When debating who makes up the best players in Philadelphia Phillies history — or the history of any team, for that matter — it can be hard to determine a consistent standard for ranking.
One metric that can help rate these players on one scale is Wins Above Replacement. WAR is a statistic that places a number on how much value a certain player provides over a potential replacement player. In other words: How many more wins did a team get by having this certain player instead of a regular replacement.
WAR is based on all-around play, and gives a simple number to compare players. Here’s a look at the Phillies leaders in career Wins Above Replacement, according to FanGraphs’ calculation.
1. Mike Schmidt, 106.5
Schmidt, the best player in team history, amassed more WAR than any other Phillie, spending his whole career in Philadelphia from 1972-1989. The third baseman produced three nine-WAR seasons as he slugged 548 career home runs, won three National League MVPs, made 12 All-Star teams, led the NL in homers eight times, earned 10 Gold Glove Awards, won the 1980 World Series MVP and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995.
2. Steve Carlton, 75.0
The left-handed Carlton was the Phillies’ ace, pitching for them from 1972-1986 in a 24-year career that went from 1965-1988. He posted 11.1 WAR in his first season with the Phillies and eclipsed eight WAR in two additional seasons with the team. Carlton was a four-time NL Cy Young Award winner, a 10-time All-Star, a 1994 Hall of Famer and totaled 96.5 WAR for his career.
3. Ed Delahanty, 64.8
Delahanty broke into the majors with the Philadelphia Quakers for two seasons. Following a year away, he returned after the club was renamed the Phillies and spent the next 11 seasons of his career that spanned from 1888-1903. The outfielder surpassed seven WAR in five seasons with the Phillies. He led the NL in homers twice and had 73.7 career WAR before being posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1945.
4. Robin Roberts, 62.7
Roberts pitched the first 14 seasons of his career that lasted from 1948-1966 with the Phillies, recording three seasons with over seven WAR. The right-hander led the NL in strikeouts twice and wins four times while also being a seven-time All-Star. Roberts had a career total of 74.7 WAR and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1976.
5. Chase Utley, 59.3
Utley played for the Phillies from 2003-2016, when he was traded to the Dodgers midseason. The second baseman spent three additional years in Los Angeles. While his counting stats didn’t necessarily pop, WAR told a bit of a different story about peak Utley; he averaged 7.7 WAR from 2005-2009. Utley was a six-time All-Star, a four-time Silver Slugger, a 2008 World Series champion and recorded 62.9 career WAR.
6. Richie Ashburn, 52.3
Ashburn, who played from 1948-1962, was on the Phillies for the first 12 years of his career. The center fielder had four six-WAR seasons, while leading the NL in batting average twice and stolen bases in 1948. The six-time All-Star had 57.4 career WAR and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995.
7. Sherry Magee, 51.5
Playing from 1904-1919, Magee started his career with 11 seasons for the Phillies. The outfielder surpassed five WAR in six different years in Philadelphia. A 63.4-WAR player for his career, Magee won the 1910 batting title, led the NL in RBIs four times and won the 1919 World Series with the Reds.
8. Grover Cleveland Alexander, 50.8
Alexander pitched for the Phillies from 1911-1917, then came back in 1930 to finish his career after 12 seasons with the Cubs and Cardinals. “Old Pete” averaged 7.3 WAR during his first stint in Philadelphia. A three-time Triple Crown winner, Alexander was a 1926 World Series champion, amassed 96.5 career WAR and was a 1938 Hall of Fame inductee.
9. Jimmy Rollins, 48.9
Rollins played for the Phillies from 2000-2014 before finishing his career two seasons later. He won the 2007 NL MVP as he posted a career-best 6.5 WAR. The shortstop leads the franchise in career hits, made three All-Star teams, won four Gold Gloves and one Silver Slugger, led the NL in stolen bases in 2001 and was a 2008 World Series champion. He totaled 49.4 WAR for his career.
10. Bobby Abreu, 47.2
In a career that lasted from 1996-2014 (with a year off in 2013), Abreu played for the Phillies from 1998-2006. He averaged 5.9 WAR for his first seven seasons with the team. The outfielder was a two-time All-Star, a 2004 Silver Slugger, a 2005 Gold Glover and had 59.8 WAR for his career.
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION
- New Phillies Catcher Garrett Stubbs May Prove To Be An Ideal Fit In Philadelphia
- Jimmy Rollins: There Were ‘Probably 2’ Hall of Famers On The 2008 Phillies
- Phillies Franchise Leaders In Home Runs
- Keith Law Ranks Phillies’ Farm System As Worst In National League
- Phillies Nuggets: Will Brad Miller Return In 2022?
- This 2001 Top 10 Phillies Prospects List Is A Sight To Behold
- Jimmy Rollins’ Final 2022 Hall Of Fame Vote Total Revealed
- ‘Forever Grateful’ For Phillies Fans, Roman Quinn Is Running At A Blazing Speed Again
- Jonathan Papelbon Says That The Most Talented Team He Played On Was With Phillies, Not Red Sox
- Top 6 Home Runs Of Ryan Howard’s Career