How safe is Randy Johnson’s perch atop Box-Toppers “all-time” player rankings?
Top 100 ‘All-Time’ PlayersHere are the 100 (actually 101) players with the most career Box-Toppers points since record keeping began in 1995. Players are listed in order of their career Box-Toppers point total. Also shown is their Box-Toppers point total for 2015 and their career ranking in Box-Toppers points at the end of the 2014 season. The Team column reflects a player's status at the end of the 2015 season.
|1||Johnson, randy||pi sp||retired||278.8||1|
|2||Martinez, Pedro J.||pi sp||retired||244.8||2|
|3||schilling, curt||pi sp||retired||194.1||3|
|4||Rodriguez, Alex||dh||nyy al||187.0||7.7||4|
|5||Sabathia, C.C. 1492||pi sp||nyy al||179.0||5.7||5|
|6||Pujols, Albert 1438||dh 1b||ana al||174.3||7.0||7|
|7||Halladay, Roy 1178||pi sp||retired||170.7||6|
|8||Ramirez, manny||lf dh||retired||167.2||8|
|9||Santana, Johan 1448||pi sp||released||166.6||9|
|10||clemens, roger||pi sp||retired||164.8||10|
|11||Hernandez, Felix 2064||pi sp||sea al||162.7||19.4||19|
|12||smoltz, john||pi sp||retired||160.9||11|
|13||Kershaw, Clayton 2494||pi sp||lad nl||159.3||25.7||21|
|14||Hudson, Tim 1231||pi sp||sf nl||157.0||4.0||14|
|15||mussina, Mike||pi sp||retired||155.6||12|
|17||maddux, greg||pi sp||retired||151.7||15|
|19||Vazquez, Javier 1146||pi sp||retired||148.3||17|
|20||thome, jim||1b dh||retired||146.7||18|
|21||Greinke, Zack 1871||pi sp||lad nl||146.4||20.7||31|
|22||Colon, Bartolo||pi sp||nym nl||140.1||6.7||22|
|23||pettitte, andy||pi sp||retired||138.5||20|
|24||Ortiz, David||dh||bos al||137.9||4.5||23|
|25||Peavy, Jake 1635||pi sp||sf nl||136.8||5.0||25|
|26||giambi, jason||dh ph||retired||133.4||24|
|27||Cabrera, Miguel 1776||1b||det al||132.9||4.7||28|
|28||hoffman, trevor||pi cp||retired||129.4||26|
|29||Guerrero, Vladimir||rf dh||retired||128.3||27|
|30||Burnett, A.J. 1300||pi sp||pit nl||127.8||6.0||33|
|31||Oswalt, Roy 1469||pi sp||retired||127.2||29|
|32||rivera, mariano||pi cp||retired||126.4||30|
|33||Hamels, Cole 2135||pi sp||tex al||126.2||15.4||45|
|34||Verlander, Justin 2112||pi sp||det al||124.6||6.4||35|
|36||Weaver, Jered 2178||pi sp||ana al||123.1||7.7||39|
|37||Lester, Jon 2173||pi sp||chi nl||121.1||12.0||49|
|38||Lee, Cliff 1798||pi sp||phi nl||119.1||34|
|40||Zito, Barry 1415||pi sp||oak al||117.4||37|
|41||Buehrle, Mark 1407||pi sp||tor al||116.7||2.0||41|
|42||Helton, Todd 1060||1b||retired||116.4||38|
|43||Hunter, Torii 1190||rf dh||min al||115.9||8.0||54|
|44||Lincecum, Tim 2288||pi sp||sf nl||115.0||5.7||48|
|45||Beckett, Josh 1544||pi sp||retired||114.9||40|
|46||Carpenter, Chris||pi sp||retired||113.3||42|
|47||Haren, Danny 1787||pi sp||chi nl||113.2||5.0||52|
|49||brown, kevin j.||pi sp||retired||112.8||44|
|50||glavine, tom||pi sp||retired||110.6||46|
|52||Wagner, Billy||pi cp||retired||108.7||50|
|53||Millwood, Kevin||pi sp||retired||108.3||51|
|54||Berkman, Lance 1261||1b lf rf||retired||108.1||53|
|55||Lackey, John 1640||pi sp||stl nl||107.8||9.7||67|
|56||thomas, frank||dh 1bã||retired||106.2||55|
|57||Scherzer, Max 2588||pi sp||dc nl||106.0||21.0||100|
|58||Ramirez, Aramis 1364||3b||pit nl||105.8||6.0||64|
|59||moyer, jamie||pi sp||retired||104.0||56|
|61||griffey, ken jr.||cf||retired||102.2||58|
|62||Beltre, Adrian 1141||3b||tex al||101.8||12.5||89|
|63||Wainwright, Adam 2150||pi sp||stl nl||101.8||3.0||65|
|64||wakefield, tim||pi sp||retired||101.4||59|
|65||schmidt, jason||pi sp||retired||101.2||60|
|66||Konerko, Paul 1107||1b||retired||100.7||61|
|69||Beltran, Carlos 1194||rf ph||nyy al||98.9||3.5||74|
|72||Wolf, Randy 1235||pi sp||det al||97.4||69|
|73||Teixeira, Mark 1738||1b||nyy al||97.3||7.5||87|
|74||Cain, Matt 2081||pi sp||sf nl||97.0||2.0||76|
|75||Howard, Ryan 2040||1b||phi nl||96.7||5.5||85|
|77||Kazmir, Scott 1947||pi sp||hou al||96.4||12.7||104|
|78||Shields, James 2157||pi sp||sd nl||96.4||7.4||90|
|81||nomo, hideo||pi sp||retired||95.5||73|
|82||Liriano, Francisco 2104||pi sp||pit nl||95.2||14.9||110|
|83||Dempster, Ryan 1109||pi sp||retired||95.2||75|
|85||Dunn, Adam 1512||lf||retired||94.3||78|
|86||Price, David 2593||pi sp||tor al||93.8||21.1||141|
|88||Santana, Ervin 2005||pi sp||min al||93.3||5.4||91|
|89||Lilly, Ted 1452||pi sp||retired||93.3||80|
|90||Bumgarner, Madison 2753||pi sp||sf nl||92.7||17.0||132|
|92||Wood, Kerry||pi sp||retired||92.4||82|
|93||Holliday, Matt 1836||lf dh||stl nl||91.8||1.5||86|
|94||Glaus, Troy 1132||3b||retired||91.6||83|
|95||Lowe, Derek||pi sp||retired||91.5||84|
|96||Ibanez, Raul 1137||lf dh||free agent||89.7||88|
|97||Lohse, Kyle 1487||pi sp cp||mil nl||89.0||4.0||101|
|98||Gallardo, Yovani 2333||pi sp||tex al||87.7||5.0||105|
|101||wells, david||pi sp||retired||87.5||94|
What are those numbers after players' names?
It would take five stellar seasons from either Felix Hernandez or Clayton Kershaw—pitchers who have strung together stellar seasons in recent years—to even have a shot of catching Johnson’s 278.8 career Box-Toppers points. In other words, Johnson is not going to lose his spot soon and is highly unlikely to lose his top spot in this decade.
While Johnson recorded 278.8 Box-Toppers points from the time Box-Toppers record keeping began in 1995 until his retirement after the 2009 season, he would likely have about 380 points if his entire career from 1988 were tracked, based on rough projections.
During 2015, two veteran players came within 100 points of Johnson—Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia, both of the Yankees. Rodriguez picked up 7.7 Box-Toppers points during the season, giving him 187.0 for his career, the most of any batter since 1995. Sabathia picked up 5.7 points, giving him 179.0 for his career, the most of any active pitcher. Rodriguez ranks fourth on the all-time list and Sabathia ranks fifth.
Box-Toppers points are a measure of how much a player provides key contributions to his team’s wins. Specifically, Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.
The chart here shows the rankings of the top 101 players since record keeping began in 1995, along with their career Box-Toppers point total and, where applicable, their Box-Toppers points for 2015. The chart also shows each player’s roster status as of the end of the 2015 season and players’ rank in career Box-Toppers points at the end of the 2014 season, to show their rise or fall in rankings.
Some notable players on the top 100 list:
- Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees earned 7.7 Box-Toppers points in 2015 after he was suspended for the entire 2014 season under baseball’s performance enhancing drug policy. Rodriguez maintained his fourth-place overall rank and top spot among all batters since 1995, with 187.0 career Box-Toppers points.
- CC Sabathia of the Yankees earned 5.7 Box-Toppers points in 2015 after earning only 1.0 in 2014. He has 179.0 career Box-Toppers points, the most among active pitchers.
- Albert Pujols of the Angels is the only player in the top 10 who rose in the rankings during 2015, rising from seventh to sixth place. He earned 7.0 Box-Toppers points in 2015, giving him 174.3 points and passed retired pitcher Roy Halladay (170.7 points).
- Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez rose from 19th to 11th place during 2015, picking up 19.4 Box-Toppers points, giving him 162.7.
- Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw rose from 21st to 13th place during 2015, picking up 25.7 Box-Toppers points, giving him 159.3.
- Blue Jays pitcher David Price made the biggest rankings jump of any player on the top 100. He rose from 141st place at the end of 2014 to 86th place at the end of 2015, a rise of 55 ranking spots. Price earned 21.1 Box-Toppers points during 2015, giving him 93.8 career points. Other players who made major rankings jumps—Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer rose 43 spots (from 100th to 57th), earning 21.0 Box-Toppers points, giving him 106.0 career points. Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner rose 42 spots (from 132nd to 90th), earning 17.0 Box-Toppers points, giving him 92.7 career points.
Top 100 for 2015 & ‘All-time’
There are 16 players on the “all-time” top 100 who also appeared in Box-Toppers top 100 player list for 2015. They are shown in the chart below, listed in order by their Box-Toppers career player ranking.
Breakdown: Active vs. Inactive
Of the 101 players on the “all-time” list, 60 of them are either retired or ended the season listed as released or as a free agent. That is about the same as last year, when at the end of the 2014 season, 59 of the 102 top “all-time” players were listed as inactive.
Of those 60, all but two were listed as retired. The exceptions:
- 9—Johan Santana, starting pitcher, was released by the Blue Jays after attempting comeback from injury, 166.6 career Box-Toppers points.
- 96—Raul Ibanez, 43, outfielder and designated hitter, last played with the Royals in 2014 and is listed as a free agent, having not officially retired. He has 89.7 career Box-Toppers points.
That means 41 of the players on the top 100 “all-time” list were listed as active at the close of the 2015 season. Of those, only three did not earn Box-Toppers points during the 2015 season:
- 38—Cliff Lee, starting pitcher, Phillies, 119.1 career Box-Toppers points.
- 40—Barry Zito, starting pitcher, Athletics, 117.4 points.
- 72—Randy Wolf, starting pitcher, Tigers, 97.4.
The San Francisco Giants have five players on the “all-time” top 100 list, the most of any team:
- 14—Tim Hudson, starting pitcher, 157.0 Box-Toppers points. (Hudson is retiring after 2015.)
- 25—Jake Peavy, starting pitcher, 136.8 points.
- 44—Tim Lincecum, starting pitcher, 115.0.
- 74—Matt Cain, starting pitcher, 97.0.
- 90—Madison Bumgarner, starting pitcher, 92.7.
The New York Yankees have four players on the list. Four other teams each have three players each on the list—the Tigers, Pirates, Cardinals and Rangers.
Breakdown by position
Pitchers outnumber batters on the “all-time” list. There are 59 pitchers and 42 batters. (On the top 100 list for 2015, pitchers outnumber batters to a far greater extent, 69 to 31.)
Here is a breakdown of players by their primary position on the “all-time” list:
- 56—Starting pitcher
- 20—Outfield (4 CF, 7 LF, 9 RF)
- 9—First base
- 5—Third base
- 5—Designated hitter
- 3—Closing pitcher
- 1—Second base
Keep in mind that these are only statistics since 1995. For many players who debuted before then (such as Johnson, Pedro 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 18th), 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—the inconsistencies might make your inner copy editor cringe. 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 into a slow-functioning computer as quickly as was then possible, 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 32nd) 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 24th). And "Helton, Todd 1060," was one of the first players with the debut order number appended, when he first appeared in 1998 (now ranked 42nd).
(Editor’s note: In the chart are references to teams “ana al” and “fla nl,” referring to the Angels and the Marlins. We realize those teams are now known as Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) and the Miami Marlins, but we keep the old abbreviations around since those name changes were largely for marketing or political purposes and involved no substantial change in the actual geography of the team. Plus, change is hard.)
Overlapping playersHere are the 16 players who are on both the Box-Toppers’ top 100 list of “all-time” (above) and the Box-Toppers top 100 list for the 2015 season. Players are listed here in order of career Box-Toppers points with their predominant position played during the 2015 season and the team with which they finished the 2015 season. Shown are their career Box-Toppers point (BTP) total, their rank among players in career points, their Box-Toppers point total for 2015 and their rank among players in 2015.
|Rodriguez, Alex||dh||nyy al||187.0||4||7.7||96|
|Hernandez, Felix 2064||pi sp||sea al||162.7||11||19.4||8|
|Kershaw, Clayton 2494||pi sp||lad nl||159.3||13||25.7||2|
|Greinke, Zack 1871||pi sp||lad nl||146.4||21||20.7||7|
|Hamels, Cole 2135||pi sp||tex al||126.2||33||15.4||15|
|Weaver, Jered 2178||pi sp||ana al||123.1||36||7.7||92|
|Lester, Jon 2173||pi sp||chi nl||121.1||37||12.0||28|
|Hunter, Torii 1190||rf dh||min al||115.9||43||8.0||84|
|Lackey, John 1640||pi sp||stl nl||107.8||55||9.7||51|
|Scherzer, Max 2588||pi sp||dc nl||106.0||57||21.0||6|
|Beltre, Adrian 1141||3b||tex al||101.8||62||12.5||27|
|Teixeira, Mark 1738||1b||nyy al||97.3||73||7.5||99|
|Kazmir, Scott 1947||pi sp||hou al||96.4||77||12.7||26|
|Liriano, Francisco 2104||pi sp||pit nl||95.2||82||14.9||17|
|Price, David 2593||pi sp||tor al||93.8||86||21.1||5|
|Bumgarner, Madison 2753||pi sp||sf nl||92.7||90||17.0||13|
What are those numbers after players' names?