Comparison to A's starts in the Beane Era

Comparison to A's Starts in the Beane Era including number of 1 WAR rookies each year.

Through 97 games:

Year W L ALW rank GB # of 1-WAR rookies
1998 46 51 3 7.5 1
1999 50 47 2 7 3
2000 53 44 2 4 4
2001 52 45 2 18 1
2002 57 40 2 3 2
2003 54 43 2 5 2
2004 53 44 2 2.5 1
2005 52 45 2 6.5 4
2006 51 46 1 up 0.5 0
2007 46 51 3 10.5 4
2008 51 46 2 8 4
2009 41 56 4 17 3
2010 49 48 3 7.5 0
2011 42 55 4 14 2
2012 53 44 2 5 5+(2)+(2)?

I did all the # WAR rookies info above and below. Graph swiped from GroutEatDoors over at


Of interest,

Only the 2002 & 2003 A's had a better record at this point in the season.

I then thought to compare total team rookies across all Beane years who made significant contributions. Since those 2002-03 teams are the only two teams better at this point in the season, let's start there. I used One WAR as my cutoff.

2002-The only rookies to produce (more than 1 WAR) in 2002 we're Aaron Harang (1.1 WAR) and Mark Ellis (2.5 WAR)

2003-The only rookies to produce that in 2003 were Rich Harden and Adam Melhuse


The best 2 teams at the 97 game mark each had two (1WAR) rookies on it. What about the rest of the Beane Era?


1998- Ben Greive

1999- Olmedo Saenz, Eric Chavez, Tim Hudson

2000 -Terrence Long, (RP) Jeff Tam, Barry Zito and Mark Mulder.

2001- (SP) Erik Hiljus

2002- Harang, Ellis

2003- Hardon, Melhuse

2004- Bobby Crosby

2005- Nick Swisher, Joe Blanton, Huston Street, Dan Johnson.

2006- ZERO (Andre Ethier)

2007- Travis Buck, Daric Barton, Kurt Suzuki, Jack Hannahan.

2008- Joey Devine, Greg Smith, Ryan Sweeney, Carlos Gonzalez

2009- Brett Anderson, Andrew Bailey, Gio Gonzalez

2010- ZERO

2011- Jemile Weeks, Guillermo Moscoso

2012- Yoenis Cespedes, Jarrod Parker, Travis Blackley, Tom Milone, Sean Doolittle. (5).

In addition, Ryan Cook and A.J. Griffin should get there. (+2) And Chris Carter/Derek Norris have a shot (+2), making up to four more.


Notice how many times we were in first place in the West. Once. 2006. Just so happens that one time, was one of the years (2 out 15) which had no rookies contributing more than one WAR.

What does it all mean? If anything? About the team, the farm, pitcher development vr. hitters, needing to buy? How do we compare to other (non- A's) teams now and in the past? Another way to have done this is total team rookie WAR per year. I thought doing it this way painted a different kind of picture than the other way. Some observations:

Observation 1- this years (#of1WAR) rookies could equal the last four years (2008-11) combined.

Observation 2- this team is just as good, with all these rookies, as the best of the Beane A's teams past. Only the 2002 squad was significantly better at this point.

Observation 3- the eight WAR1 rookies of 2007-8, didn't make us a good team. How much better they individually are than just a 1 WAR rookie has a lot to say about how good a rookie class is. Holding on to the best one would have helped also.

That said, I could see each one of this years non-(RP) rookies* putting up more than 2 WAR next year. And a few more than 3 WAR. ( Yo needs D, Parker needs ip.)


*As for Cook and Doolittle, plus the other 3-4 rookie relief pitchers. WAR values relief pitchers poorly. I don't have a metric that makes their contribution equalized to properly compare rookie classes like this. The best way for now would be the rookie relief WAR leader boards, which gives the A's 2 of the top 10 rookie relief in baseball. I could also try WAR per inning as an experiment.***

Doolittle is top ~15 in all of baseball (RP) WAR. It's impressive because he's not even qualified. The RP leader, Aroldis Chapman is sitting 2.5 WAR or .0529 per inning. Doolittle is second at .0523 per inning, basically equal. Next, figure out salary and Chapman is costing the Reds, 10X as much for the same production the A's receive out of Doolittle. How valuable is that.

The best SP in war/ip is Chris Sale, sitting .0332 per inning. The best A's starter? Travis Blackley at .0249.

***Somehow out of all of that I just argued that a RP is more valuable than a SP and our 5th starter should be our #1. Experiment ended.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~Albert Einstein

So far so good. The real test of that quote may be in less than a week.

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