Wins Above Replacement, or WAR, is a stat that allows us to comprehend and determine a specific MLB player’s contributions to his team in comparison to a replacement-level major leaguer.
The higher the WAR figure, the more valuable the player.
The stat combines offensive, defensive, and base running production using a set of stats.
There is a pitching version of WAR, too.
Now, the objective of this exercise should not be telling you that Shohei Ohtani leads all major leaguers with a 7.9 WAR, according to Baseball Reference.
Considering his contributions as a pitcher and as a hitter, that is not really surprising.
We will tell you three jaw-dropping WAR values in the 2021 season.
3. Wade Miley Is The Third-Ranked Pitcher According To Baseball Reference
Both Baseball Reference and FanGraphs have their own versions of WAR, with a few differences in the calculation.
Now, if you are asked about the best pitchers in MLB, you would probably say names such as Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Walker Buehler, Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Charlie Morton, Marcus Stroman, Jack Flaherty, Aaron Nola, Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Kevin Gausman, among a few others, right?
What if we told you that Cincinnati Reds starter Wade Miley has been more valuable than all of them?
The southpaw has a very good 2.89 ERA in 155.2 innings, with a 12-5 record.
2. Cedric Mullins Is The Third-Ranked Hitter According To FanGraphs
The Baltimore Orioles have had a 2021 season to forget, and they are, pretty clearly, the worst team in the league.
They have, however, developed a very nice player in Cedric Mullins.
Mullins is hitting .305/.369/.538 with a nice display of both power and speed.
He has 27 home runs and 26 stolen bases, and has a very good shot of finishing the season as a proud member of the 30-30 club.
Cedric Mullins joined the 25/25 club yesterday, launching his 25th homerun of the season, and having already swiped 26 bags. He has been excellent for Baltimore from the get-go and he looks to finish strong, batting .305/.899 with a 4.9 WAR. #Orioles #MLB
— DisgruntledPhilliesPhan (@DisgruntledPhan) September 6, 2021
Mullins has managed to score 82 runs on a lousy Orioles team, so one can’t help but wonder what kind of stat line he would have if he played on a MLB contender.
We truly hope Mullins can stay in Baltimore for the long-term, as their fans deserve something to celebrate.
1. Marcus Semien Is The WAR Leader In The Last Three Seasons – By A Lot
However, that’s not fun and surprising.
Marcus Semien, a player who had to settle for a one-year, prove-it deal with the Toronto Blue Jays in the offseason because he didn’t have enough market, is the WAR leader in the last three seasons, per FanGraphs.
Semien’s 6.1 WAR this season is good enough for second place, behind Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s 6.2.
However, if we add up the last three seasons, Semien has 14.9 WAR, significantly more than the second-ranked Xander Bogaerts (13.3) and Betts’ 13.1.
Marcus Semien since 2019:
15.0 Baseball Reference WAR
(most in MLB)
14.9 FanGraphs WAR
(most in MLB)
13.6 Baseball Prospectus WARP
(most among position players)
The best player in baseball over the last 3 seasons. Woah.
— Paul Hembekides (@PaulHembo) September 8, 2021
Semien, considered an excellent fielder by both metrics and the eye test, is also hitting .272/.341/.549 with 38 home runs, 14 stolen bases, 99 runs, and 90 RBI.
He has a chance to finish the season as a .270/40/100/100/15 player, which is insanely valuable.
Semien is a free agent after the season: let the bidding begin.NEXT: Timetable For The Nationals To Be Contenders Again