Box-Toppers top pitchers by time frame (after 2017)

Here are the top pitchers in Box-Toppers points (BTP) over the past season (2017), the past two seasons (2016-17), the past six seasons (2012-17) and “all-time”—the past 23 seasons (since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began). For the most recent seasons, the top 10 pitchers in each league are shown. For the “all-time” rankings, the top 10 overall pitchers (including retired players) are shown at left and the top 10 active pitchers in career Box-Toppers points are shown at right.
 

American League National League
’17 Player Pos Team BTP Player Pos Team BTP
1 Sale, Chris 2806 pi sp bos al 25.1 Scherzer, Max 2588 pi sp dc nl 25.0
2 Kluber, Corey 3200 pi sp cle al 22.0 Kershaw, Clayton 2494 pi sp lad nl 23.1
3 Carrasco, Carlos 2885 pi sp cle al 21.8 Strasburg, Stephen 2736 pi sp dc nl 22.5
4 Severino, Luis 3567 pi sp nyy al 21.1 Greinke, Zack 1871 pi sp ari nl 20.1
5 Santana, Ervin 2005 pi sp min al 16.1 Ray, Robbie 3502 pi sp ari nl 16.0
6 Verlander, Justin 2112 pi sp hou al 14.7 Nola, Aaron 3569 pi sp phi nl 15.8
7 Paxton, James 3280 pi sp sea al 13.7 deGrom, Jacob 3343 pi sp nym nl 15.7
8 Tanaka, Masahiro 3305 pi sp nyy al 11.4 Wood, Alex 3246 pi sp lad nl 15.7
9 Clevinger, Mike 3707 pi sp cle al 11.4 Quintana, Jose 3040 pi sp chi nl 15.0
10 Gausman, Kevin 3191 pi sp bal al 11.1 Nelson, Jimmy 3299 pi sp mil nl 14.0
American League National League
’16‑17 Player Pos Team BTP Player Pos Team BTP
1 Kluber, Corey 3200 pi sp cle al 43.2 Scherzer, Max 2588 pi sp dc nl 50.7
2 Sale, Chris 2806 pi sp bos al 38.5 Kershaw, Clayton 2494 pi sp lad nl 47.5
3 Carrasco, Carlos 2885 pi sp cle al 34.2 Strasburg, Stephen 2736 pi sp dc nl 37.6
4 Verlander, Justin 2112 pi sp hou al 29.4 Lester, Jon 2173 pi sp chi nl 32.8
5 Hamels, Cole 2135 pi sp tex al 27.2 Greinke, Zack 1871 pi sp ari nl 29.8
6 Tanaka, Masahiro 3305 pi sp nyy al 25.5 Hill, Rich 2215 pi sp lad nl 27.1
7 Severino, Luis 3567 pi sp nyy al 23.1 deGrom, Jacob 3343 pi sp nym nl 25.4
8 Gausman, Kevin 3191 pi sp bal al 21.9 Quintana, Jose 3040 pi sp chi nl 25.4
9 Bauer, Trevor 3065 pi sp cle al 21.1 Darvish, Yu 3003 pi sp lad nl 23.4
10 Pomeranz, Drew 3061 pi sp bos al 20.8 Ray, Robbie 3502 pi sp ari nl 22.7
American League National League
’12‑17 Player Pos Team BTP Player Pos Team BTP
1 Sale, Chris 2806 pi sp bos al 106.5 Kershaw, Clayton 2494 pi sp lad nl 147.2
2 Kluber, Corey 3200 pi sp cle al 87.4 Scherzer, Max 2588 pi sp dc nl 128.9
3 Hernandez, Felix 2064 pi sp sea al 82.4 Greinke, Zack 1871 pi sp ari nl 99.1
4 Price, David 2593 pi sp bos al 79.1 Strasburg, Stephen 2736 pi sp dc nl 96.7
5 Hamels, Cole 2135 pi sp tex al 78.4 Bumgarner, Madison 2753 pi sp sf nl 88.0
6 Verlander, Justin 2112 pi sp hou al 74.6 Lester, Jon 2173 pi sp chi nl 78.3
7 Carrasco, Carlos 2885 pi sp cle al 62.9 Arrieta, Jake 2738 pi sp chi nl 77.2
8 Kimbrel, Craig 2825 pi cp bos al 61.4 Cueto, Johnny 2400 pi sp sf nl 72.0
9 Liriano, Francisco 2104 pi sp hou al 59.7 Darvish, Yu 3003 pi sp lad nl 68.6
10 Archer, Chris 3194 pi sp tb al 57.1 Gonzalez, Gio 2626 pi sp dc nl 66.8
All players (including retired) All active players
’95‑17 Player Pos Team BTP Player Pos Team BTP
1 Johnson, randy pi sp Retired 278.8 Kershaw, Clayton 2494 pi sp lad nl 206.8
2 Martinez, Pedro J. pi sp Retired 244.8 Sabathia, C.C. 1492 pi sp nyy al 192.7
3 Kershaw, Clayton 2494 pi sp lad nl 206.8 Greinke, Zack 1871 pi sp ari nl 176.2
4 schilling, curt pi sp Retired 194.1 Hernandez, Felix 2064 pi sp sea al 171.4
5 Sabathia, C.C. 1492 pi sp nyy al 192.7 Santana, Johan 1448 pi sp Free agent 166.6
6 Greinke, Zack 1871 pi sp ari nl 176.2 Scherzer, Max 2588 pi sp dc nl 156.7
7 Hernandez, Felix 2064 pi sp sea al 171.4 Verlander, Justin 2112 pi sp hou al 154.0
8 Halladay, Roy 1178 pi sp Retired 170.7 Lester, Jon 2173 pi sp chi nl 153.9
9 Santana, Johan 1448 pi sp Free agent 166.6 Hamels, Cole 2135 pi sp tex al 153.4
10 clemens, roger pi sp Retired 164.8 Colon, Bartolo pi sp min al 153.2
What are those numbers after players' names?
Active players are shown on the team with whom they finished the 2017 season.

Randy Johnson leads pitchers in Box-Toppers points since 1995; Clayton Kershaw leads active pitchers in career points

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Randy Johnson has the most Box-Toppers points of any pitcher since tracking began in 1995.

Johnson, who played from 1988 to 2009 for the Mariners, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Giants, Expos and Astros, earned 278.8 Box-Toppers points from 1995 until he retired in 2009. He also leads all players in Box-Toppers points since 1995, ahead of the second-place player and second-place pitcher Pedro Martinez (244.8 Box-Toppers points).

Meanwhile, Chris Sale of the Red Sox led all pitchers in Box-Toppers points in 2017, Max Scherzer of the Nationals led all pitchers in points over the past two seasons and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers led all pitchers in points over the past six seasons. Kershaw also leads all active pitchers in career Box-Toppers points.

The chart above shows the top 10 pitchers over several time frames—over the past season (2017), the past two seasons (2016-17), the past six seasons (2012-17) and “all-time”—the past 23 seasons (since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began). For the most recent seasons, the top 10 pitchers in each league are shown. For the “all-time” rankings, the top 10 overall pitchers (including retired players) are shown at left and the top 10 active pitchers in career Box-Toppers points are shown at right.

Johnson holds the overall Box-Toppers points lead even though seven of his seasons were not tracked by Box-Toppers. If they had been, rough projections put his career Box-Toppers point total at about 380—more than 100 more than his 278.8 from 1995 to 2009.

In fact, Johnson’s lead in Box-Toppers points among pitchers would be even more dominating if other pitchers had their pre-1995 Box-Toppers point totals projected over their entire career. Benefitting most from the projection is Roger Clemens, who had 164.8 Box-Toppers points from 1995 to 2007. But if his entire career from 1984 were tracked, rough projections put his career total at 320. That would put him in second behind Johnson’s 380, still 60 points behind. 

Here are the top 10 pitchers with their projected career Box-Toppers point totals. To make this list, a pitcher needed to have at least 100 Box-Toppers points since 1995. So, for example, all-time greats like Walter Johnson or Nolan Ryan (who retired in 1993), are not included. Players with projected point totals are designated with an asterisk (*). Players without an asterisk have had their entire career tracked by Box-Toppers:

  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. Clayton Kershaw 206.8
  8. Mike Mussina 193*
  9. CC Sabathia 192.7
  10. Kevin Brown 180*

Players such as Martinez and Schilling dip in the overall rankings based on entire career projections, but players like Clemens, Smoltz, Maddux, Mussina and Brown rise in the overall rankings.

Kershaw in 2017 rose to lead active pitchers in career Box-Toppers points with 206.8, passing previous leader Sabathia of the Yankees. Kershaw also rose into third place on the “all-time” pitchers list, passing both Sabathia and Schilling during the 2017 season. Kershaw is now 38.0 Box-Toppers points behind second-ranked “all-time” pitcher, Pedro Martinez (244.8). Kershaw’s highest single-season Box-Toppers point total is 31.5.

Kershaw also ranks second among National League pitchers over the past season (23.1 in 2017), second among NL pitchers over the past two seasons (47.5 over 2016-17) and first among all pitchers over the past six seasons (147.2 from 2012-17).

Sale, who led all pitchers (and all players) in Box-Toppers points during the past season (25.1 in 2017), ranks second among American League pitchers over the past two seasons (38.5 over 2016-17) and first among AL pitchers over the past six seasons (106.5 from 2012-17). Sale has 111.5 career Box-Toppers points, which ranks 14th among active pitchers.

Scherzer, who led all pitchers (and all players) in Box-Toppers points over the past two seasons (50.7 over 2016-17), also ranks first among National League pitchers over the past season (25.0 in 2017) and second among NL pitchers over the past six seasons (128.9 from 2012-17). Scherzer also ranks sixth among active pitchers in career Box-Toppers points (156.7).

Corey Kluber of the Indians leads all AL pitchers in Box-Toppers points over the past two seasons (43.2 over 2016-17). He also ranks second among AL pitchers over the past season (22.0 in 2017) and second among AL pitchers over the past six seasons (87.4 from 2012-17). Kluber has 87.4 career Box-Toppers points, 26th among active pitchers.

Of the top 10 pitchers in career Box-Toppers points since 1995, five are listed as active—Kershaw, Sabathia, Zack Greinke of the Diamondbacks, Felix Hernandez of the Mariners and Johan Santana, listed as a free agent. Santana, 38, has not pitched since 2012 and has attempted several unsuccessful comebacks. Latest word is he is still considering coming back after injuries and so Box-Toppers still lists him as a free agent and active. This, even though, his five years of inactivity qualified him to be included on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot in January. And adding insult to his injuries, Santana not only failed to be voted to be inducted to the Hall, but he didn’t even receive the 5 percent of the vote to be included on 2019’s Hall ballot.

Of the top 10 pitchers, five have qualified to appear on a Hall of Fame ballot (having 10 years of playing time and being inactive for five years). Of those, only two have been elected and inducted—Johnson and Martinez. Fourth-ranked Schilling has failed to be elected in six tries. Santana, as previously mentioned, failed to be voted in January and will not appear on 2019’s ballot. And 10th-ranked Roger Clemens has failed to be elected in six tries because of his association with performance enhancing drugs.

The other retired player on the list, Roy Halladay, will be eligible to be elected to the Hall of Fame in 2019. Halladay, 40, was killed in a plane he was piloting in November.

Of the 10 active pitchers with the most career Box-Toppers points, only Santana (who has not pitched since 2012) did not earn Box-Toppers points in 2017. Sixth-ranked Scherzer had the most among the 10 pitchers in 2017 (25.0), while fourth-ranked Felix Hernandez of the Mariners had the fewest (2.7).

All but one pitcher listed in the 80 spots on the charts above are starting pitchers. The exception: Craig Kimbrel of the Red Sox is a closing pitcher. He is the eighth-ranked AL pitcher over the past six seasons (61.4 Box-Toppers points from 2012-17).

Two pitchers—Kershaw and Greinke (former Dodgers teammates)—appear in five of the eight charts above, the maximum number they could appear in:

  • Both are top 10 in points among pitchers since 1995 (Kershaw is third with 206.8, Greinke is sixth with 171.4). 
  • Both are in the top 10 in points among active pitchers in career points (Kershaw is first with 206.8, Greinke is third with 176.2). 
  • Both are in the top 10 in points among NL pitchers over the past six seasons (Kershaw is first with 147.2, Greinke is third with 99.1).
  • Both are in the top 10 in points among NL pitchers over the past two seasons (Kershaw is second with 47.5, Greinke is fifth with 29.8).
  • And both are in the top 10 in points among NL pitchers over the past season (Kershaw is second with 23.1, Greinke is fourth with 20.1).

Two other pitchers—Scherzer and Justin Verlander of the Astros (former Tigers teammates)—appear in four of the eight charts:

  • Both are in the top 10 in points among active pitchers in career points (Scherzer is sixth with 156.7, Verlander is seventh with 154.0).
  • Both are in the top 10 in points among their league’s pitchers over the past six seasons (Scherzer is second among NL pitchers with 128.9, Verlander is sixth among AL pitchers with 74.6).
  • Both are in the top 10 in points among their league’s pitchers over the past two seasons (Scherzer is first among NL pitchers with 50.7, Verlander is fourth among AL pitchers with 29.4).
  • And both are in the top 10 in points among their league’s pitchers over the past season (Scherzer is first among NL pitchers with 25.0, Verlander is sixth among AL pitchers with 14.7).

Scherzer ranks 13th in career points among all pitchers since 1995 with 156.7, just 8.1 points behind 10th-ranked Clemens (164.8). Verlander ranks 15th with 154.0. 

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: 

Related Box-Toppers High by Position posts showing Box-Toppers points leaders by position over several time frames—past season (2017), past two seasons (2016-17), past six seasons (2012-17) and “all-time” (since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began):

  • First base: Miguel Cabrera leads all-time (career Box-Toppers points since 1995). He also leads all active first basemen in career points and leads all first basemen over the past six seasons. Anthony Rizzo leads past season.
  • Second base: Jeff Kent leads all-time. Scooter Gennett leads past season.
  • Shortstop: Miguel Tejada leads all-time over Derek Jeter. Elvis Andrus leads past season (and also past two seasons).
  • Third base: Alex Rodriguez leads all-time. Jose Ramirez leads past season.
  • Catcher: Mike Piazza leads all-time. Buster Posey leads past season (and also past two and past six seasons).
  • Outfield: Manny Ramirez leads all-time. Giancarlo Stanton leads past season (and also past two seasons).
  • Designated hitter: Albert Pujols leads all-time (and also leads active DHs in career points). Edwin Encarnacion leads past season (and also past two seasons and past six seasons).
  • Pitcher: Randy Johnson leads all-time. Clayton Kershaw leads active pitchers in career points (and also leads over past six seasons). Chris Sale leads past season. Max Scherzer leads past two seasons.
  • Closing pitcher: Trevor Hoffman leads all-time over all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera. Craig Kimbrel leads active closers in career points (and also leads over past two seasons and past six seasons). Edwin Diaz leads over past six seasons.
  • Overall: Johnson leads all players in Box-Toppers points since 1995. Kershaw leads active players in career points and also leads all players over the past six seasons. Chris Sale led players in 2017. Max Scherzer leads players over the past two seasons.