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29 September, 2018

David Wright's Historical Place Among NL Third Basemen

So where does Wright rank historically as an offensive third baseman? My friend Rob Tracy at the Elias Sports Bureau shared his analysis. 

I use “bases gained average” – its better than OPS, because it doesn’t double count average
Simply – (TB + BB + HBP + net SB)/PA - How many bases you get by yourself per time up – obviously the more for you, the better for the team

I get a league average for that position – then rank them among those with a threshold of PA at that position

For example – this year’s NL third baseman’s average BGA is .499 – as in, every other time up, you get a base, on average

Most of the qualifiers each year are above the line, since the worse you are, the less time you see

.700 seasons are rare – Mantle/Williams/Bonds/Ruth, etc – very few guys see those seasons
.650 up – also rare – think about Matt Carpenter’s season this year. Great season, but he isn’t that high
.600 – anyone above this had a great/well above average season
.550 – above average season

So let’s look at NL third basemen over a 10 year span, minimum 1000 Games Played at third in that span.

Below is the highest bases gained average (total Bases + walks + hbp + net steals/pa) 

Top 15
 .639  5992 3B * Chipper Jones        1999 - 2008  10   1000
 .628  6409 3B * Mike Schmidt         1974 - 1983  10   1469
 .618  6531 3B * Eddie Mathews        1953 - 1962  10   1459
 .586  5793 3B   Scott Rolen          1997 - 2006  10   1352
 .581  5945 3B   David Wright         2004 - 2013  10   1364
 .570  5431 3B   Aramis Ramirez       2004 - 2013  10   1257
 .558  4735 3B   Ken Caminiti         1992 - 2001  10   1126
 .550  6659 3B * Ron Santo            1963 - 1972  10   1552
 .533  6445 3B   Ken Boyer            1955 - 1964  10   1396
 .528  5800 3B   Bob Elliott          1943 - 1952  10   1118
 .528  4497 3B   Matt Williams        1987 - 1996  10   1010
 .526  5183 3B   Ryan Zimmerman       2005 - 2014  10   1133
 .521  6031 3B   Ron Cey              1975 - 1984  10   1454
 .515  5409 3B   Bill Madlock         1974 - 1983  10   1073
 .512  5341 3B   Darrell Evans        1970 - 1979  10   1030














It is very clear who the top 3 are - and it shouldn't be a surprise.

Wright and Ramirez have the same 10 year span for their best - and Wright was solidly ahead of him.

Lasting 10 years/1000 GP is a feat at third base in and of itself.


Wright (and Rolen) will never get into the Hall of Fame, but he should. 

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