The 200 Greatest Major League Baseball Players Ever 2011 Ed. #90-81

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The previous ten is here.

As I'm doing the rankings, I'm keeping two all-time rosters.  The first is the all time roster for career value, it just goes straight off this list:

C Berra (Fisk)
1B Murray (McCovey)
2B Alomar (Biggio)
SS Jeter (Banks)
3B Santo (Robinson)
LF Clarke (Burkett)
CF Hamilton (Snider)
RF Sheffield (Walker)
RHP Drysdale (Rivera, Smoltz, Eckersley, Keefe, Schilling, Radbourn)
LHP Hubbell (Newhouser)

And the second is more subjective, where as opposed to looking at career value I'm picking the best baseball players, less a cumulative award and more "if I were picking a team" lineup.  That's this:

C Berra (Piazza)
1B McGwire (McCovey)
2B Robinson (Kent)
SS Banks (Jeter)
3B Santo (Allen)
LF Jackson (Stargell)
CF Hamilton (Snider)
RF Flick (Sheffield)
RHP Rivera (Walsh, Feller, Marichal, Halladay, Smoltz, Schilling)
LHP Hubbell (Newhouser)

90. Jim Edmonds CF (WARP +B-R WAR) 143.1
OPS+ 132
Translated BA/OBP/SLG  .285/.376/.523
MVPQ 2004 (17.7)

I don't know if Edmonds winds up playing in 2010, but if somehow he has the same value next year as he did in 2010, he'd move to 80 all time (except he wouldn't, because this is a section for active players with more left in the tank than Edmonds).  Edmonds takes Billy Hamilton's starting CF spot on the all time career value team, knocking Duke Snider off the roster.  On my subjective team, Hamilton keeps the job as his value was concentrated into fewer seasons...and it's close, look at Edmonds translated slugging, he had more bat than you think and obviously that glove was extra strong.  I'm going to stick with Snider for the same reason I stayed with Hamilton, but Edmonds is right there with the Duke.  

89. Jim Thome  1B/DH 143.5
OPS+ 147
MVPQ (none), Best season 2002 (14.9)

Here's what's up - Thome had a big 2010, and it seems unlikely he repeats it in 2011, but if he does, he ends the year, wait for it, the 68th best baseball player of all time.  On the all time lineup, he takes over for Eddie Murray as the starting first baseman, bumping my guy McCovey off the roster.  On the subjective lineup, he's got to deal with Mark McGwire, who just had too much bat.  McCovey is a really good comparison, their OPS+ is the same, they played the same number of years, it's maybe 51/49 for the incumbent based on McCovey's MVPQ season.   I'll keep my guy Stretch.  But it's close - Jim Thome's a Hall of Famer.  

88. Johnny Mize 1B 143.8 
OPS+ 158
MVPQ none Best season 1948 (15.2)

Got his peak in before WWII took away his early 30s.  Had he 3 representative seasons in that stretch he'd be in the top 40 of all time.  He and then Thome become the first basemen now on the all time team.  McGwire has better numbers, not by a lot, but better - I'm going with Mize though given the three missed seasons, bumping McGwire to backup and (sadly) taking McCovey off the team.  

87. Manny Ramirez LF/RF 143.8
Indians/Red Sox
OPS+ 155
MVPQ 1999 (16.1)

If you're playing along at home, you know what gives me the feelings, the special feelings that a man sometimes gets for translated baseball statistics - a .300/.400/.500 slashline.  Here's everyone who has one thusfar:

Will Clark
Jackie Robinson
Dick Allen
Joe Jackson (3/4/6)
Elmer Flick
Gary Sheffield
Edgar Martinez

And now Manny.  He and Sheff are almost identical, Manny a tick better.  I wouldn't imagine he plays more than a "we got shorthanded, what do we do now" inning in the field for the Rays in 2011, so any value he has left has to come from the bat.  But if his 2011 is as valuable as his 2010, he just slips into the Top 75.   Manny goes to LF on the all time list, moving Fred Clarke to the bench and Jesse Burkett off the roster.  On the subjective list, he bumps Stargell off the roster and now backs up Joe Jackson. 

86. Pedro Martinez RHP 144.5
Red Sox
ERA+ 154
MVPQ 1997 (16 Expos), 1999 (16.8), 2000 (20.2)

Hey, look Red Sox Nation - Manny and Pedro, for at least one more season, back to back on the all time list.  Pedro is the new top RHP of all time, it bumps Hoss Radbourn off the roster.  On the subjective/peak list, Pedro bumps Schilling off the roster, and now the question is where to slot him.  That ERA+ goes by everyone but Rivera - and that's the game we're going to play - does Rivera's 50 points of adjusted ERA overcome the innings disparity?  I'm going to say yes.  Similar to the Walsh analysis, Pedro's a guy with a very good peak, lots of MVPQ seasons, and almost 3x the number of innings pitched as Rivera - but that ERA+ is the truth.  I totally get a counterargument, I do.  But I'm going with the closer.  

85. Scott Rolen 3B 144.8
OPS+ 124
MVPQ 2004 (18.3) 

A good bat, a better glove - and here's Scott Rolen, bumping Santo to backup 3B on the all time roster.  A duplicate of his 2010 would move Rolen into the better end of the Top 60.  Scott Rolen is a Hall of Famer.  Was he as good as Santo?     I'm going to say yes, the career offensive numbers are identical, Santo had a better bat based on peak - but Rolen edges him out with the glove.  I'll say Scott Rolen is the new best 3B on the list, bumping Santo to backup, and, with a heavy heart, knocking Dick Allen from the roster.

84. Alan Trammell  SS 145
OPS+ 110
MVPQ 1987 (18.4)

On the all time roster, Trammell goes by Jeter, at least for now, and bumps Banks off the list.  On the subjective list, it's still Banks and Jeter, Trammell's defensive advantage (and yes, he had a better glove than Jeter) not enough to get by the bats.  

83. John Clarkson RHP 145.3
ERA+ 134
MVPQ 1885 (23.1), 1887 (22.9), 1889 (27.3), 1891 (16.4)

Clarkson hit too, but all of the value is with the arm; as I've mentioned before, the 19th century players are overvalued, but Clarkson really was a very good pitcher.  He slides on top of the career list, knocking Schilling off that roster.  On the subjective/peak list - he goes in between Feller and Marichal, which bumps Smoltz from the roster.  

82. Robin Yount SS/CF 145.4
OPS+ 115
MVPQ 1982 (21.1)

That's a helluva season.  It adds Yount to the list of the 20+ WAR/WARP seasons, 20th century version:

Sosa 2001 (22.5)
Feller 1946 (21.3)
Marichal 1966 (20.6)
Robinson 1951 (21.7)
Walsh 1908 (22.5)
Walsh 1910 (22.1)
Walsh 1912 (22.2)
Boudreau 1948 (22.6)
Banks 1959 (21.2)
 Santo 1967 (20.5)
Biggio 1997 (20.3)

Yount and Trammell are now the career value shortstops, and just like Trammell, he can't crack the Banks/Jeter subjective/peak/who would I pick list.  

81. Luke Appling SS 145.4
White Sox
OPS+ 113
MVPQ 1943 (16.1)

Appling's career year was '43, when he was 36 years old - he lost the next year for the war.  At 37 years old.  Bet he loved seeing Boudreau stay in Cleveland.  Appling/Yount leave this section as the career value shortstops, neither make the subjective squad.

So, here's where we stand:

Career value:
C Berra (Fisk)
1B Mize (Thome)
2B Alomar (Biggio)
SS Appling (Yount)
3B Rolen (Santo)
LF Ramirez (Clarke)
CF Edmonds (Hamilton)
RF Sheffield (Walker)
RHP Clarkson (Martinez, Drysdale, Rivera, Smoltz, Eckersley, Keefe,)
LHP Hubbell (Newhouser)

Subjective/Peak/Who would you pick?

C Berra (Piazza)
1B Mize (McGwire)
2B Robinson (Kent)
SS Banks (Jeter)
3B Rolen (Santo)
LF Jackson (Ramirez)
CF Hamilton (Snider)
RF Flick (Sheffield)
RHP Rivera (Martinez, Walsh, Feller, Clarkson, Marichal, Halladay, )
LHP Hubbell (Newhouser)

120 down.  80 left.  Back in a week.

1 comment

Blog said...

The only problem with Manny is that you have to worry about him getting pregnant in the middle of the season.

Blogger Template created by Just Blog It