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Wins Above Replacement (WAR) is a relatively new category from the sabermetrics universe. It is not an exact science and WAR can have varied formulas depending upon the source.

I’d like to explain WAR but can’t. I don’t understand it and can’t figure out why it carries so much weight. Guess I’m just a stubborn graduate of baseball’s old-school.

Rather than trying to educate you, I suggest you go to

• Phillies alumni

There is WAR for position players, along with oWAR and dWAR. For pitchers, WAR. I decided to research the Phillies’ all-time leaders in basic WAR, position players only. Anyone who played for the Phillies prior to 1900 was excluded. I decided to explore those hitters who are among the team’s top 10 in several traditional, age-old offensive categories. Perhaps I missed someone. Apologies if that is the case.

Drum roll please…..

Mike Schmidt 106.8
Chase Utley 61.8
Richie Ashburn 57.7
Bobby Abreu 47.2
Jimmy Rollins 46.4
Johnny Callison 39.5
Dick Allen 35.4
Chuck Klein 34.9
Del Ennis 33.6
Gavvy Cravath 31.0
Cy Williams 30.3
Greg Luzinski 19.2
John Kruk 18.5
Pat Burrell 16.8
Ryan Howard 15.0

It is no surprise that Schmidt is the Phillies’ leader. Recognized as the greatest Phillies player ever, his WAR leadership adds fuel to this claim, I suppose.

His 106.8 WAR ranks 26th on baseball’s all-time list. His 548 home runs rank 16th.

Then there’s Howard, considered the greatest first baseman in franchise history. His 382 home runs are second only to Schmidt for the Phillies. In MLB history, that number is tied for 69th all-time. Only Schmidt has more RBIs among Phillies. Ryan’s RBI total (1,194) puts him tied for 159th in all of baseball. His 15.0 WAR doesn’t get him in the top 1,000. I don’t understand why I don’t understand that.

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