What if Moneyball Occurred in 2022?

Billy Beane in an interview in 2012; CC by License 2.0

Within the winter of 2001, the Oakland Athletics misplaced three of their largest stars in 1B Jason Giambi, OF Johnny Damon, and nearer Jason Isringhausen. Giambi, coming off back-to-back dominant seasons that noticed him win the AL MVP in 2000 and place second in 2001, signed an enormous take care of the New York Yankees that paid him $120 million over 7 years. Damon was an identical story, inking a 4 yr, $31 million take care of the Boston Pink Sox. Isringhausen adopted go well with and signed with the St. Louis Cardinals for $27 million over 4 years shortly after. This was a catastrophe for Oakland, and GM Billy Beane needed to get artistic to rebuild his roster.

The 2011 movie “Moneyball,” starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, does a superb job of telling the story of the 2002 Oakland A’s, however there are some key omissions within the film. First off, Oakland had a trio of younger beginning pitchers to spearhead their rotation, together with Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and 2002 AL Cy Younger Award winner Barry Zito. With ERA+ of 145, 125, and 158 respectively, the large three contributed enormously to the Athletics’ 103-win season in 2002 however weren’t talked about within the movie.

One other participant lacking from the movie is SS Miguel Tejada, the 2002 AL MVP. Tejada and his companion on the left aspect of the infield, 3B Eric Chavez, offered Oakland with respective OPS+ of 128 and 127 whereas every slugging 34 dwelling runs and enjoying elite protection. The duo mixed for 10 WAR however had been nowhere to be discovered within the script.

Omissions apart, Moneyball stresses the significance of analytics in constructing a profitable baseball workforce. Beane used the easy On-Base Share statistic to search out gamers to recreate the losses of Giambi and Damon for a fraction of the associated fee. In 2023, there are lots of extra stats to make use of that didn’t exist twenty years in the past, and I’ll make use of those metrics, like fWAR, WRC+, and OPS+, to assemble a 2022 Moneyball dream workforce.


1- The 2002 Oakland A’s payroll was $39.7 million. Adjusted for inflation, that is the same as roughly $67 million at the moment. I’ll maintain the whole payroll of this workforce beneath that quantity.

2- All WAR numbers can be fWAR to maintain every little thing constant. Percentile stats will come from Baseball Savant.

3- OBP can be thought of, however, as a result of evolution of the sport over the previous twenty years, it won’t be the only real deciding issue because it was in 2002.

4- Participant salaries will solely account for 2022. For instance, if a participant making $1 million signed an extension that can pay them $10 million per yr, however that pay elevate doesn’t kick in till 2023, then that participant’s wage can be marked as $1 million. All wage information comes from Spotrac.com

Catcher- Alejandro Kirk, Toronto Blue Jays

2022 Wage- $714,000

One in every of 2022’s largest breakout stars, Alejandro Kirk completed the yr with an absurd .372 on-base proportion in 541 plate appearances. Two of the largest components in Kirk’s season on the plate had been an 88th percentile stroll proportion and a strikeout proportion within the 98th percentile, contributing to a 3.8 fWAR. Kirk, who began the All-Star Recreation and received the AL Silver Slugger behind the plate, will deliver top-tier framing and protection and an elite eye on the plate to this roster.

First Base- Christian Walker, Arizona Diamondbacks

2022 Wage- $2,600,000

With 36 dwelling runs in 2022, Christian Walker brings a ton of energy to this squad, however that’s not his solely expertise. Walker is elite within the subject, rating within the high one % of first basemen in Outs Above Common. With an fWAR of 4.1 in 2022, Walker has earned his spot on this workforce.

Second Base- Andres Gimenez, Cleveland Guardians

2022 Wage- $706,600

Gimenez, the important thing piece the Guardians acquired in return for SS Francisco Lindor, broke out in an enormous manner in 2022. With an OBP of .371 and a WRC+ of 140, Gimenez proved to be a terrific leadoff hitter for Cleveland. Nonetheless, his worth lies principally in his protection and velocity. He boasts 94th percentile velocity and was within the high 2 % of second basemen when it comes to OAA. Total, Gimenez’s huge skillset, which led to six.1 fWAR, makes him an ideal match for this workforce.

Third Base- Yandy Diaz, Tampa Bay Rays

2022 Wage- $2,800,000

The Tampa Bay Rays have a magic contact relating to discovering undervalued gamers, they usually struck gold with Diaz. Hitting leadoff for Tampa, Diaz completed 2022 with a WRC+ of 146 and an absurd OBP of .401, the one certified infielder to eclipse .400. Yandy’s Baseball Savant web page is affected by stats within the ninety fifth percentile and better, together with common and max exit velocities, strikeout and stroll percentages, and chase fee. Diaz is an elite hitter and makes the minimize simply as my third baseman.

Shortstop- Tommy Edman, St. Louis Cardinals

2022 Wage- $722,900

Manning shortstop can be Cardinals’ utilityman Tommy Edman. Edman is a defensive wizard in each the infield and the outfield, posting an OAA within the one centesimal percentile in 2022. This elite protection, paired with a artful, switch-hitting strategy on the plate, landed Edman at a 5.7 fWAR for the yr. He completes the infield and sure hits leadoff on this workforce.

Left Subject- Daulton Varsho, Toronto Blue Jays

2022 Wage- $721,700

Daulton Varsho is without doubt one of the most original gamers in baseball, with the flexibility and athleticism to play elite protection as each an outfielder and a catcher. Varsho ranked eighth amongst outfielders in fWAR in 2022 with 4.7, and that elite protection is a large purpose why. Varsho additionally realized a few of his energy potential in 2022, hitting 27 dwelling runs for a Diamondbacks offense that wanted it badly. Though his OBP and WRC+ are slightly decrease than most gamers on this workforce, Varsho’s defensive worth makes him a top quality addition to the outfield.

Heart Subject- Adolis Garcia, Texas Rangers

2022 Wage- $714,000

Garcia, just like Varsho, didn’t have probably the most spectacular on-base numbers, however he additionally established himself as an elite power-speed-defense weapon for the Rangers in 2022. Garcia’s Baseball Savant web page tells that story properly, crediting him with 92nd percentile common exit velocity, 86th percentile hard-hit proportion, sixty fifth percentile dash velocity (83rd in 2021), 67th percentile OAA, and 98th percentile arm energy. Garcia is almost a five-tool participant and can slot in properly in heart subject.

Proper Subject- Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros

2022 Wage- $764,200

Since taking up in Houston’s outfield for the departed George Springer, Kyle Tucker has been some of the underrated stars in baseball. Tucker collected a 4.8 fWAR in 2022, inserting him seventh amongst outfielders. He additionally boasts a Savant web page that will make any hitter envious. Tucker’s plate self-discipline units him aside from the pack, as he was within the 78th percentile in whiff proportion and the 67th percentile in chase fee. With a .330 OBP, 30 dwelling runs, and 25 stolen bases in 2022, together with an 89th percentile OAA, Tucker is without doubt one of the most well-rounded gamers in baseball.

Designated Hitter- Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros

2022 Wage- $764,600

Alvarez, top-of-the-line pure hitters in baseball, confirmed out for Houston in 2022. He collected a monstrous 6.7 fWAR from the DH place, main all main DHs and besting second place by 2.5 fWAR. Yordan’s Savant web page exhibits he ranks within the 94th percentile or higher in practically each main hitting metric, which shouldn’t shock anybody who watched him hit within the 2022 postseason. Alvarez signed a 6-year extension for $115,000,000 in June 2022, however he was a straightforward choice at his 2022 wage.


Cedric Mullins, Baltimore Orioles

2022 Wage- $716,500

Steven Kwan, Cleveland Guardians

2022 Wage- $700,000

Taylor Ward, Los Angeles Angels

2022 Wage- $720,000

Will Smith, Los Angeles Dodgers

2022 Wage- $730,000

Whole Hitter Payroll- $13,374,500

Pitching was not an issue in any respect for the 2002 A’s, so there was not as huge of an emphasis on pitching analytics within the film. That being stated, to actually create a “Moneyball” workforce, I’ve to incorporate a full pitching employees. The 2 metrics I take advantage of most continuously to judge a pitching season are ERA+ and SIERA. ERA+ is rather like OPS+ for hitters. It merely takes a pitcher’s ERA and turns it right into a quantity that’s simpler to know by adjusting for the run surroundings and period during which a pitcher performed. For instance, Pedro Martinez’s prime seasons had been in the course of the steroid period, which was an absurdly excessive run surroundings. Regardless of the surge in offense within the late Nineties-early 2000s, Pedro was capable of put collectively 2 of the best pitching seasons of all time, resulting in a 291 ERA+. For those who examine Martinez’s greatest seasons to the perfect years of Christy Mathewson, who pitched within the “dead-ball period,” the floor stats might look very related. Nonetheless, Mathewson’s ERA+ from these prime years is way decrease than Martinez’s. SIERA can be quite simple. It’s simply ERA, however solely takes into consideration what the pitcher can management by himself.

Beginning Rotation:

Dylan Stop, Chicago White Sox

2022 Wage: $750,000

ERA+: 180

SIERA: 3.48

Alek Manoah, Toronto Blue Jays

2022 Wage: $730,000

ERA+: 168

SIERA: 3.85

Zac Gallen, Arizona Diamondbacks

2022 Wage: $745,600

ERA+: 158

SIERA: 3.32

Kyle Wright, Atlanta Braves

2022 Wage: $720,000

ERA+: 130

SIERA: 3.48

Shane McClanahan, Tampa Bay Rays

2022 Wage: $711,400

ERA+: 142

SIERA: 2.82


Evan Phillips, Los Angeles Dodgers

2022 Wage: $720,000

ERA+: 360

SIERA: 2.34

John Schreiber, Boston Pink Sox

2022 Wage: $700,000

ERA+: 192

SIERA: 2.71

Erik Swanson, Seattle Mariners

2022 Wage: $711,600

ERA+: 224

SIERA: 2.15

Pete Fairbanks, Tampa Bay Rays

2022 Wage: $714,400

ERA+: 327

SIERA: 1.09

Trevor Stephan, Cleveland Guardians

2022 Wage: $703,400

ERA+: 141

SIERA: 2.55

Caleb Thielbar, Minnesota Twins

2022 Wage: $1,300,000

ERA+: 112

SIERA: 2.59

Alex Vesia, Los Angeles Dodgers

2022 Wage: $720,000

ERA+: 191

SIERA: 2.68

Joe Mantiply, Arizona Diamondbacks

2022 Wage: $717,000

ERA+: 142

SIERA: 2.40

Whole Pitching Payroll- $9,943,400

Whole Payroll- $23,317,900

Patrick Corbin’s 2022 Wage- $23,416,666

All of those gamers offered All-Star caliber performances to their groups for a fraction of the salaries elite gamers often command. Whereas most of those guys will repeat their unbelievable performances from final season, it will likely be fascinating to see which gamers simply confirmed a flash within the pan and which gamers are really among the many recreation’s greatest. Some gamers on this workforce will quickly reap the advantages of their stardom by inking priceless long-term extensions. Others might select to attend it out in hopes of cashing in on a giant free-agent payday. Regardless, the choices made by the members of this Moneyball Dream Staff will form the way forward for the league.