnitude than these three examples.
New Data From Retrosheet
Today, we are also deploying an update to past box scores, play-by-play, and game logs from Retrosheet, including play-by-play for 1,712 games that previously did not have play-by-play coverage, including 833 games in 1914, a season which previously had no play-by-play coverage at all. See the blog post for more details.
Biggest Career Movers
The top mover for position players in career WAR is Tommy Butts, whose career WAR is 2.8 wins higher after this update. Most of this value was from his stellar infield defense at shortstop. Hall of Famers Willard Brown and Buck Leonard experienced a gain of 2.1 WAR and 1.6 WAR respectively over their careers.
On the mound, we see Birmingham Black Barons pitcher Dan Bankhead leading the way, adding 2 wins to his career WAR total. Bankhead’s playing record has 41⅓ more innings pitched with the latest update.
We’ve highlighted some of the more extreme changes here, but to see full lists of the largest changes to season and career WAR totals, please see the spreadsheet here.