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Value Survey: Game 21

Tim Anderson refuses to relinquish his status as the top surplus value player for the White Sox to begin 2019

Chicago White Sox v Baltimore Orioles
Returning champion: Tim Anderson is out of the gate as 2019’s best value for the White Sox — but at least to start the season, he’s got some close competition
Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

It’s early, and Baseball Prospectus isn’t even issuing WARP for pitchers yet, but with about 13% of the season in the books, let’s revisit the value survey!

Right out of the gate, the Chicago White Sox have six position players boasting positive surplus values (or SV, which is WAR translated into a dollar value offset by salary) and seven pitchers. That’s 13 positive values out of 31 players total.

[This year, the true WAR dollar value went up from just less than $4 million, to $4,037,327.24, reflecting a slight nudge northward for MLB salaries on the whole.]

Tim Anderson remains the White Sox team leader in SV after finishing the 2018 season as the champ of the roster. Anderson boasts an early SV cushion of $3,855,846.

What’s different this year is that there are some early contenders to the crown beyond TA. Carlos Rodón leads all pitchers at $3,492,883 SV, and Anderson’s partner on the left side of the infield, Yoán Moncada, sits at $3,559,057 SV.

Unlike the fight on the hitting side, Rodón so far is running away with the pitcher’s SV crown. Part of that is his excellent start to the 2019 season — and part of it is the general level of suckitude from the White Sox staff. Second in SV among hurlers is Manny Bañuelos, at a promising $1,340,602 SV so far.

White Sox vs. average team breakdown

To offer perspective on how the White Sox are doing relative to the league, we compare the South Siders to a generic “average” MLB team (average payroll, average WAR production). The White Sox are doing far worse than that club when it comes to overall value this season:

The average MLB team has 4.0 WAR, which is $16,171,739 in value. Subtracting average team salary of $17,445,241, the average team SV is -$1,273,503.

The White Sox boast 3.4 WAR, which is $13,794,201 in value. The White Sox are paying far less than average in salary ($11,530,239), thus end up at $3,071,991 in SV.

So while the White Sox are 0.6 WAR worse than an average team, they’re $2,377,537 less in SV. Taking into account the low payroll, the South Siders are doing better than average with in terms of SV — $4,345,494 better than the average club, in fact.

Another way to look at it, on a per-game basis the White Sox are getting $206,928.27 more SV from its roster than the average major league team — every five games, a million more in surplus value.

Quick Peeks

Top Hitter SV: Tim Anderson, $3,855,846

Top Pitcher SV: Carlos Rodón, $3,492,883

Lowest Hitter SV: Daniel Palka, -$3,156,244

Lowest Pitcher SV: Reynaldo López, -$1,286,383

Top Hitter Raw Value: Tim Anderson, $4,037,327

Top Pitcher Raw Value: Carlos Rodón, $4,037,327

Lowest Hitter Raw Value: Daniel Palka, -$3,095,284

Lowest Pitcher Raw Value: Reynaldo López, -$1,211,198