Pittsburgh Pirates WAR Surprises

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Mar 12, 2015; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (34) leaves the game during a spring training baseball game at McKechnie Field. The Boston Red Sox beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

When you hear WAR mentioned in converstation, what do you think of? Most people think of The Revolutionary War, The Civil War, or even the War on Drugs. However in today’s baseball world, WAR is mentioned often by writers when describing a players value to their current team.

For those that may not be aware, WAR actually stands for Wins Above Replacement. Sabermetrics are an important tool for organizations, coaches, players and fans. WAR has been one of many that has intrigued me. After doing some research on how this stat is arrived at, I found that different sites use different ways to calculate WAR. The three major sites,  Baseball-Reference, FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus use different equations to calculate WAR. Baseball Prospecturs even uses a different name entirely, WARP, which stands for Wins Above Replacement Players.  

I won’t get into how each calculate WAR but Baseball-Reference provides a chart that shows you a comparison of the framework for these three sites.

RumBunter founder Tom Smith recently spoke with ZiPS, the most reliable projection system in baseball, founder Dan Szymborski. ZiPS came out with the yearly projections back in February, Fellow Staffer Jacob Misener gave you some highlights from these projections. As I reviewed the ZiPS projections and last seasons WAR Values, provided by FanGraphs, for each player, I realized that several WAR values for the Pittsburgh Pirates just may surprise you.

The first may or may not come as a surprise to the average fan.

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