Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw leads players in Box-Toppers points since the start of 2012.
Box-Toppers points leaders for 2012-17
|1||Kershaw, Clayton 2494||pi sp||lad nl||147.2|
|2||Scherzer, Max 2588||pi sp||dc nl||128.9|
|3||Sale, Chris 2806||pi sp||bos al||106.5|
|4||Greinke, Zack 1871||pi sp||ari nl||99.1|
|5||Strasburg, Stephen 2736||pi sp||dc nl||96.7|
|6||Bumgarner, Madison 2753||pi sp||sf nl||88.0|
|7||Kluber, Corey 3200||pi sp||cle al||87.4|
|8||Hernandez, Felix 2064||pi sp||sea al||82.4|
|9||Price, David 2593||pi sp||bos al||79.1|
|10||Hamels, Cole 2135||pi sp||tex al||78.4|
|1||Sale, Chris 2806||pi sp||bos al||106.5|
|2||Kluber, Corey 3200||pi sp||cle al||87.4|
|3||Hernandez, Felix 2064||pi sp||sea al||82.4|
|4||Price, David 2593||pi sp||bos al||79.1|
|5||Hamels, Cole 2135||pi sp||tex al||78.4|
|6||Verlander, Justin 2112||pi sp||hou al||74.6|
|7||Carrasco, Carlos 2885||pi sp||cle al||62.9|
|8||Kimbrel, Craig 2825||pi cp||bos al||61.4|
|9||Liriano, Francisco 2104||pi sp||hou al||59.7|
|10||Archer, Chris 3194||pi sp||tb al||57.1|
|1||Cabrera, Miguel 1776||1b||det al||59.8|
|2||Encarnacion, Edwin 2098||dh 1b||cle al||55.2|
|3||Davis, Chris 2478||1b||bal al||52.9|
|4||Trout, Mike 2949||cf||ana al||52.5|
|5||Beltre, Adrian 1141||3b||tex al||47.9|
|6||Donaldson, Josh 3144||3b||tor al||47.6|
|7||Cano, Robinson 2092||2b||sea al||41.5|
|8||Upton, Justin 2411||lf||ana al||40.4|
|9||Hosmer, Eric 2886||1b||kc al||38.0|
|10||Jones, Adam 2347||cf||bal al||38.0|
|1||Kershaw, Clayton 2494||pi sp||lad nl||147.2|
|2||Scherzer, Max 2588||pi sp||dc nl||128.9|
|3||Greinke, Zack 1871||pi sp||ari nl||99.1|
|4||Strasburg, Stephen 2736||pi sp||dc nl||96.7|
|5||Bumgarner, Madison 2753||pi sp||sf nl||88.0|
|6||Lester, Jon 2173||pi sp||chi nl||78.3|
|7||Arrieta, Jake 2738||pi sp||chi nl||77.2|
|8||Cueto, Johnny 2400||pi sp||sf nl||72.0|
|9||Darvish, Yu 3003||pi sp||lad nl||68.6|
|10||Gonzalez, Gio 2626||pi sp||dc nl||66.8|
|1||McCutchen, Andrew 2637||cf||pit nl||47.5|
|2||Stanton, Giancarlo 2737||rf||fla nl||44.9|
|3||Gonzalez, Carlos 2460||rf||col nl||44.2|
|4||Cespedes, Yoenis 3008||lf||nym nl||43.9|
|5||Goldschmidt, Paul 2935||1b||ari nl||43.3|
|6||Rizzo, Anthony 3063||1b||chi nl||42.5|
|7||Braun, Ryan J. 2300||lf||mil nl||39.5|
|8||Posey, Buster 2745||ca 1b||sf nl||38.0|
|9||Freeman, Freddie 2887||1b||atl nl||36.2|
|10||Murphy, Daniel 2589||2b||dc nl||36.0|
What are those numbers after players' names?
Kershaw has 147.2 Box-Toppers points over the period 2012-2017, 18.3 points ahead of second-place player in that span, Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer (128.9 Box-Toppers points).
However, Kershaw’s lead in the six-year rolling Box-Toppers point total is down from last year and is his narrowest lead since 2013, when he assumed the lead in points over the previous six seasons.
- At the end of 2016, Kershaw led second-place Scherzer by 38.9 points (150.2-111.3) over the span 2011-2016. That means his lead from last season has decreased by 20.6 points.
- At 2015’s end, Kershaw led second-place player, Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez by 36.1 points (141.9-105.8) over the span 2010-2015.
- At 2014’s end, Kershaw led second-place Hernandez by 24.1 points (129.6-105.5) over the span 2009-2014.
- At 2013’s end, Kershaw led second-place player, Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia by 8.5 points (102.1-93.6) over the span 2008-2013.
That was his first of his five straight years (so far) atop the rolling six-year total in Box-Toppers points. In 2012, Kershaw ranked ninth among players in Box-Toppers points over 2007-2012 with 80.4, trailing the leader for the period, Sabathia (102.0), by 21.6 points.
Kershaw built his lead in the six-year rolling total by being ranked first, second or third among all players in Box-Toppers points each season since 2011.
His 2011 season, in which he ranked first with 26.1 Box-Toppers points, fell out of his six-year rolling total this season, replaced with his 2017 total of 23.1, in which he finished third. That caused the 3.0-point dip in his six-year rolling total from 2011-2016 (150.2) to 2012-2017 (147.2).
Scherzer, in second place, has gained on Kershaw by having six seasons since 2012 with 17.0 or more Box-Toppers points, including the past four with 20.0 or more, tied for the third-longest such streak in Box-Toppers’ 23-season tracking history (Kershaw has seven straight seasons with 20 or more points—2011 to 2017, the longest streak).
Scherzer’s six-year rolling total grew from 111.3 Box-Toppers points over 2011-2016 to 128.9 over 2012-2017, a 17.6-point gain. The 7.4 points Scherzer earned in 2011 with the Tigers fell off his rolling six-year total this season replaced with the 25.0 points he earned in 2017, which ranked second among all players and first among National League pitchers.
Here is a look at Kershaw’s and Scherzer’s Box-Toppers point totals and rankings in each of the past six seasons (Kershaw was with the Dodgers each season, Scherzer was with the Tigers through 2014 and with the Nationals since 2015):
2012: Kershaw—20.8, second among all players, first among National League pitchers. Scherzer—17.0, ninth among all players, third among American League pitchers.
2013: Kershaw—21.7, first among all players. Scherzer—18.1, fifth among all players, first among AL pitchers.
2014: Kershaw—31.5, first among all players, tied for the fourth-highest single-season total since Box-Toppers tracking began. Scherzer—22.1, fifth among all players, second among AL pitchers.
2015: Kershaw—25.7, second among all players, second among NL pitchers, tied for the 20th-highest single-season total since Box-Toppers tracking began. Scherzer—21.0, sixth among all players, fourth among NL pitchers.
2016: Kershaw—24.4, second among all players, second among NL pitchers. Scherzer—25.7, first among all players, tied for the 20th-highest single-season total since Box-Toppers tracking began.
2017: Kershaw—23.1, third among all players, second among NL pitchers. Scherzer—25.0, second among all players, first among NL pitchers, the 25th-highest single-season total since Box-Toppers tracking began.
While Scherzer has gained on Kershaw in the six-year rolling total, he would have to have 14.5 more Box-Toppers points than Kershaw in 2018 to catch him in the six-year rolling total for 2013-2018. For example, if Scherzer earned 14.5 points and Kershaw earned none, they would each have 126.4 points over the six-season period from 2013 to 2018.
While that seems unlikely, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. But it would be very unlikely for any other player to catch Kershaw in the six-year rolling total for 2013 to 2018. Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale, ranked third among all players from 2012-2017 with 106.5 points, would need to have 30.6 more points than Kershaw in 2018 to catch him in the six-year rolling total for 2013-2018. Only six times since 1995 has a player earned more than 30 Box-Toppers points in a season.
The players who make these top 10 charts over the period 2012-17 have demonstrated their long-term staying power. Weeded out are players who have single-season, flash-in-the-pan success and relative newcomers who haven’t yet proven their longevity. But it also rewards dominant players of the recent past whose success has waned lately.
There is one new category leader on the rolling six-season list from last year: Chris Sale of the Red Sox now leads AL pitchers over 2012-2017 with 106.5 Box-Toppers points, ahead of second-place player Corey Kluber of the Indians (87.4). Last year, Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez led AL pitchers over 2011-2016 with 91.4 Box-Toppers points and it was his third straight season atop the six-year rolling total. This year, Hernandez falls to third with 82.4 points over 2012-2017 after earning only 2.7 points in 2017. Sale rises to first in the six-year rolling total among AL pitchers this year after earning 15.0 or more Box-Toppers points each season since 2012, including leading all players in 2017 with 25.1. Sale ranked fourth among AL pitchers from 2011-2016 with 84.4 points.
Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers continues to lead AL batters in the six-year rolling total for the fourth straight season. Cabrera has 59.8 Box-Toppers points over 2012-2016, ahead of second-place Edwin Encarnacion of the Indians with 55.2. Cabrera maintains his lead despite earning only 2.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017. Last year, Cabrera led the six-year rolling total by 15.9 points; this year he leads by just 4.6.
Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates continues to lead NL batters in the six-year rolling total for the second straight season. McCutchen has 47.5 Box-Toppers points over 2012-2017, ahead of second-place player Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins (44.9). McCutchen earned 9.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017, seventh among NL batters and increased his lead slightly in the six-year rolling total from last season. Last year, he led NL batters over 2011-2016 by just 1.7; this year he leads by 2.6.
Other notable players:
- Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg rises onto the overall top 10 players list. Last year, he ranked 12th among all players (and seventh among NL pitchers) with 75.2 Box-Toppers points over 2011-2016. This season, he rises to fifth overall (and fourth among NL pitchers) with 96.7 points over 2012-2017. Strasburg earned 22.5 points in 2017, fourth among all players.
- Indians pitcher Corey Kluber rises onto the overall top 10 players list. Last year, he ranked 17th among all players (and eighth among AL pitchers) with 65.4 Box-Toppers points over 2011-2016. This season, he rises to seventh overall (and second among AL pitchers) with 87.4 points over 2012-2017. Kluber earned 22.0 points in 2017, fifth among all players.
- Astros pitcher Justin Verlander fell out of the overall top 10 players list, despite faring well in 2017. Last year, he ranked ninth among all players (and fifth among AL pitchers) with 84.3 Box-Toppers points over 2011-2016. This season, he falls to 13th overall (and sixth among AL pitchers) with 74.6 points over 2012-2017 (Verlander led AL pitchers in 2011 with 24.4 points). In 2017, Verlander earned 14.7 points, sixth among AL pitchers.
- Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto fell out of the overall top 10 players list. Last year, he ranked 10th among all players (and fifth among NL pitchers) with 80.4 Box-Toppers points over 2011-2016. This season, he falls to 14th overall and eighth among NL pitchers) with 72.0 points over 2012-2017. Cueto earned only 2.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017.
Three players rose into the top 10 list for AL pitchers over 2012-2017: Carlos Carrasco, Indians; Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox and Chris Archer, Rays. They displace three who fell out of the top 10 from 2011-2016: James Shields, White Sox; Jered Weaver, now retired and Ian Kennedy, Royals.
Two players rose into the top 10 list for AL batters for 2012-2017: Eric Hosmer, Royals and Adam Jones, Orioles. They displace two who fell out of the top 10 from 2011-2016: Albert Pujols, Angels and David Ortiz, who retired from the Red Sox after 2016. Pujols falls to 11th on the list with 38.0 points over 2012-2017. While that ties 10th-place AL batter Jones, Pujols ranks behind because he had fewer 2017 Box-Toppers points (5.5 vs. 6.0). Despite retiring, Ortiz has 36.9 points over 2012-2016, which would rank him 12th among AL batters over the past six seasons, just behind Pujols.
One player rose into the top 10 list for NL pitchers for 2012-2017: Yu Darvish of the Dodgers. He displaces Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals, who fell out of the top 10 from 2011-2016.
Three players rose into the top 10 list for NL batters for 2012-2017: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs; Buster Posey, Giants and Daniel Murphy, Nationals. They displace three who fell out of the top 10 from 2011-2016: Matt Holliday, now with the Yankees; Matt Kemp, Braves and Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers. Holliday moved from the Cardinals in the NL to the Yankees in the AL in 2017—he would still rank 10th on the list among NL batters for 2012-2017 with 36.2 points over that span.
Players are shown here with the teams they were on at the end of 2017. Only players active at the end of 2017 are listed.
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.
Related: Top 100 players for 2012-17
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.