Mar 12, 2015; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcherMark Melancon
(35) throws a pitch during a spring training baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mark Melancon‘s WAR the past two years were 2.0 in 2014 and 2.5 in 2013. This year he projects only at 0.9. Some may be surprised to see the number this low but if we compare Mark the Shark to other closers in the game, His WAR is in the same range as some of the best closers in the game today. For example, Aroldis Chapman of the Reds projects at 1.5, as does the Braves Craig Kimbrel, Greg Holland of the Royals comes in at a 1.4, Cardinals Closer Trevor Rosenthal comes in at 1.1, Former Yankee/Current White Sox closer David Robertson comes in at 0.9, the same as Melancon. A few other notable closers would include Seattle’s Fernando Rodney at 0.4, Orioles Zach Britton at 0.3, and A’s Huston Street at 0.3. Of course, Melancon has the highest WAR among members of the Shark Tank. The next closest projection is Tony Watson with a 0.6 after posting a 1.5 last season.
As Opening Day approaches, the Pirates continue to prepare for a WAR of a different kind. Keep in mind that their is no way to predict the intangibles that may occur at any time during the long Major League Baseball season. However, WAR is as close to a purely statistical measure of a player’s worth to a team as we can get.
Yet still, as some of these numbers illustrate, there is always room for surprises along the way.