A look at Box-Toppers’ top 100 players for 2018

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Blake Snell tops Box-Toppers list of the top 100 players in 2018.

Top 100 players of 2018

Here are Box-Toppers Top 100 players of 2018, ranked by Box-Toppers points (BTP).  
Player Pos Team BTP
1 Snell, Blake 3688 pi sp tb al 25.5
2 Scherzer, Max 2588 pi sp dc nl 25.1
3 Verlander, Justin 2112 pi sp hou al 24.1
4 Kluber, Corey 3200 pi sp cle al 21.7
5 Sale, Chris 2806 pi sp bos al 21.1
6 Nola, Aaron 3569 pi sp phi nl 20.1
7 Carrasco, Carlos 2885 pi sp cle al 19.8
8 Cole, Gerrit 3232 pi sp hou al 18.0
9 deGrom, Jacob 3343 pi sp nym nl 17.8
10 Berrios, Jose 3791 pi sp min al 17.8
11 Severino, Luis 3567 pi sp nyy al 17.7
12 Paxton, James 3280 pi sp sea al 17.0
13 Corbin, Patrick 3027 pi sp ari nl 16.0
14 Happ, J.A. 2536 pi sp nyy al 15.7
15 Marquez, German 3788 pi sp col nl 15.7
16 Buehler, Walker 3943 pi sp lad nl 15.1
17 Morton, Charlie 2503 pi sp hou al 14.8
18 Price, David 2593 pi sp bos al 14.4
19 Bauer, Trevor 3065 pi sp cle al 14.1
20 Chacin, Jhoulys 2711 pi sp mil nl 13.7
21 Clevinger, Mike 3707 pi sp cle al 13.7
22 Foltynewicz, Mike 3455 pi sp atl nl 13.7
23 Tanaka, Masahiro 3305 pi sp nyy al 13.4
24 Rodriguez, Eduardo 3480 pi sp bos al 13.1
25 Flaherty, Jack 3971 pi sp stl nl 13.1
26 Greinke, Zack 1871 pi sp ari nl 13.0
27 Teheran, Julio 3176 pi sp atl nl 12.7
28 Martinez, J.D. 2922 lf dh rf bos al 12.5
29 Taillon, Jameson 3658 pi sp pit nl 12.4
30 Freeland, Kyle 3763 pi sp col nl 12.4
31 Pivetta, Nick 3825 pi sp phi nl 11.7
32 Gray, Jon 3634 pi sp col nl 11.7
33 Mikolas, Miles 3034 pi sp stl nl 11.7
34 Yelich, Christian 3334 rf lf mil nl 11.5
35 Porcello, Rick 2573 pi sp bos al 11.4
36 Newcomb, Sean 3831 pi sp atl nl 11.4
37 Hamels, Cole 2135 pi sp chi nl 11.1
38 Betts, Mookie 3404 rf bos al 10.9
39 Godley, Zack 3538 pi sp ari nl 10.7
40 Lester, Jon 2173 pi sp chi nl 10.7
41 Maeda, Kenta 3609 pi sp mr lad nl 10.7
42 McCullers, Lance 3488 pi sp hou al 10.7
43 Fiers, Mike 3029 pi sp oak al 10.7
44 Urena, Jose 3492 pi sp fla nl 10.7
45 Hader, Josh 3881 pi cp mr mil nl 10.7
46 Wheeler, Zack 3204 pi sp nym nl 10.7
47 Gonzales, Marco 3408 pi sp sea al 10.4
48 Quintana, Jose 3040 pi sp chi nl 10.1
49 Ryu, Hyun-Jin 3139 pi sp lad nl 10.1
50 Rizzo, Anthony 3063 1b chi nl 10.0
51 Baez, Javier 3395 ss 2b 3b chi nl 10.0
52 Treinen, Blake 3495 pi cp oak al 10.0
53 Hill, Rich 2215 pi sp lad nl 9.7
54 LeBlanc, Wade 2669 pi sp sea al 9.7
55 Boyd, Matthew 3550 pi sp det al 9.7
56 Heaney, Andrew 3515 pi sp ana al 9.7
57 Lindor, Francisco 3586 ss cle al 9.6
58 Acuna, Ronald Jr. 3947 lf atl nl 9.2
59 Diaz, Edwin 3690 pi cp sea al 9.0
60 Cahill, Trevor 2658 pi sp oak al 9.0
61 Gray, Sonny 3259 pi sp nyy al 8.7
62 Manaea, Sean 3637 pi sp oak al 8.7
63 Hendricks, Kyle 3386 pi sp chi nl 8.7
64 Davidson, Matt 3292 3b dh 1b chi al 8.7
65 Stripling, Ross 3629 pi sp lad nl 8.7
66 Eovaldi, Nathan 2928 pi sp bos al 8.7
67 Peralta, Freddy 3965 pi sp mil nl 8.7
68 Peralta, David 3370 lf ari nl 8.5
69 Stratton, Chris 3883 pi sp sf nl 8.4
70 Sanchez, Anibal 2187 pi sp atl nl 8.4
71 Velasquez, Vince 3611 pi sp phi nl 8.4
72 Granderson, Curtis 2051 dh rf mil nl 8.2
73 Kershaw, Clayton 2494 pi sp lad nl 8.0
74 Vargas, Jason 2055 pi sp nym nl 8.0
75 Castillo, Luis Miguel 3840 pi sp cin nl 8.0
76 Trout, Mike 2949 cf ana al 8.0
77 Williams, Trevor 3792 pi sp pit nl 8.0
78 Syndergaard, Noah 3472 pi sp nym nl 8.0
79 Anderson, Tyler 3656 pi sp col nl 8.0
80 German, Domingo 3957 pi sp nyy al 8.0
81 Ohtani, Shohei 3933 pi sp dh ana al 8.0
82 Trivino, Lou 3939 pi mr cp oak al 8.0
83 Ray, Robbie 3502 pi sp ari nl 7.7
84 Gonzalez, Gio 2626 pi sp mil nl 7.7
85 Bundy, Dylan 3655 pi sp bal al 7.7
86 Sabathia, C.C. 1492 pi sp nyy al 7.7
87 Arrieta, Jake 2738 pi sp phi nl 7.7
88 Duffy, Danny 2915 pi sp kc al 7.7
89 Skaggs, Tyler 3183 pi sp ana al 7.7
90 Minor, Mike 2894 pi sp tex al 7.7
91 Eflin, Zach 3679 pi sp phi nl 7.7
92 Richards, Trevor 3945 pi sp fla nl 7.7
93 Suarez, Andrew 3963 pi sp sf nl 7.7
94 Odor, Rougned 3336 2b tex al 7.5
95 Goldschmidt, Paul 2935 1b ari nl 7.5
96 Harper, Bryce 3011 rf dc nl 7.5
97 Rosario, Eddie 3542 lf min al 7.5
98 Reynolds, Mark 2297 1b 3b 2b ph dc nl 7.5
99 Suarez, Eugenio 3355 3b cin nl 7.5
100 Freeman, Freddie 2887 1b atl nl 7.5
What are those numbers after players' names?
About Box-Toppers’ team abbreviations
BTG—Box-Toppers game score

The Rays pitcher had 25.5 Box-Toppers points during the regular season, which is the 23rd-highest single-season point total since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began.

Snell earned his 25.5 Box-Toppers points by being Box-Toppers Player of the Game in 20 of the Rays wins, earning 1.0 Box-Toppers point each time. In addition, he earned bonus points:

  • Five times for being American League Player of the Day (0.7 extra points each time, for a total of 3.5 more Box-Toppers points).

  • Twice for being overall Player of the Day (1.0 extra point each time, for a total of 2.0 more Box-Toppers points).

In fact, Snell’s two Player of the Day honors are the fewest for any Box-Toppers Player of the Year winner in the 24 seasons of player tracking. The previous low was four by Justin Verlander of the Tigers, who was Player of the Year in 2012 with 24.8 Box-Toppers points. The most Player of the Day honors earned by a Player of the Year is 15 earned by Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks in 2000, when he had 33.7 Box-Toppers points. Johnson is the only Player of the Year winner with 10 or more Player of the Day honors in a season—and he did it four times: 2000 (15), 2002 (12), 2001 (10) and 1999 (10).

Snell was Player of the Day on June 25 and Sept. 23.

While Snell is Box-Toppers’ 2018 Player of the Year, he only led season player rankings for a total of four days all season—he took the lead Sept. 23 and held it for two days and took the lead again Sept. 29, leading for the final two days of the season. By contrast, Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, who finished second with 25.1 Box-Toppers points, led for a total of 120 days during the season, holding the lead 10 different times.

Through much of the season, Scherzer traded the Box-Toppers player rankings lead with Yankees pitcher Luis Severino, who led six different times for a total of 47 days. However, Severino only earned 1.0 Box-Toppers point after July 1 and ended with 17.7 points for the season, falling to 11th among all players.

Snell, by contrast, started off slowly. He did not rise into the top 10 players list until June 25, when he was the ninth player of the season to reach 10.0 Box-Toppers points. At the All-Star break, he ranked eighth with 12.7 points. From July 8 to Aug. 15, he earned no Player of the Game honors and thus, no Box-Toppers points. In August, he fell out of the top 10 player rankings. He rejoined the top 10 on Aug. 21, rising to ninth place with 15.4 points.

On Aug. 26, he earned American League Player of the Day honors worth 1.7 Box-Toppers points and rose to fourth place overall with 17.1 points.

On Sept. 12, he earned AL Player of the Day honors worth 1.7 Box-Toppers points and rose to second place overall with 20.8 Box-Toppers points, taking the lead among AL pitchers.

On Sept. 23, Snell took the lead after earning Player of the Day honors worth 2.0 Box-Toppers points, giving him 24.5 points for the season, passing Scherzer and his then-23.1 points.

Scherzer retook the lead Sept. 25, earning Player of the Day honors worth 2.0 Box-Toppers points, giving him 25.1 points. But Snell came back on Sept. 29, earning Player of the Game honors worth 1.0 point, giving him 25.5 Box-Toppers points for the season and retaking the lead for good for the final two days of the season.

Scherzer earned Player of the Game honors 16 times in 2018, earning bonus points 10 times—three times as National League Player of the Day (worth 0.7 extra Box-Toppers points) and seven times as overall Player of the Day (worth 1.0 extra Box-Toppers point).

Scherzer also ranked second overall in 2017 with 25.0 Box-Toppers points. He ranked first overall in 2016 with 25.7 points. He has led NL pitchers in points for three straight seasons. Scherzer was the NL Cy Young Award winner in both 2016 and 2017.

It took 7.5 Box-Toppers points for a player to make the top 100 list—Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman took the 100th spot with 7.5 points. He earned them by being Player of the Game in six of the Braves’ wins, including being National League Batter of the Day three times (earning an extra 0.5 bonus points each time), giving him 7.5 total points.

Most Player of the Day honors among Player of the Year winners

Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks had the most Player of the Day honors among all of Box-Toppers Player of the Year winners. In 2000, when he was Player of the Year, leading all players with 33.7 Box-Toppers points, he earned Player of the Day honors 15 times during the season. He is also the only Player of the Year to earn Player of the Day honors 10 times in a season, doing in four times. In 2018, Blake Snell of the Rays earned the fewest Player of the Day honors (two) among all Player of the Year winners in Box-Toppers 24 season tracking history.

Player of
the Year
Player
of the Day
honors
2000 Randy Johnson 15
2002 Randy Johnson 12
2001 Randy Johnson 10
1999 Randy Johnson 10
2008 CC Sabathia 9
1998 Randy Johnson 9
1997 Roger Clemens 9
1995 Randy Johnson 9
2017 Chris Sale 8
2015 Jake Arrieta 8
2014 Clayton Kershaw 8
2006 Johan Santana 8
2016 Max Scherzer 7
2007 Jake Peavy 7
2003 Jason Schmidt 7
1996 John Smoltz 7
2011 Clayton Kershaw 6
2010 Jon Lester 6
2013 Clayton Kershaw 5
2009 Zack Greinke 5
2005 Johan Santana 5
2004 Johan Santana 5
2012 Justin Verlander 4
2018 Blake Snell 2

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:

2018 lead changes

Here 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.  
 
Date Leader Team BTP
3/29 Luis Severino nyy al 2.0
3/30 Max Scherzer dc nl 2.0
4/02 Paul DeJong stl nl 2.5
4/04 Luis Severino nyy al 3.0
4/09 Max Scherzer dc nl 3.7
4/12 Jose Berrios min al 4.0
4/13 Gerrit Cole hou al 5.0
4/14 Max Scherzer dc nl 5.7
4/18 Jose Berrios min al 6.0
4/20 Max Scherzer dc nl 6.7
4/22 Patrick Corbin ari nl 7.0
4/27 Luis Severino nyy al 7.7
5/1 Max Scherzer dc nl 7.7
5/2 Luis Severino nyy al 9.7
5/11 Max Scherzer dc nl 11.4
6/4 Luis Severino nyy al 13.7
6/5 Max Scherzer dc nl 15.4
7/1 Luis Severino nyy al 16.7
7/27 Max Scherzer dc nl 18.4
8/12 Chris Sale bos al 20.1
8/17 Max Scherzer dc nl 21.1
9/23 Blake Snell tb al 24.5
9/25 Max Scherzer dc nl 25.1
9/29 Blake Snell tb al 25.5
About Box-Toppers’ team abbreviations
  • 4., 7., 19., and 21. The Cleveland Indians top four starting pitchers were among the top 21 overall players in Box-Toppers player rankings. Corey Kluber ranked fourth (21.7 Box-Toppers points), Carlos Carrasco ranked seventh (19.8 points), Trevor Bauer ranked 19th (14.1) and Mike Clevinger ranked 21st (13.7). Last season, Kluber ranked fifth among all players with 22.0 Box-Toppers points, second among AL pitchers and won the AL Cy Young Award.

  • 5. Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale, last year’s Box-Toppers Player of the Year with 25.1 Box-Toppers points, had 21.1 points in 2018, fourth among AL pitchers.

  • 16. Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler had 15.1 Box-Toppers points in 2018, most among all rookie players. Buehler ranks sixth among NL pitchers.

  • 28. J.D. Martinez of the Red Sox led all batters with 12.5 Box-Toppers points. That is tied for the lowest point total to lead all batters in Box-Toppers’ 24 seasons. In 2015, Adrian Beltre of the Rangers also led all batters with 12.5 points (he ranked 27th among all players that season). Martinez’s 12.5 points is tied for the sixth-lowest total to lead any Box-Toppers’ season category (AL or NL pitchers or batters) since 1995. Martinez led AL batters in 2018.

  • 34. Christian Yelich of the Brewers led all NL batters with 11.5 Box-Toppers points. That is tied for the second-lowest point total to lead any Box-Toppers’ season category. The lowest is the 10.7 points Nolan Arenado of the Rockies earned in 2016 to lead NL batters.

  • 50. Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs led all batters in 2017 with 15.5 Box-Toppers points. In 2018, he had 10.0 points, second among NL batters.

  • 58. Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Braves has the most 2018 Box-Toppers points among NL rookie batters with 9.2.

  • 73. Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw earned 8.0 Box-Toppers points in 2018, 34th among NL pitchers. For the previous seven seasons, Kershaw ranked among the top three players in Box-Toppers points each season, including winning Player of the Year honors in 2011 (26.1 points), 2013 (21.7) and 2014 (31.5).

  • 81. Shohei Ohtani of the Angels earned 8.0 Box-Toppers points in 2018, 4.0 as a starting pitcher and 4.0 as a designated hitter. Box-Toppers ranks the rookie at both positions based on his overall season total. His 8.0 points ranks 31st among AL pitchers and third among AL designated hitters. Because the players ranked ahead of him at designated hitter also played other positions, Ohtani’s 8.0 points actually qualified him to be named designated hitter on Box-Toppers’ 2018 year-end AL All-Star team. (Though I’ll admit it doesn’t make perfect sense since half his points were actually earned for pitching.) Ohtani also has the most Box-Toppers points among qualified AL rookies in 2018.

Other notable players not among the top 100:

Lowest points to lead category

Nolan Arenado holds the record for lowest Box-Toppers point total to lead category (10.7 to lead National League batters in 2016). Here are the lowest-point totals to win a league category since Box-Toppers tracking began in 1995:

Player Team BTP Category
1 Nolan Arenado col nl 10.7 2016 NL bat
2 Carlos Gonzalez col nl 11.5 2015 NL bat
2 Christian Yelich mil nl 11.5 2018 NL bat
4 Troy Tulowitzki col nl 11.6 2014 NL bat
5 Edwin Encarnacion cle al 12.1 2017 AL bat
6 Adrian Beltre tex al 12.5 2015 AL bat
6 Aubrey Huff bal al 12.5 2008 AL bat
6 Ryan Braun mil nl 12.5 2012 NL bat
6 J.D. Martinez bos al 12.5 2018 AL bat
10 Manny Machado bal al 12.7 2016 AL bat
11 Adrian Beltre tex al 13.0 2012 AL bat
12 Paul Goldschmidt ari nl 13.7 2013 NL bat
12 Bret Boone sea al 13.7 2001 AL bat
  • Ranked 120th—Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees was NL Most Valuable Player in 2017, when he was with the Marlins and had 14.2 Box-Toppers points, 17th among all players, second among NL batters. In 2018, he earned 6.5 points, which ranked 11th among AL batters.

  • Ranked 121st—Edwin Encarnacion of the Indians led AL batters in Box-Toppers points in 2017 with 12.1 (ranked 22nd overall). This season, he had 6.5 Box-Toppers points, 12th among AL batters.

  • Ranked 293rd—Jose Altuve of the Astros was AL Most Valuable Player in 2017, even though he only earned 2.5 Box-Toppers points and ranked 387th overall, 90th among AL batters. This season, he actually performed marginally better, though he is not in the discussion to win AL MVP—he had 3.5 Box-Toppers points and ranked 64th among AL batters. Altuve ranked 94 spots higher among all players compared to last year, but still is not among the top 250 players in 2018.

Box-Toppers tends to favor pitchers, especially in the short term, so most of the top 100 players are pitchers and this year that number has climbed, with 82 of the 100 top players being pitchers. In recent years, the number of pitchers among the top 100 players declined each season from 79 in 2014 to 63 in 2018, but this season—a year in which pitchers dominated and batters Box-Toppers point totals declined to record-low levels—pitchers rebounded with a vengeance.

Here is a breakdown of this year’s top 100 players by their primary position:

  • 78—Starting pitcher 

  • 8—Outfield (4 LF, 3 RF, 1 CF)

  • 4—First base

  • 3—Closing pitcher

  • 2—Third base

  • 2—Shortstop

  • 1—Designated hitter

  • 1—Second base

  • 1—Middle relief pitcher

  • 0—Catcher

The highest-ranked catcher is Mitch Garver of the Twins, who had 7.5 Box-Toppers points and ranked just outside the top 100 in 102nd place. Though he had the same Box-Toppers point total as the 100th-ranked player Freddie Freeman, Garver ranks lower on a tiebreaker because he had fewer 2017 Box-Toppers points than Freeman (0.0 vs. 3.0).

The World Series champion Boston Red Sox have the most players in the top 100—seven. They are:

Six teams each had six players among the top 100, tied for the second-most among all teams: Diamondbacks, Braves, Cubs, Dodgers, Brewers and Yankees. 

Three other teams each had five players among the top 100: Indians, Athletics and Phillies.

Five teams each have just one player on the list, including the Rays, which had the top-ranked player of the season, pitcher Blake Snell with 25.5 points. The four other teams with just one player among the top 100: Orioles, White Sox, Tigers and Royals.

Two teams have no representatives in the top 100: Padres and Blue Jays. The Padres’ top-ranked player is pitcher Eric Lauer (6.7 Box-Toppers points, ranked 119th). The Blue Jays’ top-ranked player is first baseman Justin Smoak (6.0 Box-Toppers points, ranked 137th).

 •

This season, 744 different players earned Box-Toppers Player of the Game honors. There were 400 players who had more than 2.0 Box-Toppers points and 52 with 10.0 or more points. There were 175 players who made their Box-Toppers debut in 2018, earning Player of the Game honors for the first time.

Here are comparisons with those numbers from recent seasons:

  • Players earning Player of the Game honors—2017 (763), 2016 (730), 2015 (751), 2014 (722).

  • Players earning more than 2.0 Box-Toppers points—2017 (409), 2016 (395), 2015 (402), 2014 (399).

  • Players earning 10.0 or more Box-Toppers points—2017 (38), 2016 (54), 2015 (47), 2014 (58).

  • Players making their Box-Toppers debut—2017 (169), 2016 (151), 2015 (172), 2014 (135).

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