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Monday, April 22, 2024

Period’s greatest second basemen – by G. Scott Thomas



Most observers — not all of them, however certainly a majority — would agree that Joe Morgan was the most effective major-league participant within the mid-Nineteen Seventies, no matter place.

Morgan was the sparkplug who powered Cincinnati’s Large Crimson Machine to world championships in 1975 and 1976. The Corridor of Fame second baseman was named the Nationwide League’s Most Useful Participant in each of these seasons, after ending among the many prime eight vote-getters in every of the earlier three MVP races (1972-1974).

Morgan led the NL in on-base proportion 4 occasions between 1972 and 1976. His cumulative OBP for that five-year interval was .431, which was 24 factors superior to the next-best mark in both league, .407 by fellow Corridor of Famer Rod Carew.

And he was equally expert within the area, incomes all 5 NL Gold Gloves for his place between 1973 and 1977.

No different second baseman at any level within the Trendy Period — the span from 1961 to the current — possessed Morgan’s extraordinary mixture of offensive firepower and defensive grace. That’s why he stands on the peak of in the present day’s rankings of the period’s prime gamers at second base.

Morgan is thought primarily for his nice seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, however his 22-year profession took him to 5 golf equipment in all, together with the Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, and Oakland Athletics.

Carew, the runner-up on in the present day’s listing, truly performed extra video games at first base (1,184) than second (1,130). However the Corridor of Fame designated the latter as his main place, which is why he’s included right here. Carew spent his first 12 seasons with the Minnesota Twins and the ultimate seven with the California Angels.

Rounding out the listing of the Trendy Period’s 5 greatest second basemen are Robinson Cano, Roberto Alomar, and Jeff Kent.

At this time’s rankings embody all 176 gamers who made at the least 2,500 plate appearances and spent at the least 40 % of that point taking part in second base throughout the period. (Click on right here to see the ten parts of the score formulation.)

It’s necessary to maintain two issues in thoughts: (1) Every participant’s total document was factored into the formulation, even these stats accrued at different positions, as when Carew performed first base. (2) The rankings have been restricted to the Trendy Period itself, eliminating any seasons previous to 1961.

Morgan, as the highest participant within the class, was assigned a rating of 1,000 factors, whereas the tailender (who shall stay anonymous) was pegged at zero. The scores for all different second basemen have been decided by their relative positions between prime and backside.

That is the third installment of my every-Thursday overview of the Trendy Period’s best gamers. Comply with these hyperlinks to see the earlier tales about catchers and first basemen.

Statistical breakdowns for the period’s 5 main second basemen could be discovered under, adopted by a listing of the next 15.

A brand new installment will arrive in your electronic mail every weekday morning

  • Rating: 1,000 factors

  • WAR: 100.4 complete, 4.4 per 500 PA, 3.8 defensive

  • Averages: .271 BA, .427 SLG, .934 BPO

  • Scoring: 2,515 R generated, 111 per 500 PA

  • Totals: 2,649 G, 2,517 H

  • Notes: Morgan was the one participant in in the present day’s rankings to succeed in triple digits in wins above substitute (100.4) or to exceed .900 in bases per out (.934). And he was certainly one of two Trendy Period second basemen to rap greater than 2,500 hits and in addition generate greater than 2,500 runs throughout his profession. (Craig Biggio was the opposite.)

  • Rating: 987 factors

  • WAR: 81.2 complete, 3.9 per 500 PA, -1.7 defensive

  • Averages: .328 BA, .429 SLG, .815 BPO

  • Scoring: 2,347 R generated, 111 per 500 PA

  • Totals: 2,469 G, 3,053 H

  • Notes: Carew got here away with seven American League batting titles, peaking with a panoramic .388 common in 1977. He received the MVP trophy that yr. His profession common of .328 places him 21 factors forward of the runner-up within the BA class, Jose Altuve. And his complete of three,053 hits is twenty eighth amongst all big-league gamers.

  • Rating: 957 factors

  • WAR: 68.1 complete, 3.6 per 500 PA, 6.9 defensive

  • Averages: .301 BA, .488 SLG, .783 BPO

  • Scoring: 2,233 R generated, 117 per 500 PA

  • Totals: 2,267 G, 2,639 H

  • Notes: There’s an asterisk appended to Cano’s third-place end. An enormous asterisk. He has been penalized twice for utilizing performance-enhancing medication, with the second suspension costing him your complete 2021 season. He posted batting averages above .300 in 10 totally different seasons, and he hit at the least 25 residence runs on six events.

  • Rating: 941 factors

  • WAR: 67.0 complete, 3.2 per 500 PA, 3.3 defensive

  • Averages: .300 BA, .443 SLG, .842 BPO

  • Scoring: 2,432 R generated, 117 per 500 PA

  • Totals: 2,379 G, 2,724 H

  • Notes: Alomar by no means received a Most Useful Participant Award, although he did end among the many prime six vote-getters in 5 seasons. His greatest yr in all probability was 1999, when he batted .323 for Cleveland, drove in 120 runs and scored 138. The latter complete topped the AL. Alomar performed for seven golf equipment in his Corridor of Fame profession, spending probably the most time with Toronto.

  • Rating: 930 factors

  • WAR: 55.5 complete, 2.9 per 500 PA, -0.1 defensive

  • Averages: .290 BA, .500 SLG, .836 BPO

  • Scoring: 2,461 R generated, 129 per 500 PA

  • Totals: 2,298 G, 2,461 H

  • Notes: Kent’s excellent profession was unusually underpublicized. It’s typically forgotten that he received the Nationwide League’s MVP Award in 2000, when he batted .334 with 33 homers and 125 RBIs for the San Francisco Giants. He bounced round to 6 golf equipment in all, accumulating greater than 100 RBIs in eight of his 17 seasons.

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