top of page

Johnnie's Top 1,000 MLB Players of All-Time: 651-675

In this installment of the Top 1,000 MLB Players ever, we have three World Series MVPs, a Hall of Famer, and four current big leaguers. Among this group are some of the best fielders at their respective positions who could also swing the stick a bit. Let's dive into the 14th article covering the best to ever grace a baseball diamond.


Be sure to check out the rest of our series: MLB 976-1,000 | 951-975 | 926-950 | 901-925 | 876-900 |850-875 | 826-850 | 801-825 | 776-800 | 751-775 | 726-750 | 701-725 | 676-700


#675 - Pedro Guerrero - First Base/Outfield/Third Base - 1978-1992

Guerrero was one of the best hitters in the 1980s. During the decade, only three players had a better OPS+ than Pedro's 148 (Schmidt, Brett, Boggs). He slashed .308/.383/.506 and averaged 26 home runs and 97 RBIs in that time while chipping in 12 stolen bases a year. Guerrero finished in the top 5 of MVP voting four times and was a five-time All-Star. He led the league in OPS in 1985 (.999) and doubles in 1989 (42). He was the 1981 World Series MVP for the Dodgers driving in seven runs in the six-game series.


#674 - Bill Bradley - Third Base - 1899-1910, 1914-1915

Considered a top third baseman at the turn of the century, Bradley could do it all. Although a stomach ailment, torn ligament, and broken wrist effectively ended his career at 28 years old, he put up some impressive numbers from 1900-1904. In those five years, Bradley slashed .307/.345/.446 (130 OPS+) and averaged 109 runs and 20 stolen bases per 162. He was arguably the best fielding third baseman of his time leading the league in fielding four times and double plays three times. His 60 sacrifice hits in 1908 are the second-most for a season (Ray Chapman, 67, 1917).


#673 - Shin-Soo Choo - Right Field - 2005-2020

Choo became a regular with the 2008 Cleveland Indians. From that season through 2013, he slashed .290/.392/.469 (137 OPS+) and averaged 21 home runs and 21 stolen bases per 162. He was an All-Star once and finished with MVP votes twice. He hit 20 home runs seven times and scored 80 runs eight times.


#672 - Rick Rhoden - Right-handed Pitcher - 1974-1989

Rhoden may be better known for being an excellent golfer and a good-hitting pitcher than for the things he did on the mound. However, he still won 151 games and had a 3.59 career ERA. He had a promising start to his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but after surgery in 1979 he landed with the Pittsburgh Pirates and pitcher to a 3.42 ERA while averaging 236 innings per year from 1982-1986. In 1986, Rhoden won 15 games and had a 2.84 ERA while batting .278 with a .709 OPS in 101 plate appearances.


#671 - Joe Nathan - Relief Pitcher - 1999-2000, 2002-2009, 2011-2016

Nathan was converted to a middle reliever by the San Francisco Giants in 2003 before he became one of the most dominant closers in MLB for a decade. When he came to the Twins in 2004, he saved 44 games and pitched to a 1.62 ERA in his first season there. Over the next decade (he missed 2010), Nathan saved 340 games and had a 2.14 ERA while allowing opponents a minuscule .188 batting average. He was a six-time All-Star and finished top 5 in CYA voting twice.


#670 - Hilton Smith - Right-handed Pitcher - 1932, 1937-1948

Smith was a premier pitcher in the Negro Leagues from 1937-1946. During that time, he was 59-32 with a 2.58 ERA (155 ERA+). He led the league in wins three times and strikeouts four times. In 1938, Smith won the Triple Crown with nine victories, a 1.92 ERA, and 88 strikeouts. In 544 career plate appearances, Smith slashed .298/.324/.410 with 91 RBIs. In his postseason career, he was 6-0 with a 1.49 ERA and also batted .318 in 22 PA. Smith was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.


#669 - Danny Murphy - Second Base/Right Field - 1900-1915

In the deadball era, there weren't too many hitters better than Murphy. From 1904-1914, he slashed .291/.341/.411 and averaged 21 stolen bases per 162. Despite never leading the league in any offensive category, he still finished in the top 10 in home runs six times, RBIs four times, batting average three times, and doubles for eight straight seasons (1903-1910).


#668 - Aramis Ramirez - Third Base - 1998-2015

Ramirez may have not been a great fielder or baserunner, but he could hit with the best of them. He was one of only three third basemen to have over 350 home runs in the decade between 2004-2013 (Beltre, A-Rod). He had more hits than A-Rod and more RBIs than Beltre. Ramirez slashed .296/.360/.530 and averaged 33 home runs and 114 RBIs during that time. In his younger years, he also put up 1.2 dWAR which shows that he was at least adequate at the hot corner in his prime. Ramirez was a three-time All-Star and finished in the top 10 of MVP voting three times.


#667 - Johnny Cueto - Right-handed Pitcher - 2008-present

Cueto came up to MLB as a 22-year-old in 2008 and immediately started 31 games. He improved over the next few years and hit his peak in 2011. For the next six seasons, Cueto went 82-43 with a 2.73 ERA (145 ERA+). He had three top 6 finishes in CYA voting and in 2014 Cueto won 20 games and had a 2.25 ERA while leading the league in strikeouts with 242. He pitched a complete game in Game Two of the 2015 World Series allowing just one run on two hits.


#666 - Madison Bumgarner - Left-handed Pitcher - 2009-2023

MadBum was about as automatic as they come from 2011-2016. During that time, he was 93-61 with a 3.00 ERA and averaged 213 innings a year. He is one of only six pitchers to have four consecutive seasons of a sub-3.00 ERA and 200 innings pitched since 1980. His World Series numbers are insane. He allowed just one run (a solo HR to Salvador Perez in Game One of the 2015 WS) in 36 innings with a 0.528 WHIP and 31 strikeouts.


#665 - Ron Fairly - First Base/Right Field - 1958-1978

Fairly was one of those players who was good for a very long time. He played with Pee Wee Reese and Keith Hernandez. He was also adept at getting on base and had a little power. Fairly had an excellent 15-year stretch from 1961-1975 with two bad years in between (67-68). Take away those seasons and Fairly batted .277 with a .372 OBP and averaged 16 home runs per 162. He was a big part of the World Series victory for the 1965 Dodgers as he went 11-for-29 with two homers and six RBIs.


#664 - Rafael Furcal - Shortstop - 2000-2012, 2014

Furcal came up in 2000 as a 22-year-old slick-fielding shortstop. He batted .295 and swiped 40 bags to win the NL ROY for the Atlanta Braves. He led the league in triples in 2003 while setting career highs in doubles (35) and home runs (15). He was a three-time MLB All-Star and finished his career slashing .281/.346/.402 with 314 stolen bases. While he made his share of errors, Furcal's range and arm more than made up for it.


#663 - Chris Carpenter - Right-handed Pitcher - 1997-2002, 2004-2012

Not many players have experienced the ups and downs of baseball like Carpenter. For someone who had multiple surgeries on his elbow and shoulder, he put together a good career. While his first six seasons in Toronto were average at best, he put up great numbers with the Cardinals. From 2004-2009, Carpenter was 68-24 with a 2.91 ERA (146 ERA+) and maintained a four-to-one K/BB rate. He won the NL CYA in 2005 setting a career-high in wins with 21. He finished second for the award in 2009 while leading the league with a 2.24 ERA. In four World Series starts, Carpenter is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA.


#662 - Don Buford - Left Field/Second Base/Third Base - 1963-1972

Buford didn't become a full-time player until he was 27 years old. For the next few years, he was a solid player who could run as he finished second in stolen bases in 1966 with 51. From 1968-1971 with the Baltimore Orioles, Buford enjoyed success as their leadoff hitter. He slashed .284/.397/.434 (136 OPS+) and averaged 19 home runs and 23 stolen bases per 162. On April 9, 1970, he became the first Oriole to hit a home run from each side of the plate.


#661 - Tommy Holmes - Outfield - 1942-1952

Holmes had a solid career slashing .302/.366/.432. He batted over .300 five times and was a two-time All-Star. His 1945 season is one for the record books. He finished second in MVP voting (he should have won it easily). He led the league in OPS (.997), hits (224), doubles (47), and home runs (28) while batting .352. Holmes missed the triple crown by .003 average points and seven RBIs. What is truly unique about his season is that he struck out only nine times. It is the only time a player has had 25 homers and fewer than 10 strikeouts in a season.


#660 - Ken Keltner - Third Base - 1937-1944, 1946-1950

Keltner may be remembered as the man who stopped Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak at 56 when the third baseman made two outstanding backhanded plays to rob Joltin Joe. Those plays were not a surprise as Keltner was considered the best fielding third baseman in the league. Keltner led the league in fielding percentage three times, assists four times, and double plays five times. He slashed .276/.338/.441 and averaged 17 home runs and 90 RBIs for his career. In 1948, a one-game playoff between the Red Sox and Indians was played. Keltner in clutch fashion went 3-for-5 with a home run.


#659 - Garry Maddox - Center Field - 1972-1986

The Secretary of Defense needs no introduction as to his defensive prowess. He won eight consecutive Gold Gloves (1975-1982). Maddox is 10th in Total Zone Runs with 98, and he is 18th in putouts with 4,387. On the offensive side is where he is a bit underrated. From 1973-1978, Maddox slashed a solid .298/.341/.431 and averaged 30 stolen bases per 162. In 1976, he batted .330 and finished fifth in MVP voting.


#658 - Phil Cavarretta - First Base - 1934-1955

Cavarretta was a mainstay on the Cubs for 20 years. Although he didn't have much power, he was a good hitter. Cavarretta slashed .301/.390/.425 for the decade of the 40s. In 1944, he finished tied with Stan Musial in hits with 197. The following year, Chicago's first baseman won the MVP while leading the league in batting (.355) and OBP (.449). In three World Series, Cavarretta batted .317. He was a four-time All-Star.


#657 - Justin Turner - Third Base - 2009-present

When Turner turned 30 years old, he had 15 career home runs and averaged six per 162. From 2015-2023, he averaged 25 homers per 162 to go along with a slash of .290/.369/.485. Just last year, Turner set a career-high with 96 RBIs. He is a two-time All-Star. Turner has shined in his postseason career. He was the 2017 NLCS MVP. He has 368 plate appearances in the playoffs and has a slash of .270/.370/.460.


#656 - Lorenzo Cain - Center Field - 2010-2022

Cain's peak was from 2014-2018. During that five-year stretch, the centerfielder slashed .301/.362/.433 while averaging 13 home runs and 30 stolen bases per 162. He was the 2014 ALCS MVP. In 2015, Cain finished third in MVP voting and received the first of his two All-Star selections when he set career highs with 16 home runs and 101 runs scored. He won his only Gold Glove in 2019 with the Brewers.


#655 - Lu Blue - First Base - 1921-1933

Blue may not have had much power (he only hit more than six bombs once). However, he had an incredible eye at the plate. He walked over 100 times in four different seasons. Blue sports a .402 OBP for his career. He is also one of only six players to start their career after 1920 to have more than 1,000 walks and fewer than 500 strikeouts.


#654 - Jim Gilliam - Second Base/Third Base/Outfield - 1946-1948, 1953-1966

Gilliam is one of the guys on that list previously mentioned with Lu Blue. He won the 1953 ROY award while leading the league in triples with 17. Gilliam was a great defensive second baseman. Unfortunately, the Dodgers moved him around once they got to Los Angeles. He finished fifth in MVP voting in 1956 and led the league in walks in 1959 (96).


#653 - Starling Marte - Outfield - 2012-present

Although Marte is on the back end of his career, he was a solid contributor until two years ago. He is the active leader in stolen bases with 346 as of this writing. During his peak from 2014-2022, Marte slashed .292/.348/.455 while averaging 19 home runs and 39 stolen bases per 162. He is a two-time All-Star and won two Gold Gloves for his work in left field in 2015 and 2016.


#652 - Derrek Lee - First Base - 1997-2011

Lee was one of the most dangerous hitters in the 2000s. During that decade, he slashed .292/.378/.521 (130 OPS+) averaging 30 home runs, 94 RBIs, and 11 steals per 162. His season in 2005 was one of the best ever by a first baseman. Lee led the league in batting (.335), OPS (1.080), doubles (50), and hits (199). He also won the second of his three Gold Glove awards and finished third in MVP voting while setting a career-high for home runs with 46. Lee was a two-time All-Star.


#651 - George Springer - Outfield - 2014-present

Springer was a big part of the Astros' resurgence in the mid-2010s. In 2017, he made the first of four All-Star appearances, won a Silver Slugger, and finished 13th in MVP voting. After going 0-for-4 in Game One of the World Series, Springer went 11-for-25 with three doubles and five homers over the next six games to help Houston capture their first championship. He was named MVP of the series. For his career, Springer has averaged 33 home runs per 162 while maintaining an .824 OPS.


Main Image Credit:





126 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page