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Is Ben Zobrist having a better season than you think he is?

Tom Szczerbowski

FanGraphs rolled out a new tool over the past two days, a WAR leaderboard with different styles of calculating the mark for pitchers. There had never been a combined leaderboard for all of baseball before due to the parity in opinions for evaluating pitchers (and catchers for that matter).

Now we have more context, and would you have guessed which Rays player is tied for ninth in all of baseball by WAR? Or if your filter is RA-9 WAR for pitchers exclusively, tied for eleventh overall?

Ben Zobrist has quietly been having a remarkable season, but that's just how Zobrist operates. With subtlety in his value, in how he carries himself on the field, and how he carries himself off as well.

33 years old, only twice an All-Star in his career (including his maybe-snub this season), and a man who plays anywhere on the field required of him --even center -- with top-ten-in-baseball output for the low-low cost of $7M. We've got over a month left to play, and he's already racked up surplus value four times his contract.

Maybe it's not remarkable because it's so expected. The switch hitter has a 126 wRC+ on the season, only his fourth best in a Rays uniform, he only has nine homeruns, his defense is solid but not flashy.

He's reliable Ben Zobrist, our switch hitting, second in the order, here to stay utility man. Last year was a down year, this year he's his old self. Maybe we should be more appreciative.

Zobrist's 5.0 WAR ties him with Andrew McCutchen and Troy Tulowitzki, and it exceeds Adam Jones or Adrian Beltre. Put him up against some pitchers, and you'll see names like Chris Sale and Jon Lester, and way out in front of David Price (4.3 on the 50/50 rankings).

Play with the chart, come away with some perspective, and appreciate that Ben Zobrist being reliable is actually Ben Zobrist being incredible.