Anatomy of an Average Team

In FanGraphs, a “replacement-level” team would win 43 games. That is to say, a team that is only comprised of AAA fodder, talent freely available to any team, would expect to win that amount. I wondered, then, how a team could take that and be average.

I looked at the FanGraphs leaders at each position this year and took adjusted the innings to qualify until I got as close 30 members at each position as I could. Then, I took the median WAR to simulate a team that just so happened to have the most average team possible, and this is what I came up with:

C     2.0
1B   2.0
2B   2.5
SS   2.5
3B   2.8
RF   2.7
CF   3.0
LF   2.5
C2 [0.5]
O4 [0.5]
O5 [0.5]
I5   [0.5]
I6   [0.5]
Position: 22.5

SP   4.5
SP   2.7
SP   2.0
SP   1.3
SP   0.6
RP   1.5
RP   1.0
RP   0.7
RP   0.5
RP   0.4
RP   0.2
RP   0.1
Pitching: 15.5

38 wins + 43 replacement wins = 81 wins.

Keep in mind, I guessed the win contributions for the bench, but it seems accurate to me.

In the future, I’d like to use this as a guide to diagnose our team strengths and weaknesses, but you can clearly see where some them start to manifest.

A neat thing that seems counterintuitive at first is how weak 1B are at the moment. This is, I believe due to the positional adjustment playing first base has right now. There just aren’t a lot of elite offensive forces that can only play 1B. Most offensive titans right now also enjoy the ability to play CF or 2B or some other position on the field (and any of them are vastly more difficult than 1B).

Keep in mind, also, that DH’s aren’t represented here. There are very few “true” DHs, and since is the is a back-of-the-napkin exercise anyway, I’m not especially worried.

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