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Johnnie's Top 1,000 MLB Players of All-Time: 951-975

Updated: May 27

Let's continue our trip down memory lane while we continue to lay out the top 1,000 MLB players.

Check out the other pieces in this series: MLB 976-1,000 | 926-950 | 901-925 | 876-900 | 851-875 | 826-850 | 801-825 | 776-800 | 751-775 | 726-750 | 701-725 | 676-700 | 651-675

#975 - Armando Benitez - Relief Pitcher - 1994-2008

From his time in Baltimore in 1997 until he pitched for the Marlins in 2004, Benitez was excellent. Over those eight years, the big righty saved 238 games, topping 40 three times while leading the league in 2004 with 47. He also dominated, striking out 11.4 per nine innings with a 2.63 ERA. In 1999, although he only saved 22 games while splitting time on the Mets with John Franco, Benitez had his best season striking out an impressive 128 batters in just 78 innings.

#974 - Dave McNally - Left-handed Pitcher - 1962-1975

McNally made his MLB debut count. On September 26, 1962, at 19 years old, the southpaw tossed a two-hit shutout against the Kansas City A's. Despite the amazing start, McNally struggled a bit over the next two years. In 1965 it came together for him and kicked off a decade-long stretch that saw him win 164 games and pitch to a 3.08 ERA while averaging 236 innings per year. He topped 20 wins four years in a row and finished in the top 4 of CYA voting three years in a row.

#973 - Lee May - First Base - 1965-1982

May was there for the beginning of the Big Red Machine. He had 111 home runs and 302 RBIs in three seasons from 1969-1971. He raked in the 1970 World Series, going 7-for-18 with two homers and eight RBIs in five games. At the end of 1971, the Reds traded May to Houston in a deal that brought Joe Morgan to Cincinnati. May continued to crush baseballs. Over the next seven years (three with the Astros and four with the Orioles) May hit 178 home runs and drove in 675. May is still in the top 100 on the all-time home run list with 354.

#972 - Bill Buckner - First Base/Outfield - 1969-1990

Some Red Sox fans would still put Buckner in the same category as Bucky "F*$%#ing" Dent. However, Buckner wasn't always the hobbled first baseman we saw in the 1986 World Series. In 12 years from 1972-1983, the lefty hit .298. He batted over .300 seven times, leading the National League with a .324 clip in 1980. He also led the NL twice in doubles in 1981 and 1983. Buckner famously never struck out three times in a game nor did he K 40 times in a season.

#971 - Spud Chandler - Right-handed Pitcher - 1937-1947

Chandler started his baseball career late and battled arm injuries throughout his time in the majors. He also lost nearly two years to the army. Despite limited time on the mound, Spud made the most of it. He won the AL MVP in 1943 along with leading the league in wins (20) and ERA (1.64). He would lead the league in ERA one more time in 1947, his final year in the league at 39 years old. Chandler is one of only three pitchers to have a winning percentage over .700 (min. 150 decisions).

#970 - Yoenis Cespedes - Outfielder - 2012-2018, 2020

Cespedes surprised many by signing with the Oakland A's in 2012. He hit the ground running and finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting to some dude named Trout. Between 2014 and 2015, Cespedes would find himself playing for four different teams. He will be remembered for what he did for the Mets in 2015. After being traded from Detroit, the Cuban outfielder had a .942 OPS and blasted 17 home runs in just 57 games.

#969 - Tony Cuccinello - Second Base/Third Base - 1930-1940, 1942-1945

In the 1930s, Cuccinello batted .285 and surpassed .300 four times. He also topped 75 RBIs seven times during the decade, which was impressive for a second baseman. Cuccinello was an above average hitter for his position and was considered one of the best fielding second basemen of his time. He is one of only seven second basemen to have over 500 assists three times.

#968 - Ken McMullen - Third Base - 1962-1977

McMullen was not a player who got much attention during his playing days mired in obscurity playing mostly for the Washington Senators. However, he was a solid producer on a bad team. From 1965-1973, the slick-fielding third baseman averaged 15 home runs a year and had a .706 OPS which was good enough for a 107 OPS+. His fielding is what puts him on this list as he was sharp at the hot corner. Unfortunately, the Gold Gloves didn't come. That's what happens when you are in the league with Brooks Robinson.

#967 - Melvin Mora - Third Base/Outfield/Shortstop - 1999-2011

Mora didn't really get going until he was in Baltimore. In 2002, Mora found his power stroke and hit 19 home runs. He had a career year in 2004. Mora slashed .340/.419/.562 with 27 home runs, 104 RBIs, and 111 runs. He led the league with the .419 OBP. The utility man hit 27 homers again in 2005 and drove in 104 in 2008.

#966 - Phil Nevin - Third Base/First Base - 1995-2006

It looked like Nevin was going to be a bust after getting drafted first overall in 1992. However, at 28 years old, Nevin went to the San Diego Padres and put together a great six-year stretch from 1999-2004. He slashed .291/.365/.515 and averaged 24 home runs and 88 RBIs despite averaging just 122 games. Nevin's 41 homers, 126 RBIs and .976 OPs in 2001 still rank third, second, and third in franchise history respectively.

#965 - Del Crandall - Catcher - 1949-1950, 1953-1966

Crandall played parts of two seasons before heading off to Korea for two years. He came back in 1953. It began a stretch of eight straight seasons where Crandall hit at least 15 home runs. He was an All-Star 11 times and won four Gold Gloves. He gunned down 46 percent of attempting base stealers and eclipsed 50 percent five times.

#964 - Adam Dunn - Outfielder/First Base - 2001-2014

The Big Donkey was a Three True Outcome hitter in every sense of the words. For nearly half of his plate appearances ended with a home run, walk, or strikeout. Nevertheless, Dunn blasted 462 homers in his career and had seven straight seasons of 38 or more. While the big lefty wasn't much with the glove, his .854 OPS ranks 173rd all-time.

#963 - Sparky Lyle - Relief Pitcher - 1967-1982

Lyle was the preeminent middle reliever/closer in his day. He would be coveted in this era for his ability to get hitters out in high leverage situations. The southpaw saved 238 games and appeared in 899. In 1977, Lyle won the CYA with a 13-5 record and a 2.17 ERA. He logged 137.2 innings and 26 saves that season. His postseason stats are the icing on the cake as he threw 21.1 innings over 13 appearances. Lyle was 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA and a save.

#962 - Johnny Mostil - Centerfielder - 1918, 1921-1929

Although he didn't even play 1,000 games, Mostil was a dangerous leadoff hitter and one of the best defensive centerfielders of his era. The speedster led the league twice in stolen bases (1925,1926). He also led the league in runs (135) and walks (90) in 1925. Mostil finished his short career batting .301 with a .386 OBP.

#961 - Cecil Fielder - First Base/Designated Hitter - 1985-1988, 1990-1998

After parts of four seasons for the Toronto Blue Jays, Fielder decided to go to Japan. In 1989, he hit 38 home runs playing for the Hanshin Tigers. He came back to the US and was signed by the Detroit Tigers. Fielder led the league in home runs the next two seasons and RBIs the next three. He hit a homer every four games with Detroit and finished his career with 319.

#960 - Kyle Hendricks - Right-handed Pitcher - 2014-Present

Although the Chicago Cubs starter has had a rough few years, but what he did in his first seven still hold some weight. He put up a 3.12 ERA over that time and had nearly a four-to-one K/BB rate in over a thousand innings. He finished third in CYA voting in 2016 while leading the league with a 2.13 ERA. Coincidentally, the 3.12 ERA matches his postseason number for his career.

#959 - Terry Steinbach - Catcher - 1986-1999

Some players have a career year, and some players have a career year that is far and beyond any sort of reason. Steinbach's 1996 season is one of those. That year Steinbach cranked 35 bombs and drove in 100. His previous highs were 16 and 67 respectively. For his career he batted .271 and was an above average hitter with a .746 OPS. Steinbach was also an excellent defensive catcher.

#958 - Ryan Howard - First Base - 2004-2016

From 2006-2009, Howard had a power display matched by few in the history of the game. In those four years he averaged nearly 50 home runs and 143 RBIs while slashing .278/.379/.589. He finished top 5 in MVP voting each year, winning the award in 2006. He also led the league in homers twice and RBIs three times. He had two more productive years until a torn Achilles in the 2011 playoffs marked the decline of his career. Howard finished with 382 home runs. He is one of only five players with more than 350 homers and fewer than 7,000 plate appearances (Ralph Kiner, Giancarlo Stanton, Albert Belle, Mike Trout).

#957 - Michael Young - Second Base/Shortstop/Third Base - 2000-2013

Leading the league in hits anytime between 2003 and 2011 with Ichiro in the American League was not easy. Young managed to do it twice. In that nine-year span, Young averaged 202 hits, 97 runs, 17 home runs, and 90 RBIs. He was a .300 hitter for his career with 2,375 hits.

#956 - Salvador Perez - Catcher - 2011-Present

Perez has always had some pop, but like Steinbach, he had that one ridiculous season. Perez's came in 2021 when he swatted 48 homers and drove in 121, both leading the AL. His previous highs were 27 and 80. He has been an All-Star eight times and has won five Gold Gloves. He also has a World Series MVP to his credit.

#955 - Troy Percival - Relief Pitcher - 1995-2005, 2007-2009

Percival became the Angels' full-time closer in 1996 and saved 36 games while striking out 100 in 74 innings. It would be the first of eight seasons where he would save 30+ games. From 1996-2004, Percival converted 86 percent of his save chances and never had a season below 75 percent. During Anaheim's 2002 World Series run, he was 7-for-7 in save opportunities and had a 10-to-1 K/BB rate in 9.2 innings. Percival finished his career with 358 saves.

#954 - Zeke Bonura - First Base - 1934-1940

Playing first base in the 1930s in the American League, it is understandable that Bonura would go virtually unnoticed. However, he was the best fielding first baseman at that time and could hit a bit. Although he didn't have the power of Foxx, Gehrig or Greenberg, Bonura set the franchise record for home runs for the White Sox with 27 in his rookie season. He would go on to set the Senators franchise record as well in 1938. He finished his short career slashing .307/.380/.487 while averaging 101 RBIs a year.

#953 - Hal McRae - Outfield/Designated Hitter - 1968, 1970-1987

McRae started his career with parts of four season for the Cincinnati Reds. They traded him after the 1972 season in what was a minor move at the time. McRae went on to play 15 more years with Kansas City. For a decade from 1974-1983, McRae was arguably the second-best hitter on the team. He slashed .300/.362/.470 and ripped 382 doubles, leading the league twice and also establishing the franchise record with 54 in 1977 that still stands. He also set the franchise record for RBIs with 133 in 1982 which remains second-most.

#952 - Paul Konerko - First Base - 1997-2014

After 81 games in 1997 and 1998 with the Dodgers and Reds, it looked like Konerko may be a bust. Cincinnati traded the 23-year-old to the White Sox for Mike Cameron and Konerko wouldn't look back. Over the next 16 years he would hit 30 home runs seven times, drive in 100 six times, and bat .300 four times. He also won the ALCS MVP in 2005 helping Chicago end their World Series drought at 88 years. In the end, Konerko finished with 439 round trippers and drove in 1,412 runs as he sits 45th and 75th on the all-time lists respectively.

#951 - Ketel Marte - Second Base/Centerfield/Shortstop - 2015-Present

After two seasons in Seattle, the Mariners traded their 23-year-old shortstop to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Marte struggled in his first season in the desert. However, he moved to second base in 2018 and responded with a solid .768 OPS and led the league in triples with 12. Playing centerfield the following year, Marte had his best season. The switch-hitter had a .981 OPS and hit 32 home runs while finishing fourth in MVP voting. His record hitting streak of 20 straight games to start a postseason career will be tough to break.

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