4 Players You Would've Never Guessed Led the Phillies in WAR for a Full Season

Ricky Bottalico
Ricky Bottalico played his best with the Philadelphia Phillies. | Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Phillies have had some legends of the game pass through town since the team debuted in the late 1800s. The team has taken home two World Series titles thanks to the contributions of some star players.

However, others have shined throughout the past and have surprisingly led the team in WAR for an entire season. A few names may even surprise some Phillies fans.

4. Dick Selma

Philadelphia Phillies v Los Angeles Dodgers
Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Dick Selma had one magical season. | Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Dick Selma joined the Phillies in 1970 and became the team's closer. He went on to record 22 saves and pitch an astounding 134.1 innings in relief. Selma's 5.2 WAR that year led the team by far and it was the best mark of his career. In fact, Selma's career WAR total was only 9.6 in 10 seasons. He declined after his amazing 1970 season and retired with 31 career saves.

3. Von Hayes

Von Hayes stands ready at bat
Von Hayes had several solid seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. | Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Von Hayes made one All-Star Game in his 12-year MLB career. That came in 1989 when he also led the Phillies with a 5.1 WAR. The team leaderboard was up for grabs in what was Mike Schmidt's final season and Hayes proceeded to hit 26 home runs, 27 doubles, and finish with an .837 OPS. Hayes' 5.1 WAR was the highest mark of a career that saw him finish with a respectable total WAR of 29.9.

2. Kevin Gross

Kevin Gross winds back to pitch
Kevin Gross spent six seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. | Rick Stewart/Getty Images

The 1988 Phillies struggled mightily and finished with a 65-96 record. One player who did just fine that year was pitcher Kevin Gross, who made his only career All-Star Game and also led the team in WAR with a modest mark of 3.6. The next closest player was pitcher Greg Harris at 2.6. Gross went 12-14 with a 3.69 ERA and logged 231.2 innings. This would be his final season with the Phillies as he joined the Montreal Expos in 1989.

1. Ricky Bottalico

Ricky Bottalico
Ricky Bottalico had several stints with the Philadelphia Phillies. | Rick Stewart/Getty Images

The Phillies saw reliever Ricky Bottalico lead the team in WAR during the 1995 season with the rather low total of 3.0. He had a 2.46 ERA in 62 appearances and only one save. Bottalico became a closer in 1996 when he made his only All-Star Game. He beat out Curt Schilling and a veteran in Jim Eisenreich to lead the team in 1995 and it was the only time Bottalico ever recorded a WAR above 1.8.