WAR - what is it good for?

Some people buy into advanced metrics and put a lot of weight on the information they provide.

Others still rely more heavily on the old-school statistics and aren’t willing to cannonball into the advanced metrics pool just yet.

rendon-span-white-high-five-smile.jpgOne of the more accepted advanced metrics in this day and age is WAR (wins above replacement). It’s become the catch-all metric that both fans and professional talent evaluators use to compare players and value their impact on their teams.

Even if you’re not a big fan of the new-age metrics, WAR is one that you should probably start to get used to. It has its flaws, for sure. But it’s not going anywhere any time soon.

So as we look back at the 2014 season, let’s take a glance at how Nationals players grade out in WAR.

Here are the top 12 Nationals position players in the WAR rankings, according to FanGraphs:

Anthony Rendon: 6.6
Jayson Werth: 4.8
Ian Desmond: 4.1
Denard Span: 3.8
Wilson Ramos: 2.0
Adam LaRoche: 1.6
Bryce Harper: 1.3
Ryan Zimmerman: 1.2
Asdrubal Cabrera: 0.6 (in his 49 games with the Nats)
Jose Lobaton: 0.6
Danny Espinosa: 0.6
Tyler Moore: 0.3

And here are how the top 12 Nats pitchers rank in WAR:

Jordan Zimmermann: 5.2
Stephen Strasburg: 4.3
Gio Gonzalez: 3.1
Tanner Roark: 3.0
Tyler Clippard: 1.5
Doug Fister: 1.3
Drew Storen: 0.9
Jerry Blevins: 0.7
Rafael Soriano: 0.7
Blake Treinen: 0.6
Aaron Barrett: 0.6
Craig Stammen: 0.6

There are a few surprises in there, to me. Fister only having a 1.3 WAR despite posting a 2.41 ERA and just 1.32 walks per nine innings. Storen only having a 0.9 WAR despite having the second-lowest ERA among any reliever this season.

What jumps out at you when looking at those lists? Any surprises?

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