Yankees' pitcher Luis Severino is Box-Toppers' Most Improved Player in 2017

Box-Toppers player rankings graphic.png

Yankees pitcher Luis Severino had the biggest improvement in Box-Toppers point totals from 2016 to 2017, and is this season’s Box-Toppers’ Most Improved Player.

Most improved players

Here are the 25 players who had the biggest gains in Box-Toppers points (BTP) from 2016 to 2017, ranked by their rise in points this season. Yankees pitcher Luis Severino had the biggest gain of 19.1 points, earning 2.0 points in 2016 and 21.1 in 2017. The list includes players who made big jumps (such as Chris Sale of the Red Sox), players who were rookies (such as Aaron Judge of the Yankees) as well as players who were sidelined with injury in 2016 (such as Rockies closer Greg Holland).

Player Pos Team BTP Rise
1 Severino, Luis 3567 pi sp nyy al 21.1 19.1
2 Wood, Alex 3246 pi sp lad nl 15.7 14.7
3 Rizzo, Anthony 3063 1b chi nl 15.5 12.5
4 Santana, Ervin 2005 pi sp min al 16.1 12.1
5 Sale, Chris 2806 pi sp bos al 25.1 11.7
6 † Judge, Aaron 3767 rf nyy al 11.2 11.2
7 Nelson, Jimmy 3299 pi sp mil nl 14.0 11.0
8 Greinke, Zack 1871 pi sp ari nl 20.1 10.4
9 Godley, Zack 3538 pi sp ari nl 11.0 10.0
10 Vargas, Jason 2055 pi sp kc al 11.0 10.0
11 Carrasco, Carlos 2885 pi sp cle al 21.8 9.4
12 Ray, Robbie 3502 pi sp ari nl 16.0 9.3
13 Paxton, James 3280 pi sp sea al 13.7 9.3
14 Nola, Aaron 3569 pi sp phi nl 15.8 9.1
15 Berrios, Jose 3791 pi sp min al 9.0 9.0
16 Lynn, Lance 2992 pi sp stl nl 8.7 8.7
17 † Bellinger, Cody 3781 1b rf lf lad nl 8.7 8.7
18 Ramirez, Jose 3436 3b 2b cle al 10.0 8.5
19 Clevinger, Mike 3707 pi sp cle al 11.4 8.4
20 Cobb, Alex 2916 pi sp tb al 8.4 8.4
21 † Castillo, Luis Miguel 3840 pi sp cin nl 8.4 8.4
22 Gennett, Scooter 3254 2b cin nl 10.7 8.2
23 Holland, Greg 2906 pi cp col nl 8.0 8.0
24 Iglesias, Jose 3532 ss det al 8.0 8.0
25 † Pivetta, Nick 3825 pi sp phi nl 8.0 8.0
What are those numbers after players' names?
BTP—Box-Toppers points
† Rookie status in 2017

Severino had 19.1 more Box-Toppers points in 2017 than he did in 2016. In 2016, he had 2.0 Box-Toppers points and in 2017, he had 21.1 points, seventh among all players, fourth among American League pitchers.

In 2016, the Yankees used Severino primarily as a middle reliever and he earned Player of the Game honors twice. But in 2017, Severino was named a starter and earned Player of the Game honors 17 times. Three of those times, he earned AL Player of the Day honors (worth 1.7 points each) and two of those times, he earned overall Player of the Day honors (worth 2.0 points each).

This was Severino’s best season by far. In his 2015 rookie season, he earned 3.0 Box-Toppers points (all as a starting pitcher).

Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood had the biggest gain in Box-Toppers points from 2016 to 2017 among National League players and the second-biggest gain among all players. Wood gained 14.7 points on last season’s total. He earned 1.0 point in 2016 and 15.7 in 2017. Wood ranked 13th among all players and eighth among NL pitchers.

Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs had the third-biggest gain from 2016 to 2017 and the biggest gain among all batters. Rizzo had a gain of 12.5 points, earning 15.5 in 2017 and 3.0 in 2016. Rizzo led all NL batters in Box-Toppers points in 2017 and ranked 14th among all players.

Box-Toppers overall leader for 2017, Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale, had the fifth biggest gain among all players. His point total increased by 11.7 from 13.4 in 2016 to 25.1 in 2017.

Aaron Judge of the Yankees had the biggest gain among all rookie players. He rose 11.2 points, earning no points in 2016 and 11.2 in 2017, the sixth-biggest rise among all players. Judge led all rookies in Box-Toppers points and ranked 26th among all players and second among AL batters. Judge also was named AL Rookie of the Year.

Three starting pitchers from the Arizona Diamondbacks are among the top 12 improvers from 2016 to 2017, as the team itself improved from last season. Zack Greinke ranked eighth among all improving players, gaining 10.4 points (from 9.7 to 20.1), Zack Godley ranked ninth among improving players, gaining 10.0 points (from 1.0 to 11.0) and Robbie Ray ranked 12th among improving players, gaining 9.3 points (from 6.7 to 16.0). The Diamondbacks ranked 23rd among all teams in 2016 with 74.5 accumulated Box-Toppers points. In 2017, they improved to eighth place among all teams with 118.3 points.

Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers had the biggest gain among all NL rookie players. He rose 8.7 points, earning no points in 2016 and 8.7 in 2017, the 17th-biggest rise among all players. Bellinger led all NL rookies in Box-Toppers points, ranked 10th among NL batters and was named NL Rookie of the Year.

Rockies closing pitcher Greg Holland had the 23rd-biggest increase in Box-Toppers points from 2016 to 2017. He increased 8.0 points from none in 2016 (when he was out recovering from Tommy John surgery) to 8.0 points in 2017. Holland was named Sporting News 2017 NL Comeback Player of the year. The AL winner, Mike Moustakas of the Royals, ranked 101st among improving players (outside the top 25 list), earning 4.0 more points in 2017 than 2016. He earned 5.0 points in 2017 and 1.0 point in 2016.

While Box-Toppers list of most improved players includes some players, like Holland, who came back from injury in 2017, it also includes rookies who had no points in 2016 and others, who simply made a big jump in points from last season. 

Three of the players on the list were on last year’s list of top 25 players whose Box-Toppers point total declined most from 2015 to 2016:

  • Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn ranks 16th among 2017 improvers, earning 8.7 points in 2017 after earning none in 2016. In 2016, he ranked 10th among Box-Toppers’ “big dippers,” falling from the 11.4 points he earned in 2015 to zero in 2016, missing the season recovering from Tommy John surgery.
  • Greinke, who ranks eighth among 2017 improvers, earning 20.1 points in 2017, which is 10.4 more than the 9.7 he earned in 2016. However, the 9.7 he earned in 2016 was 11.0 points below his 2015 total of 20.7. That drop was the 12th-biggest among all players from 2015 to 2016.
  • Holland, whose rise of 8.0 points in 2017 ranks 23rd among all players. However, he dropped from 8.0 points in 2015 to zero in 2016, which was the 24th-biggest drop among players.

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.

Top 100 players of 2017

Box-Toppers’ Most Improved Player of 2016: Jose Fernandez