The 200 Greatest Major League Baseball Players of All Time, 2012 Ed. 141-150

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The previous ten is here.

141.Dennis Eckersley RHP 1975-98 A's/Red Sox
       ERA+ 116
       210-155, 335 saves
142. Gabby Hartnett  C Cubs 1922-41 

143. Mariano Rivera RHP Yankees 1995-
        106-41, 566 svs

144. Bobby Wallace SS 1894-1918 Browns/Cardinals/Spiders

145. Ernie Banks 1B/SS Cubs 1953-71
        MVPQ= 1955, 1960
        Elite= 1958, 1959
146. Carlos Beltran CF Royals/Mets 1998-
        OPS+ 121

147. Frank Tanana LHP 1973-93 Angels/Tigers

148. Old Hoss Radbourn 1880-91 RHP  Grays/Beaneaters
       Inner Circle= 1883, 1884

149. Buck Ewing 1880-97 C Giants

150. Hal Newhouser 1933-55 Dodgers LHP
        Elite=1945, 1946
Two active players in this section.  If Rivera's 2012 matches his 2011, he'll be 114th on the list.  If Beltran's 2012 matches his 2011, he'd be even higher, 107th on the list.

Let's start at the top with Hartnett; our current starting catcher is King Kelly, who was only a catcher half the time.  Their total value is essentially the same, Hartnett's got 4 more wins above replacement but in an extra 800 plate appearances.  Kelly's bat's better, his OPS+ is 12 points higher on the strength of a little bit better ability to get on base.  I'm going to make Hartnett the new starter, given he spent the totality of his career behind the plate, but its close.  And Kelly's actually going to find himself just off the team, replaced by Buck Ewing, who I'll drop ahead of both of them (but it's a close race).

Rivera's the new best pitcher; his evaluation is superhard.  9th inning closers are overrated; Rivera's got about a third of the innings pitched as Whitey Ford, the most recent pitcher on the list.  That has to matter.  That said, the impact of Rivera's innings are insufficiently accounted for by this metric, they aren't as great as we are told, but they are greater than reflected here, and it suppresses his career value.

His ERA+ is the best ever.  If you had a pitcher in baseball history for just one inning, you might pick Rivera.  Going forward, balancing that per inning greatness against his lack of innings will be a constant theme in evaluating the pitchers.

Banks joins the all time team at short. He's the new leader in MVP Quality seasons (8 wins above replacement).  He's got 4, with two of those in the tier just above MVPQ (Elite, 10 wins above replacement).

Hoss Radbourn has the 2 best seasons of the list so far, the only 2 in the uppermost tier (Inner Circle, 12 wins above replacement).  The rest of his career isn't that special; he's going to go on the all time team just ahead of Bunning.  And Newhouser was better than Whitey Ford, better top end, a tick more career value, and in fewer innings.  He's our new best lefty.

       C Buck Ewing
          Gabby Hartnett

1B Hank Greenberg
     Jason Giambi
-no change at first base; Olerud had two MVPQ seasons, but runs smack into Giambi having a better top end, a better overall bat, and almost as much value in a thousand fewer plate appearances.  They both sit behind Greenberg, as he had a better bat than both and a couple thousand fewer plate appearances than Giambi.

2B Joe Gordon
-putting Gordon in direct comparison with Doerr gets the former on the team; Gordon had a better top end, a better bat (.513 career adjusted slugging from second base) and almost identical career value in 1500 fewer plate appearances.

SS Ernie Banks

      3B Dick Allen

LF Ducky Medwick
-2 MVPQ seasons and a career adjusted slugging of .555.

RF Joe Jackson
      RF Elmer Flick
-Jackson's the best player in this first 40.  He's got 2 MVPQ seasons, a career slashline of 3/4/5, and accumulated his value in fewer than 6000 plate appearances.  Flick's also got a 3/4/5 slash but loses to Jackson on every count.


Mariano Rivera
Amos Rusie
Dazzy Vance
Hoss Radbourn
Jim Bunning
Bret Saberhagen

Hal Newhouser
Whitey Ford

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