What Does JAWS Stand For In Baseball?

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 08: Edgar Martinez has a JAWS of 56.0 (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

With the recent release of the 2018 Hall of Fame ballot, you may be seeing some advanced stats pop up. One of those stats is JAWS, which is used exclusively to determine a player's Hall of Fame worthiness. So what does JAWS stand for in baseball? The answer is "Jaffe WAR Score", and it's a pretty genius system.

The JAWS system was originally developed by Jay Jaffe during his tenure at Baseball Prospectus. The purpose is to improve the standards for the Hall of Fame. At its core, JAWS uses Wins Above Replacement (WAR) measures of a player to compare him to other players already in the Hall of Fame. But it's actually slightly more complicated than you might think.

How does the JAWS system work?

In order to calculate a player's JAWS rating, statisticians calculate a player's lifetime WAR value. After that, they rank his seasons played in the majors by WAR value, and isolate his seven best seasons. Then, they add his WAR figures from those seven seasons and average the result with his lifetime WAR total. The resulting number is a player's JAWS.

But the process doesn't end there. In order to determine whether that player is Hall of Fame-worthy, he's compared to players who played his same position and have already been inducted. Jaffe's system averages the JAWS of all players at a position. For positions that don't have many inductees, average Hall of Fame position players are added to that position's player pool until the total number of players in the pool equals that of the position with the most Hall of Fame inductees.

Statisticians then compare a player's JAWS with the average JAWS of Hall of Famers at his position. Players with high margins over the JAWS average of current Hall of Famers at his position are better candidates to be voted in.

The system isn't the be-all end-all. Plenty of other factors, such as career milestones, playoff performance and awards won factor into each BBWAA member's vote. Still, JAWS is a great tool, and it's worth being well-read on the subject.


Shortly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that representatives would begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy took the podium to defend the President and the Republican party as a whole.

It could've gone better.

Keep reading... Show less
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images // MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

One day after the House Judiciary Committee's hearing on impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) held a press conference announcing that the House would begin drafting articles of impeachment, with a possible floor vote as soon as Christmas.

The press conference signaled the beginning of the end of the impeachment inquiry in the House.

Keep reading... Show less
Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee, in its public impeachment hearing against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, consulted four constitutional scholars for greater insight to the legal implications of the President's Ukraine scandal—and whether they merit impeachment.

Three witnesses, called by Democrats, each made compelling arguments for the articles of impeachment with which Trump could be charged.

George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley—invited by Republicans—was the lone dissenter.

Keep reading... Show less
gbuck_jr/Twitter; National Archives

The Republican Party again raised ire and eyebrows with yet another GOP candidate advocating violence against members of Congress in official campaign materials.

This time it is George Buck Jr. of Florida. The GOP politician is running for the 13th congressional district—a seat currently held by Democrat Charlie Crist.

Keep reading... Show less
Win McNamee/Getty Images // Hogan Gidley/Twitter

President Donald Trump's press team is working overtime to discredit media coverage of the impeachment hearings against their boss.

The House Judiciary Committee began its hearings today, with four constitutional scholars—Pamela Karlan, Michael Gerhardt, Noah Feldman, and Jonathan Turley—tasked with testifying about the constitutionality of impeaching Donald Trump. The former three were invited by Democrats, who hold the majority, while Turley was invited by Republicans.

Keep reading... Show less

The House Intelligence Committee submitted to the House Judiciary Committee its 300 page report of information gleaned from fact witnesses so far in the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

In addition to reiterating the testimony of several witnesses regarding Trump's corrupt dealings with Ukraine, the report also highlighted call records between numerous key players in the Ukraine scandal.

Keep reading... Show less