Monday, 23 July 2007

My Perfect All-Time MLB Starting Lineup

This is partly just a way for me to say who I think the best overall player at each position, and partly because I think it's cool to see how people would arrange a lineup when they could use anyone that ever played in the MLB. For the sake of historial accuracy, no DH will be used, and I will just have a pitcher 9th. Anyway, here is my lineup:

1. LF Ted Williams - Williams isn't really a conventional leadoff man in the sense that he doesn't steal bases, but that's no matter. Some of his power is wasted by the fact that he's batting first, but he was so good at getting on base that he'd be the perfect leadoff man. His OBP was a staggering .482... simply put, he was one of the 2 greatest hitters to ever live.

2. SS Honus Wagner - The Flying Dutchman is the greatest SS ever and one of the best hitters of his time. In today's context, his .391 OBP and .466 SLG aren't eye-popping numbers, but he did lead the NL in OPS 8 different times. Also, his 722 career SB help make up for the relative lack of speed from Ted Williams in the leadoff spot.

3. RF Babe Ruth - The best hitter of all-time. He got on base for than anyone else not named Ted Williams, and he hit for more power than anyone ever. I'm not sure you'd find too many people to argue against this.

4. 1B Lou Gehrig - The 3-4 combo of the Yankees of the 20s and 30s my 3-4 in the lineup here. I think Gehrig was pretty easily the best 1B of all-time, and the hitting numbers bear that out. Like the Babe, he was a guy that got on base at a prolific rate and also hit for a ton of power. His OPS is the 3rd highest in MLB history, behind only Williams and Ruth. Plus, if nothing else, he's pretty inspirational.

5. CF Willie Mays - We've already been over who is the best CF of all-time, but just as a recap, I would say Mantle had the highest peak, but Mays and Cobb were the two best over their careers. Of those two, I'd pick Mays by a smidgen. And I think he'd fit in nicely in the 5 spot.

6. 3B Mike Schmidt - Schmidt was only a .267 career hitter, but he had a good eye at the plate, and as his 548 career HR shows, a good amount of power. He led the NL in SLG 5 times in his career.

7. C Mike Piazza - He had his problems defensively but it's tough to overlook what he does offensively. He's the best hitting catcher ever. He had a career average of .309, but he also showed good patience (.379 OBP) and lots of power for a catcher. He has over 400 career HR and slugged .548 for his career.

8. 2B Rogers Hornsby - Many have made good cases for Joe Morgan, but I am still a Rogers Hornsby guy. He was just an unbelievable hitter. Career .358 average, but he did a lot more. He took a decent amount of walks, and he hit for good power, leading the league in slugging 9 times. In my mind he is the best 2B ever.

9. P Walter Johnson - The Big Train was the best pitcher to ever step on the mound... one of the greatest peaks ever (I might argue Pedro's was higher) and he did it for a long time. Just phenomenal. To add to his goodness, he was even a .235 hitter, so he won't be an automatic out either.

What are your thoughts? What would your lineup look like?