Congratulations to the Replacement Player!
The close of the season has seen some hot debate on “Wins Above Replacement” or “WAR” that has brought about some gosh-awful puns, and some very interesting and revealing discussion. One of the questions a lot of folks asked this year was, “What is a replacement player?” Sure, we could always say something like “Oh, you know a bench guy, a AAAA guy, you know!” and be done with it. Well this year, my friends, we have a winner who finished with 0.0 WAR — a “Replacement Player” in the flesh! I did scour for pitchers, and I did look in other places like Baseball Prospectus for other 0.0 MLB WAR/VORP (“Value Over Replacement Players”) players, but to no avail. To qualify, you had to have at least 502 PA. Seven batters, and one pitcher finished with a negative WAR in Fangraphs’ system this year. I was hoping there would be more names, but only He showed up:
Fangraphs’ Replacement Player: Jemile Weeks, Oakland Athletics
It’s not often you get quality quotes from a replacement player, but he provided a good one on his way out from Oakland to Sacramento:
“I’m going to be a star in this game, man.”
Well, this year wasn’t the best start for him, but hey, you never know sometimes. Jemile, younger brother of Rickie Weeks, put together a slash line of .221/.305/.304, a .277 wOBA, a 74 wRC+. Some other standard stats for him: 2 HR, 54 R, 20 RBI, 16 SB. I have no idea if he has a spot on the playoff roster, but a switch hitter with speed might be useful for the A’s in their series with Detroit. Jemile had the first Fangraphs WAR (or “fWAR”) of 0.0 since 2010 when Jorge Cantu and Ryan Theriot pulled off the Shane Victorino emoticon for the measurement.