Box-Toppers' Franchise Four

Who are the top four players from each franchise since 1995 when Box-Toppers record keeping began? These are the players with the most overall career Box-Toppers points who played on a team for at least three seasons. Several players made the Franchise Four for more than one team. Players are listed by their Box-Toppers point (BTP) total. Their overall rank (R) among all players since 1995 is also shown.  

AL team Player #1 R BTP Player #2 R BTP Player #3 R BTP Player #4 R BTP
Angels Albert Pujols 6 174.3 Bartolo Colon 22 140.1 Vladimir Guerrero 29 128.3 Jered Weaver 36 123.1
Astros Roger Clemens 10 164.8 Andy Pettitte 23 138.5 Roy Oswalt 31 127.2 Billy Wagner 52 108.7
Athletics Tim Hudson 14 157.0 Jason Giambi 26 133.4 Barry Zito 40 117.4 Dan Haren 47 113.2
Blue Jays Roy Halladay 7 170.7 A.J. Burnett 30 127.8 Carlos Delgado 39 117.7 Mark Buehrle 41 116.7
Indians CC Sabathia 5 179.0 Manny Ramirez 8 167.2 Jim Thome 20 146.7 Bartolo Colon 22 140.1
Mariners Randy Johnson 1 278.8 Alex Rodriguez 4 187.0 Felix Hernandez 11 162.7 Jamie Moyer 59 104.0
Orioles Mike Mussina 15 155.6 Miguel Tejada 60 102.3 Rafael Palmeiro 125 77.9 Armando Benitez 188 63.4
Rangers Alex Rodriguez 4 187.0 Kevin Millwood 53 108.3 Adrian Beltre 62 101.8 Mark Teixeira 73 97.3
Rays Scott Kazmir 77 96.4 James Shields 78 96.4 David Price 86 93.8 Matt Garza 165 68.1
Red Sox Pedro Martinez 2 244.8 Curt Schilling 3 194.1 Manny Ramirez 8 167.2 David Ortiz 24 137.9
Royals Zack Greinke 21 146.4 Carlos Beltran 69 98.9 Raul Ibanez 96 89.7 Jermaine Dye 138 76.0
Tigers Miguel Cabrera 27 132.9 Justin Verlander 34 124.6 Max Scherzer 57 106.0 Magglio Ordonez 84 94.5
Twins Johan Santana 9 166.6 David Ortiz 24 137.9 Torii Hunter 43 115.9 Francisco Liriano 82 95.2
White Sox Javier Vazquez 19 148.3 Jim Thome 20 146.7 Jake Peavy 25 136.8 Mark Buehrle 41 116.7
Yankees Alex Rodriguez 4 187.0 CC Sabathia 5 179.0 Roger Clemens 10 164.8 Mike Mussina 15 155.6
NL team Player #1 R BTP Player #2 R BTP Player #3 R BTP Player #4 R BTP
Braves John Smoltz 12 160.9 Tim Hudson 14 157.0 Greg Maddux 17 151.7 Chipper Jones 18 149.0
Brewers Aramis Ramirez 58 105.8 Kyle Lohse 97 89.0 Yovani Gallardo 98 87.7 Prince Fielder 111 81.8
Cardinals Albert Pujols 6 174.3 Chris Carpenter 46 113.3 Adam Wainwright 63 101.8 Jim Edmonds 70 98.8
Cubs Greg Maddux 17 151.7 Sammy Sosa 48 113.2 Aramis Ramirez 58 105.8 Ryan Dempster 83 95.2
Dbacks Randy Johnson 1 278.8 Curt Schilling 3 194.1 Steve Finley 124 78.0 Luis Gonzalez 141 75.3
Dodgers Clayton Kershaw 13 159.3 Zack Greinke 21 146.4 Gary Sheffield 35 124.1 Kevin Brown 49 112.8
Giants Barry Bonds 16 153.2 Barry Zito 40 117.4 Tim Lincecum 44 115.0 Jeff Kent 51 109.7
Marlins Miguel Cabrera 27 132.9 A.J. Burnett 30 127.8 Gary Sheffield 35 124.1 Josh Beckett 45 114.9
Mets Johan Santana 9 166.6 Carlos Delgado 39 117.7 Tom Glavine 50 110.6 Billy Wagner 52 108.7
Nationals* Pedro Martinez 2 244.8 Javier Vazquez 19 148.3 Vladimir Guerrero 29 128.3 Gio Gonzalez 115 80.5
Padres Jake Peavy 25 136.8 Trevor Hoffman 28 129.4 Brian Giles 91 92.5 Ryan Klesko 116 80.0
Phillies Curt Schilling 3 194.1 Roy Halladay 7 170.7 Jim Thome 20 146.7 Cole Hamels 33 126.2
Pirates A.J. Burnett 30 127.8 Aramis Ramirez 58 105.8 Jason Schmidt 65 101.2 Francisco Liriano 82 95.2
Reds Ken Griffey Jr. 61 102.2 Scott Rolen 71 97.6 Adam Dunn 85 94.3 Bronson Arroyo 108 84.9
Rockies Jason Giambi 26 133.4 Todd Helton 42 116.4 Larry Walker 68 100.1 Matt Holliday 93 91.8
* Nationals franchise includes players on the Montreal Expos prior to 2005

Who are each franchise's top 4 players in Box-Toppers points since 1995?

Back in July during the All-Star break, Major League Baseball announced the Franchise Four players—the top four all-time players on each club as voted on by fans.

More than one team

Here are players who appear among the Franchise Four players for more than one team. They are listed here by the number of teams on which they are among the top four players in career Box-Toppers points and their career Box-Toppers point (BTP) total.  

Player Teams BTP
Curt Schilling 3 194.1
Alex Rodriguez 3 187.0
Jim Thome 3 146.7
A.J. Burnett 3 127.8
Aramis Ramirez 3 105.8
Randy Johnson 2 278.8
Pedro Martinez 2 244.8
CC Sabathia 2 179.0
Albert Pujols 2 174.3
Roy Halladay 2 170.7
Manny Ramirez 2 167.2
Johan Santana 2 166.6
Roger Clemens 2 164.8
Tim Hudson 2 157.0
Mike Mussina 2 155.6
Greg Maddux 2 151.7
Javier Vazquez 2 148.3
Zack Greinke 2 146.4
Bartolo Colon 2 140.1
David Ortiz 2 137.9
Jake Peavy 2 136.8
Jason Giambi 2 133.4
Miguel Cabrera 2 132.9
Vladimir Guerrero 2 128.3
Gary Sheffield 2 124.1
Carlos Delgado 2 117.7
Barry Zito 2 117.4
Mark Buehrle 2 116.7
Billy Wagner 2 108.7
Francisco Liriano 2 95.2

But who have been each franchise’s top four players over the past couple of decades? Here is a look at the top players by team as measured by Box-Toppers, which began player tracking in 1995.

These are players who had the most career Box-Toppers points who spent at least three complete seasons with a team.

So, for example, the overall leader in Box-Toppers points is pitcher Randy Johnson, who has 278.8 career Box-Toppers points from 1995 until his retirement in 2009. Johnson appears as the top player for two franchises—the Seattle Mariners and the Arizona Diamondbacks—where he spent at least three seasons each during the Box-Toppers era. Johnson was also a member of the New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants but spent fewer than three years with both teams. He was also a member of the Montreal Expos, but for less than two seasons and prior to 1995 when Box-Toppers tracking began.

Each player is listed according to how many total career Box-Toppers points he earned. So for example, Johnson is listed as Franchise Four player for both the Mariners and the Diamondbacks, even though he would not have earned enough Box-Toppers points (64.7) as a Mariner to be listed among that franchise’s top four players. Here is a breakdown of how many Box-Toppers points Johnson earned on each team he was with during the Box-Toppers era:

  • Mariners—64.7
  • Astros—14.4
  • Diamondbacks—166.3
  • Yankees–25.7
  • Giants—7.7

Johnson’s Box-Toppers point total as a Diamondback would still be enough to be listed among that franchise’s top four players—in second place, behind Curt Schilling (194.1 career Box-Toppers points).

There are five players who appear among the top four for three teams and 25 others who are among the top four for two teams.


Franchise Four players for three different teams

There are five players who are among the Box-Toppers Franchise Four for three different teams:

  • Curt Schilling, 194.1 career Box-Toppers points, ranked third among all players since 1995, is the top-ranked player for the Philadelphia Phillies (1995-1999) and second-ranked player for both the Arizona Diamondbacks (2000-2003) and Boston Red Sox (2004-2008). (Interestingly, Schilling also pitched three complete seasons with the Baltimore Orioles prior to Box-Toppers player tracking from 1988 to 1990. Though his record with the Orioles was lackluster, had it happened during the Box-Toppers era, he would also be considered the Orioles top player in Box-Toppers’ Franchise Four.)
  • Alex Rodriguez, 187.0 career Box-Toppers points, ranked fourth among all players since 1995, is the second-ranked player for the Seattle Mariners (1996-2000) and top-ranked player for both the Texas Rangers (2001-2003) and New York Yankees (2004-2015).
  • Jim Thome, 146.7 career Box-Toppers points, ranked 20th among all players since 1995, is the third-ranked player for the Cleveland Indians (1995-2002, 2011), the third-ranked player for the Philadelphia Phillies (2003-2005, 2012) and the second-ranked player for the Chicago White Sox (2006-2009).
  • A.J. Burnett, 127.8 career Box-Toppers points, ranked 30th among all players since 1995, is the second-ranked player for the Florida/Miami Marlins (1999-2005), the second-ranked player for the Toronto Blue Jays (2006-2008) and the top-ranked player for the Pittsburgh Pirates (2012-2013, 2015). Burnett also spent three seasons with the New York Yankees (2009-2011), but does not rank among the top four Yankees players in career Box-Toppers points.
  • Aramis Ramirez, 105.8 career Box-Toppers points, ranked 58th among all players since 1995, is the second-ranked player for the Pittsburgh Pirates (2000-2002, 2015), the third-ranked player for the Chicago Cubs (2003-2011) and the top-ranked player for the Milwaukee Brewers (2012-2015).


Top Franchise Four player for two different teams

There are six players who are the overall top player for two different franchises:

  • Randy Johnson, top player for both the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • Pedro Martinez, top player for both the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals.
  • Alex Rodriguez, top player for both the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees.
  • Albert Pujols, top player for both the California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Johan Santana, top player for both the Minnesota Twins and New York Mets.
  • Miguel Cabrera, top player for both the Detroit Tigers and Florida/Miami Marlins.


Franchise Four players who played for only one team

There are eight players among the Franchise Four players who have been associated with only one team. Two players retired after earning Box-Toppers points for only one team:

  • Chipper Jones, the fourth-ranked Braves player with 149.0 career Box-Toppers points, ranked 18th among all players since 1995.
  • Todd Helton, the second-ranked Rockies player with 116.4 Box-Toppers points, ranked 42nd among all players since 1995.

Six other active players have earned Box-Toppers points for only one team so far in their careers:

  • Jered Weaver, the fourth-ranked Angels player with 123.1 career Box-Toppers points, ranked 36th among all players since 1995.
  • Felix Hernandez, the third-ranked Mariners player with 162.7 career Box-Toppers points, ranked 11th among all players since 1995.
  • Justin Verlander, the second-ranked Tigers player with 124.6 career Box-Toppers points, ranked 34th among all players since 1995.
  • Adam Wainwright, the third-ranked Cardinals player with 101.8 career Box-Toppers points, ranked 63rd among all players since 1995.
  • Clayton Kershaw, the top-ranked Dodgers player with 159.3 career Box-Toppers points, ranked 13th among all players since 1995.
  • Tim Lincecum, the third-ranked Giants player with 115.0 Box-Toppers points, ranked 44th among all players since 1995.


Best and worst Franchise Four teams

Here are the five teams with the highest combined Box-Toppers point total of their Franchise Four players:

  • Boston Red Sox—744.0 Box-Toppers points.
  • Seattle Mariners—732.5.
  • New York Yankees—686.4.
  • Philadelphia Phillies—637.7.
  • Cleveland Indians—633.0.

The five teams with the lowest combined Box-Toppers point total among their Franchise Four players are:

  • Tampa Bay Devil Rays/Rays—354.7.
  • Milwaukee Brewers—364.3.
  • Cincinnati Reds—379.0.
  • Baltimore Orioles—399.2.
  • Kansas City Royals—411.0.

It is somewhat understandable that the Rays have the lowest Box-Toppers point total among their Franchise Four since they began in 1998, three years after Box-Toppers tracking began. However, their expansion franchise partner Arizona Diamondbacks also began in 1998 and rank sixth among all teams in combined Box-Toppers points for Franchise Four players with 626.2, largely on the strength of Box-Toppers top-ranked overall player Randy Johnson and third-ranked overall player Curt Schilling.

The New York Yankees have the highest barrier to entry to becoming a Franchise Four player. To be among the Yankees top four, a player would need to pass Mike Mussina, who with 155.6 Box-Toppers points, has the most points of any team’s fourth-place Franchise Four player.

The Baltimore Orioles have the lowest barrier to entry. Armando Benitez has 63.4 Box-Toppers points, the lowest of any team’s fourth-place Franchise Four player. (Interestingly, the Orioles’ top Franchise Four player is Mussina, the aforementioned fourth-place player for the Yankees.)

The Rays have the lowest-ranked top player in the Franchise Four—Scott Kazmir with 96.4 Box-Toppers points.


Active players 

There are 13 players listed here who are still active on the team they currently represent as a Franchise Four player (players who are free agents as of early January 2016 are not included):

  • Albert Pujols, Angels
  • Jered Weaver, Angels
  • Felix Hernandez, Mariners
  • Adrian Beltre, Rangers
  • David Ortiz, Red Sox
  • Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
  • Justin Verlander, Tigers
  • Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
  • CC Sabathia, Yankees
  • Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
  • Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
  • Gio Gonzalez, Nationals
  • Francisco Liriano, Pirates

There are 19 other currently active players listed here who now play for teams other than the one(s) they represent as a Franchise Four player. Four of those 19 are listed as free agents as of January 2016 and could still re-sign with their 2015 team on which they are currently a Franchise Four player:

  • Kyle Lohse, Brewers
  • Tim Lincecum, Giants
  • A.J. Burnett, Pirates
  • Mark Buehrle, Blue Jays

The remaining 15 of 19 active players either play for a team other than the one(s) they represent as a Franchise Four player or are listed as a free agent as of early January 2016:

  • Bartolo Colon
  • Mark Teixeira
  • Scott Kazmir
  • James Shields
  • David Price
  • Matt Garza
  • Zack Greinke
  • Carlos Beltran
  • Max Scherzer
  • Yovani Gallardo
  • Prince Fielder
  • Jake Peavy
  • Cole Hamels
  • Bronson Arroyo
  • Matt Holliday

Interestingly, there is only one franchise—the Tampa Bay Rays—on which all Franchise Four players are currently active. However, all four players are active on other teams.

  • Scott Kazmir—Dodgers
  • James Shields—Padres
  • David Price—Red Sox
  • Matt Garza—Brewers

There are seven teams in which all four players listed are retired or no longer active:

  • Astros
  • Athletics
  • Braves
  • Cubs
  • Diamondbacks
  • Mets
  • Nationals


Top players not among Franchise Four

Mariano Rivera is the highest-ranked player in career Box-Toppers points who does not appear among any teams’ Franchise Four players. Rivera has 126.4 career Box-Toppers points (32nd among players since 1995) all with the Yankees, but would need 155.6 to be listed among that franchise’s top four. Here are the top five players in career Box-Toppers points who do not appear on any Franchise Four list:

  • Rivera, 126.4
  • Jon Lester 121.1
  • Cliff Lee 119.1
  • Kevin Brown 112.8
  • Lance Berkman 108.1

Berkman just missed out of the Astros’ Franchise Four list, falling 0.6 Box-Toppers points short of the fourth-ranked Astros player in career points, Billy Wagner with 108.7.


Franchise Four players starring for unexpected teams

Several Franchise Four players are listed with the team with whom their success isn’t necessarily most associated.

  • Andy Pettitte is a Franchise Four player for the Houston Astros, where he spent three seasons (2004-2006) but not the Yankees, where he spent the bulk of his career. Pettitte had 138.5 career Box-Toppers points, not enough to qualify for the Yankees’ Franchise Four.
  • Ken Griffey Jr. is a Franchise Four player for the Cincinnati Reds, where he played from 2000 to 2007, though his greatest success came as a member of the Seattle Mariners. However, Griffey had 102.2 career Box-Toppers points, just short of cracking the top four Mariners players (Jamie Moyer, the fourth-ranked Mariner, had 104.0 career Box-Toppers points).
  • Tom Glavine is a Franchise Four player for the New York Mets, where he played from 2003 to 2007, though his primary success came as an Atlanta Brave. But Glavine, with 110.6 career Box-Toppers points since 1995, needed to beat Chipper Jones’ 149.0 career Box-Toppers points to land a spot among the Braves’ Franchise Four.
  • Roger Clemens is a Franchise Four player for both the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, but not for the Boston Red Sox, where he started his career and rose to fame. While Clemens spent 13 seasons with the Red Sox, he only spent two seasons with the Red Sox during the Box-Toppers era (1995 and 1996) and so doesn’t have the requisite three seasons with the team to qualify as a Franchise Four player. If Clemens did qualify as a Red Sox player for Box-Toppers’ Franchise Four, his 164.8 Box-Toppers points from 1995 to 2007 would rank fourth among Red Sox players, displacing David Ortiz (137.9).


A word about the Montreal Expos

Players for the Montreal Expos and Washington Nationals are grouped together in one franchise. The franchise began in 1969 in Montreal and moved in 2005 to Washington, changing its name to the Nationals.

Three of the Franchise Four players—Pedro Martinez, Javier Vazquez and Vladimir Guerrero—played for the Expos. The fourth-ranked player, Gio Gonzalez, has played for the Nationals since 2012.


Some players would have more points

Box-Toppers player tracking began in 1995 and so covers the past 21 seasons.

There are 24 players among the Franchise Four who began their career prior to 1995 and who would likely have more Box-Toppers points if their careers were tracked before that. Those 24 players are:

  • Roger Clemens
  • Manny Ramirez
  • Jim Thome
  • Randy Johnson
  • Jamie Moyer
  • Mike Mussina
  • Rafael Palmeiro
  • Armando Benitez
  • Pedro Martinez
  • Curt Schilling
  • John Smoltz
  • Greg Maddux
  • Chipper Jones
  • Sammy Sosa
  • Steve Finley
  • Luis Gonzalez
  • Gary Sheffield
  • Kevin Brown
  • Barry Bonds
  • Tom Glavine
  • Trevor Hoffman
  • Ryan Klesko
  • Ken Griffey Jr.
  • Larry Walker

Interestingly, there is only one team on which all four Franchise Four players began their career prior to 1995—and that was one of two franchises that actually began after 1995. All four Arizona Diamondbacks Franchise Four players began their career prior to 1995 and the advent of Box-Toppers player tracking—Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Steve Finley and Luis Gonzalez. Of course, all four of those players began their career with a team other than the Diamondbacks, since the franchise began in 1998.

Three other franchises had three of four Franchise Four players who began their careers prior to 1995:

  • Orioles—Mike Mussina, Rafael Palmeiro, Armando Benitez
  • Red Sox—Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Manny Ramirez
  • Braves—John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, Chipper Jones


Batters and pitchers

With 30 teams each having four Franchise Four players, there are 120 total player spots. Thirty of those players are Franchise Four players for more than one team and those 30 occupy 65 total player spots. That means there are 85 total players listed in the Franchise Four chart.

More than half of the 85 listed players (49) are pitchers, while 36 are batters.

There are two teams in which all Franchise Four players are pitchers:

  • Astros—Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Roy Oswalt, Billy Wagner
  • Rays—Scott Kazmir, James Shields, David Price, Matt Garza

There is one team in which all Franchise Four players are batters:

  • Rockies—Jason Giambi, Todd Helton, Larry Walker, Matt Holliday

All other teams’ Franchise Four players are mix of pitchers and batters.

About Box-Toppers—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.


Major League Baseball’s Franchise Four

Box-Toppers top 100 players of “all-time,” 1995-2015