Consistency: The Reason Fred McGriff Is Overlooked

Benjamin upchurchContributor IIJanuary 6, 2010

BRADENTON , FL- MARCH 9:  Fred McGriff #29 of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on the field during the Spring Training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on March 9, 2004 at MeKechnie Field in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Fred McGriff Did not have a Flashy Career.  He really never had that year that stood out from his average production.  There wasn't a mid career slump nor a second half revival. Instead year after year, team after team he produced like clock work.

The big complaint was that he wasn't a headliner in his time.  Here's something for the BBWAA, Hank Aaron made it into Sports Illustrated only three times before the 73 season. Maybe Fred needed to have a drug problem or something to get noticed.

From 1988 to 2002 he was a go to guy.  He never had anything less than 80 RBI during that time.  His Lowest BA was .273 in 2002.  Only once during that time did he hit less than 20 home runs, falling short at 19 in 98. So that's 15 years straight of solid/All-Star worthy production.

His career splits are probably one of the more even across the board you will ever see.  Its quite shocking to see he hit about the same in both the AL and NL.  The Stadium and Field type didn't seem to phase him in the least.  His only weakness was that his BA dropped to .265 when facing LHP.

Five different MLB organizations will tell you he was Quality.  Everyone of them will tell you he made the team better.  Where ever Fred went, he was a leader in the clubhouse.  He even helped mentor a few batters along the way.  Players like Gary Sheffield and Chipper Jones came into their own while he was around.

The most impressive thing was that Fred seemed to raise the bar every post season. 

                   G       BA    OBP   SLG   HR   RBI  HITS  XBH

Fred McGriff   50     .303  .385   .532   10    37    57     22

Not many in the HOF can boast a post season career that good.  Also, if you add in post season Home Runs that puts him over 500.

So maybe Fred wasn't a headliner like the some other 1B of his time.  Still for 15 straight years he was one of the best in the majors.

1550 RBI (41)

493 HR (26)

441 doubles (99)

2490 Hits (93)

958 XBH (42)

.509 SLG (61, min 6k PA)

.377 OBP (131, min 6K PA)