Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Best Ever Batters by Teams, Week 9 Countdown

The final week of the countdown starts with the St. Louis Cardinals and spans the back of the alphabet through the many incarnations of the Washington Nationals. It's been a good ride, and we hope you enjoyed the journey, plus bought a Stat Geek Baseball, the Best Ever Book or two. Thanks for joining in and following along, plus those sales. We'll end the Bonus Coverage with a look at five of the best players from the Washington Nationals of today, plus those old Montreal Expos. And we'll leave you with some final guesses to just who are in the top spots.

Part of the Top Twenty
8. Larry Walker. He played for the Montreal Expos when it was still cool to be one, ending his career there in 1994 before moving on, as almost all of them did, to other pastures, particularly one that now has a humidor. But over those six seasons north of the border, he would have 56.370 PEVA position player points while batting 0.281. That average would rise once he made it to Colorado, think 0.334 and the #2 spot on their list.

9. Larry Parrish. Back one more decade and you get the 56.177 PEVA career of Expo Parrish. Parrish played eight seasons there through 1981 and might just have played some of them in Jerry Park, we think without checking.

10. Warren Cromartie. One of the troika of great outfielders who came up in the Expo system at the same time, including new Hall of Fame electee Andre Dawson, Cromartie played nine seasons in Montreal and collected 1,063 hits for a PEVA total of 56.137. Anybody remember the name of the third guy?

11. Jose Vidro. At one time, Jose Vidro looked like a lock to be one of the best players to play for this franchise, well above the #11 spot, but things waned once he got to Washington. Still, with that 0.301 average and 55.678 PEVA, he became one of the few bridge players between the two cities, adding to the trivia that will mark the franchise going forward, in what looks to be better days.

12. Ryan Zimmerman. Now we've reached the best position player of the Washington Nationals era and before he end of his career, a potential #1 player on this list in years to come. Lots of time before that will happen, but with 55.064 PEVA through his first 5 years, and seemingly better seasons ahead, we surely wouldn't be surprised if Zimmerman ends up in the top three at least.

So what does that Top Seven look like. Try two Hall of Fame players in Andre Dawson and Gary Carter, add in some flavor with Rusty Staub and Vladimir Guerrero, and fill it out with Bob Bailey, Tim Raines, and Tim Wallach. Put them in order for some fun and check out the final rankings in Stat Geek Baseball, the Best Ever Book at Google Books or Amazon.com.

Best Players by Team (Cardinals, Rays, Rangers, Blue Jays, Nationals)
Week Nine Countdown Sample

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Week Eight Countdown

Where does the best pitcher in baseball over the last two seasons sit on his historic team's list of best pitchers ever, even though he's barely started his career. That's just one of the questions answered in the Week 8 Countdown of the best pitchers in team history sample list. And yes, since we're talking about the San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, and Seattle Mariners as the three current teams on this list, it's not too hard to figure out we're talking about Tim Lincecum. Just where does he sit? Sit back and check out the bonus coverage of the Giants, both New York and San Francisco versions.

In the Top Twenty
11. Mickey Welch. The year was 1892 and Victorian days were part of the present, not the quaint past for this New York Giants pitcher who would win 238 games in his Giants career, in only ten seasons, while losing only 146, all with an ERA of 2.69. And he wasn't thought of as the best of his time, when folks like Cy Young were pitching for other clubs. It still adds up to a great careers for the New York hurler with 89.061 PEVA points.

12. Jason Schmidt. We're only a couple years removed from the time when Jason Schmidt was one of the best pitchers in baseball, although I get the feeling we're already starting to forget it. Over six seasons in San Francisco, he won 78, lost only 36, and pitched to an ERA of 3.36, some of which was accomplished in the steroid era, although to be fair, with his teammates in SF and a big ballpark, he might have had some advantages, too. 86.771 PEVA.

13. Sal Maglie. 78.428 PEVA in seven seasons for the New York Giants brought them 95 wins and only 42 losses in a career that ended for the Giants in 1955.

14. Tim Lincecum. Small of frame, huge in arm, and already in the #14 position for a historic franchise even though it spans only three seasons. With 77.848 PEVA already counted and a per year figure of 25.949, how high can Tim go? Well, that per season average is already higher than Amos Rusie. So pretty high, we'd say. 40-17 career record and a 2.90 ERA tell a good part of the tale. It's more than possible he moves into the top ten after this season.

15. Mike McCormick. He pitched in the 1960s for the San Francisco version and accumulated 71.854, winning 104 games.

Some of the names that Lincecum is trying to catch ... Carl Hubbell, Tim Keefe, Juan Marichal, Christy Mathewson, Gaylord Perry. For the full top twenty in both pitching and hitting, check out Stat Geek Baseball, the Best Ever Book at Google Books or Amazon.com.

Best Players by Team (Padres, Giants, Mariners)
Week Eight Countdown Sample

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Week Seven Countdown

Back to batters for teams who started out in Philadelphia and stayed, or started out in Philly and left. Yes, the A's, plus the Phils, and thrown in a Pirate. It's Pennsylvania connection week for those current squads, plus the old-timers in the bunch, think Philadelphia Keystones for one or Philadelphia Centennials for another. For the bonus coverage below, we're going to focus on the western part of the state, in Pittsburgh, starting out with the #4 man on the totem pole. One, two, and three shouldn't be too hard for you to figure out, but in what order? Yes, there's a Clemente, Stargell, and Wagner among them.

Some of the Top Ten
4. Paul Waner. Yes, that's Waner, not Wagner sitting at number four, and during this man's 14 year playing career in Pittsburgh that ended in 1940 he would accumulate 2,868 hits and a batting average of 0.340. Pretty heady stuff. Adds up to 228.401 PEVA Ratings Points.

5. Max Carey. We'll go back two decades earlier to capture the career of the number five player in Pittsburgh position player history. With 2,417 hits and 183.198 PEVA, the 17 year career of Carey didn't produce alot of power, only 67 Home Runs, but it did produce a good amont of valuable years.

6. Ralph Kiner. Only eight years for the Pirates, but what a great eight years. His 21.955 average PEVA points is the 2nd highest in club history, behind only the overall number one, and those 301 HR and 801 RBI added up to 175.644 PEVA total points despite the short tenure.

7. Arky Vaughn. He'd bat 0.324 over ten season in bucco gear, adding up to 162.788 PEVA rating points and the #7 spot on the Pirate list.

7. Fred Clarke. Final season 1915, this dead ball era player had 1,638 hits for the Pirates over his 15 seasons in town and 159.569 PEVA points.

Some key names also in the Top Twenty include Barry Bonds, Jason Kendall, Dave Parker, Bill Mazeroski, and Pie Traynor. For more on the batters and pitchers on the Pirate list, check out Stat Geek Baseball, the Best Ever Book at Google Books or Amazon.com.

Best Players by Team (A's, Phillies, Pirates)
Week Seven Countdown Sample

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Monday, June 14, 2010

The Week 6 Baseball's Best Countdown

It's starting to get hot out and the days of summer are beginning in earnest. Just the right time to break out another best pitcher in franchise history sample list, and this time include the most storied franchise of them all. No, I'm not talking about the New Haven Elm Citys, although they are included, I'm talking about Bronx Bombers, those New York Yankees, as well as the Minnesota Twins, those Mets across town, and the Milwaukee Brewers. But for one team in bonus coverage, the Minnesota Twins, aka the Washington Senators in past years, we're going to start with with the list at #3, the man most discussed during Hall of Fame balloting right now and whether he has the merits to make it (better hurry, not many writer's ballot years left) and count down five from there, then you can try and fill in the blanks about who sits at the top.

Some of the Top Twenty
3. Bert Blylevin. Let's stop with the bickering and put Bert in the Hall already. Yes, we know that win loss percentage is lower than we'd like, but hey, he wasn't playing for the Yankees, or even the current Twins. Over his Twin career, Bert won 149 games, about half his career total, and accumulated 144.556 PEVA Rating Points. Only two pitchers in Minnesota, and Washington Senator, history did better than that.

4. Brad Radke. Radke spent twelve seasons pitching for the Twins with a baggy behind him. Much like Blylevin, he didn't have a great won loss percentage at 148-139 and an ERA over 4.00, but his 130.309 PEVA Rating Points lands him at the #4 spot in Twin/Senator history from the pitching side of the equation.

5. Jim Kaat. The big, quick pitch, lefty won 190 in Minnesota, with an ERA of 3.34, all totaling up to 128.252 PEVA.

6. Frank Viola. Another lefty in the eightees won 112 games for the Twins and lands at the #6 spot in the countdown. 115.982 PEVA pitching.

7. Camilo Pascual. His last year in Minnesota came in 1966 and the 110.796 PEVA points were part of a career there, and in Washington, that saw 145 wins, 141 losses, and 10 saves over 2,465 innings.

Okay, now for the Top Two, and the rest of the Top Twenty. It's pretty easy to guess who's number one, but just where did some other Twin favorites end up? Match the pitcher with his rank ... Rick Aguilera, Firpo Marberry, Joe Nathan, Jim Perry, Johan Santana, and Walter Johnson. Check out Stat Geek Baseball, the Best Ever Book at Google Books or Amazon.com.

Best Players by Team (Royals, Dodgers)
Week Six Countdown Sample

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Week Five Countdown - Best Batters

They broke the hearts of their fans in Brooklyn when they trotted west in the late 1950's and made Chavez Ravine home and they are more known for the best pitchers than best batters, but the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals are the two current franchises listed in the sample countdown of best batters for their teams ever, along with ten other teams that have gone into the anals of baseball history. We'll list the top five for the Dodgers, and yes, we were surprised Jackie wasn't in the Top Five, although he only played ten seasons, which explains more than a bit.

The Top Five
1. Duke Snider. It's hard to imagine how he could have been the third best outfielder in the city where he played most of his career, but during the Brooklyn Dodger days, he was third behind Mantle and Mays in New York. But that's a great third, now isn't it! Snider comes out on top as the best Dodger player ever, accumulating 246.786 PEVA points while hitting 386 HR, knocking in 1271, and getting 1995 hits. And there are only two Dodger players whose per year PEVA average are better over shorter careers, the man at #5 in Roy Campanella, and the catcher of recent vintage, Mike Piazza.

2. Zach Wheat. Talk about a player with a name just made for a cereal box, Wheat played 18 years for Brooklyn through 1926, batting 0.317 and garnering 2804 hits. At 211.353 PEVA rating points, that comes in just behind Snider as the second best player in Dodger history. Now back to the endorsements.

3. Gil Hodges. There's always a campaign to get Hodges into the Hall of Fame, but those measures come up just short despite a grand career. He hit 361 HR, 1254 RBI, 1884 base hits over 16 seasons for Brooklyn and LA. Pretty darn good, even if just shy of some Hall of Fame standards. All toll 168.075 PEVA.

4. Pee Wee Reese. The slick fielding shortstop from the Dodgers is in the Hall, and over sixteen years plied his trade for the Dodgers. And although his prowess at the plate was less stellar than his time in the field helping those Dodger teams of the 1950s win a whole lot of games, it all adds up to the #4 spot in Dodger batter history and 166.690 PEVA rating points. Yes, fielding does count.

5. Roy Campanella. In a short career, Campanella caught and hit his way to the #5 position in Dodger history. His per year PEVA average of 16.266 in 2nd best, behind only Mike Piazza, and totals 162.658 for the ten seasons in Dodger blue.

For some, the more interesting list of Dodger greats sits on the mound side. For were greats like Koufax, Drysdale, and Newcombe sit, plus Valenzuela and Hershiser, too, get Stat Geek Baseball, the Best Ever Book.

Best Players by Team (Royals, Dodgers)
Week Five Countdown Sample

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Organizational Depth

Just wanted to step away from the best player countdown for a moment and discuss something most baseball fans, and I'm guessing more than a few execs, seem to discount. Organizational depth. Now I'm not talking about pure "next superstar" type players, but I am talking about a player who can come up when injuries happen, a young player with the potential to become everyday players in the future.

And why am I bringing this up now? Well, as a Phillies fans, we're starting to see the downside of trading that organizational depth at the upper minor league levels for a pure stud, Hall of Fame, caliber player.

There have been three eras of Phillies baseball just within the time, last ten years, when they began to compete for division titles. Let's call them Ed Wade, Pat Gillick, and Ruben Amaro. Now all three men have to be given some credit for the three division titles, two World Series appearances, and one World Series title. It was under Ed Wade that most of the home grown talent were drafted and nurtured through the minor leagues. It was under Pat Gillick that his stand pat attitude, for the most part, put together the additional pieces in predominantly minor moves (I'm thinking moves like Matt Stairs, Jason Werth, J.C. Romero, and Jamie Moyer), just to name a few. Now we've moved forward into Amaro time. And that's the time I'm speaking of.

Amaro seems to favor the "striking while the fire is hot" scenario. He likes the bold move, the stud player, and even the older player to fill out a roster. And that's the gamble now playing out. There is a Hall of Fame caliber pitcher in Roy Halladay who is capable of pitching a perfect game. There was an All-Star level pitcher in Cliff Lee traded for last year that pitched so well through the remainder of the season and postseason that they had a chance to win title number two in a row. There was the older outfielder, Raul Ibanez, who was given a large paycheck to form a formidable lineup meant to win now. There were the Ramon Castros of the world to fill in the blanks and the roster in place of the organizational depth that had to be traded to gain some of the former three.

And we have seen the positives and negatives play out in just the first two months of the 2010 season. Month one, most players healthy, with notable exceptions in Lidge and Rollins, and the lineup that pounds the ball to the tune of 5.5 runs per game. Month two, more players get hurt and you're left with playing Ramon Castro and Wilson Valdez for more than a day or two, and your lineups starts to sputter, and the wins slow to a drought induced trickle.

But now, why is organizational depth important in this scenario? Because there's no way a team as good as the Phillies should be relying on never beens to be more than the last player on the bench. The two trades made to acquire the top level pitchers over the last two years raided the upper minor leagues of the backup catcher, backup infielder, backup outfielder, and backup starting pitchers who would have come to the potential rescue. Yes, we're talking Lou Marson, Jason Donald, Michael Taylor, and Kyle Drabek.

Now both Marson and Donald are starting in Cleveland with middling results, but they have potential. You really can't say the same about Castro or Valdez or even Brian Schneider, who we think was a good sign, but still past his prime.

Now we believe players will get healthy and the Phils will rebound, hopefully to the World Series again. But if they don't, and the struggles continue, without a plus minor league player (beyond Domonic Brown) to fill in the gap. You're going to find a lot of managers of other teams who were really glad they had to pitch to Castro, Valdez, Gload, or Schneider, during the injuries, and not take the chance that the organizational depth might have provided a spark of potential to get you through bad times. Of course, to be fair, they weren't going to pitch a perfect game either.