The table below compares the aggregate WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of the Pirates roster vs. the rest of the National League. The NL average is calculated without the Pirates.
In order to understand the significance of this table you should become acquainted with WAR:
WAR (Wins Above Replacement) is the number of wins that a player adds above what a “replacement player” could provide. A replacement player is a so-called 4A guy – think Mario Mendoza, Brian Bixler or Nate McLouth. A team with only replacement players is expected to win 48 games in a season. (Link to WAR explanation at Fangraphs.com).
For position players, WAR it takes into account offensive production, defense, baserunning and the importance of the position played. WAR for pitchers takes into account runs allowed above what a replacement pitcher would allow, with adjustments for relievers and starters.
Currently the Pirates are receiving below replacement level production at three of the eight fielding positions. Remember, replacement is different from “average.” Average players are quite good; replacement players are borderline career minor leaguers.
The biggest differences between the Pirates production and the rest of the National League are at first base (difference of 1.5) and left field (difference of 2.3).
Only the starting pitching and centerfield positions are producing at above NL average.
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