It is very difficult to compare MLB players from different eras and definitely say who's better. It's even harder to know how different players would perform in different eras.
Regardless, I have come up with a list of players that form my all—time All—Star team. Players from different generations are rated based on how good they were in their prime.
From Roger Clemens to Barry Bonds, I'm going by statical numbers put up and their all—around ability to play the game.
Without further ado, here is my list of the best players at each position. Hope you enjoy it!
Love him or hate him, call him a cheater and a liar, but in his prime he was one of the most dominating pitchers ever.
He was a seven—time Cy Young award winner, and was the MVP of the 1986 baseball season, winning 24 games and the Cy Young that year. He won 20 or more games six times, and won 18 games four more times. He is also a 300—game winner with 354 career victories, and one of the best strikeout pitchers, too.
Honorable Mentions: Bob Gibson, Gred Maddux, Nolan Ryan, Walter Johnson
My pick for the best left handed pitcher is for Sandy Koufax, in his prime you could argue he was one of the greatest pitchers ever. He was a three—time Cy Young award winner, a three—time world series champion, and won the pitcher's Triple Crown (wins, ERA, strikeouts) three times all during his Cy Young seasons.
He was a two—time world series MVP. He pitched four no—hitters, and despite his short career, he ranked seventh in strikeouts when he retired. He is also the youngest player to be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame. If he had played just a couple more seasons, there would be no telling how good his stats would be.
Honorable mention: Randy Johnson, Warren Spahn, Steve Carlton
Simply put, Johnny Bench revolutionized how we think of a catcher. He is probably the best—hitting catcher ever, and he was pretty good defensively, too.
He was a 14—time All—Star, a two—time MVP, a 10—time Gold Glove winner, a two—time World Series Champion, and a World Series MVP. He is one of the best catchers ever.
Honorable mentions: Carlton Fisk, Ivan Rodriguez, Yogi Berra, Mike Piazza
My pick at first base is Albert Pujols who, barring injury, will go down as the best first baseman ever, and possibly one of the best players.
He is the only player in major league history to hit 30 or more home runs in his first nine seasons. Even if he were to retire today, he would still be a Hall of Famer. He's an eight—time All—Star, four—time Silver Slugger winner, and a Gold Glove winner. He's also a two—time MVP and continues to compile the stats.
Honorable mention: Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Eddie Murray
Mike Schmidt is my pick for best third baseman. He was a 12—time All—Star, 10—time Gold Glove winner, six—time Silver Slugger award—winner, and a three—time NL MVP, as well as a World Series champion and MVP.
Honorable Mentions: George Brett, Alex Rodgriguez, Chipper Jones.
Joe Morgan is my pick for best second baseman ever. He was a ten—time All—Star, two—time NL MVP, and a two—time World Series champion. Morgan was one of the best hitters in the game in his time.
Honorable mentions: Eddie Collins, Rogers Hornsby, Nap Lajoie, Jackie Robinson
My pick at shortstop is Cal Ripken Jr. He's a 19 time All—Star, an eight—time Silver Slugger award winner. He's also a two—time Gold Glove winner, and a two—time AL MVP. Ripken Jr is also a member of the 3000 hit club, and a member of the 400 home run club.
Honorable mentions: Derek Jeter, Omar Visquel, Ozzie Smith
My pick at left field is Ted Williams. He was a 17—time All—Star and a two—time AL MVP. He led the league in batting six times, and won the triple crown twice. He had a career batting average of .344 with 521 home runs.
He's the last player in the major league to bat .400. He holds the highest career batting average for anyone with 500 or more home runs. He has the record for career on—base percentage with .482.
Honorable mentions: Stan Musial, Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Willie Stargell, Carl Yastrzemski
My pick at right fielder is Babe Ruth. He was a two—time All—Star, and a seven—time world series champion.
He gets the nod over Hank Aaron because he was a better hitter for average, and if he wouldn't have pitched for some seasons and just focused on batting he would have probably hit around 800 home runs. He holds the record for career slugging percentage, and career OPS. He's the first player in MLB history to hit 60 or more home runs.
Honorable mentions: Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Mel Ott
My pick for center fielder is Willie Mays. He's a 20—time All—Star selection, and a 12—time Gold Glove winner. He's also a two—time NL MVP and has career statistics of a .302 batting average, with 660 homeruns and 3283 hits.
Honorable mentions: Ty Cobb, Ken Griffey Jr., Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle
My pick for relief pitcher is Mariano Rivera.
Honorable mention: Dennis Eckersley, Holt Wilhelm, Goose Gossage, Rollie Fingers
My pick for DH is Paul Molitor.
Honorable mentions: Frank Thomas, Edgar Martinez, David Ortiz