Edgar Martinez and Each MLB Team's Best Player Who Won't Make Hall of Fame
Every franchise has one or more players that may not be bound for Cooperstown, but would (or should) be bound for the "Hall of Very Good".
I will take a look at each franchise and tell you two players for each, one retired and currently active (in baseball, not necessarily on the team anymore), that are not going to be in the Hall of Fame (or rather shouldn't be).
In order to do this, I had to come up with some guidelines to follow. What are these guidelines you may ask?
- Retired players had to be eligible for the Hall of Fame. Players like Pete Rose or Shoeless Joe Jackson would be in the Hall of Fame had they been eligible, so I won't put them on this list by default because of their actions which made them ineligible.
- Retired players currently on the Hall of Fame ballot, could not have received over 55 percent of the vote on the 2010 ballot. Any retired player who didn't receive enough votes and were removed from the ballot or who dropped off the ballot after 15 years are eligible.
- Retired players waiting for their five years to be on the ballot, cannot be "sure fire Hall of Famers" such as Greg Maddux. Any "borderline" Hall of Famer such as Curt Schilling are eligible.
- the term "active" doesn't mean the player is still on the team, simply they are still playing baseball.
- Players could not have any association with PED use. So, players like Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Barry Bonds etc will not be on this list.
- If the player is already in the Hall of Fame (whether it was a worthy induction or not) they can't be on this list.
- No player will be listed for more than one team (includes active players). The team the player played the most games for is the team they will be eligible for. The only exception to this will be the "newer" franchises (Diamondbacks, Rockies, Marlins and Rays) and in that case the player had to play in at least parts of four seasons on that team to be eligible for more than one team.
The Diamondbacks may have won one World Series championship in their "short" history, but when it comes to near-great individual players they fall short. Their best players only played on the team for less than five seasons for the most part, so it made it really tough to find suitable players.
Retired player: Curt Schilling (most games for Phillies, but per my "rules" the DBacks are one team that can use any player that played at least parts of four seasons for them)
As a Diamondback, Schilling amassed a 58-28 record, 3.14 ERA, 148 ERA+, 1.036 WHIP and two second place Cy Young award finishes. Curt's best regular seasons came during his short stint in the desert. I personally don't think Curt Schilling is a Hall of Famer and that's why he's on this list (though I do believe he eventually gets in because of his postseason accomplishments).
Active player: Brandon Webb
Looking at players currently on the Diamondbacks, you'd be hard pressed to find someone to put in this spot. Justin Upton may one day be here, but for now the best active Diamondback is Brandon Webb and he's no longer on the team.
As a Diamondback, Webb was 87-62, with an ERA of 3.27, an ERA+ of 142, a WHIP of 1.239 and won one Cy Young award and finished second twice.
The Atlanta Braves have had a lot of great players in their history from Warren Spahn, Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews to the likes of Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine. The problem I had with the Braves is most of their best players are Hall of Fame bound already and their current players are still young and unproven.
Retired player: Dale Murphy
As a Brave, Murphy won back-to-back MVP awards while batting .268 with a .351 OBP, a .478 Slugging Percentage, an .829 OPS, a 125 OPS+ along with five Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers.
Murphy is the classic borderline Hall of Famer and is one of just two players eligible for the Hall of Fame with back-to-back MVPs that isn't in (the other being Roger Maris).
Active player: Andruw Jones
While Jason Heyward or Jair Jurrjens may one day take over this spot, for now, the best active Brave (or former Brave) is Andruw Jones. Jones broke into baseball for the Braves, but injuries have taken his career from possible Hall of Famer to the Hall of Very Good.
As a Brave, Jones batted .263 with a .342 OBP, a .497 Slugging Percentage, an .839 OPS, a 113 OPS+ along with 10 Gold Gloves and one Silver Slugger.
Baltimore is another franchise with a strong history and Hall of Famers and near-Hall of Famers at several positions, so finding a retired player was rather simple. Active players was a bit tougher seeing how the Orioles haven't been very good over the past decade or so.
Retired player: Mike Mussina
Mussina was pretty much the Orioles best pitcher for the 10 years he was on the team. He posted a 147-81 record along with a 3.53 ERA, ERA+ of 130 and a WHIP of 1.175 along with multiple Gold Gloves and top five Cy Young finishes.
Mussina might get the Hall of Fame nod with his career 270 wins and ERA+ of 123, but I think he falls just short.
Active player: Nick Markakis
Markakis is one of the most underrated players in the game today because he's on the Orioles. As an Oriole, he's posted a .298 batting average along with a .368 OBP, .463 Slugging Percentage, .831 OPS and a 118 OPS+. The Orioles are full of young players that one day may take this spot from Markakis if they ever live up to their potential (Matt Wieters for example).
Boston Red Sox
One of baseball's most storied franchises. My top two overall players in history both played for the Red Sox (Babe Ruth and Ted Williams), and there is no shortage of Hall of Famers and near Hall of Famers to choose from.
Retired player: Dom DiMaggio
While not as good or famous as his brother, Dom was still a pretty great player. He played his entire career for the Red Sox and amassed a .298 batting average, .383 OBP, .419 Slugging Percentage, .802 OPS and an OPS+ of 110.
Active player: Kevin Youkilis
Youk in my opinion is one of the best overall players in the game today, but is constantly forgotten because he plays (or rather played) the very deep position of first base and got lost in the discussion behind players like Pujols, Gonzalez, Fielder, Howard and Teixeira.
All Youk has done as a Red Sox is bat .294 with an OBP of .394, slug .497 with an OPS of .891 and an OPS+ of 128 along with two top-six MVP finishes and the ability to play multiple positions well.
Chicago White Sox
Another franchise with Hall of Famers and borderline Hall of Famers everywhere you look, so finding players for this list wasn't too difficult.
Retired player: Harold Baines
Baines played 14 seasons for the White Sox, primarily as a DH. Baines batted .288 with an OBP of .346, Slugging Percentage of .463, OPS of .809 and OPS+ of 118 for the White Sox. Baines managed to stay on the Hall of Fame ballot for five years before finally not getting the needed five percent to remain on the ballot this year.
Active player: Mark Buerhle
Buerhle has been on the White Sox for 11 seasons and during that time has a 148-110 record along with an ERA of 3.85, an ERA+ of 120 and a WHIP of 1.280. Buerhle is also one of the game's best defensive pitchers and is an inning-eating monster.
The Cubs, a long and storied history and some of the most devoted fans in all of baseball. The most cursed franchise in baseball has seen its greatest players never win championships and its phenoms break down before achieving their potential.
Retired player: Ron Santo
One of the best defenders ever at third base and an underrated hitter that as a Cub managed a .279 batting average, .366 OBP, a Slugging Percentage of .472, an OPS of .838 and an OPS+ of 127 along with multiple Gold Gloves and top five MVP finishes.
Arguably the biggest Hall of Fame snub by both the BBWAA and the Veteran's Committee. After Ernie Banks, Santo was the most beloved Cub of all-time.
Active player: Alfonso Soriano
Finding an active player was a bit tougher as there were several to choose from. I decided that Soriano was the way to go. As a Cub, he's batted .271 with an OBP of .327, a Slugging Percentage of .505, an OPS of .832 and an OPS+ of 110.
Another franchise with a long history full of Hall of Famers and borderline Hall of Famers, so finding players wasn't too difficult.
Retired player: George Foster
One of the most "forgotten" power hitters and probably the most underrated member of the Big Red Machine. Foster, as a Red over 11 seasons, batted .286 with an OBP of .356, a Slugging Percentage of .514, an OPS of .870 and an OPS+ of 140.
He also won one MVP award and finished in the top six three other times.
Active player: Adam Dunn
There are several players on the Reds right now that may one day supplant Dunn on this list (if they don't make the Hall of Fame that is). Dunn is one of the most underrated hitters in the game today "because he strikes out too much and has a low batting average".
However, Dunn as a Red in eight seasons batted .247 with an OBP of .380, a slugging percentage of .520, an OPS of .900 and an OPS+ of 130. Dunn hit 40 or more home runs for the Reds in four straight seasons (and then hit 32 before being traded mid-season).
Dunn is the perfect example of the "three true outcomes" of an at-bat—walk, strike out or home run—and his low batting average will probably keep him from sniffing the Hall of Fame even though he gets on base a ton and has tremendous power (will end up with over 500 career home runs).
Another franchise with several Hall of Famers and borderline Hall of Famers. The biggest problem with the Indians, is most of their best players lately haven't stayed with the Indians; they've either been traded away and gone on to greatness elsewhere or left as free agents.
Retired player: Albert Belle
One of the most feared hitters in the 1990s. As an Indian, Belle amassed a .295 batting average with a .369 OBP, a .580 slugging percentage, an OPS of .949 and an OPS+ of 150 along with four top seven MVP finishes.
Active player: Grady Sizemore
Sizemore is one of the best players currently on the Indians, though injuries have been a concern lately. In seven seasons with the Indians, Sizemore has batted .272 with an OBP of .363, a slugging percentage of .477, an OPS of .840 and an OPS+ of 122. He also has finished in the top 12 for MVP three times and has won two Gold Gloves and one Silver Slugger.
A young franchise that has seen some success, but because of where they play their home games, the players (especially the hitters) tend to see drastic drop-offs in their home/road splits causing their Hall of Fame credentials to be questioned.
Retired player: Larry Walker
One of the best overall hitters in the game in the late 1990s/early 2000s, but he clearly benefited from playing in Coors Field. As a Rockie, Walker batted .334 with an OBP of .426, a slugging percentage of .618, an OPS of 1.044 and an OPS+ of 147.
If you take a look at his home/road splits (this includes his time as an Expo and Cardinal), you'll see why he falls short of the Hall of Fame:
Home: .348 batting average, .431 OBP, .637 Slugging, 1.068 OPS and OPS+ of 120
Road: .278 batting average, .370 OBP, .495 Slugging, .865 OPS and OPS+ of 80
Active player: Todd Helton
One of the best hitters and defensive first basemen in the game in the 2000s. As a Rockie so far, he has batted .324 with an OBP of .424, a Slugging Percentage of .555, an OPS of .979 with an OPS+ of 137.
However, just like Larry Walker, look at his home/road splits and you'll see why he'll fall short of the Hall of Fame:
Home: .356 batting average, .454 OBP, .628 Slugging, 1.082 OPS and OPS+ of 120
Road: .291 batting average, .392 OBP, .481 Slugging, .873 OPS and OPS+ of 79
Long, storied history with some success and a lot of great and near-great players to choose from.
Retired player: Jack Morris
In my opinion, Jack Morris is one of the founding members of the Hall of Very Good and why he gets the Hall of Fame support is beyond me, but that's a different article for another day.
This article is to praise players like Jack. Jack was a very consistent pitcher for the 14 years he was in Detroit where he posted a record of 198-150 with an ERA of 3.73, an ERA+ of 108 and a WHIP of 1.266. Morris was consistently in the top 10 for Cy Young voting each year.
Active player: Justin Verlander
One of the Tigers pitching phenoms that has been consistently in Cy Young discussion for almost his entire career. So far for his career, he has amassed a record of 83-52 with an ERA of 3.81, an ERA+ of 118 and a WHIP of 1.259 along with a Rookie of the Year award.
The Marlins are one of the most successful expansion teams ever, winning two World Series titles in their short history. The problem with the Marlins and finding players for this list is the fire-sales they always seem to have, where they get rid of their best talent such as Josh Beckett and AJ Burnett.
Retired player: Jeff Conine
Conine was an under-appreciated player everywhere he went except by his teammates and the fans. Conine for the Marlins batted .290 with an OBP of .358, a slugging percentage of .455, an OPS of .813 and an OPS+ of 114. If you add in his versatility in the field, you come up with a very good player with a relatively long and productive career.
Active player: Miguel Cabrera
Cabrera is another player the Marlins traded away before having to pay him a lot of money as a free agent. Putting his off the field issues aside, Miggy is one of the game's best hitters today.
As a Marlin, he batted .313 with an OBP of .388, a slugging percentage of .542, an OPS of .929 and an OPS+ of 143, and two top five MVP finishes and Silver Sluggers.
Note: I was going to put Josh Johnson in this spot, but while he had a great season in 2010, I need to see him do it for several more years first.
The Astros have had some truly great players and moderate success. The problem with picking players is they are all sure-fire Hall of Famers (Biggio, Bagwell, Nolan Ryan) or are no longer with the team.
Retired player: Mike Scott
Along with Nolan Ryan, they formed a fantastic one-two punch. Scott was one of the best pitchers in the game in the mid-1980s winning one Cy Young and finishing second once and seventh once.
As an Astro, Scott had a 110-81 record, an ERA of 3.30, ERA+ of 107 and a WHIP of 1.144.
Active player: Lance Berkman
The two players I considered for this (Berkman and Oswalt) are both no longer with the team. I chose Berkman because as an Astro he batted .296, had an OBP of .410, a slugging percentage of .549, an OPS of .959 and an OPS+ of 146.
He was also routinely in the hunt for MVP each season.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals, one fantastic season in which they won a World Series and one truly great player (George Brett). They are competitive occasionally, however, their top prospects haven't panned out in a while, their one superstar since Brett (Sweeney) toiled in obscurity and they tend to let players get away (Dye, Damon, Greinke for example).
Retired player: Dan Quisenberry
One of the most underrated relievers in history. In his 10 seasons in Kansas City, he was in the top five for Cy Young voting in five of them. As a Royal, he had 238 saves (in a time when 30 or more saves was basically unheard of), an ERA of 2.55 and pitched in 920 innings (that's almost 100 innings a season). Add in his sidearm delievery and you have one of the most beloved Royals in team history.
Active player: Zack Greinke
The Royals did their best to keep Greinke, but finally traded him away after the 2010 season. As I said above, a lot of their best prospects haven't panned out (Alex Gordon for example) and Greinke was one that did.
Greinke's best season was in 2009 when he won the Cy Young award with a record of 16-10, an ERA of 2.16, an ERA+ of 205 and an WHIP of 1.073.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Lots of great players have spent time playing for the Angels; whether it was California, Los Angeles, Anaheim or now as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Retired player: Jim Fregosi
A scrappy player that managed to get MVP votes in eight of his 11 years with the Angels. For the California Angels, Fregosi batted .268 with an OBP of .340, a slugging percentage of .403, an OPS of .743 and OPS+ of 116.
Active player: Garret Anderson (though listed as a free agent now, he hasn't signed with anyone and hasn't retired)
Anderson is the holder of many of the Angels' all-time records. When you think of the Angels between 1994 and 2008, Anderson's name should have been the first to pop into your head.
For the Angels, he batted .296 with an OBP of .327, a slugging percentage of .469, an OPS of .796 and an OPS+ of 105.
Los Angeles Dodgers
One of the most historical franchises in baseball history with an all-time roster full of Hall of Famers.
Retired player: Steve Garvey
Garvey was one of the best defensive first basemen in history, and in his 14 seasons with the Dodgers he batted .301 with an OBP of .337, a slugging percentage of .459, an OPS of .796 and an OPS+ of 122.
He won one MVP award and finished in the top ten of MVP voting four other times.
Active player: Andre Ethier
The Dodgers as of late haven't had the same success as in the franchise's past, but they have several young players who should be able to make this list one day. I think Ethier is the best example of today's Dodgers.
Ethier in just five seasons for the Dodgers has batted .291 with an OBP of .363, a slugging percentage of .491, an OPS of .854 and an OPS+ of 124. He's even finished in sixth place once for MVP and has won a Silver Slugger.
Some great players have called the Brewers their team; Robin Yount and Paul Molitor for example. Recently they've seen some potentially all-time great players call Milwaukee home.
Retired player: Cecil Cooper
Another "forgotten" star. Cooper started with the Red Sox, but it was in Milwaukee where he truly shined. During his 11 years there, he had a .302 batting average, an OBP of .339, a slugging percentage of .470, an OPS of .809 and an OPS+ of 122.
He finished in the top eight for MVP voting four times, won two Gold Gloves and three Silver Sluggers.
Active player: Ryan Braun
One of the most underrated players today. If only he could play defense, he would be a better overall player.
However, in just four seasons in Milwaukee, he has amassed a .307 batting average, an OBP of .364, a slugging percentage of .554, an OPS of .918 with an OPS+ of 140 along with a Rookie of the Year award, three top 15 MVP finishes (one of which was a third place finish) and three Silver Sluggers.
The Twins started as the Washington Senators, so they have Walter Johnson in their history plus players like Harmon Killebrew and Kirby Puckett, and players like Dave Winfield have also played there.
The current roster is full of possible Hall of Famers (Mauer, Morneau) and very good players (guys like Cuddyer for example).
Retired player: Kent Hrbek
Imagine Adam Dunn but with a little less power and less strike outs and you have Kent Hrbek. Hrbek spent his entire 14-year career in Minnesota and ended up with a .282 batting average, an OBP of .367, a slugging percentage of .481, an OPS of .848 and an OPS+ of 128.
He also finished second in the MVP voting once.
Active player: Torii Hunter
One of the best defenders of our generation in center field, Hunter spent 11 seasons on the Twins and left with a batting average of .271, an OBP of .324, a slugging percentage of .469, an OPS of .793 and an OPS+ of 104.
He won seven Gold Gloves and finished sixth in MVP voting once.
New York Mets
The Mets have had some great pitchers in there history from Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan to Johan Santana today. They've also had a Hall of Fame catcher in Gary Carter, but always had scrappy players like Lenny Dykstra and Howard Johnson.
Retired player: Dwight Gooden
One of the best pitchers in the game when he arrived. Sadly, off the field issues basically ended his career (or at least the Hall of Fame discussion).
In 1985, Gooden had one of the best seasons by a pitcher ever. He was 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA, an ERA+ of 229, struck out 268 in 278 innings, had a WHIP of 0.965 and had 16 complete games with eight shutouts.
Active player: Carlos Beltran (if he plays this year, the number of seasons between Houston and New York will be equal)
Beltran arrived in New York after setting the postseason on fire in Houston. Unfortunately, injuries have started to plague him the last couple of seasons. In his Mets career so far, he has a .279 batting average, an OBP of .366, a slugging percentage of .499, an OPS of .864 and an OPS+ of 126.
He is also a fantastic defender and has won three Gold Gloves in New York.
New York Yankees
The greatest sports franchise in North American sports history, and one of the best world-wide. Every great player seems to have played for the Yankees at one point and their rosters are constantly full of Hall of Famers, potential Hall of Famers and Hall of Very Good members.
Needless to say, this was the hardest one to decide and I'm a Yankees fan.
Retired player: Thurman Munson
The last in a chain of Yankees catchers that started with Bill Dickey (Hall of Famer), moved to Yogi Berra (Hall of Famer), then to Elston Howard (borderline Hall of Famer). I do believe that if Munson didn't die tragically after only 11 seasons, he would be a Hall of Famer too.
Tremendous leader, constantly in the MVP discussion and was above average on defense. He was the heart and soul of the Yankees of the 1970s. I could list Munson's career stats, but his stats don't capture just how good Thurman was or what he meant to the Yankees and their fans.
Active player: Jorge Posada
Jorge is a tough case. Parts of his game are Hall of Fame caliber while others aren't. I won't get into a discussion about his Hall of Fame worthiness here. This is about active Yankees that should be in the Hall of Very Good and with Jeter, ARod, Teixeira, Rivera on the path towards the Hall of Fame and Cano starting to show that as well, I'm left with Posada.
So far for the Yankees, Posada has a .275 batting average, an OBP of .377, a slugging percentage of .479, an OPS of .856 and an OPS+ of 123.
Another franchise with a rich history that spans several cities. Several Hall of Famers have played for the A's, but like other "small market" teams they've let their best players move on to other teams.
Some of the Hall of Very Good members of this team (Canseco, McGwire, Tejada and Giambi for example) were caught up in the Steroid Era so they can't make this list.
Retired player: Dave Stewart
Stewart was a big league pitcher for 16 seasons, but his best years were in Oakland. While in Oakland he had a 119-78 record, with an ERA of 3.73, an ERA+ of 103 and a WHIP of 1.318.
It was in the postseason that Stewart truly shined (and stared down hitters) where he was 7-3 in 14 starts, with an ERA under 2.00.
Active player: Barry Zito
Zito was part of the Athletics of the 2000s that all got traded away or left via free agency. For the A's, Zito had a 102-63 record with an ERA of 3.55, an ERA+ of 125 and a WHIP of 1.250.
He also won a controversial Cy Young award in 2002 (many believe Pedro should have easily won it that year).
Another franchise with a deep history that includes the best third baseman ever in Mike Schmidt, some great pitchers in Steve Carlton and Robin Roberts. The Phillies of today have some of the best pitchers in the game and potential Hall of Famers at shortstop, second base and first base.
Retired player: Greg Luzinski
A tremendous power-hitting left fielder who finished in second, eighth, second and seventh in four consecutive years in MVP voting for the Phillies.
Luzinski, in 11 years with the Phillies, batted .281 with an OBP of .363, a slugging percentage of .489, an OPS of .852 and an OPS+ of 133.
Active player: Cole Hamels
In just five short seasons for the Phillies, Hamels has established himself as one of the better strike out pitchers in the game while maintaining control (8.5 K/9 and a WHIP of 1.176 for his career).
He also has a record of 60-45 with an ERA of 3.53 and an ERA+ of 123. Hamels is the number three starter behind Halladay and Lee, but could easily be the ace of any other pitching staff.
One of the most storied franchises in baseball that hasn't been good in two decades which made it really tough to find any active players.
Retired player: Dave Parker
Why Parker never got the Hall of Fame support is beyond me. He spent all 15 years on the ballot and never received more than 25 percent of the vote. He was one of the best all-around players in the 1970s.
In his MVP season of 1978, he batted .334 (led the league), had an OBP of .394, a slugging percentage of .585 (led the league), an OPS of .979 (led the league), an OPS+ of 166 (led the league), hit 30 home runs, even stole 20 bases and won the Gold Glove.
Active player: Jason Kendall
I was completely shocked to see that Kendall was still active and I was thankful for that because the Pirates just haven't had many good players as of late. In nine seasons for the Pirates, Kendall batted .306 with an OBP of .387, a slugging percentage of .418, an OPS of .805 and an OPS+ of 108.
San Diego Padres
The Padres have had success in some seasons and some great players have called San Diego home; notably Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman. Also, some other greats started in San Diego like Dave Winfield and Adrian Gonzalez.
Retired player: Benito Santiago
Santiago probably had the best arm I ever saw from a catcher (yes, even stronger than Ivan Rodriguez') and all you had to see to be sure of this was to watch him nail a runner stealing second from his knees.
At the plate, he was about average, but it was his defense that set him apart from others.
Active player: Jake Peavy
Peavy won a Cy Young award for San Diego in 2007 with a record of 19-6, an ERA of 2.54, an ERA+ of 158 and a WHIP of 1.061. Peavy has since been traded away and injuries have curtailed his career.
San Francisco Giants
A storied franchise with a top five all-time player in Willie Mays and the one of the best pitchers in the game today, Tim Lincecum. The Giants are the defending World Series champions going into the 2011 season.
Retired player: Will Clark
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Clark was one of the best first basemen in the game. In a four-year stretch he finished in the top five for MVP three times, won one Gold Glove and two Silver Sluggers.
Over eight seasons for the Giants, Clark batted .299 with an OBP of .373, a slugging percentage of .499, an OPS of .872 and an OPS+ of 145.
Injuries in the second half of his career derailed what was once a potential Hall of Fame career.
Active player: Matt Cain
One of the best young pitchers in the game today, Cain has gotten much better over the last couple of seasons and I believe he is on his way finally to greatness.
In six seasons for the Giants, Cain has a 57-62 record with an ERA of 3.45, an ERA+ 126 and a WHIP of 1.218.
Many great players have played for Seattle, but not many of them have stayed. Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez and Randy Johnson have all called Seattle home at one point, only to move on to continue their Hall of Fame careers elsewhere.
Retired player: Edgar Martinez
The best pure designated hitter in baseball history and this is why Edgar will never make the Hall of Fame—he only played the field in 592 games out of his 2055.
He was one of the most feared hitters in baseball during the 1990s and for his career he batted .312 with an OBP of .418, a slugging percentage of .515, an OPS of .933 and an OPS+ of 147.
Active player: Raul Ibanez
Today's Mariners have only one bright spot on the team and that's Felix Hernandez (who is on a Hall of Fame path and that's why I didn't include him). So, I had to look to other teams to find a former Mariner for their Hall of Very Good and the only one I could find was Raul Ibanez.
For the Mariners, Ibanez batted .284 with an OBP of .346, a slugging percentage of .464, an OPS of .810 and an OPS+ of 113.
St. Louis Cardinals
One of the best franchises in baseball history with a roster full of Hall of Famers like Stan Musial, Bob Gibson and Rogers Hornsby. Today's Cardinals have the best player in the game, Albert Pujols and several other potentially great players.
Retired player: Jim Edmonds
One of the best defensive center fielders of our generation who always seemed to make the highlight reels for one of his catchers.
However, Edmonds was also a pretty great hitter. In eight seasons for the Cardinals, he batted .285 with an OBP of .393, a slugging percentage of .555, an OPS of .947 and an OPS+ of 143.
Active player: Adam Wainwright
Wainwright is one of the best young pitchers in the game today that hopefully can overcome a recent injury.
In just six seasons so far, he has a record of 66-35 with an ERA of 2.97, an ERA+ of 140 and a WHIP of 1.202. Over the last two seasons, he's pitched in over 200 innings and has gotten over 200 strike outs in each.
Tampa Bay Rays
A young franchise that has finally become competitive and has enjoyed some success. A roster full of potentially great, young players.
Retired player: Fred McGriff
McGriff played for 19 seasons and spent five years with the Rays (tied with two other teams for most seasons he spent with one team). For the Rays, McGriff batted .291 with an OBP of .380, a slugging percentage of .484, an OPS of .864 and an OPS+ of 122.
McGriff is thought of being a "compiler" and this is why he won't make the Hall of Fame. However, he wasn't really a compiler, he was just one of the most consistent hitters in the game during his career.
Active player: Carl Crawford
Crawford owns pretty much every single Rays offensive record and was one of the first homegrown superstars for the Rays.
In nine seasons with the Rays, he batted .296 with an OBP of .337, a slugging percentage of .444, an OPS of .781 and an OPS+ of 107. Where Crawford really shines is on defense and on the base paths. He averaged 54 steals and 14 triples a season for the Rays and finally won his first Gold Glove in 2010.
A franchise that saw some success in the late 1990s, but unfortunately most of the great hitters from that time have been caught up in the Steroid Era (Juan Gonzalez and Rafael Palmeiro for example).
Retired player: Ruben Sierra
Sierra's best season for the Rangers came in 1989 when he finished second in the MVP voting. During that season he led the league in the following categories— triples with 14, RBI with 119, slugging percentage with .543 and total bases with 344.
For his career in Texas, he batted .280 with an OBP of .323, a slugging percentage of .473, an OPS of .796 and an OPS+ of 116.
Active player: Michael Young
Young is a perennial All-Star that has played multiple positions well for the Rangers.
In 11 seasons for Texas so far, he's batted .300, with an OBP of .347, a slugging percentage of .448, an OPS of .795 and an OPS+ of 105. To understand just how good Young is, you have to actually watch him play because his stats don't tell the whole story.
Toronto Blue Jays
A franchise whose greatest success came in the early 1990s. Recently they haven't had great success and have started rebuilding for the future with young players.
Retired player: Joe Carter
Carter hit one of the biggest home runs in World Series history and that's what he's known best for. However, Carter also hit almost 400 other home runs that people don't remember.
For Toronto, Carter batted .257 with an OBP of .308, a slugging percentage of .473, an OPS of .781 and an OPS+ of 104. He averaged almost 30 home runs a season (back when 30 home runs was impressive) and over 100 RBIs a season for the Blue Jays.
Active player: Vernon Wells
The Blue Jays current roster is young and there aren't many great players (though if 2010 for Jose Batista is going to be normal for him, he'll easily make this list), so I had to choose a player recently traded away.
In 12 seasons with the Jays, Wells batted .280 with an OBP of .329, a slugging percentage of .475, an OPS of .804 and an OPS+ of 108. He also won three Gold Gloves and one Silver Slugger.
Another team that has a history that involves several cities. In Montreal, the Expos had Andre Dawson, Gary Carter, Larry Walker, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez playing for them at one point.
In Washington, they have since started over but have drafted well the last couple of years getting Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg.
Retired player: Tim Raines
I'm amazed that Raines hasn't gotten more consideration for the Hall of Fame than he has. After Rickey Henderson, he was the best leadoff hitter in the game in the 1980s.
In 13 years for the Expos, Raines batted .301 with an OBP of .391, a slugging percentage of .437, an OPS of .829 and an OPS+ of 131. He also had 635 stolen bases while only getting caught 106 times.
Active player: Ryan Zimmerman
Zimmerman to me is probably the most underrated third baseman in the game today. I also think he is the best defensive third baseman playing today.
In his five year career for the Nationals so far, he has batted .288 with an OBP of .355, a slugging percentage of .484, an OPS of .839 and an OPS+ of 121.
With Zimmerman, Harper and Strasburg (if he can overcome his injuries), the Nationals look set for the future.
So, did I choose the players you would? If not, who would you pick and why? Please explain in the comments below.
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