|American League||National League|
|1||Colome, Alex 3189||pi cp||tb al||9.0||Familia, Jeurys 3446||pi cp||nym nl||8.0|
|2||Kimbrel, Craig 2825||pi cp||bos al||8.0||Chapman, Aroldis 2826||pi cp||chi nl||7.4|
|3||Miller, Andrew 2436||pi cp mr||cle al||8.0||Jansen, Kenley 2871||pi cp||lad nl||6.0|
|4||Allen, Cody 3265||pi cp mr||cle al||7.0||Thornburg, Tyler 3195||pi cp||mil nl||6.0|
|5||Diaz, Edwin 3690||pi cp||sea al||7.0||Montgomery, Mike 3513||pi cp mr sp||chi nl||5.0|
|American League||National League|
|1||Colome, Alex 3189||pi cp||tb al||14.0||Familia, Jeurys 3446||pi cp||nym nl||16.0|
|2||Kimbrel, Craig 2825||pi cp||bos al||14.0||Chapman, Aroldis 2826||pi cp||chi nl||15.4|
|3||Britton, Zach 2835||pi cp||bal al||13.7||Jansen, Kenley 2871||pi cp||lad nl||10.0|
|4||Robertson, David 2774||pi cp||chi al||13.0||Rosenthal, Trevor 3124||pi cp||stl nl||10.0|
|5||Miller, Andrew 2436||pi cp mr||cle al||12.0||Melancon, Mark 2792||pi cp||dc nl||10.0|
|American League||National League|
|1||Kimbrel, Craig 2825||pi cp||bos al||57.7||Chapman, Aroldis 2826||pi cp||chi nl||45.4|
|2||Britton, Zach 2835||pi cp||bal al||33.1||Jansen, Kenley 2871||pi cp||lad nl||36.4|
|3||Uehara, Koji 2802||pi cp||bos al||26.0||Corbin, Patrick 3027||pi sp cp||ari nl||32.5|
|4||Robertson, David 2774||pi cp||chi al||25.0||Rodney, Fernando 1803||pi cp||fla nl||23.0|
|5||Cishek, Steve 2997||pi cp||sea al||25.0||Melancon, Mark 2792||pi cp||dc nl||23.0|
|All players (including retired)||All active players|
|1||hoffman, trevor||pi cp||Retired||129.4||Rodriguez, Francisco 1707||pi cp||det al||63.4|
|2||rivera, mariano||pi cp||Retired||126.4||Kimbrel, Craig 2825||pi cp||bos al||58.7|
|3||Wagner, Billy||pi cp||Retired||108.7||Papelbon, Jonathan 2110||pi cp||free agent||54.4|
|4||percival, troy||pi cp||Retired||80.7||Nathan, Joe 1186||pi cp||sf nl||52.0|
|5||Myers, Brett 1638||pi cp||Retired||72.2||Street, Huston 1979||pi cp||ana al||51.0|
Active players are shown on the team with whom they finished the 2016 season.
Trevor Hoffman leads closing pitchers in career Box-Toppers points, ahead of Mariano Rivera
Trevor Hoffman has the most Box-Toppers points of any closing pitcher since tracking began in 1995, more even than Mariano Rivera, considered by many to be the greatest closer of all time.
Hoffman has 129.4 career Box-Toppers points, edging out Rivera—with 126.4—by only 3.0 points.
But Hoffman would have even more Box-Toppers points if his entire career from 1993 were tracked. Rough projections put his career total at about 135 Box-Toppers points, which would pad his lead over Rivera, who began his career in 1995, the same year Box-Toppers tracking began.
Meanwhile, Francisco Rodriguez of the Tigers has the most Box-Toppers points of any active closing pitcher, Alex Colome of the Rays led closing pitchers in points over the past season, Jeurys Familia of the Mets led closers over the past two seasons and Craig Kimbrel of the Red Sox led closers over the past six seasons.
The chart above shows the top five closing pitchers over several time frames—over the past season (2016), the past two seasons (2015-16), the past six seasons (2011-16) and “all-time”—the past 22 seasons (since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began). For the most recent seasons, the top five closers in each league are shown. For the “all-time” rankings, the top five overall closers (including retired players) are shown at left and the top five active closers in career Box-Toppers points are shown at right.
Comparing Hoffman & RiveraHere is a season-by-season breakdown of Box-Toppers points (BTP) earned by Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera over their careers. Also shown are the number of saves each player earned each season. Rivera was primarily a starter his first two seasons so has fewer saves in 1995 and 1996. Hoffman began his career in 1993, prior to Box-Toppers tracking. Had those seasons been tracked, rough projections put his career total at about 135 Box-Toppers points.
|Trevor Hoffman||Mariano Rivera|
|1995||sd nl||31||9.0||nyy al||0||3.0|
|1996||sd nl||42||14.7||nyy al||5||8.4|
|1997||sd nl||37||14.0||nyy al||43||5.0|
|1998||sd nl||53||11.0||nyy al||36||4.0|
|1999||sd nl||40||7.0||nyy al||45||8.0|
|2000||sd nl||43||11.0||nyy al||36||4.0|
|2001||sd nl||43||12.0||nyy al||50||12.0|
|2002||sd nl||38||8.0||nyy al||28||4.0|
|2003||sd nl||0||0.0||nyy al||40||6.0|
|2004||sd nl||41||8.7||nyy al||53||5.0|
|2005||sd nl||43||7.0||nyy al||43||11.0|
|2006||sd nl||46||7.0||nyy al||34||4.0|
|2007||sd nl||42||3.0||nyy al||30||12.0|
|2008||sd nl||30||9.0||nyy al||39||14.0|
|2009||mil nl||37||7.0||nyy al||44||8.0|
|2010||mil nl||10||1.0||nyy al||33||7.0|
Hoffman, who played from 1993 to 2010 primarily for the Padres, but also for the Brewers and Marlins, ranks second in all-time saves with 601, behind Rivera’s 652. Rivera, who played from 1995 to 2013 with the Yankees, cemented his status as baseball’s greatest closer not just by holding the all-time saves record, but also for being a key member of a Yankees team that won five World Series championships, including being World Series Most Valuable Player in 1999.
Still, Hoffman has more Box-Toppers points than Rivera. Why? One reason is that Rivera played for better teams than Hoffman. His Yankees teammates included all-time Box-Toppers points leaders and Rivera had to compete against those players to earn Box-Toppers Player of the Game honors. Rivera’s teammate, Derek Jeter, considered to be the superior shortstop of the past quarter century, similarly ranks second among shortstops in career Box-Toppers points since 1995. For both Rivera and Jeter, there simply weren’t enough Box-Toppers points to go around and both players’ career point total were likely diminished.
Among players who were Rivera’s Yankees teammates from 1995 to 2013 and who rank higher than Rivera in career Box-Toppers points are:
- Alex Rodriguez, who has 187.0 career Box-Toppers points, ranked fourth among all players.
- CC Sabathia, 185.0 points, ranked fifth.
- Roger Clemens, 164.8 points, ranked 12th.
- Mike Mussina, 155.6 points, ranked 16th.
- Andy Pettitte, 138.5 points, ranked 29th.
- Jason Giambi, 133.4 points, ranked 30th.
Rivera, considered to be a lock to be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer when he becomes eligible for voting in 2019, ranks 37th among all players in career Box-Toppers points. Hoffman, who narrowly missed being voted into the Hall of Fame in January in his second year of eligibility, ranks 32nd among all players in Box-Toppers points. Hoffman received 74 percent of baseball writers’ votes in Hall of Fame voting, five votes short of the needed 75 percent for induction.
In general, closing pitchers have fewer Box-Toppers points than starting pitchers. There are 22 starting pitchers who have more career Box-Toppers points than Hoffman. There are only three closing pitchers among the top 100 players in Box-Toppers points since 1995 (Hoffman, Rivera and Billy Wagner), while there are 56 starting pitchers. But starting pitchers pitch more innings and strike out more players, which can result in higher Box-Toppers game scores that are used to determine Player of the Game honors. Plus, starting pitchers appear in every game and closers, who are often only utilized in special situations (such as having a narrow lead late in the game) do not. Even when they are used, closers generally pitch only an inning, lowering their chances of a high Box-Toppers game score. And closers generally only earn Box-Toppers points when earning a save in a low-scoring game while striking out multiple batters.
Of the five players leading closers in Box-Toppers points since 1995, only Hoffman played before the advent of Box-Toppers. The other four, all retired, began their career in 1995 or later (Rivera, Wagner, Troy Percival and Brett Myers).
Rodriguez of the Tigers leads all active closing pitchers in career Box-Toppers points with 63.4, which ranks seventh among all closers since 1995. Rodriguez holds the lead among active closers even though he is not among leading closers in recent seasons. He had just 3.0 Box-Toppers points in 2016 and has not had a season with more than 5.0 points since 2008, when he had 10.0 with the Angels.
Colome of the Rays led closers in Box-Toppers points in 2016 with 9.0. Colome also led American League closers in points over the past two seasons (14.0 over 2015-16).
Familia of the Mets leads closers in Box-Toppers points over the past two seasons (16.0 over 2015-16). He also led National League closers in points over the past season (8.0 in 2016).
Kimbrel of the Red Sox leads closers in Box-Toppers points over the past six seasons (57.7 over 2011-16). Kimbrel also ranks second among AL closers over the past season (8.0 in 2016), second among AL closers over the past two seasons (14.0 over 2015-16) and second among active closers in career points (58.7). Kimbrel is the only player among the active top five closers in career points to also appear among the top five closers in any of the recent season charts.
Chapman, who ended 2016 with the Cubs, ranked first among NL closers over the past six seasons (45.4 Box-Toppers points over 2011-16). He also ranked second among NL closers over the past season (7.4 in 2016) and second among NL closers over the past two seasons (15.4 over 2015-16). Chapman has since signed with the Yankees in the AL for 2017.
Other notable closers:
- Kenley Jansen of the Dodgers appears in three top five lists: He ranks third among NL closers over the past season (6.0 in 2016), third among NL closers over the past two seasons (10.0 over 2015-16) and second among NL closers over the past six seasons (36.4 over 2011-16).
- Billy Wagner ranks third among closers in career Box-Toppers points with 108.7. Besides Hoffman and Rivera, he is the only other closer with 100 or more career Box-Toppers points and the only other closer to appear among Box-Toppers all-time top 100 players. In 2017 Hall of Fame voting, Wagner received only 10.2 percent of baseball writers’ votes in his second year of eligibility, far short of the 75 percent needed for induction. Wagner played from 1995 to 2010, primarily for the Astros, but also for the Mets, Phillies, Braves and Red Sox.
- Jonathan Papelbon ranks third among active closers in career Box-Toppers points with 54.4 and is the only player listed who did not have a team affiliation at the close of 2016. Papelbon played for the Nationals in 2016 until requesting his release in August. He earned 2.0 Box-Toppers points in 2016. Papelbon, 36, is currently listed as a free agent.
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 “all-time” (since 1995), past six seasons (2011-2016), past two seasons (2015-16) and past season (2016).
- Top 10 overall players, plus top 10 batters and pitchers “all-time” (since 1995).
- Top 10 overall players, plus top 10 batters and pitchers by league past six seasons (2011-2016), past two seasons (2015-16) and past season (2016).
Related Box-Toppers High by Position posts showing Box-Toppers points leaders by position over several time frames—past season (2016), past two seasons (2015-16), past six seasons (2011-16) and “all-time” (since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began):
- First base: Albert Pujols leads all-time, Miguel Cabrera leads past season and past six seasons.
- Second base: Jeff Kent leads all-time, Jose Altuve leads past season.
- Shortstop: Miguel Tejada leads all-time over Derek Jeter.
- Third base: Alex Rodriguez leads all-time, Manny Machado and Adrian Beltre lead in recent seasons.
- Catcher: Mike Piazza leads all-time, Brian McCann leads active catchers in career points.
- Outfield: Manny Ramirez leads all-time, Carlos Beltran leads active outfielders in career points, Mike Trout leads in recent seasons.
- Designated hitter: Albert Pujols leads all-time, Kendrys Morales and Edwin Encarnacion lead in recent seasons.
- Pitcher: Randy Johnson leads all-time, CC Sabathia and Clayton Kershaw lead active pitchers in career points.
- Closing pitcher: Trevor Hoffman leads all-time over all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera.