MLB statisticians and analysts, in an effort to evaluate all-around performance, introduced WAR as a stat.
WAR means Wins Above Replacement, and it’s an all-inclusive stat that evaluates offense, defense, and baserunning in the case of position players.
The resulting number would be the wins above the hypothetical replacement of that player; or a “replacement-level” player.
The stat is useful to determine who deserves individual awards more: a higher WAR is associated with better all-around performance.
Voters for the MVP award often use WAR in their assessments.
The 2022 American League MVP race may be one of the closest in recent memory.
“MVP voting should take into account many, many more things than Wins Above Replacement. But they do offer an interesting primer. And the American League right now is a doozy. Per @fangraphs: Rafael Devers: 4.1; Aaron Judge: 4.0; Shohei Ohtani: 4.0; Mike Trout: 4.0; Jose Ramirez: 3.9,” ESPN’s Jeff Passan tweeted.
MVP voting should take into account many, many more things than Wins Above Replacement. But they do offer an interesting primer. And the American League right now is a doozy. Per @fangraphs:
Rafael Devers: 4.1
Aaron Judge: 4.0
Shohei Ohtani: 4.0
Mike Trout: 4.0
Jose Ramirez: 3.9
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 30, 2022
Devers Is A Good MVP Candidate
We all probably had New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, or Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani as the early leaders in the AL MVP race.
But for those who like to point out that the WAR leader should be the favorite to win the award (it’s certainly a logical thinking, although not always accurate), Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers should be crowned with his first MVP.
Devers is slashing .328/.387/.592 with 17 home runs, 56 runs, and 45 RBI.
Those are some incredible offensive numbers.
Judge may be the most obvious candidate, with his 29 home runs and excellent all-around play (not to mention he is right there in the WAR department, too), but there is no shame in going with Devers.