In modern day baseball, WAR has become the standard for evaluating players. So, who are the all-time leaders in WAR in Cincinnati Reds franchise history?
The Cincinnati Reds are one of the most storied franchises in all of baseball. From Johnny Bench to George Foster, Dave Concepcion to Barry Larkin, and Jose Rijo to Joey Votto, the Reds history is littered with All-Stars, Gold Glove Award winers, and Hall of Famers. But who leads the Reds franchise in WAR?
Wins above replacement, or WAR, has become the standard in modern day baseball for evaluating players. It is a non-standardized metric that is designed to sum up a player’s total value to the team. It takes into consideration batting, base running, fielding, and all sorts of metrics intruder to place a numeric value on a player.
Different outlets calculate WAR differently, but usually the numbers that each source comes up with are pretty close. For example, Dave Concepcion has a WAR of 40.1 according to Baseball Reference and a WAR of 39.7 according to Fan Graphs. For the sake of this article, we’ll be using Baseball Reference.
10. Noodles Hahn, Starting pitcher (1899-1905)
Frank George Hahn, better known by his nickname Noodles, is the only pitcher on the list of Top 10 all-time leaders in WAR in Cincinnati Reds history. Hahn’s WAR in his 7 seasons with the Reds was 44.6. He finished his career in Cincinnati with a record of 127-92 and an ERA of 2.52.
The numbers that Noodles Hahn put up were staggering. At the age of 20, Hahn began his career with the Reds. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Hahn led the league in his rookie year of 1899 with 145 strikeouts. He went 23-8 that season with an ERA of 2.68. The southpaw started 34 games and finished all but 2 of them.
Hahn was the first pitcher in the 20th century to throw a no-hitter. On July 20, 1900, Hahn shut out the Philadelphia Phillies and didn’t allow a single hit. He led the league in shutouts that season with 4 and strikeouts with 132.
Noodles Hahn finished his career in 1906 with the New York Highlanders, who would later be renamed the Yankees in 1913. After his retirement from baseball, Hahn worked out with the team routinely until 1968. Hahn died in 1960 and was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1963. Hahn had 6 consecutive seasons with a WAR above 6.0.