Anyone catch MLB Network's Prime 9 show? Tonight they aired the top 9 centerfielders of all-time and the top 9 homeruns of all-time. While the homeruns are subjective, the CF brings up an interesting debate. Here is the list they came up with:
1. Willie Mays 2. Ty Cobb 3. Mickey Mantle 4. Tris Speaker 5. Joe DiMaggio 6. Ken Griffey Jr. 7. Duke Snider 8. Jim Edmonds 9. Kirby Puckett
On the surface, I think they got the top 3 out of order. I put Cobb at the top, and I think Mantle was better than Mays. I'm not sure about Edmonds and Puckett at the tail-end, but I have to look into that further. Post your opinions, or your own list.
Mays beats him out in all counting stats, as he played a lot more games than Mantle did. But looking at things like OPS, RC/27, etc. I think Mantle was better when he was on the field. From what I've read, Mantle was a better defender than Mays too, but I'm far from a defensive guru, so if anyone can bring some defensive metrics to the table, please do. Had Mantle not been hurt so frequently, I think he takes it hands down, but obviously there's a lot to be said for longevity as well. I think you guys had it right, it comes down to peak vs. career. It just depends on what you value more.
mays, cobb, speaker are the holy trinity of CFers for me...and jim edmonds ?!?! must be a nod to having an active player on the list---could probably substitute thunter there if having an active guy was the goal
stevethumb wrote:mays, cobb, speaker are the holy trinity of CFers for me...and jim edmonds ?!?! must be a nod to having an active player on the list---could probably substitute thunter there if having an active guy was the goal
Jim Edmonds is one of the most underrated CF I've ever seen, somewhat. He was truly incredible for a stretch, and has solid career numbers as well. He gets the love from lists such as this one, yet I always hear people complaining about how overrated, etc. he is, when in my opinion, that couldn't be further from the truth.
I don't think you can look at stats to compare Mantle and Mays. Mantle was so banged up for so long that he could never just go out and play the game without worrying about his legs. They were both truly exciting players to watch for different reasons. Willy was so flashy and there wasn't anything he couldn't do at the highest level. The Mick sent a thrill through the crowd every time he stepped into the box. He could mash it over 500 feet or beat out a drag bunt better than anyone I ever saw or hit a pinch home run on one leg to win a game. Two amazing players.
"Baizboll bin bery, bery good to me!" ~ Chico Escuela
Ty Cobb Mickey Mantle Willie Mays Tris Speaker Joe DiMaggio Oscar Charleston Ken Griffey Jr Duke Snider Billy Hamilton Richie Ashburn Cool Papa Bell Jim Edmonds Kirby Puckett Andruw Jones Paul Hines Larry Doby Fred Lynn Dale Murphy Hugh Duffy Bernie Williams
I've got Edmonds over Puckett, and Ashburn and Hamilton over both of them (not counting negro leaguers).