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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Ultimate first baseman rankings: Where does Albert Pujols rank among the all-time greats?

Welcome back to our ongoing series aimed at determining the best of the best at each position in Major League Baseball.

Our goal here is two-fold. First, we determine each current franchise’s best ever player at a position. Then we rank those players 1-30 to determine how they stack up in MLB history. 

The only caveat being that the selected player must come from the current incarnation of each franchise in order to be ranked. But don’t worry, we’ll throw in bonus players when warranted as well. To make things more interesting, we also require that no player represents multiple franchises or multiple positions.

We’ve already taken a close look at starting pitchers and catchers. Today, we focus on first base.

So, what do we make of this list?

 

QLE Posted: April 23, 2020 at 12:50 AM | 93 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: first basemen, rankings

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: April 23, 2020 at 01:57 AM (#5943318)
The top 3 are correct though I'd have to assess whether Foxx's superior late career puts him ahead of Pujols. Greenberg is an interesting choice -- if he'd not missed war time -- but even by peak, I'm surprised to see that Greenberg is kinda middle of the pack. Rather obviously, putting Bagwell 9th misses the mark by a mile. And Mize isn't even on the list that I can see which misses by a couple of light years. (Do what you want with the 19th c guys.)

So on Pujols vs Foxx ... I've got to give it to Albert. Until I looked I didn't realize the PA gap was so huge -- Albert has a 2600 PA edge. I thought Foxx's late career might have closed the gap given Pujols' swan song but given all those crappy PAs are the extra PAs, I see no reason to give Foxx credit for not being offered a mega-million contract through his early 40s. Albert ages 21-35 is about 300 PAs more and somewhat similar in age range to Foxx's main run (20-34). Foxx ekes out the OPS+ win 163-159 but Albert ekes out the WAR win 100-93 and the WAR7 win 61-58 ... although that might just be the 162 vs 154 game seasonal difference. Albert led the league in WARpos 5 times to Foxx's 3 and while Foxx had to deal with Ruth and Gehrig, Pujols had to deal with Bonds. In general, if it's close between a modern player and a pre-war player, I give it to the modern guy.
   2. MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: April 23, 2020 at 05:20 AM (#5943330)
Ditto on Big Jawn.
   3. baudib Posted: April 23, 2020 at 05:57 AM (#5943332)
Foxx's career is shockingly short. At age 30-31 he's as good a hitter as you could ever ask for. .349/.462/.704 with 50 HRs 175 RBIs, followed by a .360/,464/.694. Then two straight years of major decline and then he's got nothing.
   4. TomH Posted: April 23, 2020 at 08:16 AM (#5943341)
I've made this point in other forums before, but repeated here:

Albert Pujols is arguably #2 over Foxx, sure. He was the best player in the game for a while, which was not clearly true of the Beast, and his career totals are better.

But Pujols was not even the best first baseman in Cardinal history.

Stan Musial
- played more games at first base than any other single position
- ranks higher at 1B on an all-time team than he does in LF
* * The Man is not one of the 2 best corner OFers, nor the best LFer
* * But he is the legit #1 first baseman over Lou G, both by career totals and playing in a tougher (integrated) league.
   5. Starring RMc as Bradley Scotchman Posted: April 23, 2020 at 08:48 AM (#5943353)
Musial played barely a third of his games (1,019 out of 2,907) at first base, so, no. (And I wouldn't take him over Gehrig, anyway. Why are we so determined to punish guys because they didn't get to play against black people? How is that Gehrig's fault?)
   6. Chokeland Bill Posted: April 23, 2020 at 08:58 AM (#5943355)
Musial's career totals are only greater than Gehrig's because of ALS. He played 850 more games to rack up those career totals that are barely ahead. Sort their seasons by rWAR, and it takes until season 12 (Gehrig's 1938) for Musial to have a better season. Quality of league is a different argument, but Gehrig was quite a big more dominant against his league just by the numbers.
   7. TomH Posted: April 23, 2020 at 09:53 AM (#5943368)
"more dominant" should be measured by more than WAR; moreso by how much they, you know, dominated other players by being the best. Take Musial's ranks by WAR, and maybe add in a great season or three by a Josh Gibson and Oscar Charleston, and then we'll talk :)
   8. TomH Posted: April 23, 2020 at 09:55 AM (#5943369)
Ernie Banks games played at SS is about 45%. We put him at SS.
Where do we place Pete ROse on alltime great positon list? He has to go somewhere. I am not sure why Musial is almost always thought of as a LFer when he played <1/3rd of his games there.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: April 23, 2020 at 10:02 AM (#5943370)
24. Anthony Rizzo - Chicago Cubs

We're sure there are some Cap Anson fans in the house. Unfortunately, he doesn't qualify because his incredible career actually predates the Cubs moniker.


I can't say I've seen that explanation proferred before.

   10. Rally Posted: April 23, 2020 at 10:07 AM (#5943375)
I generally make up a utility position for the all time lists and put Rose there. Him and Molitor.
   11. Rally Posted: April 23, 2020 at 10:13 AM (#5943380)
The top 3 are correct though I'd have to assess whether Foxx's superior late career puts him ahead of Pujols


Albert’s been bad, but hard to see superior used in context of late career Jimmie. He was still good at 33. From 34-37 he had about 1 full season’s worth of playing time. Hit 237/320/366. Replacement level as a hitter, but hey, at least he was +0.8 on the mound.

Pujols has 8 WAR from 34 on, almost all from his age 34-35 seasons.
   12. DL from MN Posted: April 23, 2020 at 10:29 AM (#5943383)
I generally make up a utility position for the all time lists and put Rose there. Him and Molitor.


Killebrew?
   13. caspian88 Posted: April 23, 2020 at 10:33 AM (#5943384)
Musial has to go to the outfield, I think, because he played nearly 65% of his innings in the outfield and a narrow plurality of those would have been in left field. His best seasons were mostly when he was playing the outfield, too.

The latter point is why Ernie Banks is a shortstop (end his career in 1961 and he's probably a Hall of Famer even though he technically falls a season short; start it in 1962 and he's Eric Karros).

I'm pretty sure Mize isn't on the list because of Pujols and McCovey (it's one per team, hence Carlos Pena).

I'd also pick Pujols before Foxx, even without timelining (though it's very close). It's hard to pass Gehrig, though Pujols has an argument.
   14. Starring RMc as Bradley Scotchman Posted: April 23, 2020 at 10:37 AM (#5943389)
I am not sure why Musial is almost always thought of as a LFer

I was going to say "Because Musial played LF at his peak" except...that isn't true, really. (Just finding Musial's peak is tough: 1943-51? 1946-57? His whole danged career...?)

In his 20 seasons as a regular player, 1942-62 (except '45), Musial played the most games as a first baseman 8 times, left field 6 times, right field 5 times and center field once (1952). He was a All-Star in every season (playing in a total of 24 ASGs!), and received MVP votes in 18 of them (including 3 MVPs and 4 more times he finished second)! Wow.

So, I guess people think of Musial as "mostly an outfielder, mostly in left", especially since most OF/1B guys start out in the outfield before moving to first as their legs slow. But for Stan, it wasn't that simple: he played LF and RF before the war, then was the Cards' regular 1B in 1946-47, when he was 25-26, then moved to RF in '48, then (sorta) back to first in '50, then left, center, left and right the next four years, before finally becoming a full-time 1B at age 34 in 1955...before moving back to the outfield at age 39 in 1960! It's just too complicated; it's easier to think of Stan as "outfielder, mostly in left, then later on at first base".

   15. Cleveland (need new name) fan Posted: April 23, 2020 at 10:53 AM (#5943394)
Musial played barely a third of his games (1,019 out of 2,907) at first base, so, no. (And I wouldn't take him over Gehrig, anyway. Why are we so determined to punish guys because they didn't get to play against black people? How is that Gehrig's fault?)


We are back to the question of how to time line again. I made this suggestion (in different words) at the end of the Pos 100 thread. By then the thread was dead, so I am repeating it here.

In the 20-30's there were 32 professional baseball teams, 16 ML teams and 16 Negro teams. So approximately the same number of teams as today. Since then, the ML has expanded by 14 teams to accommodate a higher population and the influx of international players. So to make an apple to apple comparison of modern players to pre-integration players, the number of teams is critical. To be an accurate comparison of the strength of the leagues, the modern players should be in a ~44 team league instead of a 30 team league.

For those better versed in WAR, what would Pujol's stats look like in a projected 44 team league? I assume that the replacement level would be much lower and hence Pujol's WAR would be much higher. From a time lining perspective, would this new WAR be the better one to compare to Gehrig/Ott?
   16. caspian88 Posted: April 23, 2020 at 10:57 AM (#5943396)
If you rank Musial's seasons by WAA:

1948 - OF 1263.2, 1B 5.0
1943 - OF 1400.0
1944 - OF 1313.0
1946 - 1B 1220.0, OF 378.0
1949 - OF 1295.2, 1B 9.0
1951 - OF 806.1, 1B 544.0
1953 - OF 1380.2
1952 - OF 1159.2, 1B 191.0, P 0.0
1950 - OF 637.1, 1B 591.1
1954 - OF 1351.2, 1B 30.2
1957 - 1B 1110.1
1955 - 1B 947.2, OF 370.2
1942 - OF 1058.0
1956 - 1B 873.2, OF 466.2
1947 - 1B 1331.0
1958 - 1B 1038.0

Positional adjustment is consistently between -6 and -8 (save for a -3 in 1952, when Musial mostly played center), so that's not really underrating his 1B seasons.

That's every season with at least 4.0 WAR. His remaining five full seasons were mostly in the outfield (three exclusively, one by a more than 2/3 margin, one almost exclusively at first base).

Even if you discount the war years, I think Musial looks pretty clearly like an outfielder. He could be a right fielder - he actually completed more games there than in left field, four of his best five seasons were spent more in right field than anywhere else, and a decent chunk of the lead left field holds comes from his twilight years.
   17. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 23, 2020 at 11:09 AM (#5943402)
So, what do we make of this list?


Garbage. Ryan Howard ahead of Todd Helton and Rafael Palmeiro? The A's rank 13th even though they have the 2nd best 1B because the author wanted him on Boston because Boston doesn't have anyone else obvious and the A's do?
   18. Starring RMc as Bradley Scotchman Posted: April 23, 2020 at 11:13 AM (#5943406)
In the 20-30's there were 32 professional baseball teams, 16 ML teams and 16 Negro teams.

Well, actually, there were hundreds of professional baseball teams, and thousands of semi-pro teams who had guys who were good enough to play for pro teams. I'm assuming you mean "32 major league-quality teams", which just isn't true.

First the obvious: the very best NeL players were just as good, if not better, than the very best MLB players. But top-to-bottom, were the Negro Leagues as good as the majors? Naah. The Negro leagues weren't the major leagues, for the same reason the high minors weren't, or the semi-emancipated PCL of the 50s, or the Japanese or Mexican leagues or the AAGPBL. (I'd love to see MLEs for the AAGPBL, but I guess it's impossible.)
   19. Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: April 23, 2020 at 11:20 AM (#5943411)
The A's rank 13th even though they have the 2nd best 1B because the author wanted him on Boston because Boston doesn't have anyone else obvious and the A's do?


This was particularly dumb. Mo Vaughn produced almost as much WAR for Boston as Foxx did.
   20. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 23, 2020 at 11:57 AM (#5943423)
Garvey over Hodges? Don't see that.
   21. Howie Menckel Posted: April 23, 2020 at 12:14 PM (#5943435)
The "batting title" - best AVG - was a big deal when Stan The Man played. how did he do?

top 5s

1942 NL .315 (3rd)
1943 NL .357 (1st)
1944 NL .347 (2nd)
(war)
1946 NL .365 (1st)
1947 NL .312 (5th)
1948 NL .376 (1st)
1949 NL .338 (2nd)
1950 NL .346 (1st)
1951 NL .355 (1st)
1952 NL .336 (1st)
1953 NL .337 (3rd)
1954 NL .330 (4th)
1955 NL .319 (3rd)
1956 NL .310 (4th)
1957 NL .351 (1st)
1958 NL .337 (3rd)
(old)
1962 NL .330 (3rd)
   22. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 23, 2020 at 12:29 PM (#5943447)
Ryan Howard, ranked 14th, is the worst 1B by career WAR. Carlos Pena, ranked 30th, has 10 more.

Garvey over Hodges? Don't see that.


Reading closer, this may explain it, and Foxx on Boston instead of the A's

The only caveat being that the selected player must come from the current incarnation of each franchise in order to be ranked.


Yeah, it's a dumb explanation, and using it to exclude Anson is a real stretch, but there is it. One could also say that Cecil Cooper and Jeff Bagwell are ineligible, because the current incarnation of their teams are in different leagues from when they played. And Wally Joyner played for the California Angels, not the Los Angeles Angels. And Derek Lee never played for the Miami Marlins. And Carlos Pena's greatest year was for the Devil Rays, not the Rays.
   23. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 23, 2020 at 01:01 PM (#5943469)
Re-assessing the candidates based on the Cap Anson rule, the best LAA first baseman is Lee Thomas, from the 1961-64 LAA. The best Ray is still Pena. The best Miami Marlin is Justin Bour, who ranks slightly ahead of Thomas. The best AL Astro is clearly Gurriel, and the best NL Brewer is fielder.
   24. Rally Posted: April 23, 2020 at 01:09 PM (#5943476)
Name changes may be, but the Angels still played in Wallyworld through 2019.

Maybe this year they actually move and become the Los Angeles Angels of Tempe
   25. Jaack Posted: April 23, 2020 at 01:19 PM (#5943481)
I can buy the idea of excluding a player from a team that's moved locations, but excluding Anson from the Cubs because they weren't yet called the Cubs is almost as bad as thinking Ryan Howard was better than Todd Helton. But even applying that rule, I'd still take Frank Chance over Rizzo.

But even worse than that is this winner:

[Eddie] Murray is arguably the best switch-hitter to play the game.


I cannot think of any argument for Murray > Mantle that doesn't fall apart within 5 seconds.
   26. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 23, 2020 at 01:35 PM (#5943491)
I can buy the idea of excluding a player from a team that's moved locations,


Then you go to the pitcher rankings, and the #1 guy?

1. Christy Mathewson - San Francisco Giants


I have no doubt that when they get to second basemen, the LA Dodgers entry will be Jackie Robinson.

And if it's possible, the pitcher rankings are even dumber. The arguably to 3 pitchers all time are excluded: Johnson, Grove, and Clemens. get a load for this from the Red Sox entry:

2. Pedro Martínez - Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox might have the best 1-2 punch with Pedro Martínez and Cy Young. Yes, that's the same Cy Young with a prestigious pitching award named after him. Martínez gets the nod because he dominated during an era in which PEDs were allegedly running rampant.


Red Sox Pitching WAR:

Clemens 80.7
Young 64.4
Martinez 53.8

Bob Feller ranks ahead of Gibson, Maddux, Seaver, and Randy Johnson. Catfish Hunter is the A's choice, presumably because they remember the current iteration rule they forgot for Matty. Hunter ranks 10th in A's WAR, and even 4th in Oakland A's WAR.
   27. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 23, 2020 at 01:42 PM (#5943497)
This is priceless. From the Pitcher article:

The only requirements being that the selected pitcher must have made at least one opening day start with the team he’s representing, and the pitcher must come from the current incarnation of each franchise. For example: Pitchers from New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers are considered since the franchise moved but didn’t rebrand. The Washington Senators and Montreal Expos, on the other hand, no longer exist. Sorry, folks.


So, no Walter Johnson. Then we get to the catchers:

(Bonus) Gary Carter - Montreal Expos

With Expos: 12 seasons

Best season: 1982 (8.6 WAR, .293/.381/.510, 29 homers)

We couldn't let our technicalities omit 'The Kid' from this list. He's a Hall of Famer. An icon. Some might even say he was the heart and soul of baseball in Montreal. Certainly, he was one of a kind.


And this:

5. Carlton Fisk — Boston Red Sox

With Red Sox: 11 seasons

Best season: 1977 (7.0 WAR, .315/.402/.521, 26 homers, All-Star)

The Hall of Famer actually spent more time and put up equally good numbers with the Chicago White Sox, but Boston is where it all started


So, where it all started is the dispositive point to get Fisk on the Red Sox, but it's irrelevant to Jimmie Foxx. I'm getting a feeling this is a Red Sox fan who despises Clemens.
   28. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 23, 2020 at 01:44 PM (#5943499)
Good Lord!

14. Terry Steinbach — Oakland Athletics


I'm getting a feeling this is a Red Sox fan who despises Clemens. And the A's. Let's see if he puts rickey Henderson on the Yankees.
   29. Srul Itza Posted: April 23, 2020 at 01:57 PM (#5943507)
I cannot think of any argument for Murray > Mantle that doesn't fall apart within 5 seconds.


I also find it hard to rank him above Chipper. Higher counting stats, sure, but that's it.

   30. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: April 23, 2020 at 02:03 PM (#5943511)
I also find it hard to rank him above Chipper. Higher counting stats, sure, but that's it.


Pete Rose would bet that he ranks above Murray on the switch-hitter lists...

obligatory: Ichiro! could have been a better switch-hitter than Eddie Murray, if he wanted to.
   31. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 23, 2020 at 02:05 PM (#5943512)
By career WAR, Murray ranks 10th. 7-10 are pretty close though. Those that are 10 ahead of him include George Davis, Roger Connor, and Pete Rose. Ozzie is 8 ahead. Murray is closer to Bobby Bonilla and Ken Caminiti than he is to Mantle.
   32. Jaack Posted: April 23, 2020 at 02:17 PM (#5943518)
If you look at them as just hitters, Mantle and Chipper are clearly 1-2. Murray has an argument for being the third best, but so do Pete Rose, Lance Berkman, Tim Raines, and Roger Connor.
   33. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 23, 2020 at 02:22 PM (#5943522)
If you look at them as just hitters, Mantle and Chipper are clearly 1-2. Murray has an argument for being the third best, but so do Pete Rose, Lance Berkman, Tim Raines, and Roger Connor.


Yes, but that wasn't the argument:

Murray is arguably the best switch-hitter to play the game.


Maybe it's what he meant, but it isn't what he said.
   34. Jaack Posted: April 23, 2020 at 02:27 PM (#5943525)
Oh, the original statement is ridiculous. I was just being generous to Eddie Murray, not to the deservedly dunked-on author.
   35. cookiedabookie Posted: April 23, 2020 at 05:50 PM (#5943656)
With any sort of timelining, Pujols has to be the top first baseman in MLB history.
   36. cookiedabookie Posted: April 23, 2020 at 05:53 PM (#5943661)
I'd put Bagwell in the top five, maybe as high as third. Garvey at 15 is a joke.
   37. cardsfanboy Posted: April 23, 2020 at 08:17 PM (#5943718)
With any sort of timelining, Pujols has to be the top first baseman in MLB history.


Huge Pujols fan, but not a huge timelining fan to the point that I can agree with that. Not that I disagree with it either, just that there is a two way street when you get to timelining with Gehrig, he never took a day off, while playing a 154 game season, that means you can safely add 112 games to his resume at his career average in any comparison which is just shy of 6 more war to his career. You are talking about a guy who is legitimately a 120 war player over 14 seasons, in comparison to Pujols who put up 100 war at his peak.... (roughly same number of plate appearances as a theoretical 112 additional game Gehrig gets) That is some pretty serious timelining to put Pujols ahead of Gehrig. That is close to 1.4 war adjustment per season simply because of timelining. I'm not buying that.
   38. TomH Posted: April 24, 2020 at 06:45 AM (#5943780)
could you timeline Pujols over Gehrig? Sure you *could*, but then by the same logic, who prior to 1950 makes your top 10, or your all-time starting lineup? Not Cobb or Hornsby. Probably not Wagner. Can't take Oscar Charleston or Josh Gibson either. Cy Young, bah, let's name it the Warren Spahn or Tom Seaver award. Walter Johnson, ptui. Bonds-Mays-Aaron OF, baby.
   39. Rally Posted: April 24, 2020 at 07:31 AM (#5943787)
Gehrig even beats Pujols in WAR after his 37th birthday.
   40. Mefisto Posted: April 24, 2020 at 08:47 AM (#5943809)
I do timeline Pujols over Gehrig, though the argument for Gehrig would be that the combination of the 154 game season and his early death cost him enough WAR to push him ahead of Pujols. But 38 doesn't follow from that decision. An all-time team from my rankings would look like this:

C Bench/Gibson; I wouldn't argue with either one
1B Pujols (or Gehrig if you adjust for time lost)
2B Morgan slightly ahead of Hornsby; if you want to say Hornsby I wouldn't argue
3B Schmidt
SS Arod
LF Bonds
CF Mays
RF Ruth
DH Williams
   41. DanG Posted: April 24, 2020 at 10:39 AM (#5943862)
This seems like a good place to mention this.

This month I started a collaborative project at Baseball Fever to rank every player in history. OK, we probably won't actually do that, but we'll see how far it goes. So far, we have our top 30:

1. Babe Ruth – 2. Willie Mays – 3. Barry Bonds – 4. Ty Cobb – 5. Ted Williams
6. Hank Aaron – 7. Walter Johnson – 8. Honus Wagner – 9. Stan Musial – 10. Roger Clemens
11. Cy Young – 12. Lou Gehrig – 13. Rogers Hornsby – 14. Alex Rodriguez – 15. Mickey Mantle
16. Tris Speaker – 17. Lefty Grove – 18. Greg Maddux – 19. Joe DiMaggio – 20. Mike Schmidt
21. Albert Pujols – 22. Eddie Collins – 23. Oscar Charleston – 24. Rickey Henderson – 25. Frank Robinson
26. Pete Alexander – 27. Mel Ott – 28. Joe Morgan – 29. Nap Lajoie – 30. Tom Seaver

The game is open to anyone who wants to register at BBF. The rules could also be adapted to run as a project here at BBTF.
   42. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 24, 2020 at 11:12 AM (#5943878)
Fred Luderus is the Phils' leader in WAR for 1B, besting Ryan Howard 19.8 to 14.7. Howard's dWAR of -17.3 might be overrating his awfulness, but he was pretty awful, especially with a baseball in his hand and a baserunner to be thrown out. But Luderus had a -7.0 dWAR himself. Howard edges Luderus in oWAR 22.8 to 21.9.

Luderus had a nice WS line: .438/.500/.750. In 9x number of games, Howard managed a post-season line of .259/.357/.488.

Make what you will of 90 some years difference in context.
   43. Jack Keefe Posted: April 24, 2020 at 11:21 AM (#5943881)
Poo Holes has a funny name Al but so does Fred Ludacris and Rogers Horny what was there two of him.
   44. Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 24, 2020 at 11:29 AM (#5943889)
Okay, this shelter-in-place does have an upside, it's brought Jack Keefe out of the woodwork.
   45. DanG Posted: April 24, 2020 at 11:31 AM (#5943891)
Players with 400+ games at 1B for the Phillies:

Player          WARWAAOPSRfield   PA From   To
Fred Luderus    19.9  2.9  115   
-8.0 5308 1910 1920
John Kruk       18.5  9.2  138   
-3.2 3001 1989 1994
Ryan Howard     14.7 
-5.1  125  -74.0 6531 2004 2016
Don Hurst       13.9  2.5  119  
-30.0 3603 1928 1934
Dolph Camilli   12.9  5.2  132   
-9.0 2322 1934 1937
Sid Farrar      10.8 
-1.1   93   23.0 3303 1883 1889
Ed Bouchee       7.7  1.1  121   
-4.2 1748 1956 1960
Eddie Waitkus    6.3 
-3.3   91    9.1 2566 1949 1955
Kitty Bransfield 5.6 
-5.2   99  -10.0 3196 1905 1911
Ricky Jordan     4.8 
-2.2  104   -5.7 2190 1988 1994
Pete Rose        1.3 
-9.2  101  -39.1 3232 1979 1983
Tom Hutton       1.1 
-3.3   94    4.4 1410 1972 1977
Jack Boyle      
-0.6 -8.0   77  -23.0 2254 1893 1898
Rico Brogna     
-2.9 -9.0   92  -11.6 2022 1997 2000 
   46. Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 24, 2020 at 12:51 PM (#5943934)
I'd guesstimate that half of Tommy Hutton's career WAR came at the expense of Tom Seaver. Hutton was no kind of hitter, but he owned The Franchise. And he had more PA against Seaver than any other pitcher.
   47. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: April 24, 2020 at 01:12 PM (#5943950)
I'd guesstimate that half of Tommy Hutton's career WAR came at the expense of Tom Seaver. Hutton was no kind of hitter, but he owned The Franchise. And he had more PA against Seaver than any other pitcher.

Hutton somehow hit .321 over 109 AB against Seaver + Bob Gibson + Fergie Jenkins, with walks (20 in 131 PA) and power (3 homers all off Seaver, plus 6 doubles).
   48. Rally Posted: April 24, 2020 at 01:15 PM (#5943951)
Howard's dWAR of -17.3 might be overrating his awfulness, but he was pretty awful, especially with a baseball in his hand and a baserunner to be thrown out. But Luderus had a -7.0 dWAR himself.


That's just the nature of dWAR, adding the fielding runs to the position adjustment. Luderus was essentially an average fielder for the spot, about -1 run per year. Howard was a bad fielder, but at -74 runs that works out to about -6 per season. Nothing outrageous about that rating. Eddie Murray has a -11.6 dWAR, and he was a very good fielder who won (and probably deserved) 3 gold gloves.
   49. Walt Davis Posted: April 25, 2020 at 07:13 PM (#5944343)
I hadn't realized the lists were one per team. Odd set of criteria too. Then to rank each team's rep knowing you're leaving out better players? I don't get why you'd want to do that. Anyway, it does explain why Mize isn't listed. It doesn't explain how Bagwell is 9th.

On Musial ... the last thing we should call him is a LF. Yes that's where he had more OF starts but about 40% of those starts came at ages 39-42. He was primarily a LF in his prime at just ages 21, 30, 32 (if I didn't miss any). Can't say for sure but my rough estimate is that less than 25%, maybe less than 20%, of his value was accumulated in LF. He certainly hit worse in his LF time than RF time, about the same as at 1B (b-r is missing about 2 seasons worth of prime positional splits for him).

I'll save you all my traditional rant but will remind that (a) shoving players who played multiple positions into one position is historically inaccurate; (b) usually either greatly understates or overstates that player's ability; and (c) for Musial and many other OFs, the "problem" you're having is solved by recognizing that there's very little differences between LF and RF and that many players have flopped between the two so just pick two corner OFs and be done with it. (You can lump 1B in there too if you want.)

I still don't know why this vexes people so much. How do you handle Ernie Banks? Similarly to how you handle any HoF evaluation. How good was Banks' peak AS A SS? Really good. How was Banks' career as a SS? Much lower ranked. Where does he rank on the all-time SS list? Like with the HoF, you have to balance his peak and career and decide how that measures up against the peaks and careers of SS who played long careers at SS. Evaluating Banks the SS is the same methodology used for deciding where Nomar, Fregosi and Boudreau rank. So if you can figure out how to rank themj on an all-time SS list, you've figured out how to rank Banks. Now if you want to rank Banks the overall player then his career away from SS matters. (This is particularly clear in Banks' case because he was moved away from SS after it was decided that he was no longer physically capable of playing an adequate SS.)
   50. cardsfanboy Posted: April 25, 2020 at 09:34 PM (#5944366)
I'll save you all my traditional rant but will remind that (a) shoving players who played multiple positions into one position is historically inaccurate; (b) usually either greatly understates or overstates that player's ability; and (c) for Musial and many other OFs, the "problem" you're having is solved by recognizing that there's very little differences between LF and RF and that many players have flopped between the two so just pick two corner OFs and be done with it. (You can lump 1B in there too if you want.)


I fully agree, the relative skills of those three positions work well enough, that if a player isn't elite at one of them defensively, it really doesn't matter (and I don't think there is such a thing as an elite defensive left fielder anyway) But players who more or less occupied any of those three positions without being elite defensively for one of them, should be considered at a position that works best for their rankings on an all time list...


I get most of the infield positions are pretty unique, but in practicality, left, right and first is more often than not interchangeable positions depending on your roster....which is exactly what happened with Musial... when they had better defensive (i.e. faster) they moved him to first, when the team had more slugger oriented players they put him in the outfield, he was willing to move based upon roster construction, and that is absolutely practical... but ultimately it means he isn't known for a position in the same way other players are known, that shouldn't be taken as a knock... in reality, if you consider Musial a firstbaseman, he's probably the greatest of all time.


   51. The Honorable Ardo Posted: April 25, 2020 at 09:52 PM (#5944375)
DanG's list in #45 is one of the funniest things I've ever seen on this site.

Luderus and Howard are highly comparable players in context. Both didn't play until age 25 (blocked by Frank Chance and Jim Thome respectively). Both were low-OBP, high-SLG mashers and below-average defenders. Howard was slightly better with the bat and slightly worse with the glove. It's pretty much a wash.
   52. cardsfanboy Posted: April 25, 2020 at 10:04 PM (#5944379)
DanG's list in #45 is one of the funniest things I've ever seen on this site.


Not sure why... but I did the same list for the Cardinals... and now get why... Cardinals have literally 9 players above the first one, and the 10th player is Mark McGwire at .1 below their top first baseman. ouch..
   53. The Honorable Ardo Posted: April 25, 2020 at 10:23 PM (#5944387)
Cardinals have literally 9 players above the first one, and the 10th player is Mark McGwire
Yup, you got it. I'm a Tigers fan, so our debate is between Miguel Cabrera and Hank Greenberg, with Norm Cash as a very solid #3. All are light years ahead of the Phils' putrid platter.
   54. John DiFool2 Posted: April 25, 2020 at 10:35 PM (#5944389)
Any other positions for the Original 16 which suck as bad as that one?
   55. Jaack Posted: April 25, 2020 at 11:04 PM (#5944399)
Braves' second base options are iffy if you aren't big on 19th century options. Marcus Giles is probably the choice (although Ross Barnes does plug the hole nicely if you count the 1870s.)

Indians best two catchers are VMart and Carlos Santana. At least with the Phillies you could shuffle Dick Allen over since Mike Schmidt is at third.
   56. cardsfanboy Posted: April 25, 2020 at 11:10 PM (#5944403)
Any other positions for the Original 16 which suck as bad as that one?


I'm only going to say, if people think there is an option... I'll pi it, but I'm not going to go through the entire 16 franchises at every position...mind you... I'm fairly confident that Cardinals, Dodgers and Yankees don't even need to enter the discussion.
   57. cardsfanboy Posted: April 25, 2020 at 11:14 PM (#5944406)
Braves' second base options are iffy if you aren't big on 19th century options. Marcus Giles is probably the choice (although Ross Barnes does plug the hole nicely if you count the 1870s.)


Rk Player WAR/pos
  
1 Bobby Lowe 19.2
2 Glenn Hubbard 16.9
3 Marcus Giles 16.7
4 Tony Cuccinello 15.7
5 Bill Sweeney 12.6
6 Jack Burdock 11.5
7 Felix Millan 9.4
8 Connie Ryan 8.9
9 Danny O
'Connell 7.1
10 Mark Lemke 6.1
11 Frank Bolling 5.8
12 Dan Uggla 3.2
13 Freddie Maguire -4.5 
   58. Mefisto Posted: April 26, 2020 at 09:46 AM (#5944494)
I'm fairly confident that Cardinals, Dodgers and Yankees don't even need to enter the discussion.


I don't think any other team has a position as weak as Phillies 1B (though they'd certainly put Allen there for an all-time team), but some teams are pretty weak at some positions: Pirates C = Sanguillen; Braves 2B = Sid Gordon; Giants SS = Brandon Crawford; Indians C = Jim Hegan; Senators/Twins 3B = Buddy Myer; White Sox C = Ray Schalk and CF = Chet Lemon. The White Sox all-time team would almost certainly finish in last place.

Since you mentioned the Dodgers, their team is interesting because there are no true greats on the team, unless you count Jackie, but they're all fine players and the team is very solid.

   59. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2020 at 09:51 AM (#5944498)
Since you mentioned the Dodgers, their team is interesting because there are no true greats on the team,


Yeah, the top of the Dodgers all-time WAR leaderboard is quite low compared to the other franchises of its type, but it fits in fine with the non-Yankees originals beyond the very top.
   60. Mefisto Posted: April 26, 2020 at 10:31 AM (#5944504)
The Dodgers would be competitive, but I doubt they'd win a pennant if you took the Original 8 all-time teams and matched them in a season. The NL favorites would be the Giants and Cardinals, with the Dodgers and Braves next.

This depends, of course, on how one allocates the players. I used these criteria: Players must have the majority of their career value after 1892. A player can only play for one all-time team and is assigned to the team he came up with, unless he was significantly more notable for his accomplishments for one particular other team. For example, Roger Clemens is assigned to the Red Sox, but Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

Players who began with an expansion franchise or a franchise which no longer exists can be assigned to one of the original 16 if (a) they played for that team; and (b) had notable success for that team. Thus, Pedro Martinez is assigned to the Red Sox rather than the Dodgers/Expos. Players can be assigned to a different team if they can’t make the one to which they would be assigned by reference to the previous rules. Example: Sid Gordon is assigned to the Braves because the Giants already have 2 second basemen and Gordon would be the best available for the Braves.
   61. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2020 at 10:44 AM (#5944507)
Under those terms, the Red Sox team would be:

C- Fisk
1B - Vaughn (or Yaz)
2B - Doerr/Pedroia
SS - Nomar
3B - Boggs
LF - Yaz
CF - Speaker (sorry Tribe, the Grey Eagle was ours first)
RF - Williams (if he's eligible here. If not, he's in left, Yaz could possibly shift to first and Dewey's in right).
SP - Clemens
SP - Pedro
SP - Cy Young (it looks like he fits, most of his value was after 1892 and the club he debuted with isn't around any longer).
SP - Jon Lester
SP - Smoky Joe Wood

RP - Stanley/Papelbon

Under these rules (where they get to claim Pedro/Cy/Speaker), that's a really competitive team.

   62. Mefisto Posted: April 26, 2020 at 11:11 AM (#5944519)
I think the Red Sox would be right there with the Yankees. The lineup is not quite as good, but it's not that far off, and the starting pitching is better.

I used a DH rule, which I forgot to mention, so you'd probably DH Williams and put Dewey in RF.
   63. Mefisto Posted: April 26, 2020 at 12:03 PM (#5944527)
Alternatively, play Yaz at 1B, Williams in LF, and DH Ortiz.
   64. Jaack Posted: April 26, 2020 at 12:41 PM (#5944533)
A few NL squads

Giants:
C - Buster Posey
1B - Bill Terry
2B - Jeff Kent
SS - George Davis
3B - Frankie Frisch
LF - Barry Bonds
CF - Willie Mays
RF - Mel Ott
DH - Willie McCovey

SP - Christy Mathewson
SP - Juan Marichal
SP - Carl Hubbell
SP - Gaylord Perry
SP - Madison Bumgarner

RP - Hoyt Wilhelm/Robb Nen

Wilhelm is a little questionable as a Giant - he started with the Giants, had his best season with the Orioles, nut was probably overall best with the White Sox.

Aside from that, this is a clearly a contender. Had to be a little creative at 3B, not because Matt Williams and Art Fletcher are bad choices, but because Frisch and Kent are such good ones.

Braves:
C - Joe Torre
1B - Freddie Freeman
2B - Johnny Logan
SS - Rabbit Maranville
3B - Eddie Mathews
LF - Dale Murphy
CF - Andruw Jones
RF - Hank Aarons
DH - Chipper Jones

SP - Greg Maddux
SP - Warren Spahn
SP - Kid Nichols
SP - Tom Glavine
SP - Phil Niekro

RP - Craig Kimbrell
RP - John Smoltz

Maddux is clearly a Brave to me - only one of his 8 big seasons was with the Cubs.

It's a shame about the middle infielders. I'd like to work Darrell Evans, but all the places he'd be viable are jam packed.

Phillies:
C - Darren Daulton
1B - Dick Allen
2B - Chase Utley
SS - Jimmy Rollins
3B - Mike Schmidt
LF - Ed Delahanty
CF - Richie Ashburn
RF - Sherry Magee
DH - Gavy Cravath

SP - Pete Alexander
SP - Robin Roberts
SP - Steve Carlton
SP - Curt Schilling
SP - Cole Hamels

RP - Ryan Madson/Tug McGraw

This team is actually really good. C and RP are the only real holes and the rotation is almost as good as the Braves.
   65. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: April 26, 2020 at 01:15 PM (#5944541)
White Sox C = Ray Schalk


Oh, Hall of Fame, you so crazy.
   66. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: April 26, 2020 at 01:28 PM (#5944547)
Reds:

C - Johnny Bench
1B - Joey Votto
2B - Joe Morgan
3B - Pete Rose
SS - Barry Larkin
OF - Frank Robinson
OF - Ken Griffey Jr. (maybe? 3x AS as a Red)
OF - Vada Pinson
DH - George Foster

SP - Noodles Hahn
SP - Eppa Rixey (if PHI is going to pass on him)
SP - Dolf Luque (13IP with the Braves doesn't count)
SP - Bucky Walters (again, b/c PHI passed on him)
SP - Jose Rijo (not next in line by WAR, but hard to leave off an all-time Red team)

RP - John Franco
RP - Aroldis Chapman
RP - Rob Dibble

If Griffey doesn't qualify under the "notable success" clause, then put Foster in the outfield and make Tony Perez the DH.
   67. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: April 26, 2020 at 01:55 PM (#5944560)
Griffey was not a great player on the Reds. All his great seasons were with the Mariners. The Reds shouldn’t be able to grab his whole career just because he started with an expansion team.
   68. Jaack Posted: April 26, 2020 at 01:59 PM (#5944562)
Yeah, the Reds have as much of a claim to Griffey Jr. as the Yankees have on Randy Johnson.

Reds could move Rose to the OF and put Heinie Groh at third.
   69. Mefisto Posted: April 26, 2020 at 02:51 PM (#5944587)
I had the Reds OF as Foster/E.Davis, Pinson, and Robinson.

64 and 66 are very close to what I have though, and the differences are judgment calls.
   70. Jaack Posted: April 26, 2020 at 03:21 PM (#5944604)
Pirates:

C - Jason Kendall
1B - Willie Stargell
2B - Arky Vaughan
SS - Honus Wagner
3B - Pie Traynor or Tommy Leach
LF - Fred Clarke
CF - Max Carey
RF - Roberto Clemente
DH - Ralph Kiner

SP - Babe Adams
SP - Wilbur Cooper
SP - Bob Friend
SP - Sam Leever
SP - Bob Veale

RP - Kent Tekulve
RP - Roy Face

Cheated a bit to get Vaughan on the field, but I can't imagine he'd struggle at 2B. Maybe they can trade Paul Waner for some pitching.

Cubs:

C - Gabby Hartnett
1B - Frank Chance
2B - Ryne Sandberg
SS - Ernie Banks
3B - Ron Santo
LF - Billy Williams
CF - Kiki Cuyler
LF - Sammy Sosa
DH - Stan Hack? Hack Wilson?

SP - Fergie Jenkins
SP - Mordecai Brown
SP - Rick Reuschel
SP - Charley Root
SP - Hippo Vaughn

RP - Lee Smith
RP - Bruce Sutter

Lineup doesn't have any holes, but it lacks star power. Pitching is better than the Red or Pirates, but still not stellar. I think they finish about .500.
   71. Mefisto Posted: April 26, 2020 at 03:43 PM (#5944617)
For the Pirates I moved Waner to LF and decided it was a tossup between Clarke and Carey in CF. I also put Maz at 2B and Vaughn at 3B (I'm not a fan of Traynor).

As for the Cubs, the NL is pretty balanced. The Giants would be the clear favorites, and probably the Cards second, but every other team has good qualities somewhere -- e.g., the Phils are weak on the field but their pitchers are Alexander, Roberts, Bunning, Carlton, and Schilling* -- and it's hard to forecast.

In the AL, the White Sox are quite weak while the Indians and Senators/Twins aren't all that good.

*I think I applied my rules properly on all of these, but except for Roberts they're arguable.
   72. Jaack Posted: April 26, 2020 at 04:08 PM (#5944632)
The NL would be really fun to watch. The Giants are perhaps a step ahead of everyone, but I don't think anyone would be put of place in second.

The AL would be haves and have not - Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, and A's are juggernauts, Orioles, Twins, Indians, and White Sox are all losing teams for sure.

In the case of Bunning, it's a toss up between the Tigers and Phillies in terms of value. He was a bit better in Philly, but started and pitched more in Detroit. Tigers could probably use him more too. He's probably their third starter after Verlander and Newhouser, and after Lolich and Bridges, their options are limited. The Phillies rotation is badass whether they have Bunning or Hamels in the fifth slot.
   73. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2020 at 04:29 PM (#5944645)
after Lolich and Bridges, their options are limited.


Sure he's not worthy of the Hall, but the Jack is more than adequate as a fifth starter in such an exercise.
   74. cardsfanboy Posted: April 26, 2020 at 06:58 PM (#5944719)
Cardinals are fine with the position players

C Ted Simmons
1b Albert Pujols
2b Rogers Hornsby
SS Ozzie Smith
3b Ken Boyer
RF Enos Slaughter
CF Jim Edmonds if he qualifies or Curt Flood, don't think either is a bad pick
LF Stan Musial
DH Johnny Mize (or Medwick or Bottomley) I went with Mize because his rbat per pa for his time with the team is the higher of the 3.

SP Bob Gibson
SP Dizzy Dean
SP Harry Breechen
SP Adam Wainwright
SP Jesse Haines

RP Al Hrabosky
RP Todd Worrell


I think that is a fairly decent team
   75. Mefisto Posted: April 26, 2020 at 07:30 PM (#5944725)
I'd probably use Jack Clark (he's available) instead of Slaughter.
   76. cardsfanboy Posted: April 26, 2020 at 07:46 PM (#5944730)
I'd probably use Jack Clark (he's available) instead of Slaughter.


I love Jack, but with only three years as a Cardinal he just doesn't make the list for me... Bottomley or Medwick would be options in the outfield before Clark. With Musial you can move him to any of four positions and be justified. Add in that Jack was strictly a first baseman with the Cardinals and it feels like a cheat in multiple ways to include him on the team.

Hof players generally won out on my list(with apologies to Brock) . But Slaughter had better war/waa in his best years than Clark.
   77. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 26, 2020 at 07:50 PM (#5944731)
Cubs:

C - Gabby Hartnett
1B - Frank Chance
2B - Ryne Sandberg
SS - Ernie Banks
3B - Ron Santo
LF - Billy Williams
CF - Kiki Cuyler
LF - Sammy Sosa
DH - Stan Hack? Hack Wilson?

SP - Fergie Jenkins
SP - Mordecai Brown
SP - Rick Reuschel
SP - Charley Root
SP - Hippo Vaughn

RP - Lee Smith
RP - Bruce Sutter

Lineup doesn't have any holes, but it lacks star power.


9 HOFers, using Wilson at DH, and only he is marginal. Maybe Chance too*, considering only his playing career. What more do you want?

*Though why you skipped Anson is questionable.
   78. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2020 at 08:04 PM (#5944733)
*Though why you skipped Anson is questionable.


He's playing by Mefisto's rules.

Players must have the majority of their career value after 1892.
   79. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2020 at 08:06 PM (#5944734)
I love Jack, but with only three years as a Cardinal he just doesn't make the list for me...


I don't know how Jack could possibly qualify as a Card at any position.
   80. Jaack Posted: April 26, 2020 at 08:09 PM (#5944735)
All are HoFamers (aside from Sosa, but he counts enough) but no one is a top end player in this hypothetical league. To have a really good lineup you need at least one or two inner circle top 40 players.

The Pirates are probably the weakest NL team and they have Wagner, Vaughan, and Clemente who would all be the best player on the Cubs.
   81. cardsfanboy Posted: April 26, 2020 at 08:10 PM (#5944736)
9 HOFers,


Two of which only show up when the game is nearly decided though.(closers is a weird job.) Of course Sosa is probably a hofer without the rumors, and there are people arguing for Reuschel---so again 9 worthy I guess.

I think the comment of 'lack star power' is about the players ranking on greatest of all time list, but before Cal Ripken... Banks always did well on the all time lists. (and as you mentioned Anson is missing from that team, and he's definitely star power, even with his racism)
   82. cardsfanboy Posted: April 26, 2020 at 08:12 PM (#5944738)
Players must have the majority of their career value after 1892.


oh... I thought it was 1882... so ignore my previous comment.
   83. cardsfanboy Posted: April 26, 2020 at 08:19 PM (#5944739)
I don't know how Jack could possibly qualify as a Card at any position.


Just responding to a previous comment.. I think the point was that Jack Clark failed to make it as a Giant because of their outfield, so any team he played good for could use him, and I'm not really sure if the argument is that the team gets the entire career or just what they did for the franchise... either way I don't see any position on the Cardinals that Jack Clark would be the best player at. Slaughter was a better player(especially if you give any war credit). Pujols obviously better. etc... Mize and Medwick also
   84. Mefisto Posted: April 26, 2020 at 08:52 PM (#5944747)
@83 gets the argument right. I put Musial in LF and used Clark to play right. But you're all probably right that Slaughter belongs in RF.

   85. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 26, 2020 at 09:00 PM (#5944751)
Two of which only show up when the game is nearly decided though.(closers is a weird job.) Of course Sosa is probably a hofer without the rumors, and there are people arguing for Reuschel---so again 9 worthy I guess.


My bad on Sosa, but yeah, he's HOF quality. I was not counting the pitchers, of which there are 4 more. Counting Sosa, which was my intention, every spot in the batting order is filled by a HOFer.

The Pirates are probably the weakest NL team and they have Wagner, Vaughan, and Clemente who would all be the best player on the Cubs.


You can use only 1 SS. Move Wagner or Vaughan off SS and neither is inner circle.
   86. Mefisto Posted: April 26, 2020 at 09:31 PM (#5944767)
Wagner played 210 games at 3B and Vaughan played 197. Both were good enough that even the drop in positional adjustment wouldn't keep them out of the Hall IMO, and certainly wouldn't keep Wagner out of "inner circle" (loose term, but I'm pretty confident he makes it). Wagner only played 2/3 of his games at SS as it is.
   87. cardsfanboy Posted: April 26, 2020 at 09:40 PM (#5944770)
I don't see any situation in which Honus Wagner as a third baseman is still not inner circle. His positional adjustment is basically 10 wins, so he drops from 130 war to 120 war even assuming he fields at the same relative level.
   88. Jaack Posted: April 26, 2020 at 09:43 PM (#5944771)
Ill admit calling 2B/3B Vaughan inner circle may have been aggressive. He's still a HoFamer, but he's not hanging with the Morgan/Hornsby/Lajoie/Collins foursome.

But Wagner's bat plays anywhere. Honus Wagner the corner outfielder makes every team except the Yankees and maybe the Giants.
   89. cardsfanboy Posted: April 26, 2020 at 09:45 PM (#5944772)
For the record, the thing that MLB.com is doing is great, mostly, they are simulating best teams, using the players 3 best seasons with the team as their skill level, which works out pretty great in my opinion, not a full on fan of someone like Arod being on three rosters, but not totally against it either, it's just a way to do these things.
   90. John DiFool2 Posted: April 26, 2020 at 10:20 PM (#5944777)
The Pirates are probably the weakest NL team and they have Wagner, Vaughan, and Clemente who would all be the best player on the Cubs.


Peak is the only thing which really counts here, and the Cubs will have peak Banks hitting 3rd and playing short.
   91. Jack Sommers Posted: April 26, 2020 at 11:13 PM (#5944784)
Jumping to bottom here:

Would it be acceptable to most to group corner outfielders together , separate from primarily centerfielders ?

Kinda solves the Musial problem

   92. cardsfanboy Posted: April 27, 2020 at 12:05 AM (#5944789)
Would it be acceptable to most to group corner outfielders together , separate from primarily centerfielders ?


yes and no... exceptional right fielders defensively should be acknowledged (your Clemente's and Ichiro's etc) .... but ultimately yes I generally argue that the gold glove should be centerfielder and two corners... the truth is that many players jump around on a given day based upon situation between right and left.

but when doing lists based upon all time greats, it's a bit more difficult when a person does jump around... Banks played more games at first than shortstop, but those were his lesser years, but do we include his 1b years in the argument for best ss of all time? It's always been a conundrum.

Musial really wasn't a utility fielder, so he shouldn't fall into the camp of a utility fielder either.... you have Zobrist and others who really fill that bill, but Musial rarely flipped around his positions during the season... basically what happened is that the manager looked at the roster and said "our best team is with this defensive lineup" and Musial, being Musial agreed to move around, because he was good enough at all of those positions.

Personally as I mentioned, the skill set differences between left, right and first base aren't really massive enough that a team wouldn't put any player at those positions, but left is probably the least important of the three, and right people like a good arm etc... but any competent major leaguer should be able to play all of those positions acceptably. (although for some reason Jose Martinez hasn't been able to figure out that a 6'6 person needs to put his foot on the bag and stretch for the throw at first base.... he's an exception)
   93. Mefisto Posted: April 27, 2020 at 09:12 AM (#5944847)
I think it's also necessary to account for LF'ers like Bonds and maybe Rickey who likely couldn't play RF because their arms were too weak.

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