The 200 Greatest Major League Baseball Players Ever 2011 Ed. #180-171

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

#190-181 is here.

180. Ken Boyer 3B WARP+WAR = 116.5
1955-69 Cardinals
OPS+ 116
translated BA/OBP/SLG .292/.359/.481
MVPQ  none (Best season – 1961 15.5)

-Nettles, Cey, Buddy Bell and now Boyer - a lot of similar players here in the bottom of the list as I go third base heavy.

179. Joe Gordon 2B 116.5
OPS+ 120
MVPQ  1942 (16)

-Gordon only played 11 years to accumulate that total of 116.5, he lost both '44 and '45 to the war.  A list that made some accounting for peak value would have Gordon solidly higher, given how few years it took him to hit that overall value.  Gordon also was a pivotal player for two of the greatest teams of all time, the '39 Yankees and the '48 Indians.  I've got a ranking of all 106 World Series winners, by regular season pythagorean record, that I'll post at some point (I've got all the Super Bowl winners and NBA Champions too; I've gone on a compiling run for a few months) those two teams are in the top 10 of all time.  Joe Gordon was terrific.  

178. Andre Dawson RF/CF 116.6
1976-96 Expos/Cubs
OPS+ 119
MVPQ – 1981 (16.6)

-High slugging, low on base, his translated slash line looks a lot like Bobby Bonds, who accumulated his value in 7 fewer seasons.  Dawson's translated OBP is lowest of any position player on list so far.  

177. King Kelly C/RF 116.8
1878-93  White Sox/Red Sox
OPS+ 138
MVPQ – 1886 (18)

-The list is going to be a little lighter on catchers than is ideal, WAR (recall, I use the baseball-reference version) is a little less catcher friendly than is WARP (and that I'd prefer).  Kelly's the first catcher to make it.  

176. Jimmy Wynn CF 116.9
1963-77 Astros
OPS+ 128
MVPQ 1974 (17, Dodgers) 1965 (16.1)

-Look at the big bat on Jimmy Wynn.  OPS+ of 128 for a center fielder.  That's a tasty translated slash line.  

175. Kenny Lofton CF 117
1991-07 Indians
MVPQ (none) Best season 1994 (14.5)

-did you know Lofton's translated career batting average would be so high?  Lowest OPS+ on the list so far and solidly so, Lofton's value was in his glove.  

174. Joe Torre C/1B/3B  117.4
1960-77    Braves/Cardinals
OPS+ 128
MVPQ( none) Best Season 1966 (14.7)

-and now two catchers on the list - look at Torre's bat, that's a great slash line for a non-catcher; there's probably no way to convince anyone that Torre was a better player than manager, but you wouldn't rank him any lower than this on an all time list.  

173. John Olerud 1B 117.4
1989-05    Blue Jays/Mariners
OPS+ 128
MVPQ  1993 (17)

-Olerud and Torre have pretty similar career bats; Torre's position advantage (catcher is more valuable than first base) balanced by Olerud being a better glove at his position than was Torre at his.

172. Shoeless Joe Jackson LF/RF 117.4
1908-20        Indians/White Sox
OPS+ 170
MVPQ  1911 (16.6) 1912 (18.7)

-we'll have to go a long way on the list to get a bat like Jackson's - look at that OPS+; Shoeless Joe could mash the baseball; just one of the all time, superpremium elite bats in baseball history.  

171. Stan Hack 3B 117.9
1932-47 Cubs
OPS+ 119
MVPQ (none) 1945 (14.6)

-how about one more third baseman to finish off the first 30 in the list.  

30 down.  170 to go.  See you next week.  

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