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Ranking the top 10 centerfielders ever - whats your list

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948 View Post
    1. Cobb
    2. Mays
    3. Speaker
    4. DiMaggio
    5. Mantle
    6. Hamilton
    7. Griffey
    8. Ashburn
    Haven't read enough about other guys to make a determinations as to their relative merits. I've been exposed to quite a bit about everyone here with the exception of Griffey and Hamilton.

    Reason I left Snider off- I was researching platooning a few months ago and I started a project examining:

    1. The Brooklyn Dodgers versus LHP
    2. Warren Spahn against the Dodgers
    3. Duke Snider against LHP

    Here's the Snider info:

    I went back to compile all the available information (mostly by hand) for the Dodgers using retrosheet and baseball-ref. I looked at 1954 and 1956-63 since those are the available years Snider was playing. I wanted to also see how much of an effect Ebbets Field had, since purportedly it was part of the reason for the ridiculous platoon splits, so I also divided it into pre and post move to LA.

    I attached an excel file with the data.

    In 1954, 56, and 57, the Dodgers faced left handed pitchers 9.8% of their total PA's. Only 1.85% of the Dodgers' total PA's were by left handed Dodger hitters against left handed pitchers during those years!!!

    The National League averages were around 25% of PA's thrown by left handed pitching during those years.

    From 1958-63, the Dodgers faced left handed pitching in 23.7% of their total PA's. 5.3% of the total PA's were by left handed Dodger hitters against left handed pitchers.

    Duke Snider faced left handed pitching only 7.4% of the time in 54' and 56'-63'. Even after the Dodgers went to LA and lost power in the lineup, Snider continued to almost always sit against lefties.

    My conclusion? Well, presuming that the retrosheet data for about half his career is closely representative of his entire career, I'd say that Snider is tremendously overrated, since hardly anyone to my knowledge, has taken fully into consideration that:

    A) he couldn't hit lefties
    B) he hardly ever had to face lefties, as the other greats did


    No omnibus metric I know of deals with/adjusts for handedness and platoon splits, either.
    Attached Files

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948 View Post
      He does make some great plays but some have accused him of "coasting" in order to make it appear like a dive was necessary. His great jumps helped him but a centerfielder who gets great jumps, takes proper angles, and has well above average footspeed shouldn't need to dive so much imo.
      I completely agree with you. Edmonds has been accused of that by Griffey as well. He's good, but very over-rated as a CF. I think he was a better hitter in his prime than a fielder.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948 View Post
        He does make some great plays but some have accused him of "coasting" in order to make it appear like a dive was necessary. His great jumps helped him but a centerfielder who gets great jumps, takes proper angles, and has well above average footspeed shouldn't need to dive so much imo.
        Some of these "diving catches" we see every night on ESPN are a joke. I say "some" are. If any have played this game, the outfield, it's so obvious some of these catches could have been made without leaving one's feet. I have seen a good number where the outfielder is in his last stride and so obvious they go into a dive the last second.

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        • #19
          1. Willie Mays
          2. Ty Cobb
          3. Mickey Mantle
          4. Tris Speaker
          5. Oscar Charleston
          6. Joe Dimaggio
          7. Ken Griffey Jr.
          8. Billy Hamilton
          9. Duke Snider
          10. Richie Ashburn
          1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

          1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

          1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


          The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
          The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

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