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Johnnie's Top 1,000 MLB Players of All-Time: 626-650

Welcome back to another episode of my top 1,000 MLB players. In this group, we have only one current player, one Hall-of-Famer, and plenty of guys who did some unusual things on the diamond. As usual, many of these players are not familiar to the normal baseball fan, so dig in as we continue our trek through the history of MLB.

#650 - Andy Pafko - Outfield - 1943-1959

Pafko was key to the Chicago Cubs and their 1945 National League Pennant. He finished fourth in MVP voting and drove in a career-high 110 runs. For the next seven years, Pafko was a five-time All-Star and received MVP votes three more times. He had his best season in 1950, slashing .304/.397/.591 while blasting a career-high 36 homers to just 32 strikeouts. From 1945-1952, Pafko slashed .291/.366/.480 while averaging 24 home runs and 101 RBIs per 162.

#649 - Jose Bautista - Outfield - 2004-2018

At 29 years old, Bautista found himself on his fifth team with only 59 home runs in over 2,000 plate appearances. But from 2010-2015, he was one of the most dangerous hitters in the league. During that time, Bautista slashed .268/.390/.555 (156 OPS+) averaging 44 homers and 114 RBIs per 162. He led the league in home runs in 2010 and 2011. He was a six-time All-Star and finished in the top 8 of MVP voting four times in those six years. He may be remembered most for his bat flip and the subsequent right hook he received the next season from Rougned Odor.

#648 - Stephen Strasburg - Right-handed Pitcher - 2010-2022

Strasburg was pretty much done at 30 years old after he won the World Series in 2019. His injury history is well-documented and while Strasburg is a classic "what if" candidate, he had an excellent run from 2012-2019. During that time, he averaged 168 innings per year and just over six innings per start, even leading the league in IP in 2019. He led the league in strikeouts in 2014 with 242. Strasburg was even better in the postseason, going 6-2 with a 1.46 ERA and 71 strikeouts to just eight walks.

#647 - Kyle Seager - Third Base - 2011-2021

Seager's peak coincided with Strasburg and Seager retired at age 33. From 2012-2019, Seattle's third baseman slashed .256/.325/.445 (114 OPS+) and averaged 26 home runs and 88 RBIs per 162. In his final year, Seager had career highs of 35 home runs and 101 RBIs. He was an MLB All-Star in 2014 and also won a Gold Glove that season. Despite taking home just one Gold Glove, Seager was an excellent defensive third baseman.

#646 - Curt Davis - Right-handed Pitcher - 1934-1946

Davis made his debut at 30 years old and promptly led the league in appearances in 1934 with 51 while pitching to a 2.95 ERA. He was used as a starter (280 games) and a reliever (149 games). In 1939, David tossed 13 complete games and had seven saves while winning 22 games. He finished fifth in MVP voting that year and was an All-Star for a second time.

#645 - Rudy York - First Base/Catcher - 1934, 1937-1948

When you think of sluggers of the 30s and 40s, York's name doesn't normally come up. However, he had as much power as anyone at that time. From 1937-1943, York slashed .286/.379/.530 (132 OPS+) while averaging 34 home runs and 126 RBIs per 162. He led the league in home runs (34), RBIs (118), and slugging (.527) in 1943 and finished third in MVP voting. He was a seven-time All-Star. In 1937, he swatted 35 home runs and was the only American League catcher to do so until Carlton Fisk in 1985.

#644 - Mark Gubicza - Right-handed Pitcher - 1984-1997

Gubicza was a solid pitcher for the Kansas City Royals in the 80s. From 1984-1989, Goobie was 84-67 with a 3.51 ERA (118 ERA+). He finished third in Cy Young Award voting in 1988 with 20 wins and a 2.70 ERA. He was a two-time All-Star and led the league in fewest home runs per nine innings three times. He pitched a pivotal Game Six in the 1985 World Series and won.

#643 - Ed Williamson - Third Base/Shortstop - 1878-1890

Williamson was an excellent fielding third baseman in his time finishing his career +.017 in fielding percentage. He also had a solid stretch with the bat, slashing .261/.338/.402 (122 OPS+). He led the league in doubles with 49 in 1883, but it was the following year that got Williamson in the record books. In 1884, he clubbed 27 home runs. It would stand as the record until Babe Ruth broke it in 1919 with 29.

#642 - Kid Gleason - Right-handed Pitcher/Second Base - 1888-1908, 1912

Gleason started his career as a pitcher. He had his best season on the mound in 1890, winning 38 games and maintaining a 2.63 ERA in 506 innings. In need of an infielder instead of a pitcher, Gleason was converted to a second baseman in 1895. Over the next three years, he slashed .308/.356/.377 and averaged 47 stolen bases and 116 RBIs per 162. However, he may be more famous for something else...inventing the intentional walk.

#641 - Dick McAuliffe - Second Base/Shortstop - 1960-1975

McAuliffe's peak was from 1964-1969. In that time, he had a .790 OPS (125 OPS+) and averaged 23 home runs per 162. He bounced from shortstop to second base and played adequate defense at both. McAuliffe was a three-time All-Star and led the league in runs with 95 in 1968 to help the Detroit Tigers win the World Series.

#640 - Mickey Vernon - First Base - 1939-1943, 1946-1960

Like many players at the time, Vernon missed time due to WWII. When he came back in 1946, he hit the ground running and led the league with a .353 batting average and led in doubles with 51. He led the league again in batting and doubles again in 1953 with .337 and 43 respectively. Vernon was a seven-time All-Star. He is one of only 12 players to have 490 doubles, 120 triples, and 170 home runs in their careers.

#639 - Harvey Haddix - Right-handed Pitcher - 1952-1965

Haddix played in his first full season in 1953 and won 20 games while finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting (he should've won). He was a three-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove winner. Haddix also led the league twice in strikeout-to-walk rate. His major moment came on May 26, 1959, when he had a perfect game for 12 innings against the Braves. The following year, Haddix won a pivotal Game Five against the Yankees in the World Series. He was also the winning pitcher in Game Seen when Bill Mazeroski hit his walk-off home run.

#638 - Derek Lowe - Right-handed Pitcher/Relief Pitcher - 1997-2013

Despite his promising career as a closer after leading the league in saves with 42 in 2000. The Red Sox decided to make Lowe a starter in 2022, and he rewarded them with 21 wins. In the ultimate comeback series in 2004 against the hated Yankees, Lowe started Game Four and won Game Seven tossing six innings of one-hit ball. He made at least 32 starts each year for a decade (2002-2011).

#637 - Bill Hutchison - Right-handed Pitcher - 1884, 1889-1895, 1897

While throwing a ton of innings in the 19th century was commonplace, Hutchison still stands out. For a three-year stretch from 1890-1892, he tossed 1,786 innings. He is also the last pitcher, along with Amos Rusie, to throw 500+ innings in a season (1892). Hutchison didn't just eat innings. During that span, he won 121 games and had a 2.76 ERA (124 ERA+). The Chicago righty also led the league in strikeouts (314) and K/BB rate (1.65) in 1892.

#636 - Wally Joyner - First Base - 1986-2001

Joyner's first two years were quite the way to break into the majors. He recorded his only two 100-RBI seasons, finished second to Jose Canseco in 1986 for the AL ROY award, and also made his only All-Star appearance that same year. Aside from a couple of down years, Joyner was as solid as they come. He was an excellent defensive first baseman and slashed .292/.364/.448 from his rookie season until 1998.

#635 - Alex Bregman - Third Base - 2016-present

From 2015-2023, Bregman slashed .275/.376/.488 while averaging 28 home runs and 98 RBIs. He was second in MVP voting in 2019 when he set career highs in home runs (41), RBIs (112), and OPS (1.015). He also led the league with 119 walks that season. Bregman has 19 postseason home runs for the Astros in his career.

#634 - Kip Selbach - Outfield - 1894-1906

Selbach was a fleet-footed outfielder who garnered 149 triples in his career along with 334 stolen bases. During his peak from his rookie year in 1894 until 1902, he slashed .311/.395/.439 averaging 16 triples and 39 stolen bases per 162.

#633 - Rube Marquard - Left-handed Pitcher - 1908-1925

In 1911, Marquard started over 30 games for the first time and had one of his best seasons. He went 24-7 with a 2.50 ERA and led the league with 237 strikeouts. He followed that up by leading the league with 26 wins in 1912 with a 2.57 ERA and setting a career-high in innings with 294.2. From 1911-1919, Marquard had a 2.65 ERA with more than twice as many strikeouts as walks which was not common at the time. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1971 by the Veteran's Committee.

#632 - Frank Dwyer - Right-handed pitcher - 1888-1899

Dwyer's ERA fluctuated with the times. In 1893, baseball moved the pitching slab from 50 feet to 60 feet 6 inches. It caused a surge in offense over the next few years which would explain why Dwyer's 5.07 ERA in 1894 was actually better than average (108 ERA+). From 1892-1898, Dwyer averaged 289 innings per year and had a 3.80 ERA (119 ERA+)

#631 - Miller Huggins - Second Base - 1904-1916

Huggins is better known as a Hall-of-Fame manager as he won six pennants and three World Series with the New York Yankees in the 20s. However, he was a good player in his day. He led the league in walks four times and in OBP once. Since 1900, only Mark McGwire walked more in a single season for the Cardinals than Huggins's 116 in 1910. He finished with a .382 OBP.

#630 - Bill White - First Base - 1956, 1958-1969

White was considered one of the best fielding first basemen of his time. His best season came in 1963 when White had an .851 OPS with 109 RBIs, 106 runs, and a career-high 27 home runs. During his peak from 1959-1966, he slashed .296/.357/.472 while averaging 21 home runs and 96 RBIs per 162. He was an eight-time All-Star and won seven Gold Gloves. White finished third in MVP voting in 1964.

#629 - Sid Gordon - Left Field/Third Base - 1941-1943, 1946-1955

Gordon played his first full season in 1943 then went to war for two years. He was 28 when he returned and did well. It wasn't until he turned 30 that he started to crush the ball. From 1948-1952, Gordon slashed .293/.392/.508 averaging 31 home runs and 110 RBIs per 162. In that span, he was one of only two players in the majors (Stan Musial) who had 130+ homers and fewer than 200 strikeouts. He finished fourth in MVP voting in 1948 and was a two-time All-Star.

#628 - Bob Rush - Right-handed Pitcher - 1948-1960

Rush was cursed by playing on some horrible teams in his career. From 1948-1957, he pitched for the Chicago Cubs who had eight seasons below a .425 winning percentage. During that time, Rush had a .440 mark and was the staff's workhorse, tossing 213 innings per year. He had his best season in 1952 when he had 17 wins, a 2.70 ERA, and a career-high 157 strikeouts. He was mostly a contact pitcher who kept the ball in the yard at Wrigley. Since 1950, Rush is one of only four pitchers to have 250 innings pitched, fewer than 100 strikeouts, and allowed fewer than 11 home runs.

#627 - Paul Blair - Center Field - 1964-1980

While many people talk about Baltimore's left side of the infield in the 60s and 70s with Brooks Robinson and Mark Belanger, Blair should be recognized as one of the best defensive centerfielders ever. He won eight Gold Gloves and, his 171 Total Zone Runs are third all-time to Willie Mays and Andruw Jones. From 1966-1974, Blair slashed a respectable .265/.317/.411 (109 OPS+) while averaging 14 home runs and 16 stolen bases per 162.

#626 - Ned Garver - Right-handed Pitcher - 1948-1961

Garver, like Rush, played on some bad teams. Garver's career started with the St. Louis Browns in 1948. In his first four years, the Browns averaged 98 losses. Garver led the team in WAR each season. In 1951, he won 20 games for a 52-win team. He finished second in MVP voting and even slashed .305/.365/.421 with nine walks and nine strikeouts. Garver also led the league in complete games in 1951 and 1952.

Main Image Credit:

Bregman launches one

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