erik lundegaard

Friday March 06, 2020

Joe's Top 100: 21-30

Hey, not bad! I tweeted this after Joe posted Greg Maddux (#31) as his 31st greatest player of all time:

Nailed Trout; nailed Rickey; guessed 7 of the 10 correctly. But instead of Tris Speaker, Turkey Stearnes and Frank Robinson, we got Johnny Bench, Pop Lloyd and Joe Morgan. 

The Turkey Stearnes sub is interesting. For a few weeks now, I‘ve assumed Eddie Murray would be the highest-ranking player from Joe’s previous list (#64) who wouldn't make this one, but now it seems it's Stearnes (#58). I'm curious what Joe learned in the intervening 7-8 years to make him change his mind that way. You can't go by the stats, obviously, like with bWAR with Eddie Murray, so what was it? And did he plan on having Pop Lloyd in his top 30 last go-round? If so, no wonder he stopped; he was running out of room. 

If he's still thinking about including Turkey Stearnes, then he's definitely running out of room. He‘ll either have to give up one of the Big Three of the Negro Leagues (Satchel, Josh, Oscar) or a top 100 bWAR player (Babe, Walter, Ty, Willie, Hank, Barry, Roger, Rogers, Tris, Honus, Stan, Ted, Alex, Lou, Mickey, Frank, Mike). Those are your 20 remaining. I assume. I mean, gotta be, right? I can see leaving off Cap Anson, for fuzzy 19th-century numbers and for doing everything to keep African Americans out of Major League Baseball, but none of the others are like this. The least legendary is probably Tris Speaker, but he was still a 20th-century player (1907-28), and by bWAR he’s the ninth-greatest of all time. You can't leave him off. 

Anyway, here's Joe's latest 10:

No.  PLAYER CHANGE * bWAR ALL-TIME POS
30 Johnny Bench X ** 75.2 77 C
29 Eddie Collins 11 124 13 2B
28 Randy Johnson X 101.1 29 P
27 Mike Trout NEW *** 72.5 87 OF
26 Grover Cleveland Alexander 6 118.9 15 P
25 Pop Lloyd NEW/X n/a n/a SS
24 Rickey Henderson X 111.2 19 OF
23 Albert Pujols 24 100.3 31 1B
22 Lefty Grove X 107 25 P
21 Joe Morgan  100.6 30 2B

* I.e. change from the previous list. So Eddie Collins moved up 6 spots, Albert Pujols 24 spots. 

** I used the X designation if they weren't on the previous list, which ended at No. 32, but I assumed they would have been if he'd continued.

*** I used the NEW designation for someone who probably wouldn't have been on the previous list. Mike Trout is the highest ranking NEW player. Unless it's Pop Lloyd. 

We have two active players in this portion: Trout and Pujols. Both Angels. The previous highest-ranked active player was Justin Verlander at No. 75. Overall, there are only six actives: Scherzer, Kershaw and Miggy are the others. 

I was an idiot for guessing Frank Robinson for his #20 since this portion doesn't go to 20. That's tomorrow. I assume him over Schmidt, also #20. One of the two anyway. I also think A-Rod will come in at #13. In the next 10, we‘ll also see Mickey, Rogers, Tris. Maybe Josh Gibson? Not sure where the Negro League legends will fall. Also not sure how much bWAR cred Joe gives to the steroid junkies Barry and Roger. I hope they’re not top 10 but Joe often disappoints on the subject. 

Twenty days to Opening Day. 

“Who's pitching? Randy? Let's go.” In the mid-90s, Tim, Mike and I regularly got to watch one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history.

Posted at 07:58 AM on Friday March 06, 2020 in category Baseball  
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