Kirby Puckett

Kirby Puckett

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Top Ten: First Basemen

1. Lou Gehrig: .349, 38 homers, 152 RBI, .458 OBP. That's a pretty good season, right? Well, from 1927 to 1937 all of those numbers were slightly below average for Gehrig. Do I really need to say anything else?
2. Jimmie Foxx: Foxx's extreme power numbers overshadow the fact that he had a career batting average of .325, hit over .300 11 times and over .350 5 times.
3. Albert Pujols: I have absolutely no idea what to say about Pujols that I didn't say about Foxx. Really, compare their stats. They each hit lots of homers and have an abnormally high on base percentage.
4. Miguel Cabrera: I changed my mind over Cabrera about 17 thousand times over where to put him. I don't know weather he should count as a third baseman or a first baseman. Here's what I do know: During the years he played first base he hit .323 and averaged 35 homers per year. He'll also be playing there next year. By the way, I wouldn't be surprised to see him on the top ten third basemen list.
5. Jeff Bagwell: Why isn't this man in the Hall of Fame? Oh, yeah, damn steroid controversy. I talked about Bagwell a few years ago, here's what I said.  Bagwell had everything you could want in a player, power, (449 homers) hitting for average, (career .297 hitter) fielding, (won a gold glove in '93) durability, (played 162 games four times) and even speed, (stole 30 or more bases twice).
6. Cap Anson: I generally tried to avoid including pre 1900 players because the game has evolved so much. However, during his career, Anson lead the league in some category 23 times. That's how far ahead of his peers he was.
7. Hank Greenberg: Greenberg didn't make it to the 500 homer club, and isn't usually talked about in the best sluggers of all time discussion but what's often forgotten, the guy lost almost five seasons to the war. Now that is how you make a point, italics and bold? Is it even possible to respond to that? Okay, back to the point. Greenberg hit 41 and 53 homers, respectively before leaving the next season. When he came back he hit 44. Let's say in some alternate universe where he doesn't go overseas. Maybe he hits 37 homers per year in that time. That's 141 homers, putting his career total at 476. Does his reputation change then? I'll let you decide.
8. Eddie Murray: Quick, three of the 3,000 hit and 500 homer club are Aaron, Mays and Palmeiro. Who's the third? That's right, it's Mr. Eddie Murray. Steady Eddie (which would be an awesome nickname if it wasn't the nickname given to everybody named Eddie) may have just broken the threshold on the 500 homer club, but keep in mind he played through both strike years. In '81 he hit 22 homers through 99 games, and in '94 he hit 17 through 108 games. If he plays an entire season he probably makes it up to about 520-530 homers, career.
9. Harmon Killebrew: Even as a huge Twins fan, I underrated Harmon for a while. Turns out he's not just a home run hitter. If you're going to scoff at his .256 career batting average look at his on base percentage. .376 career, was over .360 twelve times in his career. Oh, and he could hit for some power too.
10. Johnny Mize: The Big Cat averaged .312 with 24 homers throughout his career. He was also a very good fielder, leading the league in zone rating one year. I don't know what else to say, in case you haven't noticed I stopped being funny awhile ago. Wait? you say I never was funny? Dang it.

No comments:

Post a Comment