For information about how this list was compiled please read part 1 of this series. This section is for players ranked 200-176.
200: Yutaka Fukumoto– An elite leadoff hitter and defender, Fukumoto is Japan’s all time leader in stolen bases (1,065) and triples (115). He led the Pacific League in stolen bases thirteen times, runs ten times, and walks six times. He was a selected as an All-Star on seventeen occasions, and won the MVP in 1972.
199: Gabby Hartnett– Hall of fame manager Joe McCarthy on Hartnett, “Gabby was the greatest throwing catcher that ever gunned a ball to second base. He threw a ball that had the speed of lightning, but was as light as a feather. ”
198: Tommy John– Famous for being the first to receive the surgery named after him, John was a durable, above average starter before and after his UCL was repaired by Dr. Frank Jobe. Before: IP 2,165 W-L 124-106 SO 1,273 ERA 2.97 ERA+ 116. After: IP 2,544.2 W-L 164-125 SO 972 ERA 3.66 ERA+107.
196: Bret Saberhagen– A two time Cy Young award winner and the World Series MVP in 1985, Saberhagen’s career was cut short due to various arm injuries. He finished his career with 2562.2 innings pitched and an ERA+ 126
195: Bill Dahlen– Defensive star during the dead-ball era. He was chosen by SABR’s Nineteenth Century Committee as their Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend for 2012. He received 10-16 votes (12 needed for induction) on the Hall of Fame’s Veterans Committee ballot in 2013.
194: Bobby Abreu– Abreu announced his retirement after the 2014 season; he finished his eighteen year career with a slash line of .291/.395/.475. That’s good for an OPS+ of 128. He is one of just five players in MLB history with at least 400 steals and 250 home runs.
193: Ray Dandridge– A contact hitter and plus defender at multiple positions. Hall of Famer Monte Irvin said this about him, “Dandridge didn’t get the chance to play in the majors, but he had major league talent. He was a superstar.”
192: Reggie Smith– Sometimes players get underrated because they play with a more famous teammate. Smith played with Carl Yastrzemski who was more famous and a better player than he was. He also played with Steve Garvey who was more famous but not quite as good. Smith continues to get overlooked, last year it was Garvey who appeared on the Hall of Fame’s Expansion Era ballot (again) while Smith and other more deserving, less famous candidates were not considered. Smith’s career WAR is 64.5 here is the list of integration era outfielders who also have a WAR over 60.
191: Billy Hamilton– Hamilton’s career batting average of .344 ranks 7th all time. He was the career leader in stolen bases (914) from 1897-1977 until Lou Brock surpassed his total. Hamilton hit .403 in 1894 but finished 5th in batting that year.
190: Rick Reuschel– Reuschel played on bad teams, filled with poor defenders, and he was out of shape. He was constantly overlooked because of those things. He’s a lot closer to the Hall of Fame line than the sniff test gives him credit for.
189: Andruw Jones– Jones perhaps belongs on the MT. Rushmore of defense. An all-time great defender who also hit 434 home runs over his career. However, at the age of thirty he gained a noticeable amount of weight, lost his range in field, and his bat speed at the plate. He was never the same player again.
188: David Cone– Cone led the NL in strikeouts back-to-back years in 90 & 91. He won the Cy Young in 94 and finished his career with 2,668 strikeouts. He won five World Series championships, and is a sixty win player (using bWAR). Here’s the list of Expansion Era (1961-present) pitchers who have also accomplished that.
187: Keith Hernandez– Hernandez got on base a lot (.384 career OBP), and was an excellent defender. He won eleven Gold Glove awards, and was named co NL MVP in 1979. He won two World Series championships.
185: Old Hoss Radbourn– Perhaps best known because of this parody Twitter feed, Old Hoss still holds the record for most wins in a season (59). He did that in 1884, he also pitched in 678.2 innings that year.
184: Dick Allen– A controversial figure for many reasons, Allen finished his career with 351 home runs and an OPS+ of 156. He could hit better than he could stir up controversy. Read more on his life and career here.
183: Sammy Sosa– From 1998-2003 Sosa hit 332 home runs. That’s an average of 55 a year. Three times during that stretch he surpassed 61 homers. He won the NL MVP in 98, and finished his career with 609 home runs. He eventually became one of the figureheads of MLB’s “steroid era”, was called in front of Congress about his alleged doping, and the New York Times reported he failed MLB’s initial survey test for steroids in 2003. Despite all of that, I would put him in the Hall of Fame. I think the voters should put the deserving PED guys in, and the Hall should acknowledge (on their plaques, online, in their books, etc.) that they used. Why is that so hard? Further reading on his alleged drug use can be found here.
182: Kirby Puckett– Led the AL in hits four times, total bases twice, and batting average once. He finished his career with a .318 average and 2,304 hits. He won two World Series championships with the Twins. His career ended abruptly at the age of 36 after being diagnosed with glaucoma in his right eye. After he retired Puckett was accused of several terrible things.
181: Ralph Kiner– Kiner led the NL in home runs his first seven years in the league. A back injury forced him to retire at the age of 32 after playing for just ten seasons. He served with the U.S. Navy during World War II.
180: Billy Williams– Williams was named NL Rookie of the Year in 1961, and was a six time All-Star. He finished his eighteen year career with 2,711hits, 426 home runs, and 1,475 RBI.
179: Tim Keefe– In 1880 Keefe started twelve games and posted an ERA of 0.86, that’s a record. He finished his career with 342 wins. He is one of just 20 pitchers in MLB history with at least 250 wins and 2,500 strikeouts.
178: Todd Helton– Helton’s career slash line .316/.414/.539. At home .345/.441/.607, on the road .287/.386/.469. He clearly had an advantage playing his entire career in Colorado but we shouldn’t just dismiss the runs he generated at home. Those count too. Also, WAR accounts for park factors.
177: Kevin Brown– Brown is a member of the 60 WAR 40 WAA club. Here are the other pitchers on that list. He signed the first 100 million dollar contract in baseball, and was also named in the Mitchell Report for purchasing steroids and HGH.
176: Cristóbal Torriente– Power hitting star of the Negro Leagues and in Cuba. Here’s Hall of Famer Martin Dihigo on him “We have never given Torriente the credit he deserved. He did everything well, he fielded like a natural, threw in perfect form, he covered as much field as could be covered; as for batting, he left being good to being something extraordinary.”
Data courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com
Follow me on Twitter @RossCarey and join the conversation at #Top250