I came across an interesting top 50 list of players on The Sporting News today. A panel of 100 Baseball Hall of Famers, major award winners and baseball personalities voted on who they thought were baseball’s best players. A few thoughts:
- Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are not the eighth- and ninth-best players in baseball anymore. They just aren’t. At one time they probably were. But now, no.
- Also, I’m not a big fan of putting closers in a top 50 list. But if you’re going to, I think the two guys on the list have to be Jonathan Papelbon and Joe Nathan, not Rivera and Francisco Rodriguez. I know K-Rod saved a record number of games last year, but his numbers didn’t stack up with Papelbon and Nathan.
- For the Red Sox, Josh Beckett at 16 is too high. Kevin Youkilis at 36 is too low.
- For the Twins, I can’t believe Joe Mauer is only at 39. Recent hitting tear aside, the guy’s a two-time batting champ at catcher, when no other catcher in American League has won even ONE batting title.
- There has to be someone more deserving of a spot in the top 50 than Carlos Zambrano. Nick Markakis, perhaps?
Overall, I’d say it’s a pretty good list. I’m nitpicking. It’s very interesting to see what some of the game’s greats think of today’s talent.
If you want to find beef with a top 50 list, check out this one from Yahoo’s Stan McNeal. A teaser: Yadier Molina is on the list, and Derek Lowe is 14 spots HIGHER than Ryan Braun. Check it out.