Time for more season recapping… A simple but important question, right? Who, in the course of the season, contributed the most to the Nationals 59 wins? One way to look at this is through the statistic known as WARP. WARP, wins above replacement player, is an interesting stat that shows how many wins the player contributes over a replacement level player. Here is a post on what it all means, if you forgot or never knew.

There are some obvious ones on the list, and a few surprises as well. Here’s the top 10:

1. Ryan Zimmerman: 6.9
2. John Lannan: 4.1
3. Adam Dunn: 4.1
4. Josh Willingham: 3.2
5. Nyjer Morgan: 2.9
6. Willie Harris: 2
7. Nick Johnson: 1.9
8. Tyler Clippard: 1.8
9. J.D. Martin: 1.2
10. Jordan Zimmermann: 1.2

The top 4 guys are pretty unsurprising. Zimmerman was the best? Of course. Lannan contributed as much as Dunn? I’ll buy it, it’s thanks to Dunn’s poor fielding that dragged his numbers down. I’m actually surprised Lannan isn’t HIGHER, but I realize he was only remarkable for this team. On any other team he’s just real good, not remarkable.

The surprises come a bit further down the list to me. Morgan, in less than a third of a season with the Nats, managed to finish third on the list. It’s a testament to how good he was. Harris, who only hit .235, still was #6. Why? Well, he played alot at center, and, oh yeah, he had a perfectly fine OBP of .364 for a leadoff hitter. ESPECIALLY in leadoff, when you have nobody hitting ahead of you much of the time and big bats behind you, that OBP is even more the most important stat. Clippard is the second highest pitcher on this list, which to me confirms the utility of this WARP stat. Clippard finished the year with a 2.69 ERA, 41 appearances, and a 4-2 record. His ERA+ was 152, a really great season (half season) of relief on a team with a horrid bullpen for much of the year.

Oh Yeah, and the Bad

Cristian Guzman, by the way, was a statistical black hole. His WARP was acutally ZERO, meaning he played at the level of a replacement player. So, if you have ever said, “Gee, I wonder what a replacement level SS would hit,” well, you have you answer. Hitting .284/.306/.390 will do it. I’m guessing that mostly comes from the atrocious OBP. Are we all ready to move on from him yet?

There were only 3 position players with over 200 PAs that came in lower than Guzman. They were Kearns (-0.2), Bard (-0.2) and Gonzalez (-0.3). Bard you have some excuse for, with the injuries, and Gonzalez is young. Kearns and Guzman, though, probably shouldn’t have been playing anywhere near as much as they did.

As for the bottom of the group, it’s not very surprising, the bottom 4 are pitchers:

52. Garrett Mock: -0.6
53. Joel Hanrahan: -0.9
54. Daniel Cabrera: -1
55. Julien Tavarez: -1.5

By Charlie