Randy Johnson leads all players in career Box-Toppers points and likely will continue doing so until at least 2020.
Johnson earned 278.8 Box-Toppers points from the time Box-Toppers record keeping began in 1995 until he ended his career in 2009.
Top 100 ‘All-Time’ PlayersHere are the 100 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 2016 and their career ranking in Box-Toppers points 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|
|5||Sabathia, C.C. 1492||pi sp||nyy al||185.0||6.0||5|
|6||Kershaw, Clayton 2494||pi sp||lad nl||183.7||24.4||13|
|7||Pujols, Albert 1438||dh 1b||ana al||182.3||8.0||6|
|8||Halladay, Roy 1178||pi sp||retired||170.7||7|
|9||Hernandez, Felix 2064||pi sp||sea al||168.7||6.0||11|
|11||Santana, Johan 1448||pi sp||free agent||166.6||9|
|12||clemens, roger||pi sp||retired||164.8||10|
|13||smoltz, john||pi sp||retired||160.9||12|
|14||Hudson, Tim 1231||pi sp||retired||157.0||14|
|15||Greinke, Zack 1871||pi sp||ari nl||156.1||9.7||21|
|16||mussina, Mike||pi sp||retired||155.6||15|
|18||maddux, greg||pi sp||retired||151.7||17|
|20||Colon, Bartolo||pi sp||nym nl||148.5||8.4||22|
|21||Vazquez, Javier 1146||pi sp||retired||148.3||19|
|22||thome, jim||1b dh||retired||146.7||20|
|23||Ortiz, David||dh||bos al||145.9||8.0||24|
|24||Cabrera, Miguel 1776||1b||det al||144.9||12.0||27|
|25||Hamels, Cole 2135||pi sp||tex al||144.0||17.8||33|
|26||Lester, Jon 2173||pi sp||chi nl||143.2||22.1||37|
|27||Peavy, Jake 1635||pi sp||sf nl||141.8||5.0||25|
|28||Verlander, Justin 2112||pi sp||det al||139.3||14.7||34|
|29||pettitte, andy||pi sp||retired||138.5||23|
|31||Scherzer, Max 2588||pi sp||dc nl||131.7||25.7||57|
|32||hoffman, trevor||pi cp||retired||129.4||28|
|34||Weaver, Jered 2178||pi sp||ana al||127.8||4.7||36|
|35||Burnett, A.J. 1300||pi sp||retired||127.8||30|
|36||Oswalt, Roy 1469||pi sp||retired||127.2||31|
|37||rivera, mariano||pi cp||retired||126.4||32|
|39||Lackey, John 1640||pi sp||chi nl||121.2||13.4||55|
|40||Lee, Cliff 1798||pi sp||free agent||119.1||38|
|42||Zito, Barry 1415||pi sp||retired||117.4||40|
|43||Buehrle, Mark 1407||pi sp||free agent||116.7||41|
|44||Helton, Todd 1060||1b||retired||116.4||42|
|45||Hunter, Torii 1190||cf||retired||115.9||43|
|46||Lincecum, Tim 2288||pi sp||free agent||115.0||44|
|47||Beckett, Josh 1544||pi sp||retired||114.9||45|
|48||Carpenter, Chris||pi sp||retired||113.3||46|
|49||Haren, Danny 1787||pi sp||retired||113.2||47|
|51||brown, kevin j.||pi sp||retired||112.8||49|
|52||Wainwright, Adam 2150||pi sp||stl nl||112.0||10.2||63|
|53||Beltre, Adrian 1141||3b||tex al||111.3||9.5||62|
|54||glavine, tom||pi sp||retired||110.6||50|
|56||Wagner, Billy||pi cp||retired||108.7||52|
|57||Millwood, Kevin||pi sp||retired||108.3||53|
|58||Berkman, Lance 1261||1b lf rf||retired||108.1||54|
|59||Price, David 2593||pi sp||bos al||106.2||12.4||86|
|60||thomas, frank||dh 1b||retired||106.2||56|
|61||Ramirez, Aramis 1364||3b||retired||105.8||58|
|62||Bumgarner, Madison 2753||pi sp||sf nl||105.7||13.0||90|
|63||Kazmir, Scott 1947||pi sp||lad nl||105.1||8.7||77|
|64||Beltran, Carlos 1194||dh rf||tex al||104.9||6.0||69|
|65||moyer, jamie||pi sp||retired||104.0||59|
|66||Liriano, Francisco 2104||pi sp||tor al||103.2||8.0||82|
|68||griffey, ken jr.||cf||retired||102.2||61|
|69||wakefield, tim||pi sp||retired||101.4||64|
|70||Teixeira, Mark 1738||1b||nyy al||101.3||4.0||73|
|71||schmidt, jason||pi sp||retired||101.2||65|
|72||Konerko, Paul 1107||1b||retired||100.7||66|
|75||Cueto, Johnny 2400||pi sp||sf nl||99.8||16.4||109|
|76||Cain, Matt 2081||pi sp||sf nl||99.7||2.7||74|
|77||Shields, James 2157||pi sp||chi al||99.4||3.0||78|
|79||Howard, Ryan 2040||1b||phi nl||98.7||2.0||75|
|80||Holliday, Matt 1836||1b lf dh||stl nl||97.8||6.0||93|
|82||Wolf, Randy 1235||pi sp||retired||97.4||72|
|83||Santana, Ervin 2005||pi sp||min al||97.3||4.0||88|
|87||nomo, hideo||pi sp||retired||95.5||81|
|88||Dempster, Ryan 1109||pi sp||retired||95.2||83|
|90||Dunn, Adam 1512||lf||retired||94.3||85|
|92||Lilly, Ted 1452||pi sp||retired||93.3||89|
|94||Wood, Kerry||pi sp||retired||92.4||92|
|95||Glaus, Troy 1132||3b||retired||91.6||94|
|96||Lowe, Derek||pi sp||retired||91.5||95|
|97||Gallardo, Yovani 2333||pi sp||bal al||89.7||2.0||98|
|98||Ibanez, Raul 1137||lf dh||retired||89.7||96|
|99||Lohse, Kyle 1487||pi sp||free agent||89.0||97|
|100||Braun, Ryan J. 2300||lf||mil nl||88.2||10.5||127|
What are those numbers after players' names?
The most likely rival to Johnson’s throne at the moment is Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw who has 183.7 career Box-Toppers points. Kershaw earned 24.4 points during 2016, rising from 13th to sixth place in rankings. Over the past six seasons, Kershaw has earned an average of 25 Box-Toppers points per year. If he were to continue that torrid pace, he would catch Johnson’s career total in 2020.
But even if Kershaw reaches that 278.8 total, he still wouldn’t match Johnson’s actual career total. Since Box-Toppers didn’t track Johnson’s career from 1988 to 1994, he would likely have many more career Box-Toppers points. Rough projections put his actual career Box-Toppers point total at about 380.
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 100 players since record keeping began in 1995, along with their career Box-Toppers point total and, where applicable, their Box-Toppers points for 2016. The chart also shows each player’s roster status as of the end of the 2016 season and players’ rank in career Box-Toppers points at the end of the 2015 season, to show their rise or fall in rankings.
Some notable players on the top 100 list:
- 2. Pedro Martinez is the only other player with more than 200 Box-Toppers points, with 244.8. If Martinez’ entire pitching career were tracked from 1992, rough projections put his career Box-Toppers total at 270.
- 3. Curt Schilling is the highest-ranked player on Box-Toppers career points list who is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He has 194.1 points. If Schilling’s entire pitching career were tracked from 1988, rough projections put his career Box-Toppers point total at 232.
- 4. Alex Rodriguez is the highest-ranked batter on the career list with 187.0 Box-Toppers points. He earned no points in 2016, a season in which he was released by the Yankees, apparently ending his baseball career at the age of 41. Rodriguez was the last active player whose career preceded the advent of Box-Toppers tracking in 1995. However, Rodriguez played in only 17 games in his debut 1994 season and a Box-Toppers analysis earlier this year determined he would not have earned Box-Toppers points in any of those games. Rodriguez did not earn his first Box-Toppers points until his third season, 1996.
- 5. CC Sabathia of the Yankees is now the highest-ranking active player on the career Box-Toppers point list with 185.0. Sabathia took the lead Aug. 13 when teammate Alex Rodriguez was released. Sabathia is also the highest-ranking player on the list to earn Box-Toppers points in 2016, earning 6.0. While it was his best season since 2012 (15.1), it is below his 16-season average of 11.6.
- 6. Kershaw rose seven spots from 13th to sixth place in 2016 and moved to within 1.3 Box-Toppers points of passing Sabathia to become the active leader in career Box-Toppers points. Kershaw earned 24.4 Box-Toppers points in 2016, second among all players and his sixth straight season with 20 or more points. Had Kershaw not been injured for two months during the season it is likely he would have risen past Sabathia for the active career points lead.
- 7. Albert Pujols of the Angels is the active leader in career Box-Toppers points among batters with 182.3, taking over the top spot Aug. 13 when Alex Rodriguez was released by the Yankees. Pujols earned 8.0 Box-Toppers points in 2016, his best season since 2011 (12.5) but still fell one spot in career rankings from 2015—he was passed by Kershaw, who now leads Pujols by only 1.4 Box-Toppers points. Pujols is also only 2.7 Box-Toppers points behind Sabathia, the active leader in career Box-Toppers points.
- 9. Felix Hernandez of the Mariners rose into the top 10 career Box-Toppers points list in 2016, rising from 11th at the end of 2015, with 168.7 points. However, it was a comparatively lackluster season for Hernandez. He earned a career low 6.0 Box-Toppers points in 2016 after averaging 14.8 over his first 11 seasons from 2005 to 2015.
Rising and falling
These players made the biggest jump up the career Box-Toppers points list this year:
- Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto rose 34 spots, more than any other player, from 109th at the end of 2015 to 75th at the end of 2016. Cueto has 99.8 Box-Toppers points, earning 16.4 in 2016, fifth among National League pitchers.
- Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner rose 28 spots from 90th at the end of 2015 to 62nd at the end of 2016. Bumgarner has 105.7 Box-Toppers points, earning 13.0 in 2016, 12th among NL pitchers.
- Red Sox pitcher David Price rose 27 spots from 86th at the end of 2015 to 59th at the end of 2016. Price has 106.2 Box-Toppers points, earning 12.4 in 2016, ninth among American League pitchers. (Price made the biggest ranking jump from 2014 to 2015, rising 55 spots from 141st to 86th.)
- Ryan Braun of the Brewers rose 27 spots from 127th at the end of 2015 to 100th at the end of 2016. Braun has 88.2 Box-Toppers points, earning 10.5 in 2016, third among NL batters.
- Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer rose 26 spots from 57th at the end of 2015 to 31st at the end of 2016. Scherzer has 131.7 Box-Toppers points, earning 25.7 in 2016, first among all players.
Two retired players had the biggest drop down the list, as they were passed by the most players rising up the list in 2016:
- Scott Rolen dropped 10 spots from 71st at the end of 2015 to 81st at the end of 2016. He has 97.6 career Box-Toppers points.
- Randy Wolf dropped 10 spots from 72nd at the end of 2015 to 82nd at the end of 2016. He has 97.4 career Box-Toppers points.
Six players passed the 100 career Box-Toppers point threshold in 2016:
- Red Sox pitcher David Price, now with 108.2 Box-Toppers points, 59th on the list.
- Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, now with 105.7 Box-Toppers points, 62nd on the list.
- Dodgers pitcher Scott Kazmir, now with 105.1 Box-Toppers points, 63rd on the list.
- Carlos Beltran of the Rangers, now with 104.9 Box-Toppers points, 64th on the list.
- Blue Jays pitcher Francisco Liriano, now with 103.2 Box-Toppers points, 66th on the list.
- Mark Teixeira of the Yankees, now with 101.3 Box-Toppers points, 70th on the list. Teixeira retired at the end of 2016.
Three retired players dropped off the list of top 100 players at the end of 2015 (actually the list was 101 players because of a three-way tie). Those three are Moises Alou, Albert Belle and David Wells, all of whom had 87.5 career Box-Toppers points. Two players rose on the top 100 list to replace them at the end of 2016: Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto (99.8 points, 75th place) and Ryan Braun of the Brewers (88.2 points, 100th place).
Top 100 for 2016 & ‘All-time’
There are 19 players on the “all-time” top 100 who also appeared in Box-Toppers top 100 player list for 2016. They are shown in the chart below, listed in order by their Box-Toppers career player ranking.
Breakdown: Active vs. Inactive
Of the 100 players on the “all-time” list, 69 of them ended the season either retired (63), listed as a free agent (five) or were released by their team (one, Alex Rodriguez by the Yankees). Two additional players on the list announced their intention to retire after the 2016 season: David Ortiz of the Red Sox (145.9 Box-Toppers points, 23rd) and Mark Teixeira of the Yankees (101.3 points, 70th place).
The 69 inactive players at the end of 2016 is a big jump from the end of 2015, when 60 players ended the season without a team affiliation.
The highest profile free agent player is pitcher Johan Santana, who with 166.6 Box-Toppers points ranks 11th on the “all-time” list. Santana, 37, has made several attempts to come back from injury but hasn’t played in the Majors since 2012 with the Mets.
With 69 players inactive at the end of 2016, only 31 players were active. All 31 active players earned at least 2.0 Box-Toppers points during the season. However, there are three players on the list who played in 2016 who did not earn Box-Toppers points during the season, all of whom were released by their teams:
- Alex Rodriguez (187.0 Box-Toppers points, ranked fourth) played in 65 games for the Yankees. He was released in August.
- Tim Lincecum (115.0 points, 46th) appeared in nine games for the Angels. He is listed as a free agent.
- Kyle Lohse (89.0 Box-Toppers points, 99th) appeared in two games for the Rangers. He is listed as a free agent.
The San Francisco Giants have four players on the “all-time” top 100 list, most of any team:
- 27—Jake Peavy, starting pitcher, 141.8 Box-Toppers points.
- 62—Madison Bumgarner, starting pitcher, 105.7.
- 75—Johnny Cueto, starting pitcher, 99.8.
- 76—Matt Cain, starting pitcher, 99.7.
The Texas Rangers have three players on the list. Seven other teams have two players each on the list—the Angels, Red Sox, Cubs, Tigers, Dodgers, Yankees and Cardinals.
Breakdown by position
Pitchers outnumber batters on the “all-time” list. There are 59 pitchers and 41 batters. (On the top 100 list for 2016, pitchers outnumber batters to a far greater extent, 67 to 33.)
Here is a breakdown of players by their primary position on the “all-time” list:
- 56—Starting pitcher
- 17—Outfield (5 CF, 6 LF, 6 RF)
- 11—First base
- 6—Third base
- 4—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 tracked. On the other hand, for a player like Chipper Jones (ranked 19th), 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 37th) 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 23rd). And "Helton, Todd 1060," was one of the first players with the debut order number appended, when he first appeared in 1998 (now ranked 44th).
(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.)
About Box-Toppers—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.
Box-Toppers strives for accuracy. See a mistake in a post? A wrong name, wrong team, grammar error, spelling goof, etc.? Thanks for pointing it out! Contact Box-Toppers here. Let's fix it and make it right.
Overlapping playersHere are the 19 players who are on both the Box-Toppers’ top 100 list of “all-time” (above) and the Box-Toppers top 100 list for the 2016 season. Players are listed here in order of career Box-Toppers points (since 1995 when Box-Toppers tracking began) with their predominant position played during the 2016 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 2016 and their rank among players in 2016.
|Kershaw, Clayton 2494||pi sp||lad nl||183.7||6||24.4||2|
|Pujols, Albert 1438||dh 1b||ana al||182.3||7||8.0||84|
|Greinke, Zack 1871||pi sp||ari nl||156.1||15||9.7||56|
|Colon, Bartolo||pi sp||nym nl||148.5||20||8.4||75|
|Ortiz, David||dh||bos al||145.9||23||8.0||90|
|Cabrera, Miguel 1776||1b||det al||144.9||24||12.0||33|
|Hamels, Cole 2135||pi sp||tex al||144.0||25||17.8||6|
|Lester, Jon 2173||pi sp||chi nl||143.2||26||22.1||4|
|Verlander, Justin 2112||pi sp||det al||139.3||28||14.7||12|
|Scherzer, Max 2588||pi sp||dc nl||131.7||31||25.7||1|
|Lackey, John 1640||pi sp||chi nl||121.2||39||13.4||16|
|Wainwright, Adam 2150||pi sp||stl nl||112.0||52||10.2||52|
|Beltre, Adrian 1141||3b||tex al||111.3||53||9.5||59|
|Price, David 2593||pi sp||bos al||106.2||59||12.4||27|
|Bumgarner, Madison 2753||pi sp||sf nl||105.7||62||13.0||19|
|Kazmir, Scott 1947||pi sp||lad nl||105.1||63||8.7||69|
|Liriano, Francisco 2104||pi sp||tor al||103.2||66||8.0||78|
|Cueto, Johnny 2400||pi sp||sf nl||99.8||75||16.4||8|
|Braun, Ryan J. 2300||lf||mil nl||88.2||100||10.5||47|
What are those numbers after players' names?