Measuring the Greatest
If you assume that Alex Rodriguez will break Barry Bonds’ homerun record, which he has until 2017 to do with his most recent contract, A-Rod will need to hit just 133 homeruns over the next six seasons. JUST 133 homers is a big deal when you think about a 36-year-old who has had hip injuries and some steroid “issues” that have come about. Is he the greatest hitter of this generation? What is it that makes a player great? Production? Below are the greatest players of the current generation (have played in the last five seasons), showing their overall and average yearly production (162-games) and similar players that are members of Cooperstown.
1,291 R, 2,073 H, 455 2B, 15 3B, 445 HR, 1,329 RBI, 84 SB, 704/975 K/BB, .328/.420/.617
123 R, 197 H, 43 2B, 1 3B, 42 HR, 126 RBI, 8 SB, 67/93 K/BB
Hall Comparisons: Johnny Mize, Joe DiMaggio, and Duke Snider;
1,824 R, 2,775 H, 495 2B, 29 3B, 629 HR, 1,893 RBI, 305 SB, 1,911/1,166 K/BB, .302/.386/.567
123 R, 187 H, 33 2B, 2 3B, 42 HR, 128 RBI, 21 SB, 129/79 K/BB
Hall Comparisons: Mel Ott, Frank Robinson, Willie Mays, and Jimmie Foxx;
1,544 R, 2,574 H, 547 2B, 20 3B, 555 HR, 1,831 RBI, 38 SB, 1,813/1,329 K/BB, .312/.411/.585
109 R, 181 H, 38 2B, 1 3B, 39 HR, 129 RBI, 3 SB, 128/94 K/BB
Hall Comparisons: Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Frank Robinson;
852 R, 1,597 H, 346 2B, 13 3B, 277 HR, 984 RBI, 29 SB, 1,009/643 K/BB, .317/.395/.555
102 R, 191 H, 41 2B, 2 3B, 33 HR, 118 RBI, 3 SB, 121/77 K/BB
Hall Comparisons: Hack Wilson
The best right handed hitter of this generation lies within the above four players. While legacies of Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez have been tainted due to their involvement in steroids, baseball remains a game of statistics and theirs are better than others. Rodriguez’s numbers have also been tainted by injuries, as he has played in an average of just 124 games since the 2008 season. Pujols (31) and Cabrera (28) have plenty of time remaining to continue adding to their careers, but they also could fall short due to injury or personal issues (Cabrera’s previous battles with alcoholism are well documented). Regardless, put who you think the best hitter of this generation is in a comment. I’d love to see who others feel rank at #1. I would go with Pujols based on the longevity of his production without any negative character flaws (besides playing for the Cardinals, but he didn’t have a choice in that). Beyond that, all four of these guys would be a fine choice. Let me know if I left someone out, as well!