The Braves have had a very rollercoaster year thus far, and it is vital that all of our players make the most out of every day, because everyday is one day closer to the end of the season. The offense has been spotty, in summary, showing up for a blast somedays, and disappearing other days. The pitching throughout the year has been sloppy, to say the least. However, through the first 2 months of the season, in 4th place of a tight-knit division, the Braves have outlasted their division opponents in one battle, and in fact all but 2 National League teams in the battle of offensive WAR.
Wins Above Replacement (WAR) is an attempt by the sabermetric baseball community to summarize a player’s total contributions to their team in one statistic.
Note: All data comes from FanGraphs, and FanGraphs alone. Baseball-Reference will likely have a slightly different ranking, but you can call it the same if you'd like.
The Braves are 4th in baseball in offensive WAR, and 3rd in the National League:
T1. St. Louis, 14.2
T1. Texas, 14.2
3. Los Angeles Dodgers, 12.7
4. Atlanta, 11.2
5. Boston, 10.4
Atlanta also has the highest concentration of players in the Top 10 of offensive WAR for all players, having 2 out of the top 10 players:
1. Josh Hamilton, 3.9
2. Adam Jones, 3.2
3. David Wright, 3.1
4. Joey Votto, 3.0
T5. Martin Prado, 2.9
T5. Ryan Braun, 2.9
7. Michael Bourn, 2.8
8. Paul Konerko, 2.7
9. Carlos Ruiz, 2.6
T10. A.J. Ellis, 2.5
T10. Austin Jackson, 2.5
All of these players are likely All-Stars, except for AJ Ellis and Austin Jackson, maybe Chooch won't be voted into it.
In terms of offensive WAR by position, the Braves are represented well. We are 11th in catching (1.2), 17th in 1st Baseman (0.4), 3rd in 2nd basemen (2.0, just 0.1 from 1st place), 30th at shortstop (-1.3), 13th for 3rd Basemen (1.2), 13th in Right Field (1.1), 4th place in Center Field (2.8), 2nd in Left Field (3.1), and 2nd in Total Outfield (7.0, 0.2 behind Texas). As for pitchers, we have the 9th best hitting pitchers, at 0.3 WAR, although it should be noted that the Pitcher's offensive team WAR ranges from -0.1 to 0.8, just 0.9 difference.
In pitching, however, the Braves are just the opposite in pitching WAR. The Braves are 25th of 30 teams in pitching WAR, at 3.5. We only beat the Cubs (2.8), the Astros (2.7), the Blue Jays (1.7), the Padres (1.5) and the Twins (0.1). The Nationals lead baseball in pitching WAR to no surprise (8.6), and second are the Marlins (7.9). The Braves are obvioulsy competing in a pitching-talented division where their own pitching is the worst in the division.
When it gets divided into Starting and Relieving, it's not that much different. The Braves are 24th out of 30 teams in Starting WAR, with 2.6, beating only the Yankees, Astros, Rockies, Blue Jays, Padres, and Twins. For Relieving WAR, the Braves are 18th out of 30 with 0.9, beating the Mets, Athletics, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Twins, Phillies, Astros, Cardinals, Mariners, Padres, Blue Jays, and the Cubs. Surprisingly, the Rockies are second in baseball.
In the world of fielding, the Braves are highly ranked. They are 6th out of 30 teams in UZR/150 with 7.7, and 7th of 30 in UZR, at 12.0. In traditional metrics, the Braves are 15th of 30 teams in errors, with 31. However, it should be noted that they've played the 6th most innings in baseball.
In terms of individual rankings, I'll list all the Braves and their ranking in offensive WAR. Each player or group of players' rankings is by position, not all players. Min PA: 40
C: Brian McCann 11 of 55, 0.9
C: David Ross 31 of 55, 0.3
1B: Freddie Freeman 10 of 56, 0.8
1B: Eric Hinske 49 of 56, -0.4
2B: Dan Uggla 2nd of 51, 2.0
SS: Tyler Pastornicky 50 of 50, -0.9
SS: Jack Wilson 43 of 50, -0.4
3B: Chipper Jones 10 of 66, 1.1
3B: Juan Francisco 46 of 66, 0.1
LF: Martin Prado 2 of 80, 2.9
LF: Matt Diaz 51 of 80, 0.1
CF: Michael Bourn 3 of 55, 2.8
RF: Jason Heyward, 9 of 50, 1.4
Here is a graph I made personally from Kids' Zone: Learning with NCES displaying the makeup and percentages of the Braves' Outfield WAR through the first 2 months of the year:
As far as FanGraphs goes, the Braves are doing good as for 2B, C, LF, CF, RF, and 3B. However, the pitching has been very mediocre, and that is what will be crucial in the 2nd half of the season. This final graph shows the number of each Braves' WAR on the team:
What can Andrelton Simmons bring to the Braves? From FanGraphs, who do not carry WAR for minor leaguers, says that Simmons is 13th out of 60 in the AA Southern League in wRC+, with 134. He is 13th of 60 players with a .375 wOBA, and obtains a .292/.372/.421 line, which puts him 9th of 60 in the Southern League in OBP, and 1st in BB/K. Those numbers will certainly decline at the major league level, but he will likely give us better than a -0.9 WAR.
EDIT: I decided to also create a WAR graph for our pitching.
This FanPost does not express the views or opinions of Talking Chop.