Baseball’s best vote on who is baseball’s best

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.

6 thoughts on “Baseball’s best vote on who is baseball’s best

  1. Mauer at 39 is a COMPLETE joke. I might be a bit of a homer, but if you ask real baseball wonks and stat geeks to pick one guy to build around, many of them would pick the guy with the ‘burns. Some Sporting News guy was on KFAN last week and even mentioned that potential plays a role in the list. I mean Zack Greinke is at #25 ffs. I bet if you redid the list, Mauer would probably make the Top 10 because of his power hitting spree. Bunch of goofballs that need to see balls leave the park to take notice of a future hall of famer. Don’t even get me started on Derek Jeter. Must’ve been 50 former Yankees on the voting panel.

  2. And I don’t mean to belittle how good Greinke is, but he’s living off what people expect/want him to be. He was always supposed to be this good, but the people who made this list put him there for one lights-out month. Would if he loses his head again. Just don’t see how you can put a guy like that ahead of Mauer…

  3. Yeah, I’m with you. I like Greinke (I drafted the guy every year on my fantasy team except this year, if you can believe it). But Mauer is definitely flashing some pretty good potential of his own.

    If you’re going to make a potential-based pick, I’d go with Mauer. Because even if his power potential doesn’t pan out, he’s still got those two batting titles to lean on.

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