A look at Box-Toppers' ‘all-time' top 10 lists—top overall players, top pitchers, top batters—since tracking began in 1995

Box-Toppers player rankings graphic.png

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw rose to third place in Box-Toppers’ overall “all-time” list in 2017, becoming the active leader in career points.

Box-Toppers points leaders for 1995-2017

 

OVERALL LEADERS POS TEAM BTP
1 Johnson, randy pi sp Retired 278.8
2 Martinez, Pedro J. pi sp Retired 244.8
3 Kershaw, Clayton 2494 pi sp lad nl 206.8
4 schilling, curt pi sp Retired 194.1
5 Sabathia, C.C. 1492 pi sp nyy al 192.7
6 Pujols, Albert 1438 dh ana al 187.8
7 Rodriguez, Alex 3b Released 187.0
8 Greinke, Zack 1871 pi sp ari nl 176.2
9 Hernandez, Felix 2064 pi sp sea al 171.4
10 Halladay, Roy 1178 pi sp Retired 170.7
PITCHERS POS TEAM BTP
1 Johnson, randy pi sp Retired 278.8
2 Martinez, Pedro J. pi sp Retired 244.8
3 Kershaw, Clayton 2494 pi sp lad nl 206.8
4 schilling, curt pi sp Retired 194.1
5 Sabathia, C.C. 1492 pi sp nyy al 192.7
6 Greinke, Zack 1871 pi sp ari nl 176.2
7 Hernandez, Felix 2064 pi sp sea al 171.4
8 Halladay, Roy 1178 pi sp Retired 170.7
9 Santana, Johan 1448 pi sp Free agent 166.6
10 clemens, roger pi sp Retired 164.8
BATTERS POS TEAM BTP
1 Pujols, Albert 1438 dh ana al 187.8
2 Rodriguez, Alex 3b Released 187.0
3 Ramirez, manny lf Retired 167.2
4 bonds, barry lf Retired 153.2
5 jones, chipper 3b Retired 149.0
6 Cabrera, Miguel 1776 1b det al 146.9
7 thome, jim 1b dh Retired 146.7
8 Ortiz, David dh Retired 145.9
9 giambi, jason 1b Retired 133.4
10 Guerrero, Vladimir rf Retired 128.3
BTP: Box-Toppers points
What are those numbers after players' names?

Also in 2017, Albert Pujols of the Angels passed Alex Rodriguez to become the “all-time” leader in career Box-Toppers points among batters.

Plus, Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke rose into the overall top 10 in career Box-Toppers points during 2017, rising to eighth place.

Pitcher Randy Johnson remains the all-time Box-Toppers points leader with 278.8 at the end of the 2017 season.

Box-Toppers record keeping, tracking the top player in each and every regular season game played, began at the start of the 1995 season. After 23 seasons, there’s generally not a lot of change from season to season in the overall top 10 chart or the top 10 charts among pitchers and batters, but 2017 saw more movement than might be expected.

Here are some highlights:

  • Kershaw rises from sixth place in “all-time” career Box-Toppers points at the end of 2016 to third place at the end of 2017. Kershaw had 183.7 points to close 2016, which was fifth among all pitchers. Kershaw earned 23.1 Box-Toppers points in 2017, third among all players and now has 206.8 career points. During the season, he passed Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia (192.7) to become the active career points leader. Kershaw also passed Alex Rodriguez and Curt Schilling in 2017.
  • Albert Pujols of the Angels rises from seventh place at the end of 2016 to sixth at the end of 2017, becoming the “all-time” leader in Box-Toppers points among batters. Pujols had 182.3 points to close 2016 and earned 5.5 in 2017. He now has 187.8 career points, moving just ahead of Alex Rodriguez (187.0), the previous leader among batters.
  • Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke ranked 15th in career points (12th among pitchers) at the close of 2016 with 156.1. In 2017, he earned 20.1 Box-Toppers points, eighth among all players and fourth among NL pitchers. That gives him 176.2 career points, rising into the top 10 among all players (into eighth place) and among all pitchers (into sixth place). Greinke is the only new member in any of the career top 10 lists. With his rise into the overall top 10 list, he pushes out Manny Ramirez, now in 11th with 167.2 (though Ramirez still ranks third in career points among all batters). Greinke also pushes John Smoltz (160.9 points) out of the list of top 10 pitchers in career points since 1995.
  • Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers rises two spots in the top 10 “all-time” career batting list despite earning only 2.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017. Cabrera had 144.9 career points at the end of 2016 and ranked eighth on the career batting list. He had 146.9 points to close 2017 but despite his low point total this season, he passed two players—David Ortiz (145.9) and Jim Thome (146.7)—to rise to sixth. 

There are six active players on the three top 10 lists, the same as last year. David Ortiz retired from the Red Sox at the close of 2016, but Greinke joined the lists in 2017 to keep the number of active players steady.

The highest ranking active pitcher not in the top 10 is now Max Scherzer of the Nationals with 156.7 career points, 16th overall and 13th among pitchers. Scherzer would need 8.1 points to join the pitching top 10 and 14.0 to join the overall top 10. In 2017, he had 25.0 points, second among all players.

The highest-ranking active batter not on the list is Adrian Beltre of the Rangers, who is 47th overall and 15th among batters. Beltre has 115.8 career Box-Toppers points and would need 12.5 to join the list of top 10 batters. He had 4.5 in 2017.

It should be noted that several players on the “all-time” top 10 lists began their careers before Box-Toppers tracking began in 1995 and would likely have more actual points if their entire careers were tracked. For example, Randy Johnson began his career in 1988. He has 278.8 points since Box-Toppers tracking began in 1995. If his entire career were tracked, rough projections put his Box-Toppers point total at 380.

Here is Box-Toppers top 10 list with players’ projected career totals included. (Players with projected point totals are marked with an asterisk.) To make the list, a player needed to have at least 100 Box-Toppers points since 1995:

  1. Randy Johnson 380*
  2. Roger Clemens 320*
  3. Pedro Martinez 270*
  4. John Smoltz 255*
  5. Greg Maddux 250*
  6. Curt Schilling 232*
  7. Barry Bonds 230*
  8. Clayton Kershaw 206.8
  9. Mike Mussina 193*
  10. CC Sabathia 192.7

Only two players who started their careers in 1995 or later are on among this top 10 list and both are active—Kershaw (in eighth place) and Sabathia (in 10th). 

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.

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Related: Top 100 players for 1995-2017

Last year: A look at Box-Toppers' ‘all-time' top 10 lists—top overall players, top pitchers, top batters—since tracking began in 1995 at the end of 2016