a jim jividen blog

Here's the thing. I'm watching one of these shows on the Cooking Channel featuring food trucks. There's a Scottish expat making fish and chips; in a thick brogue he somewhat wearily explains his irritation with Americans who habitually order a side of tartar sauce: "tartar sauce is basically gherkins." That's this blog. I claim no particular insight, no revelation. If you enjoy the flavor, great, but this blog is basically gherkins.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The 200 Greatest Major League Baseball Players Ever 2011 Ed. #160-151

#170-161 is here.



160. Jake Beckley 1B WAR+WARP=120.7
1888-07
Pirates/Reds
OPS+125
Translated BA/OBP/SLG .291/.347/.486
MVPQ - none.  Best season - 1893 (10.1)

159. Sammy Sosa RF 120.8
1989-07
Cubs
OPS+ 128
.277/.347/.542
MVPQ - 2001 (22.5)

A hundred years apart, the careers of Beckley and Sosa, with their identical translated OBPs meet in the 150s.  Sosa's 2001 is the very best season of anyone on the list thusfar.  

158. Duke Snider CF 121.1
1947-64
Dodgers
OPS+ 140
.297/.381/.557
MVPQ - 1955 (16.5) 1956 (16.3)

-Never had an elite glove, and really gave back some value defensively in the back half of his career, but the only bats on the list so far that compare are corners (Jackson, Medwick, Sosa, Vlad) Snider held a premium defensive position while putting up that 140 OPS+ and that's flat impressive.   

157. Dwight Evans RF 121.3
1972-91
Red Sox
OPS+ 127
.276/.376/.513
MVPQ - none, Best season 1981 (15.7) 

156. Tommy John LHP 121.5
1963-89
Yankees/White Sox/Dodgers
ERA+ 111
MVPQ - none, Best season 1970 (12.1)

 155. Andruw Jones CF 121.5
1996-
Braves
OPS+ 111
.257/.339/.487
MVPQ - none, Best season 2000 (15.3)

-Had a run, from '97-01, with the glove that maybe matches any in OF history.  He's an old 34 in 2011, but any value at all gets him into the top 150.  If he repeats his 2010, Jones will be #144 by season's end.  

154. Robin Ventura 3B 121.9
1989-04
White Sox/Mets
OPS+ 114
.280/.373/.472
MVPQ - none, Best season 1992 (14.7)

-And Ventura's glove was better than Jones's.  

153. Luis Tiant 122.1 RHP
1964-82
Red Sox/Indians
ERA+ 115
MVPQ - none, Best season 1968 (14.8)

152. Dave Winfield RF 122.3
1973-95
Padres/Yankees
OPS+ 130
.300/.370/.539
MVPQ 1979 (17.7)

-Really gets a slugging percentage bounce when translating those numbers to neutralize the SD ballpark effects.  

151. Bob Feller RHP 122.5
1936-56
Indians
ERA+ 122
MVPQ 1939 (17.3) 1940 (18.8) 1946 (21.3)

-The first quarter of the list ends with Feller; if you were picking schoolyard sides from this first 50, not who had the best career, but who was the best player at a moment in time - if you were picking a bat, it would be Joe Jackson (I love a .300/.400/.500 translated slashline - Jackson's is .300/.400/.600) and if you wanted an arm, it would be Feller.  From '39-41, Feller's age 20-22 seasons, his combined WAR/WARP was 50+.  His next full season was '46, the best season by a pitcher on the list thusfar.  They road Feller hard, 300+ IP in all three of those '39-41 seasons and then almost 350 in '46.  He pitched another ten years and never had a season even half as good again.  

50 down.  150 to go.  In the next group - my favorite ballplayer as a teenager.  See you next week.