We are now exactly one-third through the 2013 regular season (811 MLB games played, out of 2,430 scheduled for the season). That also means we are one-third through the decade of baseball that began with the 2010 season and runs through the 2019 season. After the jump are the Top 10 everyday player WAR totals accumulated from 2010 through last night, the first one-third of the “teens” decade.
1. Miguel Cabrera 24.5
2. Robinson Cano 24.2
T3. Joey Votto and Ryan Braun 22.7
5. Adrian Beltre 22.3
6. Jose Bautista 20.8
7. Evan Longoria 20.3
8. Ben Zobrist 19.8
9. Dustin Pedroia 19.4
10. Andrew McCutchen 18.8
At least for now, Albert Pujols has fallen out of the top 10 — he currently sits 11th.
Now, the top 8 in pitching WAR, 2010 through last night:
1. Justin Verlander 21.8
2. Clayton Kershaw 21.7
3. Cliff Lee 20.9
4. Felix Hernandez 18.5
5. Roy Halladay 17.0
6. Jered Weaver 16.8
T7. Cole Hamels and C.C. Sabathia 16.6
I wonder how many of the guys on the 2010-2013 lists will also be there on the full 2010-2019 lists, after the remaining two-thirds of this current decade are in the books.
Lets look at what happened in the previous decade, comparing where things stood after the fourth year of the decade to where they stood after the full decade was complete. The top 10 in WAR for everyday players over the full decade 2000-2009 were, in order: A-Rod, Pujols, Bonds, Helton, Beltran, Ichiro, Chipper, Rolen, Berkman and Abreu (Jeter, in case you’re wondering, was 11th). If you had looked at the top 10 for 2000-2003, how many of those guys also ended up as top 10 for the 2000-2009 decade as a whole? Four of them: Bonds, A-Rod, Helton and Abreu. Six guys (Giambi, Edmonds, Andruw, Sosa, Delgado and Thome) were top 10 through 2003, but didn’t make it on to the full decade top 10.
The top 8 in pitching WAR over the full decade 2000-2009: Randy Johnson, Schilling, Santana, Pedro, Halladay (the only one to also show up in the 2010-2013 list), Oswalt, Vasquez and Buehrle. If you look at the top 8 for 2000 through 2003, half of these guys — Johnson, Schilling, Pedro and Vasquez — were there as well (along with Hudson, Mussina, Zito and Bartolo Colon).
That result — about half the guys — seems like a reasonable guide to how many of the players now on the current decade top WAR lists, through the first third of the current ten-year sequence, will still be there at the end of the full decade. Time will tell.