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Fun With Numbers - What's Your WAR?

Imagine if you (i.e. the average reader) were suddenly dropped onto a major league baseball team. You'd be virtually useless in the batter's box - striking out each time (if you're lucky), and you'd be a defensive liability, forcing you into the DH position.

Assuming that you strike out on three pitches in every at-bat (which is probably being overly conservative but whatever let's roll with it), your wOBA would be .000. That's not a good number. Over 600 plate appearances that translates to something like 180 runs below average.

The DH positional adjustment is -17.5, and the replacement bonus we'll take as 20 runs. Your WAR would therefore be approximately -18 (meaning that you should be paying whichever team you were on almost $100M a year to make up for the fact that you're playing).

While this is an amusing little exercise, consider this: Jose Vidro, over 600 PA last season, would have been worth about -3 wins. That's 15 wins over someone who can't play baseball.

The best player in the game, Albert Pujols, posted a WAR of about 9 in 2008. The difference between him and Vidro? 12 wins, only a little bit less than the difference between ol' Turbo and someone who can't play baseball at all.

Let's present this in another way.

We paid him $6,000,000 to be our starting DH last year. What the hell.