John Danks staring down White Sox history

He's coming. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

While browsing about on B-R this morning, doing my research for KenWo's Top 20 White Sox ballot, I stumbled upon something I found rather interesting: John Danks is 14th in franchise history in pitcher's bWAR. In a mere 917.2 innings, he's been worth 19.3 WAR. If John manages to have even an average WAR season for his career, 2012's 3.9 mark would vault him past Tommy John for sole possession of 10th place in team history. And he'll have done this by age 27 and in around 1,100 innings. Think of that the next time someone tries to question the extension he was signed to this winter.

Rank Player WAR
1 Ted Lyons 58.8
2 Red Faber 55.2
3 Ed Walsh 55.0
4 Billy Pierce 50.3
5 Mark Buehrle 46.6
6 Wilbur Wood 44.9
7 Eddie Cicotte 43.1
8 Doc White 29.9
9 Thornton Lee 28.0
10 Tommy John 22.5

As you can see, there is considerably less room for upward mobility once you crack the top ten. It's more than reasonable to expect John Danks to at least pass Doc White before his career in Chicago comes to a close, but how much higher can he go? It will take another 23.9 WAR to pass Eddie Cicotte. Without a few more breakout seasons, that will take 6-7 more years and a decent amount of injury-luck to do.

But let's go back to Eddie Cicotte. Look at that top seven! If not for his part in the Black Sox scandal, Cicotte would likely rank no lower than 5th. But we can't change the past, so he's stuck in 7th despite a stellar career. This got me to thinking about where his 43.1 WAR would rank on the rest of the original sixteen teams' top tens.

Team Rank
Indians 3rd
Yankees 6th
Red Sox 4th
Tigers 4th
Orioles 3rd
Athletics 3rd
Twins 3rd
Braves 7th
Dodgers 5th
Cubs 4th
Reds 1st
Giants 6th
Phillies 4th
Pirates 3rd
Cardinals 2nd

While the White Sox never had the top tier pitching that some of these franchises had, it's hard to argue with the depth they've managed to have over the years.

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