In the midst of the long All-Star break, here is a look at the top 100 players since Box-Toppers record-keeping began in 1995:
Randy Johnson has always been Box-Toppers' most dominant player.
Until he retired in 2009, he was consistently earning Box-Toppers Player of the Day honors by being the player who most helped his team to wins by pitching a lot of innings and striking out a lot of batters.
And even in retirement, Johnson with 278.8 Box-Toppers points, continues to dominate the "all-time" Box-Toppers list, with only one distant challenger, starting pitcher Pedro Martinez (also retired) with 244.8 points.
All other players are at least 84.7 Box-Toppers points behind Johnson (pitcher Curt Schilling, in third place, has 194.1 points). Earning 84.7 points for any single player would be a major career achievement, worthy of landing them on the "all-time" top 100 Box-Toppers list. (We put "all-time" in quotes, since we're not covering all of baseball history, but only the time since 1995 when Box-Toppers stats have been tracked.)
In the top 100 "all-time" chart, you'll see that 95 of the top 100 players have 84.7 or more career Box-Toppers points. If the player ranked in 19th place all time, Andy Pettitte, doubled his already impressive career Box-Toppers points total of 137.5, he still would not have enough points to catch Johnson.
So what we're saying here is this: Randy Johnson—good. Very good.
Alex Rodriguez is the batter with the highest Box-Toppers total on the "all-time" list with 176.3 points, fourth place overall. He is also the current leader among active players.
Rodriguez's Yankees teammate, C.C. Sabathia recently took over as the leader among active pitchers—he has 172.3 points (fifth place overall) and this season passed Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay with 170.7 points. Sabathia is also not far behind Rodriguez and could take the outright lead among all active players on the "all-time" list this season.
There are five active players in the "all-time" top 10 list, but not all of them can be considered extremely active. Rodriguez has been out all season and is preparing to come back from injury (and is under a cloud of suspicion that may get him suspended under baseball's performance enhancing drug policy). Halladay is out, perhaps for the season, rehabbing from shoulder surgery. Manny Ramirez (167.2 points, seventh place) is attempting a comeback and is in the minor leagues with the Texas Rangers. And Johan Santana (166.6 points, eighth place) is out for the season with injury and may be unable to return to pitch.
Albert Pujols is two or three Player of the Game honors away from joining the top 10. He is in 11th place with 158.3 points, behind John Smoltz with 160.9 points. However, Pujols has only 2.5 Box-Toppers points this season at the All-Star break—if he doubles his season total, he won't reach Smoltz.
There are 48 active players on the top 100 list (that number includes players such as Ramirez, who are in the minor leagues, or Halladay, on the disabled list). All other players are either listed as "free agents," (who either hope to come back to baseball or haven't said they are retired) are playing outside the Major Leagues (in Japan or an independent league) or have retired. Recent retirees (such as Derek Lowe, who told a reporter Thursday he is retired) are listed as "retired" in their team status in the top 100 list. Players with a blank team status retired in 2012 or earlier.
There are 16 players in the top 100 "all-time" list who are also in the top 100 list for 2013. They are all listed in the chart at the bottom of this post. They include:
- Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Tigers: 37th in all-time list with 112.2 points, 3rd in 2013 list with 13.4 points.
- Clayton Kershaw, PI, Dodgers, 73rd in all-time list with 93.1 points, 5th in 2013 list with 12.7.
- Sabathia, PI, Yankees, 5th in the all-time list with 172.3 points, 94th in 2013 list with 4.7.
Pitchers narrowly outnumber batters in the "all-time" top 100 list. There are 53 pitchers vs. 47 batters on the list. However, in the top 100 list for 2013, pitchers far outnumbered batters—74 to 26. Why? It could be because pitchers burst onto the scene and tend to be very productive for a shorter period of time, while batters, while scoring relatively less in the short term, keep that level of production over a longer time and tend to catch up to pitchers' higher point totals. That's just a theory. But here is the breakdown of players on the "all-time" list by their primary position:
- Starting pitchers: 49
- Outfielders: 17
- Designated hitters: 12
- Third basemen: 9
- First basemen: 7
- Closing pitchers: 4
- Second basemen: 1 (Jeff Kent)
- Catchers: 1 (Mike Piazza)
- Shortstops: 0
Keep in mind that these are only statistics since 1995. For many players who debuted before then (such as Johnson, Martinez, Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux), their career Box-Toppers totals would likely be far higher if the years before 1995 were accounted for. On the other hand, for a player like Chipper Jones (ranked 15th), Box-Toppers covers virtually his entire career—he only played in eight games before 1995, so Box-Toppers covers 2,491 games of his 2,499-game career.
If you note how the names are listed in the chart—some all lowercase, some properly capitalized, some with numbers after them—you might cringe at the inconsistencies if you were a copy editor. But there is an unintentional method to this madness. In early days of keeping the Box-Toppers database from 1995 to 1997, names were inputted quickly, often with no capitalization—Box-Toppers' e.e. cummings phase, if you will. In about 1997, names were pretty consistently properly capitalized. And in 1998, numbers were added at the ends of names to denote their order of first appearance in the Box-Toppers database (the first time they earned Player of the Game).
So today, when you see player names like "rivera, mariano," (now ranked 26th) you'll know that Rivera first appeared early in Box-Toppers history (in his case, the first year, 1995). "Ortiz, David," (properly capitalized) made his Box-Toppers debut in 1997 (now ranked 27th). And "Helton, Todd 1060," was one of the first players with the debut order number appended, when he first appeared in 1998 (now ranked 32nd).
While many notable players from the past 20 years appear on the top 100 list, others did not earn enough Box-Toppers points to make the cut. A couple of notables:
- Mark McGwire had 77.3 points, in 112th place.
- Derek Jeter has 76.4 points, in 118th place.
Box-Toppers points reward players who most help their team win the most games. Top players from the winning team of each game are determined by a formula using standard box score statistics. These top players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being Player of the Game. Among each day's top players, bonus points are awarded for the top players and batters of the day in each league. Players accumulate points through the season to provide a data point for comparison, such as determining which players are most worthy as All-Stars or for postseason awards.
Top 100 players since 1995
|RANK||PLAYER||POS||TEAM||BTP (All-time)||BTP 2013|
|1||Johnson, randy||pi sp||278.8|
|2||Martinez, Pedro J.||pi sp||244.8|
|3||schilling, curt||pi sp||194.1|
|4||Rodriguez, Alex||3b dh||nyy al||176.3|
|5||Sabathia, C.C. 1492||pi sp||nyy al||172.3||4.7|
|6||Halladay, Roy 1178||pi sp||phi nl||170.7||1.0|
|7||Ramirez, manny||lf dh||tex al||167.2|
|8||Santana, Johan 1448||pi sp||nym nl||166.6|
|9||clemens, roger||pi sp||164.8|
|10||smoltz, john||pi sp||160.9|
|11||Pujols, Albert 1438||dh 1b||ana al||158.3||2.5|
|12||mussina, Mike||pi sp||155.6|
|14||maddux, greg||pi sp||151.7|
|16||Vazquez, Javier 1146||pi sp||148.3|
|17||thome, jim||dh||free agent||146.7|
|18||Hudson, Tim 1231||pi sp||atl nl||143.3||5.7|
|19||pettitte, andy||pi sp||nyy al||137.5||3.0|
|20||giambi, jason||dh||cle al||131.4||1.5|
|21||hoffman, trevor||pi cp||129.4|
|22||Guerrero, Vladimir||dh||indy league||128.3|
|23||Oswalt, Roy 1469||pi sp||col nl||127.2|
|24||Peavy, Jake 1635||pi sp||chi al||124.1||6.0|
|26||rivera, mariano||pi cp||nyy al||122.4||1.0|
|27||Ortiz, David||dh||bos al||122.2||8.2|
|28||Hernandez, Felix 2064||pi sp||sea al||118.1||10.4|
|30||Zito, Barry 1415||pi sp||sf nl||117.4||3.0|
|31||Colon, Bartolo||pi sp||oak al||116.3||6.7|
|32||Helton, Todd 1060||1b||col nl||114.9|
|33||Carpenter, Chris||pi sp||stl nl||113.3|
|35||Lee, Cliff 1798||pi sp||phi nl||113.1||9.4|
|36||brown, kevin j.||pi sp||112.8|
|37||Cabrera, Miguel 1776||3b||det al||112.2||13.4|
|38||Verlander, Justin 2112||pi sp||det al||112.2||8.0|
|39||glavine, tom||pi sp||110.6|
|41||Wagner, Billy||pi cp||108.7|
|42||Millwood, Kevin||pi sp||retired||108.3|
|43||Berkman, Lance 1261||dh rf||tex al||108.1||1.0|
|44||Beckett, Josh 1544||pi sp||lad nl||107.2|
|45||Burnett, A.J. 1300||pi sp||pit nl||107.1||3.7|
|47||moyer, jamie||pi sp||104.0|
|48||Weaver, Jered 2178||pi sp||ana al||103.0||4.0|
|49||Tejada, Miguel||3b ss||kc al||102.3|
|50||griffey, ken jr.||cf||102.2|
|51||wakefield, tim||pi sp||101.4|
|52||schmidt, jason||pi sp||101.2|
|53||Greinke, Zack 1871||pi sp||lad nl||100.5||10.7|
|56||Konerko, Paul 1107||dh 1b||chi al||99.7||1.0|
|57||Hunter, Torii 1190||rf||det al||99.4||1.0|
|58||edmonds, jim||cf rf ph||98.8|
|59||Buehrle, Mark 1407||pi sp||tor al||98.3||3.7|
|60||Rolen, Scott||3b||free agent||97.6|
|61||Jones, Andruw||dh lf ph||japan||96.5|
|62||Wolf, Randy 1235||pi sp||free agent||96.4|
|63||Lincecum, Tim 2288||pi sp||sf nl||95.9||5.7|
|65||Abreu, Bobby||dh||free agent||95.5|
|66||nomo, hideo||pi sp||95.5|
|68||Dempster, Ryan 1109||pi sp||bos al||94.2||3.0|
|70||Hamels, Cole 2135||pi sp||phi nl||93.7||5.7|
|71||Beltran, Carlos 1194||rf||stl nl||93.4||1.5|
|72||Lilly, Ted 1452||pi sp||lad nl||93.3|
|73||Kershaw, Clayton 2494||pi sp||lad nl||93.1||12.7|
|75||Wood, Kerry||pi sp cp||92.4|
|76||Ramirez, Aramis 1364||3b||mil nl||92.3|
|77||Cain, Matt 2081||pi sp||sf nl||92.0||4.0|
|78||Glaus, Troy 1132||3b||91.6|
|79||Haren, Danny 1787||pi sp||dc nl||91.5||1.7|
|80||Lowe, Derek||pi sp||retired||91.5||1.0|
|81||Dunn, Adam 1512||dh 1b||chi al||90.8||4.2|
|82||Ibanez, Raul 1137||lf dh||sea al||89.7||2.0|
|83||Teixeira, Mark 1738||1b||nyy al||87.8||1.5|
|86||wells, david||pi sp||87.5|
|88||Beltre, Adrian 1141||3b||tex al||86.6||5.7|
|89||anderson, garret||dh lf||86.5|
|90||leiter, al||pi sp||86.2|
|91||Lester, Jon 2173||pi sp||bos al||85.7||5.7|
|92||Lee, Carlos 1246||lf||retired||85.5|
|93||Lackey, John 1640||pi sp||bos al||85.4||4.0|
|94||Zambrano, Carlos 1676||pi sp||phi nl||85.2|
|95||radke, brad||pi sp||85.0|
|96||Howard, Ryan 2040||1b||phi nl||84.0||3.5|
|98||Lee, Derrek||1b||free agent||81.3|
|99||percival, troy||pi cp||80.7|
|100||Holliday, Matt 1836||lf||stl nl||80.3||4.0|
BTP (All-time): Box-Toppers points accumulated since 1995, when this stat-keeping method began.
BTP 2013: Box-Toppers points for the 2013 season.
Note: The team column shows a player's current team status. Active players are listed on either their current MLB team or where they are currently playing (i.e. Japan or an independent league). Other players are listed as "free agent" or "retired." Players who have retired in 2012 or before are listed with no team affiliation.
Players on both the Top 100 list since 1995 and Top 100 of 2013
|PLAYER||POS||TEAM||BTP (All-time)||RANK (All-time)||BTP (2013)||RANK (2013)|
|Cabrera, Miguel 1776||3b||det al||112.2||37||13.4||3|
|Kershaw, Clayton 2494||pi sp||lad nl||93.1||73||12.7||5|
|Greinke, Zack 1871||pi sp||lad nl||100.5||53||10.7||12|
|Hernandez, Felix 2064||pi sp||sea al||118.1||28||10.4||13|
|Lee, Cliff 1798||pi sp||phi nl||113.1||35||9.4||22|
|Ortiz, David||dh||bos al||122.2||27||8.2||25|
|Verlander, Justin 2112||pi sp||det al||112.2||38||8.0||26|
|Colon, Bartolo||pi sp||oak al||116.3||31||6.7||40|
|Peavy, Jake 1635||pi sp||chi al||124.1||24||6.0||53|
|Hamels, Cole 2135||pi sp||phi nl||93.7||70||5.7||64|
|Beltre, Adrian 1141||3b||tex al||86.6||88||5.7||65|
|Lincecum, Tim 2288||pi sp||sf nl||95.9||63||5.7||66|
|Hudson, Tim 1231||pi sp||atl nl||143.3||18||5.7||68|
|Lester, Jon 2173||pi sp||bos al||85.7||91||5.7||70|
|Sabathia, C.C. 1492||pi sp||nyy al||172.3||5||4.7||94|
BTP: Box-Toppers points