I did a bit of number crunching today on Barry Bonds because I couldn’t find the information anywhere:
After winning the MVP this year, his career MVP award share is now 8.39. He surpassed Stan Musial last year, the previous all-time leader in MVP award share with 6.97 (Ted Williams is 3rd with 6.43). Award share is calculated by taking the percentage of the maximum possible points that could be earned in MVP voting. This year, Bonds got a 0.95 award share earning 426 points out of a possible 448. Assuming his next few seasons don’t totally suck, its possible for him to get over 9.0 and if he were to win another MVP, he could in theory get over 10. (If he wins another MVP, he’d be the oldest player to ever win)
The other thing I did was calculate the odds of him getting to 755 home runs using the Bill James career projection system. He is currently 98 home runs away from breaking Hank Aarons all-time record. The system takes into consideration the last five years performance, with a greater weight towards the more recent seasons. It also projects the estimated length of a players career. The problem is it sort of breaks down when you are dealing with a guy who’s last three seasons have been amongst the greatest all-time…..and who is turning 40 next year.
Given the level Bonds is at now, absent a sudden and dramatic decline in performance, he could play to 2010 if he got a job playing as a DH in the American League. Pete Rose, Nolan Ryan, and Phil Niekro all played to their mid 40’s, and Bonds is probably in better shape than any of them. Hell, Rickey Henderson played last year.
All that aside, when you put in the numbers, you get that Bonds has a 76% chance of breaking Aarons record given where he is now. What’s funny is that a few years after he breaks it, Sammy Sosa might be on his tail. Sammy has the advantage of being a more pure home run hitter and the big advantage of being younger. Sammy is four years younger and 119 homers behind.
That 76% number contains no intangibles. Its just the Bill James formula. If anything, I think the intangibles benefit Bonds.