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Author Topic: Top Baseball Players By Position  (Read 152 times)
JoeC
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« on: May 21, 2020, 07:15:11 PM »

From a Bill James system; up through 2006 (think Jeter makes the SS list?). Palmeiro, Bonds and McGwire eliminated for steroids.

Anyone surprise you? I bolded the more modern players

The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract introduces a novel new way to evaluate players: The Win Shares System. What is revolutionary about the system is that it does not use statistics that are subject to variation as the game changes. It is based on how many games a player helps his team win, based on his performance. Since the ratio of win shares to wins is always 3-1, the system treats good players on bad teams as equally as bad players on good teams. But most of all, it allows us to fairly look at players across eras, in one single integer. The system is brilliant. James application of it, however, is not. Its biggest flaw, as many people have noted, is that it does not evenly rate pitchers' contributions. But the system does allow for fair assessment of position players.

1B - Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Eddie Murray, Johnny Mize, Hank Greenberg, Willie McCovey

2B - Eddie Collins, Joe Morgan, Rogers Hornsby, Nap Lajoie, Jackie Robinson

3B - Mike Schmidt, George Brett, Eddie Mathews, Paul Molitor, Wade Boggs

SS- Honus Wagner, Cal Ripken, Robin Yount, Alex Rodriguez, Luke Appling, Arky Vaughn

LF - Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Ricky Henderson, Carl Yastrzemski

CF - Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, Tris Speaker, Joe DMaggio

RF - Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Mel Ott, Reggie Jackson

C-  Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, Mike Piazza
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 01:12:12 PM by JoeC » Logged
doctordoowop
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2020, 09:24:44 PM »

Surprises--

1-Mize  1B

2-Jackie  2B.  He was great & it is heresy --  but looks like he got credit for  being 1st Black

3-Jose D--5th CF--impossible.
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2020, 11:51:36 AM »

If the timeline were to be brought forward to today, would any "modern" (post 2006) players be included? Albert Pujols? Miguel Caberea?  Ken Griffey Jr? And why disqualify Bonds but not disqualify A-Rod?

Where did Wee Willie Keeler go? Or Cuno Barragon?  Grin
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JoeC
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2020, 01:28:34 PM »

I think Jeter and Griffey, Jr would rank high. Pujols, too.

Here was the rationale on some of these choices:

- Johnny Mize served time in the Second World War. Before and after he averaged 30 win shares a season, so I extrapolate a total of 90 for the three years he missed, leaving him with (this lofty rating)

-  Joe DiMaggio, along with Ted Williams and Hank Greenberg, was most affected by the extrapolation method. Factoring in for the three seasons he missed, I'd add about 100 win shares. But Dimaggio also retired early at 36, and could have racked up more win shares. Putting all this together, I'd rate him somewhat higher than his totals suggest.

- Jackie Robinson didn't start his career until age 28. His prime years are slightly better than Charlie Gehringer and Rod Carew. I would guess he would have finished slightly higher than them ...

- Alex Rodriguez- The best player of his generation, A-Rod doesn’t play shortstop anymore, but most of his win shares came from that position. Besides, he may switch back at some point in the future. Regardless, he certainly will finish his career with an immense number of win shares. The only question will be whether to classify him as a shortstop or third baseman. If he is classified a third basemen, he will likely be rated as the greatest of all time. If a shortstop, he will rank second only to Wagner. Clearly, the steroid stuff on ARod came out after this was written!
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2020, 05:41:57 PM »

Excellent point made about A-Rod's steroid use not factoring into the pre-2006 discussion. What about Ernie Banks over Willie McCovey at 1B (I know many of Banks' s best years were early in his career as a SS). And where did Brooks Robinson go? Brooks was not more accomplished at 3B overall than Molitor or Boggs?  I know they had to put him somewhere, but since when was Ty Cobb known for playing CF?

And for old timers like me, who can forget Big Ed Delahanty - now there was a player wot could hits! And a fine gentleman too!   
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JoeC
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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2020, 06:59:51 PM »

Excellent point made about A-Rod's steroid use not factoring into the pre-2006 discussion. What about Ernie Banks over Willie McCovey at 1B (I know many of Banks' s best years were early in his career as a SS). And where did Brooks Robinson go? Brooks was not more accomplished at 3B overall than Molitor or Boggs?  I know they had to put him somewhere, but since when was Ty Cobb known for playing CF?

And for old timers like me, who can forget Big Ed Delahanty - now there was a player wot could hits! And a fine gentleman too!   
Good questions, Mike.

I don't think they considered Banks as anything other than a SS. Brooks Robinson I suspect was hurt by his hitting (in this rarefied discussion). I was surprised about Cobb too. I'm sure it was all about his offense. From what I've read, Cobb did cover a lot of ground but had a weak throwing arm.

Molitor was helped by being a DH for number of years. Boggs inclusion is partly put to the fact that there aren't (in James' opinion) as many great 3B.

Also, defense isn't factored in, I don't think. That gets back to your Brooks Robinson question, and to the fact that Johnny Bench was superior behind the plate to Berra.
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2020, 01:25:18 AM »

Not mentioned much--but Gio Urshela makes plays that Brooks could not. Wen he throws  from foul territory.

Re;  Joe D--how many games did he miss-injured  a lot. my pops told  me he never started  a yr b/c of injury.

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JoeC
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2020, 08:46:44 AM »

Not mentioned much--but Gio Urshela makes plays that Brooks could not. Wen he throws  from foul territory.

Re;  Joe D--how many games did he miss-injured  a lot. my pops told  me he never started  a yr b/c of injury.
Doc, my guess is Joe missed the equivalent of at least a couple years, maybe 3?
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2020, 04:24:59 PM »

Wow-thats  besides the Army?   I know he had real bad  feet.  Pop  loved him & he didnt  even know about his 66 game streak for the Seals.

BTW in Yankee-Ography  about Stengel, Joe  spoke a lot-surprise- called him  impossible to understand  but seemed to truly like him. Casey did not reciprocate-- because  he had to play Mantle in RF?

Steroids--being a fair at best baseball player  and a doctor A few  thots:

1-Im always  suspicious wen a guy suddenly late in his career  becomes a power hitter. LoDuca & Justin Turner come to mind.  Muncy too  but he's younger  but steroids could explain him.

A couple Orioles   to aAvis &  Anderson.  We know about Papi.

I have always suspected  Pujols too.
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JoeC
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2020, 07:53:23 PM »

Wow-thats  besides the Army?   I know he had real bad  feet.  Pop  loved him & he didnt  even know about his 66 game streak for the Seals.

BTW in Yankee-Ography  about Stengel, Joe  spoke a lot-surprise- called him  impossible to understand  but seemed to truly like him. Casey did not reciprocate-- because  he had to play Mantle in RF?

Steroids--being a fair at best baseball player  and a doctor A few  thots:

1-Im always  suspicious wen a guy suddenly late in his career  becomes a power hitter. LoDuca & Justin Turner come to mind.  Muncy too  but he's younger  but steroids could explain him.

A couple Orioles   to aAvis &  Anderson.  We know about Papi.

I have always suspected  Pujols too.

You're right about his feet. Chronic bone spurs in his heels, and plantar issues. Also, a knee injury and I think a lengthy hospitalization for an infection (which I think he got while in the hospital). And, by the end, both shoulders gave him a lot of pain.

He missed 34 games in 1939, 22 games in 1940 and 1946, 78 games in 1949, and 40 games in 1951. In all, only about a season and a half.
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2020, 10:00:33 PM »

Thanx Joe
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2020, 12:06:21 PM »

I've always thought Brady Anderson's 50 HR season was the epitome of steroid induced stat inflation. A mediocre to average hitter, he never came even vaguely close except for that season. In fact he barely reached 20 Hrs maybe 1-2x other than his 50 HR year.

Casey was fun to listen to, for a former left-handed dentist.   
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2020, 03:45:14 PM »

Another one on the list - Luis Gonzales, a solid hitter, but 57 HRs one year?
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2020, 03:56:06 PM »

Agree mike. Shawn Green?
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JoeC
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2020, 07:09:44 PM »

How about 2B Davey Johnson with 43 HR in 1973 for Atlanta. Other than that year, not that much of a power hitter with the Braves or Orioles.

But ... it was way before the steroid era!! What to attribute it to? I know the Braves home park was homer-friendly but ...
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2020, 10:50:56 AM »

Another one year wonder that readily comes to mind in the pre-steroid era is the year Felix Mantilla hit 30 HRs. I suppose just like the proverbial one-hit wonders in music, there have always been some inexplicable one year wonders in sports as well.

As for Felix, I still remember one writer's description of his abilities while playing SS for the Amazin'  Mets: If you hit a smashing line drive to Felix's left, he dove to his left for it and made a great catch. If you hit a smashing line drive to Felix's right, he dove to his left for it and...................................... Undecided     
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2020, 11:15:15 PM »

Didn't that 73 Brave team set a record? 1st team with #3  40 HR  hitters.  Hank,  Johnson ,  and Darrell Evans.

Maybe there was a 4th-not sure.  Like  late 70  Dodgers with #4  30 HR  guys--Cey, Garvey,  Guerrero & Baker.
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