As we wait around our telegraphs and cat’s whisker radios for news from the MLB trade marketplace, let’s have some fun with a Master Notes quiz. Please note that it is a lot more fun for you than for me, and even at that, it’s no keg party. Unless you want to make it one. (I’m in—PM me on Twitter.)

I was compiling all the BHQ final stats from 2002-2016, when I thought it would be interesting, and potential Master Notes fodder, to see which players had the best and worst seasons and total value. That’s the basis of the quiz. Remember when you’re mulling the total-value questions that some of the players in the early 2000s were on the downslopes of their careers.

Some questions have hints, which are mostly pretty unhelpful. Answers are after each section. Peeking is strictly discouraged but not illegal. Please don’t send your finished quiz in for credit.


We begin with the batsmen. Remember all values are from the archives, and the values are lovingly crafted by 43 bearded gnomes using electrically powered abacuses. In other words, don’t grouse about the values.

1. There have been 22 seasons in which hitters amassed $40+ fantasy value. Twelve of those seasons were by six hitters who each made the $40+ list twice. How many of these six hitters can you  name? (HINT: Five of the six are currently active.)

2. This hitter had an injury-plagued -$11 in 2010, then bounced back to lead fantasy baseball with a $46 season the next season. Who was he?

3. Which hitter had the most valuable single season in the 2002-16 period?

4. Which $40+ hitter did the deed with the fewest HR?

5. With the most HR?

6. With the fewest SB?

7. With the most SB?

8. What was the most unlikely fantasy scoring stat of Curtis Granderson’s $36 season in 2011?

9. Which hitter had the most seasons of $30 or more?

10. The worst individual season for hitters with least 200 AB was in 2010, by a very highly touted prospect who disappointed fantasy owners with negative-value production in each of his four seasons. Who was he?

11. It’s easier for a part-time player to get a terrible season together because of the limits on his counting stats. But one hitter in the period provided a fantasy season value of $0—in more than 500 AB. Who was he?

12. Given what we already know about Pujols, Miggy and A-Rod’s many years of top production, it’s no surprise that they are also 1-2-3 in total dollar-value production in the 2002-16 period, with $444, $392 and $312 respectively. But who do you think are fourth and fifth on the overall total list, and the only two other hitters over $300? (HINT: Both of their surnames contain the letter “z”).

13. Middle infielders Erick Aybar, Howie Kendrick, Ian Kinsler, Dustin Pedroia, Miguel Tejada and Troy Tulowitzki each played 11 seasons in the 2002-16 period. They are in alphabetical order here, but put them in order of total dollar value production, from highest to lowest.

14. Jose Abreu, Mookie Betts and George Springer all have three seasons in the period. Rank them from high to low total production.


15. Quick: We saw 22 $40+ seasons by hitters. Over or under 22 for pitchers?

16. Clayton Kershaw has three seasons of $40 or more. Only one other pitcher has more than one. Who?

17. Besides Kershaw, which three active pitchers have $40+ seasons?

18. Which reliever has the top single season?

19. Kershaw has six seasons of $30+. Who has the next most?

20. Like Pujols and Cabrera, no surprise that Kershaw and Halladay top the total-value race at $264 and $223 respectively. The pitchers in third and fourth are the only two other pitchers over $200 total value. One is active, the other is not. Who are they?

21. Of the Top 20 pitchers in the total-value table, five are relievers. Take a crack at naming them. (HINT: Only one is active.)

22. Best single season: Chris Carpenter, Roger Clemens, Corey Kluber, Mark Prior or Javier Vazquez?

23. Unlike hitters, it’s common for pitchers to have awful seasons in seasons with a lot of PT. Three pitchers had negative-value seasons in 200+ innings. Jon Lester is one (-$9 in 2012) and Mark Buehrle is another (-$5 in 2013). Who is the third?

24. Among all pitcher-seasons of 170+ IP—full time starters—three pitchers had single seasons of -$25 or worse. The worst was Ricky Romero, a -$29 catastrophe in 2012, and the third-worst was by Joe Saunders, a -$25 in 2013. Which still active pitcher had the second-worst single season?

25. Among their lowest seasons, whose was worst? Joe Blanton, Edwin Jackson, or Barry Zito?

26. Among Trevor Cahill, Fausto Carmona, J.A. Happ, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, all mid-range pitchers whose best seasons were between $18 and $22, who had the best season? (Not a trick question this time.)

27. Best single season: James Shields or Mariano Rivera?

28. Worst single season: James Shields or John Lackey?

Answers are below (you have to scroll down—I told you we discourage peeking).







(Keep scrolling)






(OK, this is starting to get ridiculous)








1. The six multi-$40 hitters are Jose Altuve (2014 and 2016, and probably 2017) Ryan Braun (2011-12), Miguel Cabrera (2012-13), Albert Pujols (2003 and 2005), Alex Rodriguez (2005 and 2007) and Mike Trout (2012-13).

2. Jacoby Ellsbury had just 78 AB in 2010, when he earned -$11. In 2011, he led baseball with a 32-105-39-119-.321 season that earned $46. In that one season he earned more than he earned later in his first three seasons with NYY.

3. Matt Kemp, then of LA, piled up a $49 season, with 39 HR, 126 RBI, 40 SB, 115 Runs and a .324 BA. Interesting thing about Kemp’s consistency: He had exactly 602 AB in each of 2008, ’09 and ’10. Then in 2010 and that awesome 2011, he had exactly 606.

4. Fewest HR in a $40 season: Altuve, with 7 HR in 2014.

5. Most: A-Rod , with 54 HR in 2007.

6. Fewest SB in a $40 season: Cabrera, with 3 SB in 2013.

7. Most: Altuve again, 56 SB in that same 2014 season. This just in: He’s really good.

8. Granderson’s 41-119-25-136 in the counting stats made up for a BA of just .262.

9. Pujols had eight different seasons of $30 or more, one more than Miggy’s seven. A-Rod, Trout and Carl Crawford had five each.

10. Brandon Wood was a hot commodity in leagues with Farm drafts. He was a power hitter in the LAA organization. But he struck out way too often, barely topping 70% ct% at his best, and hitting .216 at his peak. In his 2010 disaster, he went 4-14-1-26 in the counting stats, and topped that off with a .146 BA in 226 AB. The resulting -$16 value has never been, uh, bottomed.

11. The most dreadful season by a fulltime hitter was just last year, by perennial fantasy disappointment Jason Heyward of the Cubs. He went 7-49-11-61 with a .230 BA in 530 AB, "good" for a $0 value. (Dis)honorable mention in this category goes to Alexei Ramirez of CHW, who had a -$2 in 2016, but fell just short of the 500-inning threshold, getting 478 AB with TAM.

12. The other $300 hitters were David Ortiz, $308, and Ichiro Suzuki, $306.

13. Those MI in descending order: Kinsler, $211; Pedroia, $169; Tejada, $167; Tulowitzki, $144; Kendrick, $104; Aybar, $58

14. Those three-season stars in descending order: Abreu $72; Betts $66; Springer $35



15. Take the under: Just nine $40+ seasons by pitchers.

16. Randy Johnson had two seasons of $40+, $44 in 2002 and in 2004.

17. The three other active pitchers with $40+ seasons are Jake Arrieta, $46 in 2015; Zack Greinke; $44 in 2015, and Justin Verlander; $42 in 2011.

18. Best single relief season: Eric Gagne had a $33 season in 2003: 55 saves, 1.64/0.69 with 137 K.

19. Roy Halladay had four $30+ seasons, with a $36 in 2010 his best.

20. The other two pitchers with more than $200 in total value are Johan Santana, $214, and Felix Hernandez, $206.

21. The five relievers in the top-20 total value are Mariano Rivera, $187; Joe Nathan, $152; Francisco Rodriguez, $145; Jonathan Papelbon, $139; and Billy Wagner, $131.

22. Trick question! All of these pitchers had peak single-season value of $31.

23. Tanyon Sturtze was a -$15 disaster in 2002 for TAM, going 4-18 with a 5.18/1.61 line and 137 K in those 224 IP.

24. The second-worst single season for SPs 170+ IP was Edinson Volquez, currently on the MIA DL, who went 9-12 with LA, supplying a 5.71/1.59 line with 142 K in 170.1 IP in 2013, worth -$27.

25. Another trick question. All three had worst seasons of -$30—Blanton and Zito in 2013, Jackson in 2014.

26. The best midrange season was by Carmona, who earned $22 in 2007. The rest: Sanchez $21 in 2013, Nolasco $20 in 2008, Cahill $19 in 2010 and Happ $18 in 2016.

27. Shields' best year was better than Rivera's. Shields earned $28 in 2011. Rivera’s best was $26 in 2008.

28. Lackey's worst was worse than Shields'. Lackey had a -$23 in 2011. Shields’ worst was -$18 in 2016.


This ends our special broadcast of the Emergency Master Notes Quiz System. If this had been a real emergency, you would have been given a real column, along with a coupon redeemable at the nearest ballpark for two field-level tickets, two hot dogs and one beer, or at the nearest car lot for a new domestic four-door sedan, whichever is cheaper.

If you think you have spotted an error, take my word for it: You’re probably right.

Click here to subscribe

  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.