What is a Good WAR in Baseball for Players and Pitchers?


Written by

Michael Rogers



Leo Hagenes

What is a Good War in Baseball

Cracking open the big question: What Is A Good WAR In Baseball? It’s ‘Wins Above Replacement’, showcasing a player’s worth. Picture a scoreboard where higher WAR digits shout MVP vibes.

For a player to be considered good, their WAR should be at least 3-4, considering that 2 is the average for this stat.

Beyond the basics, this metric spins a tale of the diamond’s champs. Stick around, and let’s pitch deeper into this stat-studded topic.

WAR Defined: Cracking the Code


For those deep into the baseball conversation, wondering what WAR stands for often leads them to the comprehensive WAR definition in baseball.

WAR is a metric quantifying a player’s overall impact on their team’s victories. This impact is weighed against a theoretical “replacement player,” a baseline talent.

Using WAR, teams, and analysts gain clear insights. The metric spotlights the standout performers, significantly elevating their team’s chances of notching a win. For instance, if a player has a 2 WAR performance, it means their team is twice as likely to win compared to if a replacement player fills their position.

Understanding WAR or Wins Above Replacement becomes crucial for anyone looking to grasp the sport’s intricacies.

The Formula


1. For position players

Caculating the WAR performance of position players is relatively easy, as you can just follow the formula below:

WAR=Runs Above Average+ Positional Bonus + League Modulation + Replacement Contributions / Runs Per Victory

2. For pitchers

It’s a little more complicated for pitchers’ WAR stats, since there are several methods, such as Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) and RA9. In this article, we’ll use the former approach, also known as fWAR:

WAR={[(League “FIP” – “FIP”Pitcher Specific Runs Per Win+ Replacement Level)xIP/9]+ Leverage Multiplier for Relievers} +League Correction

Setting The Bar: What’s Considered a ‘Good’ WAR?


To figure WAR in baseball means diving deep into the story of a player’s significance within the sport’s grand tapestry. WAR isn’t just a mere number – it’s a vivid narrative. So, what is considered a good WAR stat? Check out the table below.

WAR Range Player Status
0 – 1 Ground Zero
1- 2 Role Player
2 Average Player
2 – 3 Starting Player
4 – 5 All-Star Player
5 – 6 Superstar
6+ MVP Caliber

The average WAR settles around the 2 threshold. It’s a nod to consistent performance, a seal of approval, but not quite the crown jewel. Still, it’s a number that spells reliability, ensuring a player’s worth is etched in the annals of baseball history.

Factors Affecting ‘Good’ WAR In Baseball


Position influences WAR calculations. The crux of WAR is assessing value, and certain positions inherently carry a distinct weight. Why? Primarily due to the positional adjustment factor.

Baseball statistics often appear as an alphabet soup to the uninitiated. WAR stat in baseball stands head and shoulders above the rest in its importance and intrigue.

1. Batting Brilliance


It’s more than home runs and RBIs. Consistency at the plate, seizing crucial moments, and aiding the team’s run-scoring endeavors are key factors.

2. Baserunning Agility

Speed is an asset, but it’s the strategic mind—knowing when to steal, hold back, and sprint for that extra base—that transforms games.

3. Fielding Finesse


A player’s defensive prowess, highlight-reel catches, and sharp throws are vital. They halt the opposition, turning potential game-changing moments into routine outs.

4. Pitching Potency


Beyond the impressive pitches lies a pitcher’s game IQ: the strategies employed, game management, and the knack to suppress the opponent’s lineup, all of which influence WAR.

For a pitcher, the scenario alters slightly, although the foundational concept of WAR remains consistent across the board. To be clear, their WAR stat can be adjusted for defense and park factors, as ballparks and fielders can affect pitchers’ performance as well.

The Game Changers: Top WAR Achievers


While the annals of baseball brim with luminaries, only a distinct group of players have reached the pinnacle regarding the highest WAR in baseball. Here are some standout names that have left an indomitable mark in the WAR ledger:

  • Babe Ruth

This baseball titan was born in 1895 and achieved an astronomical career WAR of 183.1. Ruth’s prowess on the field, combined with his larger-than-life persona off it, firmly plants him as baseball royalty.

  • Willie Mays

Another stalwart, born in 1931, Mays boasts a magnificent career WAR of 156.1. He embodies baseball greatness with his iconic over-the-shoulder catches and home run prowess.

  • Barry Bonds

Born in 1964, Bonds carved out a career WAR of 162.8. Known for his unparalleled plate discipline and power-hitting capabilities, Bonds stands tall among the elites.

  • Hank Aaron

Born in 1934, “Hammerin’ Hank” secured a career WAR of 143.0. With his record-breaking home run feats, Aaron remains etched in the memories of baseball aficionados worldwide.


In distilling the complexities of baseball metrics, we unearth the significance of WAR, revealing its pivotal role in assessing player value. From evaluating positional weight to understanding pitcher nuances, WAR offers profound insights.

So, when pondering what is a good WAR in baseball, remember it’s a measure that transcends mere numbers, narrating the essence of a player’s contribution to their team’s success.

5/5 - (1 vote)
From the blog

You may also like