Frank Robinson Cleveland Indians

Age: 83 (August 31, 1935) | 6' 1" | 195lbs. | Bats: Right
Tm Lg YEAR G AB R H BB SO 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BA OBP SLG BB% SO% BABIP G/L/F % $4x4 $5x5
CIN NL 1956 152 572 122 166 64 95 27 6 38 83 8 4 .290 .379 .558 10 15 .289 n/a
CIN NL 1957 150 611 97 197 44 92 29 5 29 75 10 2 .322 .376 .529 6 14 .339 n/a
CIN NL 1958 148 554 90 149 62 80 25 6 31 83 10 1 .269 .350 .504 10 13 .266 n/a
CIN NL 1959 146 540 106 168 69 93 31 4 36 125 18 8 .311 .391 .583 11 15 .314 n/a
CIN NL 1960 139 464 86 138 82 67 33 6 31 83 13 6 .297 .407 .595 15 12 .287 n/a
CIN NL 1961 153 545 117 176 71 64 32 7 37 124 22 3 .323 .404 .611 11 10 .306 n/a
CIN NL 1962 162 609 134 208 76 62 51 2 39 136 18 9 .342 .421 .624 11 9 .329 n/a
CIN NL 1963 140 482 79 125 81 69 19 3 21 91 26 10 .259 .379 .442 14 12 .263 n/a
CIN NL 1964 156 568 103 174 79 67 38 6 29 96 23 5 .306 .396 .548 12 10 .303 n/a
CIN NL 1965 156 582 109 172 70 100 33 5 33 113 13 9 .296 .386 .540 10 15 .307 n/a
BAL AL 1966 155 576 122 182 87 90 34 2 49 122 8 5 .316 .410 .637 13 13 .300 n/a
BAL AL 1967 129 479 83 149 71 84 23 7 30 94 2 3 .311 .403 .576 13 15 .321 n/a
BAL AL 1968 130 421 69 113 73 84 27 1 15 52 11 2 .268 .390 .444 14 17 .302 n/a
BAL AL 1969 148 539 111 166 88 62 19 5 32 100 9 3 .308 .415 .540 14 10 .299 n/a
BAL AL 1970 132 471 88 144 69 70 24 1 25 78 2 1 .306 .398 .520 12 13 .312 n/a
BAL AL 1971 133 455 82 128 72 62 16 2 28 99 3 0 .281 .384 .510 13 11 .268 n/a
LAN NL 1972 103 342 41 86 55 76 6 1 19 59 2 3 .251 .353 .442 14 19 .265 n/a
CAL AL 1973 147 534 85 142 82 93 29 0 30 97 1 1 .266 .372 .489 13 15 .271 n/a
CAL AL 1974 129 427 75 107 75 85 26 2 20 63 5 1 .251 .371 .461 14 16 .266 n/a
CLE AL 1974 15 50 6 10 10 10 1 1 2 5 0 1 .200 .328 .380 16 16 .205 n/a
CLE AL 1975 49 118 19 28 29 15 5 0 9 24 0 0 .237 .385 .508 19 10 .200 n/a
CLE AL 1976 36 67 5 15 11 12 0 0 3 10 0 0 .224 .329 .358 14 15 .226 n/a
Career 21yrs 2808 10006 1829 2943 1420 1532 528 72 586 1812 204 77 .294 .389 .537 12 13 .295 n/a
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The book Wizardry(thru 2010 season) concurs with 1 and 2 in their top 40 defensive RFers of all time

1. Clemente 

2. Barfield

7. Jordan

14. Hidalgo

6. Ichiro

23. Wilson

8. Kaline

25. Drew

9. Sanders

32. Whiten


van wilhoite LVW
Feb 10

These seem like reasonable weights for the importance of each position. Certainly Belanger saved more runs for the Orioles than Robinson while the two were teammates. But for Robinson to come out as a bigger negative in his career, as a fielder, than Ted Williams -- that doesn't seem reasonable.

And how is it that Edgar Martinez is only -9.0 in his career in dWAR?

Alex Patton Alex
Feb 9

From https://www.baseball-reference.com/about/war_explained_position.shtml

Current values (per 1350 (150*9) innings played) are:

  1. C: +9 runs
  2. SS: +7 runs
  3. 2B: +3 runs
  4. CF: +2.5 runs
  5. 3B: +2 runs
  6. RF: -7 runs
  7. LF: -7 runs
  8. 1B: -9.5 runs
  9. DH: -15 runs
  10. P: see Pitcher Positional Adjustment

Since fielding performances change over time, these values will vary as you travel back in time. For example, first basemen in the early 1900s through the 1940s were required to be better fielders than they are today. They were still the worst fielders on the infield, but the position had more of a defensive focus then than the corner outfield positions did.

To compute a player's Positional adjustment Runs, we add together for each non-pitching position: Position multiplier (from above) × innings played at position / 1,350 Innings. For players who are only pitchers this is Pitcher Positional Adjustment (from below) × (PA/4) / 150.

There is one final adjustment. The positional adjustment should be centered on zero if you sum across all of the players in the league. To force this to be the case, we do another step where we sum the league's positional runs and then allot the excess out to players based on playing time. This way the runs across the league effectively sum to zero.


So, it would appear that a right fielder is docked 7 defensive runs a year compared to the average position player on the field.  A catcher gains 9 and a shortstop gains 7.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Feb 9

But what exactly does "positional adjustment" mean? The importance of the position? The competition from other right fielders?

Alex Patton Alex
Feb 9

The positional adjustment must be very harsh.  Among RF (55% of games in RF) with 500 or more career games (at any position), I only get 19 with a dWAR above 1.0.  

Barfield and Clemente are at 12.2

Jayson Heyward 11.1

Brian Jordan at 10.1

Mookie Betts 9.3

Richard Hidalgo 5.3

Ichiro 4.8

Glenn Wilson 3.7

Josh Reddick 3.1

Alex Rios 3.1

Mike Anderson 2.8

Al Kaline 2.3

JD Drew 2.3

Larry Walker 2.0

Reggie Sanders 1.8

Yasiel Puig 1.5

Mark Whiten 1.2

Ellis Valentine 1.1

Hugh Nicol 1.0 (1881-1890 YMMV)

All others are less than 1 dWAR in their careers and obviously most are negative.  

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Feb 9

Bref has his FRAA(Fielding Runs Above Average at 26 and per 1200 innings at 2 for his OF career. Evans at 82 and 5. Winfield -92 and -5

van wilhoite LVW
Feb 9

Wow, that's interesting. Growing up, I always thought Evans and Winfield were incredible right fielders. 

Scott Shea SJS
Feb 9

dWAR doesn't like right fielders.  Ichiro is positive, albeit not a very high positive over his career 4.8, but Dwight Evans is negative.  Dave Winfield is a major negative.  Even Roberto Clemente and Jesse Barfield are only at 12.2 to the positive.  Without using the play index, I suspect that they are the top 2 in RF.  The positional adjustment must really hurt RF.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Feb 9

One of the reasons Milt Pappas comes as close as he does in career WAR is dWAR isn't kind to Robinson, not at all. A negative in all but two seasons (1957 and 1961) and -14.8 for his career. I watched Frank Robinson play a lot -- I mean, a lot -- and I don't know how dWAR reaches that conclusion. He didn't have a great arm but he caught the ball and he covered enough ground to play 101 games in center field. In those games he made 243 catches, threw out four baserunners and committed one error.

You could look it up.

Alex Patton Alex
Feb 8

I happened to attend the first MLB regular season game between teams managed by African Americans, him and Cito Gaston. I imagine Robinson gets short shrift because he split his most productive years between two teams.  Back then, players didn't do that.  Mays was a Giant, Mantle a Yankee, Aaron a Brave, Banks a Cub,Clemente a Pirate, Gibson a Cardinal, etc.

John Thomas Roll2
Feb 8