Prime 9 - Shortstops. The 9 Greatest Shortstops of All Time

Monday, January 23, 2012

A thousand 20th century games at short was the qualification to make the MLB Network list.  That means no Davis and Dahlen on its list, so I'll add two to mine. My top 200 is here.

MLB Network List:
1. Wagner
2. Rodriguez
3. Ripken
4. Banks
5. Smith
6. Vaughan
7. Jeter
8. Larkin
9. Appling

My List:
1. Wagner
2. Rodriguez
3. Vaughan
4. Ripken
5. Banks
6. Davis
7. Boudreau
8. Larkin
9. Dahlen

Ozzie and Yount would make my list to replace the 19th century players.  Jeter had a bad glove; using my metrics he's 66 wins above replacement for his career, Yount's 75.  Ozzie had a bad bat, his OPS+ is 87; that makes him tough for me to rank him as high as MLB does.


Ryan said...

Jeter has a 72 WAR if you average between his fangraphs and baseball reference scores. Overrated or not, he makes the list.

A-Rod should not be on this list. He will finish his career with more games played at third than at SS.

jdavid979 said...

So...Derek Jeter...most hits EVER as a short stop...over 3,100 career hits...and he's not even in your top 9? Wow...I mean go ahead and be a Yankee hater...but come the very least be an honest and true fan of the game. I mean...I never really cared for Ripken considering he was on a rival team but not for a second would I deny his place in baseball history.

Jim said...

1. First the ARod question; MLB Network's positional qualification was a thousand games played post 1900. That wasn't mine specifically, but it make sense. The problem with saying most games played is the position to which the player is assigned is (for example) is makes Stan Musial a first baseman. To my historical eye, ARod's a shortstop (he's also a Yankee, which probably impacts the anti-Yankee bias charge in a negative way).

2. I'm considering 3 numbers - the average of WAR (B-Ref) and WARP (Davenport) and then plate appearances to avoid this just being a career value list ('cause I have one of those already).

As mentioned in the post, that would give Jeter 66 wins above replacement (so lower than 72, I think the defensive valuation I use is more reflective of truth, but I wouldn't stand on the table in protest of yours).

For total value - that puts him below:

(note, except for the 2 19th century players, who were excluded from the list - all of these guys ranked ahead of Jeter on the MLB Network rankings also)


And then you get to Jeter.

Incidentally, that still makes him, for career value only, my 110th best player ever, which is not a bad number.

Now, I also have Jeter below Banks (like MLB Network does) and Boudreau also, and that's where I take into account peak value by considering plate appearances that it took to accumulate that value.

Jeter's 66 wins took 11,000+ plate appearances. Cronin earned 65 wins in 3,000 fewer plate appearances. Reese earned 63 wins in 2000 fewer.
Glasscock (from the 19th century) in 4000 fewer.

You get the point - Jeter's been a bad defensive shortstop, when you think about what that means in relation to his place among all players who ever played - that's still pretty good, because even a bad defensive shortstop with Jeter's bat is pretty good.

But when you think about him in connection with other shortstops, he doesn't make the list and I don't think it's close.

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