Chris Sale tops Box-Toppers list of the top 100 players in 2017.
The Red Sox pitcher had 25.1 Box-Toppers points during the regular season, which is the 24th-highest single-season point total since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began.
Top 100 players of 2017Here are Box-Toppers Top 100 players of 2017, ranked by Box-Toppers points (BTP).
|1||Sale, Chris 2806||pi sp||bos al||25.1|
|2||Scherzer, Max 2588||pi sp||dc nl||25.0|
|3||Kershaw, Clayton 2494||pi sp||lad nl||23.1|
|4||Strasburg, Stephen 2736||pi sp||dc nl||22.5|
|5||Kluber, Corey 3200||pi sp||cle al||22.0|
|6||Carrasco, Carlos 2885||pi sp||cle al||21.8|
|7||Severino, Luis 3567||pi sp||nyy al||21.1|
|8||Greinke, Zack 1871||pi sp||ari nl||20.1|
|9||Santana, Ervin 2005||pi sp||min al||16.1|
|10||Ray, Robbie 3502||pi sp||ari nl||16.0|
|11||Nola, Aaron 3569||pi sp||phi nl||15.8|
|12||deGrom, Jacob 3343||pi sp||nym nl||15.7|
|13||Wood, Alex 3246||pi sp||lad nl||15.7|
|14||Rizzo, Anthony 3063||1b||chi nl||15.5|
|15||Quintana, Jose 3040||pi sp||chi nl||15.0|
|16||Verlander, Justin 2112||pi sp||hou al||14.7|
|17||Stanton, Giancarlo 2737||rf||fla nl||14.2|
|18||Nelson, Jimmy 3299||pi sp||mil nl||14.0|
|19||Paxton, James 3280||pi sp||sea al||13.7|
|20||Darvish, Yu 3003||pi sp||lad nl||13.0|
|21||Hill, Rich 2215||pi sp||lad nl||12.7|
|22||Encarnacion, Edwin 2098||dh 1b||cle al||12.1|
|23||Tanaka, Masahiro 3305||pi sp||nyy al||11.4|
|24||Chacin, Jhoulys 2711||pi sp||sd nl||11.4|
|25||Clevinger, Mike 3707||pi sp||cle al||11.4|
|26||Judge, Aaron 3767||rf||nyy al||11.2|
|27||Gausman, Kevin 3191||pi sp||bal al||11.1|
|28||Odorizzi, Jake 3291||pi sp||tb al||11.1|
|29||Samardzija, Jeff 2495||pi sp||sf nl||11.0|
|30||Andrus, Elvis 2582||ss||tex al||11.0|
|31||Godley, Zack 3538||pi sp||ari nl||11.0|
|32||Vargas, Jason 2055||pi sp||kc al||11.0|
|33||Lester, Jon 2173||pi sp||chi nl||10.7|
|34||Gennett, Scooter 3254||2b||cin nl||10.7|
|35||Anderson, Chase 3328||pi sp||mil nl||10.4|
|36||Maeda, Kenta 3609||pi sp||lad nl||10.0|
|37||Bruce, Jay 2453||rf||cle al||10.0|
|38||Ramirez, Jose 3436||3b 2b||cle al||10.0|
|39||Bauer, Trevor 3065||pi sp||cle al||9.7|
|40||Straily, Dan 3080||pi sp||fla nl||9.7|
|41||Gonzalez, Gio 2626||pi sp||dc nl||9.7|
|42||Corbin, Patrick 3027||pi sp||ari nl||9.7|
|43||Healy, Ryon 3685||dh 1b||oak al||9.7|
|44||Martinez, Carlos 3371||pi sp||stl nl||9.5|
|45||Hosmer, Eric 2886||1b||kc al||9.5|
|46||Posey, Buster 2745||ca 1b||sf nl||9.5|
|47||Hamels, Cole 2135||pi sp||tex al||9.4|
|48||Keuchel, Dallas 3050||pi sp||hou al||9.4|
|49||McCullers, Lance 3488||pi sp||hou al||9.4|
|50||Bundy, Dylan 3655||pi sp||bal al||9.4|
|51||Arenado, Nolan 3306||3b||col nl||9.2|
|52||Ozuna, Marcell 3190||lf||fla nl||9.2|
|53||McCutchen, Andrew 2637||cf||pit nl||9.0|
|54||Diaz, Edwin 3690||pi cp||sea al||9.0|
|55||Taillon, Jameson 3658||pi sp||pit nl||9.0|
|56||Parra, Gerardo 2746||rf lf||col nl||9.0|
|57||Fowler, Dexter 2698||cf||stl nl||9.0|
|58||Berrios, Jose 3791||pi sp||min al||9.0|
|59||Kimbrel, Craig 2825||pi cp||bos al||8.7|
|60||Odor, Rougned 3336||2b||tex al||8.7|
|61||Rodriguez, Eduardo 3480||pi sp||bos al||8.7|
|62||Richard, Clayton 2584||pi sp||sd nl||8.7|
|63||Lynn, Lance 2992||pi sp||stl nl||8.7|
|64||Bellinger, Cody 3781||1b rf lf||lad nl||8.7|
|65||Sano, Miguel 3527||3b||min al||8.5|
|66||Pomeranz, Drew 3061||pi sp||bos al||8.4|
|67||Chatwood, Tyler 2856||pi sp||col nl||8.4|
|68||Gray, Sonny 3259||pi sp||nyy al||8.4|
|69||Cobb, Alex 2916||pi sp||tb al||8.4|
|70||Castillo, Luis Miguel 3840||pi sp||cin nl||8.4|
|71||Donaldson, Josh 3144||3b||tor al||8.0|
|72||Archer, Chris 3194||pi sp||tb al||8.0|
|73||Shaw, Travis 3544||3b||mil nl||8.0|
|74||Rendon, Anthony 3258||3b||dc nl||8.0|
|75||Reddick, Josh 2936||rf lf cf||hou al||8.0|
|76||Alonso, Yonder 2945||1b||sea al||8.0|
|77||Weaver, Luke 3719||pi sp||stl nl||8.0|
|78||Grichuk, Randal 3474||rf||stl nl||8.0|
|79||Holland, Greg 2906||pi cp||col nl||8.0|
|80||Iglesias, Jose 3532||ss||det al||8.0|
|81||Pivetta, Nick 3825||pi sp||phi nl||8.0|
|82||Sabathia, C.C. 1492||pi sp||nyy al||7.7|
|83||Morton, Charlie 2503||pi sp||hou al||7.7|
|84||Bridwell, Parker 3844||pi sp||ana al||7.7|
|85||Murphy, Daniel 2589||2b||dc nl||7.5|
|86||Upton, Justin 2411||lf||ana al||7.5|
|87||Moss, Brandon 2520||dh||kc al||7.5|
|88||Perez, Salvador 2972||ca||kc al||7.5|
|89||Altherr, Aaron 3563||lf rf cf||phi nl||7.5|
|90||Manaea, Sean 3637||pi sp||oak al||7.4|
|91||Goldschmidt, Paul 2935||1b||ari nl||7.4|
|92||Peacock, Brad 2968||pi sp||hou al||7.4|
|93||Zimmerman, Ryan 2180||1b||dc nl||7.2|
|94||Benintendi, Andrew 3815||lf||bos al||7.2|
|95||Mancini, Trey 3766||lf 1b||bal al||7.2|
|96||Machado, Manny 3087||3b||bal al||7.0|
|97||Roark, Tanner 3261||pi sp||dc nl||7.0|
|98||Gonzalez, Miguel 3062||pi sp||tex al||7.0|
|99||Nova, Ivan 2796||pi sp||pit nl||7.0|
|100||Correa, Carlos 3506||ss||hou al||7.0|
BTG—Box-Toppers game score
Sale earned his 25.1 Box-Toppers points by being Box-Toppers Player of the Game in 15 of the Red Sox wins, earning 1.0 Box-Toppers point each time. In addition, he earned bonus points:
- Three times for being American League Player of the Game (0.7 extra points each time, for a total of 2.1 more Box-Toppers points).
- Eight times for being overall Player of the Game (1.0 extra point each time, for a total of 8.0 more Box-Toppers points).
Sale took the Box-Toppers points lead for the season on Sept. 20.
Early in the season, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw surged to an early, dominant lead. At the All-Star break, Kershaw had 21.1 Box-Toppers points and was on pace to break the all-time, single-season record of 33.7 points set by Randy Johnson in both 2000 and 2002. But Kershaw went on the disabled list for five weeks on July 24 and only earned 2.0 more Box-Toppers points in the final half of the season. Still, he finished third overall with 23.1 Box-Toppers points.
Kershaw has finished first in Box-Toppers player rankings in 2011, 2013 and 2014. He finished second in player rankings in 2012, 2015 and 2016.
Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer finished just 0.1 point behind Sale with 25.0 Box-Toppers points and is the top-ranked National League player. It is tied for the second-closest race in Box-Toppers’ 23 seasons of tracking players:
- In 2010, in the closest race for Box-Toppers Player of the Year, Jon Lester of the Red Sox and Roy Halladay of the Phillies both had 23.4 Box-Toppers points. Lester ranked ahead of Halladay on a tiebreaker—he had more Box-Toppers points in the previous season (2009), 19.8 vs. 16.4.
- In 1999, Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks (31.5) finished 0.1 point ahead of second-place player Pedro Martinez of the Red Sox (31.4).
Though Scherzer finished in second so close behind the leader, he only occupied Box-Toppers top spot in 2017 for five days during the season, from Aug. 28 to Aug. 31 and on Sept. 19.
Scherzer earned Player of the Game honors 18 times (three more than Box-Toppers leader Sale). Scherzer earned Box-Toppers bonus points seven times, each time as overall Player of the Day (worth 1.0 extra Box-Toppers point, giving him 7.0 more points).
Scherzer won the 2016 NL Cy Young Award (he led all players in 2016 with 25.7 Box-Toppers points) and is among the three finalists for the honor this year.
It took 7.0 Box-Toppers points for a player to make the top 100 list—Astros shortstop Carlos Correa took the 100th spot with 7.0 points. He earned them by being Player of the Game in five of the Astros wins, including being American League Batter of the Day four times (earning an extra 0.5 bonus points each time), giving him 7.0 total points.
Box-Toppers points are a measure of how much a player provides key contributions to his teams win. 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.
Here are some other highlights from the top 100 list:
2017 lead changesHere are the season’s lead changes among players in Box-Toppers points. Chart shows the date and the player’s Box-Toppers point (BTP) total when they took the lead.
|4/2||Carlos Martinez||stl nl||2.0|
|4/3||Clayton Kershaw||lad nl||2.0|
|4/9||Noah Syndergaard||nym nl||3.0|
|4/14||Clayton Kershaw||lad nl||4.0|
|4/15||Ervin Santana||min al||4.7|
|4/19||Clayton Kershaw||lad nl||5.0|
|5/2||Chris Sale||bos al||6.7|
|5/6||Clayton Kershaw||lad nl||7.0|
|5/12||Ervin Santana||min al||7.7|
|5/13||Chris Sale||bos al||8.4|
|5/17||Clayton Kershaw||lad nl||8.7|
|8/28||Max Scherzer||dc nl||23.0|
|9/1||Clayton Kershaw||lad nl||23.1|
|9/19||Max Scherzer||dc nl||24.0|
|9/20||Chris Sale||bos al||25.1|
- 3., 13., 20., and 21. The Los Angeles Dodgers top four starting pitchers were among the top 21 overall players in Box-Toppers player rankings. Kershaw, previously mentioned, ranked third (23.1 Box-Toppers points), Alex Wood ranked 13th (15.7), Yu Darvish ranked 20th (13.0) and Rich Hill ranked 21st (12.7). It should be noted that Darvish spent the first half of the season with the Texas Rangers before being traded to the Dodgers at the July trading deadline and earned 7.0 Box-Toppers points prior to that. While having Dodgers starters occupy four of the top 21 spots is impressive, last year’s Chicago Cubs had five starting pitchers among 2016’s top 20 overall players.
- 5. Indians pitcher Corey Kluber led all AL pitchers in Box-Toppers points in 2016 with 21.2, ranked second among AL pitchers in 2017 (and fifth overall) with 22.0 points. Kluber is one of three finalists for the AL Cy Young Award.
- 14. Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs led all batters with 15.5 Box-Toppers points. Rizzo has the second-highest Box-Toppers point total by a batter in the past six seasons, a period in which batters’ Box-Toppers point totals have been declining. The only batter since 2012 with a higher single-season Box-Toppers point total than Rizzo’s 2017 total is Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers who had 16.9 in 2013. Despite his high Box-Toppers point total, Rizzo is not among the three finalists for the NL Most Valuable Player award.
- 17. Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins ranks second among NL batters, behind Rizzo, with 14.2 Box-Toppers points. Stanton has the fourth-highest Box-Toppers point total by a batter in the past six seasons. He has the most Box-Toppers points among the three finalists for NL Most Valuable Player.
- 22. Edwin Encarnacion of the Indians ranks first among AL batters with 12.1 Box-Toppers points, which is the lowest Box-Toppers point total to lead AL batters since player tracking began in 1995. The lowest point total to lead a season category is 10.7 by Nolan Arenado of the Rockies in 2016, when he led NL batters. While Encarnacion leads AL batters in Box-Toppers points, he is not among the three finalists listed by baseball writers for the AL MVP award.
- 26. Aaron Judge of the Yankees ranks second among AL batters with 11.2 Box-Toppers points. He has the most Box-Toppers points among the three finalists for AL Most Valuable Player. He also has the most Box-Toppers points among AL rookies and has the most points among the three finalists for AL Rookie of the Year.
- 51. Nolan Arenado of the Rockies, last year’s Box-Toppers points leader among NL batters (10.7), ranks fifth among NL batters in 2017 with 9.2 points.
- 64. Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers leads NL rookies with 8.7 Box-Toppers points and is one of three finalists for NL Rookie of the Year. Bellinger ranks 10th among NL batters.
- 96. Manny Machado of the Orioles led AL batters in Box-Toppers points in 2016 with 12.7. In 2017, he had 7.0 points, 19th among AL batters.
Other notable players not among the top 100:
- Ranked 129th—Kris Bryant of the Cubs was NL Most Valuable Player in 2016, when he earned 10.5 Box-Toppers points, second among NL batters. In 2017, he earned 6.0 points, 24th among NL batters, his lowest total in his three seasons.
- Ranked 186th—Mike Trout of the Angels was AL Most Valuable Player in 2016, when he earned 12.5 Box-Toppers points, second among AL batters. In 2017, he earned 5.0 points, 45th among AL batters, his lowest point total since 2013, when he had 3.5 points.
- Ranked 322nd—Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello was 2016’s AL Cy Young Award winner. But Porcello had just 8.0 Box-Toppers points in 2016, 31st among AL pitchers and 91st among all players. In 2017, he had just 3.0 Box-Toppers points, 83rd among AL pitchers.
- Ranked 387th—Jose Altuve of the Astros is odds-on-favorite to win the 2017 AL Most Valuable Player, but did not earn many Box-Toppers points this season—just 2.5, earning Player of the Game honors only twice. He ranked 90th among AL batters in 2017 Box-Toppers points.
Box-Toppers tends to favor pitchers, especially in the short term, so most of the top 100 players are pitchers. However, each year for the past four years the number of pitchers in the top 100 has declined:
- In 2017, 63 of the top 100 players are pitchers.
- In 2016, it was 67 of 100.
- In 2015, 69 of 100.
- And in 2014, 79 of 100.
Here is a breakdown of this year’s top 100 players by their primary position:
- 60—Starting pitcher
- 13—Outfield (6 RF, 5 LF, 2 CF)
- 7—Third base
- 6—First base
- 3—Designated hitter
- 3—Closing pitcher
- 3—Second base
Three teams each have seven players in the top 100, most of any team: Indians, Nationals and Astros.
The Dodgers have six players on the list.
Four teams have five players: Diamondbacks, Red Sox, Yankees and Cardinals.
Four teams each have just one player on the list: Reds, Tigers, Mets and Blue Jays.
Two teams have no representatives in the top 100: The Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves. The Braves’ top-ranked player is outfielder Ender Inciarte (6.5 Box-Toppers points, ranked 119th). The White Sox’ top-ranked player is outfielder Avisail Garcia (6.7 Box-Toppers points, ranked 113th).
This season, 763 different players earned Box-Toppers Player of the Game honors. There were 409 players who had more than 2.0 Box-Toppers points and 38 with 10.0 or more points. There were 169 players who made their Box-Toppers debut in 2017, earning Player of the Game honors for the first time.
Here are comparisons with those numbers from the previous two seasons:
- Players earning Player of the Game honors—2016 (730), 2015 (751), 2014 (722).
- Players earning more than 2.0 Box-Toppers points—2016 (395), 2015 (402), 2014 (399).
- Players earning 10.0 or more Box-Toppers points—2016 (54), 2015 (47), 2014 (58).
- Players making their Box-Toppers debut—2016 (151), 2015 (172), 2014 (135).
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.
(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.)
Tracking who most helps their teams win the most games, based on box score stats. A method to measure & compare baseball's top players.
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. Players earn Box-Toppers points 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.