And runs, are the most important stat in baseball. More so than any position I've reviewed so far, the right fielders are affected by the 1970 timeline cutoff. Indians top 5 >. Career stats NAME. The Argentine midfielder was capable of carrying on his own the . Photo: Elsa Source: Getty Images 100 Greatest Left Fielders of All-Time ALL-TIME TOP 100 LISTS CATCHER FIRST BASE SECOND BASE SHORTSTOP THIRD BASE LEFT FIELD CENTER FIELD RIGHT FIELD PITCHER Baseball's All-Time Greatest Left Fielders Ranked From 1 to 100 CAREER = career war Long Peak = WAR in Best 7 Seasons SHORT PEAK = WAR in Best 3 Seasons Roberto Alomar was a fixture on the Toronto Blue Jays World Series winning teams and would go on to have an impact on several other exciting teams. -- Lauber, Was he one of the best pure hitters ever? Bottom line: This guy never played a postseason game, so unlike Brooks Robinson in the 1970 World Series, Buddy Bell never had a chance to showcase his skills in front of a national audience. He is the all-time leader in defensive games and putouts among catchers. As fast as he was, somehow those stirrup socks made him look even faster. His #6 was retired by the Detroit Tigers and in 1980 he was enshrined in Cooperstown as a first ballot Hall of Famer. - Yelich had -6 defensive runs saved in his first season as a primary left fielder in 2020, though that's far from the biggest concern of the Brewers. Garvey was as an All-Star for the NL in eight straight seasons and while with the Dodgers would win four pennants and a World Series in 1981. Clemente was the first Latino starter to win a World Series and the National League MVP. Robinson is 3rd all-time in fielding percentage among third baseman. Teams: Los Angeles-California Angeles (1964-69), Chicago White Sox (6970) Kansas City Royals (1971-72). He earned two of the best nicknames in baseball history because of his prowess with the glove, the Human Vacuum Cleaner and Mr. Former VP of Player Personnel Gil Brandt's Top 10 Defensive Ends of All Time! Pirates top 5 >, Key fact: Had 39.5 bWAR with Reds (16th in franchise history), After hitting .306/.364/.530 with 29 homers and a league-leading 121 RBIs in 1976, the second of Cincinnati's consecutive World Series title seasons, Foster enjoyed his best season in 77. He played nearly 1,500 games in the field with nine different teams. Worthy of this list as well as the Hall of Fame. On Opening Day in 2010, the southpaw made a kick save on a shot up the middle, quickly ran down the ball in foul territory then executed a no-look, between-the-legs, glove-handed flip to first base for the out, the most insane, off-the-charts play by a pitcher in the history of history. Richie Ashburn played the majority of his career before they awarded Gold Glove awards for elite fielders. Teams Teams: San Diego Padres (1978-81), St. Louis Cardinals (1982-96). Here is the No. Ibanez leads all Mariners left fielders and ranks among the franchise's overall top 10 in games (1,110), hits (1,077), homers (156), doubles (216), extra-base hits (392), RBIs (612), runs (540), walks (367) and slugging percentage (.466). Pittsburgh Pirates (1986-92), San Francisco Giants ('93-2007), Honors -- Kahrl, Honors Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers. Fernando Redondo. Seven-time All-Star ('64-66, '71-73, '78), World Series MVP (1979), MVP ('79), Hall of Fame ('88), Championships The six-time All-Star led the NL in homers every year from 1946-52, and he hit 35 or more homers every season from 47-53. A five-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) and a 12-time NBA All-Star, he was the centerpiece of the Celtics dynasty that won 11 NBA championships during his 13-year career. He is regarded as the " the best defensive fielder of all time" by the former Australian Captain Ricky Ponting. Elegance personified on the field of play. The contribution to championship teams (player performance in seasons where his team wins the pennant) is a small factor in most cases. Positions: Shortstop, second base, third base. Here are some other contenders. 5) Dave Kingman. The calmness with. He was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011 and had his #12 retired by the Toronto Blue Jays. Barry Bonds Bill Terry Gary Matthews Gregor Blanco Jo-Jo Moore John McGraw, Leo Durocher, Monte Irvin, Whitey Lockman. Over his 11 seasons in Cincinnati, Foster went to five All-Star Games and was the team's biggest power threat during the Big Red Machine years. Check out Gil's full list here! Mets top 5 >, Key fact: Was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017, Raines accomplishments go far beyond his standing among the franchises left fielders. Some call him the Babe Ruth of defense. His arrival helped turn a 90-loss team into a 103-win team. Known as "Pudge" because of his size and attitude, hes the all-time leader in Gold Gloves and swag at the position. Rangers top 5 >, Braves: Rico Carty (1963-72)Key fact: Ranks first among Braves left fielders in bWAR (23.2)Nearly 50 years after Carty played his final game for Atlanta, theres still reason to wonder how great his career might have been had he not missed 1968 with tuberculosis and '71 with a fractured right knee cap. (2:29) Tim Kurkjian, Eduardo Perez and Dallas Braden weigh in on who is the greatest left fielder in MLB history. But at his peak, he was excellent, a guy who could get on base, would play wherever his team needed him (he was a regular second base, left field, right field, third base and first base) and rarely missed a game. Thursday brings the top 10 infielders by position of all time, followed by pitchers and catchers on Friday. No Gavin Lux -- big problem. He is considered to be one of the greatest five tool players of all time. Saving a perfect game or no-hitter. He won an NL batting title in 1918 en route to a career batting average of .317. Ted Williams - Boston Red Sox (1939-1942; 1946-1960) Now heres the stat that you never hear: Over 12 seasons, Maz played 1,722 complete games (86 percent), the kind of durability (overuse?) Teams: St. Louis Cardinals (1974-83), New York Mets (1983-89), Cleveland Indians (1990). The best center fielder since Willie Mays combined great instincts, a quick first step and precise routes to the ball. Unique lists featuring pop culture, entertainment and crazy facts. The level of offensive talent at his position meant he was only selected to three All-Star Games, but Vizquel retired as the all-time leader in hits by a Venezuelan. .294/.385/.425, OPS -- .810, Hits -- 2,605, HRs -- 170, RBIs -- 980, The fact that he's one of only four players with at least 2,500 hits, 1,500 runs and 800 stolen bases proves he was far more than merely Rickey Henderson Lite. Just three Marlins left-handed hitters have topped 30 home runs in a season -- Floyd in 2001, Carlos Delgado in '05 (33) and Mike Jacobs in '08 (32). Teams: Pittsburgh Pirates (1986-92), San Francisco Giants (1993-2007). Zack Greinke is the modern Greg Maddux, only with less range, surer hands (one error per 319 innings pitched) and a superior pickoff move. 1. Dangerous on the basepaths, Raines led Major League Baseball in stolen bases in 1981 and 84. Maddux was an eight-time All-Star, four time NL Cy Young winner, and racked up an impressive eighteen Gold Glove Awards. Big personalities? Dave Kingman had two separate stints with the Mets, navigating the Shea Stadium grass from 1975-1977 and 1981-1983. .344/.482 (all-time leader)/.634, OPS -- 1.116, Hits -- 2,654; HRs -- 521, RBIs -- 1,839, The player that almost certainly lessened his performance. He also had a .992 OPS over 29 postseason games with Houston. Baseball's Best @ 150, The Book That Counts Down the Best Players, Pitchers, And Fielders in Baseball History at the 150th Anniversary of the Major Leagues (1871-2020). His arm strength was a half-cut below Roberto Clemente and Rocky Colavito in his day, but it was plenty strong and accurate enough. What's the Dodgers' plan at shortstop? That three of the first four names on this list are . This guy didnt hit enough to play regularly (career .642 OPS), but some team always wanted Rey Sanchez. 18-time All-Star ('63, '65-79, '82-83), All-Star Game MVP ('70), MVP (1967), Triple Crown ('67), seven Gold Gloves ('63, '65, '67-69, '71, '77), Hall of Fame ('89), Career stats In baseball, the left fielder is a defensive position that is responsible for covering the left third of the outfield. He led all outfielders in putouts nine times, range factor per game ten times, and assists three times. The year after, he hit 40 homers with 120 RBIs, leading the NL. William Felton Russell (February 12, 1934 - July 31, 2022) was an American professional basketball player who played as a center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1956 to 1969. Rockies top 5 >. Yaz excelled at playing balls off of Fenways Green Monster and for his efforts has had his #8 retired by the Boston Red Sox. That makes this category as good a place as any to highlight Anderson, who earned three All-Star nods for his dynamic combination of power and speed. 297/.355/.536 with 21 home runs, 69 RBIs, 30 walks, .892 OPS, 137 OPS+, three defensive runs saved, zero outs above average and a 3.0 fWAR. Astros top 5 >, Athletics: Rickey Henderson (1979-84, '89-93, '94-95, '98), Key fact: 72.7 bWAR is highest of any position player in As history, Widely considered the greatest leadoff hitter ever, Henderson had four separate stints with the A's and is the franchise's all-time leader in position-player bWAR (72.7), runs (1,270), walks (1,227) and stolen bases (867). Quarterback Kirk Cousins and tight end Jordan Reed are dominating defenses.Their dominance keyed the 38-24 road win over the Philadelphia Eagles that . Blue Jays top 5 >, Key fact: Only O's player to rank among top 10 in homers (209, eighth) and steals (307, first), Before he grew into a slugging center fielder, Anderson was the Orioles everyday and amply productive left fielder. Padres top 5 >, Rockies: Matt Holliday (2004-08, 18)Key fact: Led NL in average (.340), RBIs (137), hits (216) and total bases (386) in 2007Rockies fans will argue until the end of time that Holliday's 2007 performance -- a .340/.405/.607 slash line with 46 home runs and league-leading totals in hits (216), doubles (50) and total bases (386) -- should have netted him the NL MVP Award. (2:29), All-Time #MLBRank: The 10 greatest left fielders, The greatest lineups ever? Sign up to receive our daily Morning Lineup to stay in the know about the latest trending topics around Major League Baseball. Ashburn has remained one of the best Phillies center fielders of all time and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1995. As his speed declined, his defense faded. -- Kahrl, We're counting down the greatest players in baseball history. The Top 21 Offensive Linemen in NFL History. The teams are set for action with an 8 p.m. tipoff on SEC Network. Phillies top 5 >, Key facts: Won the 2007 Rookie of the Year Award and the 2011 NL MVP Award, From a statistical standpoint, only two players have generated more value to the Brewers than Braun, and both (Robin Yount and Paul Molitor) are in the Hall of Fame. He also won the 1986 NL batting title, earned a Silver Slugger Award that year and was named to seven consecutive All-Star teams. Twins top 5 >, White Sox: Minnie Minoso (1951-57, '60-61, '64, '76, '80), Key fact: First black player in franchise history, Minoso debuted for the White Sox on May 1, 1951, hitting a home run on the first pitch he saw against the Yankees, and was a beloved staple of the organization long after he retired. Only Keith Hernandez won more Gold Gloves among National Leaguers at his best position. Now guess whos second to Robinson in career Total Zone Runs at the position. All you need to know about his defensive prowess can be seen on one epic play in the 1954 World Series opener. Some of the players on this list have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and are considered among the games greatest players. Hard to imagine he played for seven -- count 'em, seven -- teams. Relying on positioning and reading hitters proved inadequate to maintain the standards hed set. Listen Now. How Many Good Giants Were Good Prospects? When the last out settled into his glove a half-inning later, Jones had to leap the left-field fence to avoid a mob of Mets fans streaming onto the field. -- Caple, The last .400 hitter, decorated veteran, the pull hitter so great the shift couldn't stop him, Williams' legend as the patron saint of the art of hitting is unchallengeable. By the way, he ranked among the top five in assists in 15 consecutive seasons, five of them as the league leader, and his pickoff move was just plain filthy. In ranking the top 25, many great players were left off the list including Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Jim Rice, Al Simmons, Duke Snider, Dave Winfield, Lou Brock and others. Jonty Rhodes features at the topmost on the list of "Top-5 best fielders of all times". And Williams never posted a .609 OBP. Teams: New York/San Francisco Giants (1956, 1958), St. Louis Cardinals (1959-1965, 1969), Philadelphia Phillies (1966-68). Seven-time MVP (1990, '92-93, 2001-04), 14-time All-Star ('90, '92-98, '00-04, '07), eight Gold Gloves ('90-94, '96-98), 12 Silver Sluggers ('90-94, '96-97, '00-04), Career stats Justin Upton can hit, but when he takes the field he can be a defensive liability. Hernandez also delivered the iconic Seinfeld line I am Keith Hernandez, perhaps making up for him missing out on Cooperstown. A. The Top 10 Seattle Mariners of all Time. 2x All-Star (1980, 1985) 2x Silver-Slugger (1983 . His lifetime OPS was 1.116, which would be a career season for nearly any other player. -- Schoenfield, Sure, there is the PED issue. Minosos 41.4 bWAR sits No. Bobby Knoop and Bill Mazeroski are the only second basemen to lead the league in Total Zone Runs, Range Factor per nine innings and double plays turned as many as four times each. Two-time MVP (1946, '49), two Triple Crowns ('42, '47), 19-time All-Star ('40-42, '46-51, '53-60*), Hall of Fame ('66). To create our list, an ESPN expert panel voted on thousands of head-to-head matchups of 162 players, based on both peak performance and career value. He ranks third in Gold Gloves and fourth in Total Zone Runs among shortstops. 2 -- Pittsburgh (1971, '79), Career stats Al Kaline spent his entire career with the Detroit Tigers, which earned him the nickname Mr. Tiger. CAREER = career war. Some of the players on this list came long before Web Gems were a daily part of our national pastime. -- Caple, Barry Bonds the young player was the game's greatest in his day; Barry Bonds the older man was the most feared slugger ever. The Phillies Jimmy Rollins took that home, but the Rockies vanquished the Phils in the NL Division Series -- and Holliday went on to earn NLCS MVP honors. The Hall of Famer leads all Expos/Nationals players in offensive WAR (48.2), runs scored (947), singles (1,163), triples (82), walks (793), runs created (1,047), stolen bases (635), stolen base percentage (85.7) and win probability added (38.9). Indeed, he turned the double play into an art form, sort of like a Mikhail Baryshnikovski in cleats. Who is the best left fielder in MLB? -- Schoenfield, It isn't easy taking the place of Ted Williams, but Yaz did a pretty good job, winning three batting titles and making 18 All-Star teams. Some might put an asterisk next to his name, but the performance was the best ever at left field or power production. Dude, the underappreciated superstar once gunned down a baserunner in three consecutive innings. He could beat you with a walk, two stolen bases and a sacrifice fly or with a towering home run. Best Midfielders of All Time Andres Iniesta Xavi Lothar Matthaus Andrea Pirlo - One of the Best Midfielders of all Time Ryan Giggs Steven Gerrard Michael Laudrup (DEN) Paul Scholes - A Great Central Midfielder Didi Frank Lampard Joshua Kimmich - A Popular Name Among the Best Defensive Midfielders Diego Maradona - All-Time Best Midfielder *played in two All-Star Games in '59 and '60. He won eleven Gold Glove Awards and was named 1979 NL MVP. Rays top 5 >, Key fact: His 121.9 fWAR ranks second in AL history to Babe Ruth, The Red Sox have three Hall of Famers at the head of their left-field class, but Williams easily stands out as the most dominant player in team history. Who would have bet he could do all that? 1 left fielder for each club, as chosen by's beat reporters. Keith Hernandez was welcomed into Americas living rooms on Seinfeld after a solid Major League career with three teams. Cardinals top 5 >, Key fact: Had 4,262 total bases with Cubs, second to only Ernie Banks in club history, There is no debate over who should be the Cubs No. Eddie Rosario - Minnesota Twins Age 27 The 27-year old Rosario has been a steady 30+ doubles / 20+ home runs guy for the last. Arozarena and Meadows split left field duties almost evenly in 2021 and that duo should take on the majority of starts there again this season. No argument here. Teams: Baltimore Orioles (1965-81), Los Angeles Dodgers (1982). The sixtime All-Star was a two time batting champ, but his fielding statistics were truly special. The White Sox retired his No. Willie Mays 24-time All-Star (second-most in MLB history) Who is the best left fielder in MLB? Jesse Barfield ranks 16th in Total Zone Runs at any position. Reds top 5 >, Key fact: Had 30 bWAR with D-backs, second most among position players in franchise history, The acquisition of Gonzalez from the Tigers in exchange for outfielder Karim Garcia on Dec. 28, 1998, received little attention at the time, but it would go down as one of the best trades in franchise history. He will be eligible for Hall of Fame induction in 2017. Players are evaluated on five criteria as the foundation of our rankings: We use Wins Above Replacement (WAR) as a basis for these calculations. Thats how confident the former prep school track-basketball star was in his speed, quickness and ups. -- Caple, "Pops" was a legend long before his last great season in '79, but the high-mound '60s muted his greatness: He slugged .491 in his 20s before they lowered the mound, then .555 afterward in 1969-1979. "Charlie Hustle" was durable and one of baseball's greatest hitters. Because range was a valuable commodity at spacious Tiger Stadium, Al Kaline spent nearly 20 percent of his time in center field. He posted a .609 OBP one year. Next up are left fielders. 1. Tim Kurkjian, Eduardo Perez and Dallas Braden weigh in on who is the greatest left fielder in MLB history. Many who have known Manny would disagree. A career .630 OPS dwarfed his excellence in the field. Other career achievements include over 351 OBP, 440 OPS, and 215 hits. 1-ranked left fielder of all time. A premium defender in front of the Green Monster and another star who saw the low-scoring '60s cut into his prime seasons. He has led all shortstops in double plays turned three times and is the active leader among shortstops in range factor, fielding percentage, and total zone runs. Richards would depart before the Padres 1984 run to the NL pennant. But with the Rays' best defensive alignment being Arozarena in left, Kevin Kiermaier in center field, and Margot in right field, Meadows figures to see a lot more at-bats as the designated hitter. Forgot how much ground he covered in his pre-roids days, didnt you? Seven-time NL All-Star (1981-87), NL Silver Slugger ('86), All-Star Game MVP ('87), Career stats Mickey Mantle 3. TO. The best outfielder of the 1980s decade combined excellent range and a bazooka arm that rivaled the best ever (read: Roberto Clemente). Willie is a 24-time All-Star, 12-time Gold Glove award winner, and two-time MVP Award winner. He was an especially strong presence in Seattle's lineup from 2004-08, batting .291/.354/.477 with 113 home runs and 489 RBIs in 755 games. "Campy" had no weaknesses other than the assorted hurts that went with the position. Marlins top 5 >, Key fact: Caught final out of 1969 World Series, One of the engines of the 1969 Miracle Mets, Jones hit .340 in 137 games that season, starting in left field for 119 of them. Embed from Getty Images. "Motormouth" played so shallow in the field, he could almost shake hands with the second-base umpire. -- Christina Kahrl, baseball writer, Honors 4 jersey will be retired. Joe DiMaggio 6. Not only as an outfielder, mind you, but at any position. Widely considered to be the greatest catcher in the history of baseball, Johnny Bench was a key member of the Big Red Machine teams that won four National League pennants and two World Series titles. "The Say Hey Kid.". He also appeared in 18 All-Star games, earning the honor in all but four of his Major League seasons. 1. Key fact: Bell was the first Blue Jays player to win the AL MVP Award (1987), Bell starred for the Blue Jays through the mid- and late 1980s, earning the first MVP Award in club history in 1987. No player not even Mantle dominated on his level for the '50s and '60s when he roamed center for the Giants and racked up two MVP awards, four home run titles, four stolen base titles, and one batting title. Although not always earning the recognition of home run hitters or ace pitchers, excell. His career, you may have heard, was cut a little short after all. Willie Mays Mickey Mantle Ty Cobb Ken Griffey Jr. Joe DiMaggio Mike Trout 1. Without that, he'd be far beyond 500 career home runs, and get far more credit on this list. Not only was Mays the best center fielder, he might have been the best all-around player to play the game. Cleveland Indians (1993-2000), Boston Red Sox ('01-08), Los Angeles Dodgers ('08-10), Chicago White Sox ('10), Tampa Bay Rays ('11), Honors No one did it so well for so long. He blew open Game 2 of the NL Championship Series with a late two-run homer, hit a key leadoff double in the eighth inning of World Series Game 5, then scored the go-ahead run in the Mets title-clinching 5-3 victory. But I wouldn't put him in the top 100 players. Do you want big names? Yes, his legacy is deservedly controversial, but Ted Williams wasn't close to the all-around player that Bonds was. The four time All-Star has played his entire career with the Colorado Rockies where he has won two Gold Glove Awards and three Fielding Bible Awards. Mays is the all-time career leaders in putouts by an outfielder and games played by a center fielder. Tweet Email Comment Next The Clooney Garage: Inside George Clooney's Insane Car Collection Related Topics Baseball Ted Williams is one of the greatest hitters in MLB history. He was so feared a hitter that he once was walked intentionally -- with the bases loaded. The Top 10 Boston Celtics of all Time. Brock was at his best in October, hitting .391 -- second only to Pepper Martin (.418) in franchise history -- with 34 hits in 21 World Series games. Barry Bonds also had a plus arm. Orioles top 5 >, Key fact: Had four All-Star selections with Rays, the most in franchise history, In his nine seasons with Tampa Bay, Crawford displayed the athleticism and talent that made him a coveted three-sport athlete and a highly regarded prospect. 16 Reasons why Lebron is greater than Jordan. Want a crazy stat? Bell also ranks fifth in Range Factor per nine innings (3.18) overall. He's also on the short list of Total Zone Runs (fourth), Range Factor per nine innings (fifth) and jaws dropped (many) in major league history. Jim Edmonds Jim Edmonds poses for a picture at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, on February 25, 2005. Ty Cobb 4. Related:Worst MLB Defensive Players l Greatest Baseball Players. Bottom line: His dWar number is skewed by misspent time in center field. Even if only half of the 18 were based on merit he ranked first in Total Zone Runs 13 times and fielding percentage three times the result would be difficult to ignore. Carty stood as one of the best outfielders of his era, and fans showed their respect for his game when they used write-in votes to elect him to the NLs starting lineup in the 1970 All-Star Game. A career .300 hitter with over 2,700 hits, he matches his prowess at the plate with solid defensive play in the middle infield. (Bonds routinely sat in on the pitchers pre-game meeting where they discussed how they were going to pitch to that days opponents.) Weve been examining the best three-year peaks of defensive play by Giant players, as measured by baseball-reference.coms rfield. The 18 time All Star won the World Series in 1968 and was also the AL Batting Champion in 1955. -- Caple, When you look at combined value metrics like WAR or Jay Jaffe's JAWS, it might surprise you to find that after LF's all-time trinity of Williams, Bonds and Henderson, Yaz is the guy who doesn't quite rise to their level, but is far better than everyone else on this list. He was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979 as a first ballot member. Montreal Expos (1979-90, 2001), Chicago White Sox ('91-95), New York Yankees ('96-98), Oakland A's ('99), Baltimore Orioles ('01), Florida Marlins ('02), Honors -- David Schoenfield, senior writer, Simmons hit .334 for his career and batted .390 one season. Although not always earning the recognition of home run hitters or ace pitchers, excelling in the defensive elements of baseball is crucial to teams winning baseball games. Answer (1 of 21): The first player that comes to mind would be Suzuki Ichiro, who could throw seeds all the way to the third-base bag from rightfield. Cubs top 5 >, Key fact: Is only player ever to have at least a share of the league lead in home runs seven years in a row, Simply put, Kiner is one of the greatest sluggers in the Pirates long history.
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