Baseball Wins Above Replacement (WAR)

baseball wins above replacement war

There are a number of statistics in baseball which describe various aspects of the game, and one of these is WAR, or Wins Above Replacement. So, what exactly is WAR? What does it calculate? How is it used, and why is it valuable? Read on to find out.

Wins Above Replacement (WAR)

Wins Above Replacement is an offensive statistic that assesses the value of players by enumerating how many more wins they are worth than a replacement player of the same position. For example, the WAR of an MLB first baseman attempts to determine how many more wins that first baseman could give a team than a Minor League first baseman, or a first baseman who is currently a free agent. 

The value of a player’s WAR also depends on the position itself, with positions that see lower levels of performance from replacements (such as shortstops) generally having superior WARs to positions where replacements are generally at the same skill level as roster players (such as first basemen).

WAR Formula

In order to calculate WAR, the following formula is used for position players:

(The number of runs above average a player is worth in their batting, baserunning and fielding + adjustment for position + adjustment for league + the number of runs provided by a replacement-level player) / runs per win = WAR


What is WAR in baseball?

In baseball, WAR stands for Wins Above Replacement, and is a stat that evaluates how many more wins a player gets than an average replacement at their position. Wins Above Replacement adds a player’s batting, base running, and fielding contributions toward wins and weighs them against the league average at their position.