Creating the Perfect Baseball Player Using Active Players Only
They say nobody's perfect.
That may be true, but that won't stop me from trying to create the perfect baseball player.
In this article I will combine players with specific talents to create the perfect baseball player.
P.S.: I want to apologize to Mo Vaughn in advance (you'll find out why momentarily).
Ken Griffey Jr.'s Swing
The sweetest swing in baseball history. No way around it.
Just take a look at the picture on the left.
Griffey is one of the greatest home run hitters of our era, and that swing is the key.
Carl Crawford's Speed
Have you ever seen Carl Crawford run?
I wish I could say that I have, but he's to fast to be seen by the naked eye. This guy can walk faster then most people run.
In his eight-year career he has led the majors in triples three times and stolen bases four times.
They say that some people are as fast as lightning. I can say with confidence that Carl Crawford is faster than lightning.
This was, by far, the easiest choice on the list.
In fact, in my opinion at least, Ichiro is the greatest contact hitter of all time.
The guy didn't step foot in America until he turned 27. In nine seasons in America, he has already surpassed 2,000 hits. He has led the league in hits six times in his nine-year career; in fact, he has broken the single-season mark for hits in a season.
Had he started in America, he very well might have his eyes on Pete Rose.
Either way, at the age of 35 he hasn't lost a beat and might not for a while.
Prince Fielder's Power
Let me just clear one thing up:
Prince Fielder is the biggest, most powerful vegetarian I have ever laid eyes on.
For his career he averages a homer every 14.8 at bats.
At the age of 23 he was the youngest player in baseball history to ever hit 50 home runs in a season.
Bottom line: This dude is powerful.
He may be listed at 270 pounds, but to me he doesn't look a pound over 120. Okay, maybe a little bit heavier.
The irony here: He has two career inside-the-park home runs. Not bad for Mo Vaughn's sumo brother, huh?
Juan Pierre's Drag Bunting
He's aged a little bit since his days with the Marlins, but that age certainly isn't showing in the person of speed.
He has 134 thefts since 2007, but I'm not here to talk about his stolen base totals.
Instead, let's talk about his ability to reach on a bunt.
Pierre has well over 300 career bunt singles, making him the active leader.
He is one of the best drag bunters of our era.
Omar Vizquel's Sacrifice Bunting
What made Omar Vizquel great was his ability to do the little things. He was the best smallball player of this era.
This is proven by his career mark of 244 sacrifice bunts. This is by far the most of any active MLB player.
Luis Castillo's 112 career sacrifice bunts are good for second among active position players. That's a difference of 132!
That is enough proof right there that Omar Vizquel is the clear best active sacrifice bunter, and it's not close either.
Bobby Abreu's Baserunning Ability
In case you've never seen Bobby Abreu run, I'll tell you right now, he is far from lightning fast.
Does Abreu have decent speed?
Is he fast enough to steal 25-30 bases a season?
The fact that Bobby Abreu has 11 consecutive seasons of 20 plus stolen bases is remarkable to me.
There is no better example of getting the most out of your speed than Bobby Abreu.
He picks his spots better than any other base stealer I've ever seen. In his 11 year streak of stealing more than 20 bases a season, he has been caught more than 10 times in just three of those seasons.
Here's a stat that I feel says enough about Bobby Abreu being a smart baserunner:
He is 28 of 36 for his career stealing third base.
Not many people are that efficient stealing third.
Bobby Abreu's Patience
Once again Bobby Abreu appears on my list.
Abreu has always been one of baseball's most patient hitters.
Don't want to take my word for it?
Why don't we take a look at the most underrated stat in baseball: pitches per plate appearance.
Here are Abreu's numbers in that category since 2002 and where he ranked across Major League Baseball.
2002: 4.32(2nd MLB)
2003: 4.31(2nd MLB)
2004: 4.32(T-1st MLB)
2005: 4.40(1st MLB)
2006: 4.46(1st MLB)
2007: 4.38(3rd MLB)
2008: 4.29(6th MLB)
2009: 4.15(14th MLB)
Add in the fact that he had at least 100 walks for eight straight seasons and you have yourself the most patient hitter in baseball.
Yet he still has never finished in the top 10 in MVP voting. C'mon man!
Derek Jeter's Baseball IQ
I've said it once, I'll say it a million times.
Baseball IQ is what separates good players from great ones.
Baseball is a thinking man's game, and nobody thinks out on the field quite like Derek Jeter.
I'm a strong believer that actions speak louder than words, so rather than sitting here trying to explain how great Jeter is, do yourself a favor. Go on Youtube and look up: "Derek Jeter, The Flip".
Because that is the greatest play in baseball history. Period.
Albert Pujols' Intimidation Factor
Yes it's true; Chuck Norris does wear Albert Pujols pajamas.
There is no scarier moment for a pitcher than watching Albert Pujols step into the batter's box (just ask Brad Lidge).
He is the unquestioned best hitter in baseball.
He has given countless Houston Astros' pitchers heart attacks. Who can ever forget his dominant performance in the 2004 NLCS?
He did it against big name pitchers like Roger Clemens and no-namers like Pete Munro (you might want to google that).
As if he weren't feared enough around Major League Baseball, he became baseball's unquestioned best hitter after that series.
Michael Bourn's Base Stealing Ability
When Patrick Hernandez wrote the song, "Born To Be Alive" back in 1979, Michael Bourn was negative three years old. So I'm going to take a wild guess and say that the song had nothing to do with the Astros centerfielder.
Michael Bourn is one of the fastest players in baseball. He is also one of the game's best base stealers. It's a shame that he'll struggle to hit .250.
Willy Taveras anybody?
Either way Bourn's base stealing ability might be the best in baseball.
He stole 61 bases last season with an on-base percentage that wouldn't have led the league as a batting average.
Bourn is 102 for 124 stealing bases in the last two seasons.
If I had Mo Vaughn on first base in a stealing situation and I had to choose one person to sub in for him, I would take Michael Bourn.
Thats right I just found a way to mention Mo Vaughn twice in one article. I think a standing ovation is in order.
Manny Ramirez's Ego
Manny being Manny.
What's better than watching Manny Ramirez walk down the first base line on a ground ball?
Whether you like him or not you have to admit, Manny Ramirez is fun to watch.
If I'm managing this player, I wouldn't choose Manny's ego either, but luckily I'm not.
So good luck in advance to the manager.
Franklin Gutierrez's Fielding Range
With Andruw Jones and Torii Hunter starting to fall from the defensive spotlight a new name emerges.
He was third among centerfielders last season in Range Factor. He finished below just Carlos Gomez and Adam Jones.
So now you're probably asking, why Gutierrez and not Jones or Gomez?
The answer is simple: Innings played are a huge factor in determining Range Factor.
Last season, Carlos Gomez played 849 Innings, Adam Jones played 1,005 innings, and Gutierrez played 1,353 innings.
It's safe to say that had Gomez and Jones played more innings than Gutierrez, they would have led the league in Range Factor.
Either way, get ready to watch an exciting career out of Franklin Gutierrez.
Ichiro's Throwing Arm
What can you say about Ichiro's throwing arm that hasn't already been said?
He has the strongest arm in baseball and smart baserunners would not even consider testing it.
Not much else to it.
David Ortiz's Clutch Hitting
David Ortiz has proven himself as one of the most clutch hitters in the game since he arrived in Boston.
His performance in the 2004 ALCS is really the only reason why the Red Sox came out on top in that series.
However, what truly makes Ortiz clutch is his ability to come up successful in the biggest situations. Which is every time he plays the Yankees.
Being a Yankee fan, I can't count on my fingers the amount of times I've wanted to tear David Ortiz's head off.
He was once one of the games most feared power hitters, much like Mo Vaughn (three times!) was.