For information about how this list was compiled please read part 1 of this series. This section is for players ranked 175-151.
175: Andre Dawson– Dawson won the NL MVP in 1987. He had power and was a plus defender early in his career, however he was never a guy that got on base a lot. He retired with 438 home runs and an OBP of .323. He is one of just three players in MLB history with at least 400 home runs and a career OBP below .325.
174: Richie Ashburn– Ashburn led the NL in batting average twice, on-base percentage four times, hits three times, and triples twice. He was a well above average defender, a good contact hitter, and finished his career with a .396 OBP.
173: Katsuya Nomura– One of NPB’s all-time great players. Nomura finished his career with 657 home runs, 2.901 hits, and 1,988 RBI. He won the Triple Crown in 1965
172: Vladimir Guerrero– Guerrero won the AL MVP in 2004 and was a nine time All-Star. He never struck out more than 100 times in a season, he never walked 100 times in a season either. He was a free swinger and impatient at the plate, however he still produced a career average of .318 and an on-base percentage of .379.
171: Gary Sheffield– Sheffield finished his career with 509 home runs and a slash line of .292/.393/.514. That’s good for an OPS+ of 140. His exceptional bat was always present, however using UZR Sheffield rates as the worst defender in the history of the game. He was implicated in the BALCO scandal and named in the Mitchell Report for allegedly purchasing illegal steroids.
170: Jim Edmonds– Edmonds won eight Gold Gloves, and a World Series with the Cardinals in 2006. He finished his career with 393 home runs, and an OPS+ of 132. Here’s a list of post integration era centerfielders who have matched or bettered that kind of production.
169: Enos Slaughter– A ten time All-Star and four time World Series Champion. Slaughter missed three full seasons (ages 27-29) due to his military service in World War II.
168: Graig Nettles– Often underrated (yes an underrated Yankee) because him primary skill was his exceptional defense, Nettles also hit 390 home runs over his 22 year career. Using Jay Jaffe’s JAWS system, Nettles ranks as the 12th best third baseman in MLB history.
167: Chase Utley– Often overshadowed by his more famous teammates, Utley has been one of the best players in the game since coming into the league in 2003. His peak is likely behind him, however he is still producing at an above average level.
165: Jim Bunning– Bunning won 224 games and struck out 2,855 batters over his 17 year career. He threw two no-hitters, including a perfect game, and once pitched an immaculate inning. Post career he entered politics and eventually became a U.S. Senator representing the state of Kentucky. You can see some of the bills he voted for and against here and here.
164: Don Drysdale– An eight time All-Star, three time World Series Champion, and Cy Young award winner in 1962. That year he set a Major League record by tossing six consecutive shutouts, and 58 consecutive scoreless innings. The shutout record still stands.
163: Whitey Ford– Ford led the AL in wins three times and ERA twice. He won the Cy Young in 1961 and pitched on six World Series winning Yankee teams. He was named MVP of the 1961 World Series. He missed two full seasons due to his military service in World War II.
162: Joe Gordon– Nicknamed “Flash” for his foot work around the bag, Gordon was a plus defender and power threat at the plate. Seven times he hit at least twenty home runs in a season, he finished his career with 253. He lost two full seasons (age 29 & 30) due to his military service in World War II. He won five World Series championships during his eleven year career.
161: Don Sutton– Unfairly labeled a compiler, Sutton was an average or better pitcher for a very long time which is hard to do. He pitched in 5.282.1 innings, won 324 games, and struck out 3,574 batters. FanGraphs (fWAR) views his career differently than Baseball-Reference.
160: Biz Mackey– A contact hitter and defensive specialist Mackey played for nearly thirty years. Hall of Famer Cool Papa Bell on Mackey, “Actually, as much as I admired Campanella as a catcher, all-around, and Gibson as a hitter, I believe Biz Mackey was the best catcher I ever saw.” Further reading on Mackey can be found here and here.
159: Fred Clarke– A player/manager for both the Louisville Colonels and Pittsburgh Pirates. Clarke finished his career with a .312 average and 2,678 hits. 220 of those hits were triples, which ranks 7th all time. As a manger he won 1,602 games which was briefly the MLB record. He has since been surpassed by eighteen other managers.
158: Home Run Baker– A member of the famed $100,000 infield, Baker led the AL in home runs four straight years from 1911-1914. His home run totals each of those years were 11, 10, 12, and 9. He finished his career with 96 home runs.
157: Ed Delahanty– Finished his career with a .346 batting average, 5th all time. Hit over .400 three times which includes his 1899 season when he hit .410/.464/.582. The circumstances of his death remain one of baseball’s great mysteries.
156: Bobby Grich- Underappreciated throughout his career; Grich was well above average at the plate and in the field. He was a six time All-Star, and finished his career with an OBP of .371. He is one of just nine middle infielders in the Integration Era to post a WAR over 70.
154: Isao Harimoto– Harimoto finished his NPB career with 504 home runs, 319 stolen bases, and 3,085 hits. His hit total is the most in NPB history. Willie Mays is the only player in MLB history to reach each of the 500/300/3000 thresholds.
151: Dwight Evans– Evans played with more famous teammates, walked a lot when walks weren’t as fashionable, excelled defensively, and had a down year (1983) in the middle of his prime. All of this contributed to him being one of the most underrated players in MLB history. Bill James made this compelling Hall of Fame case for him.
Data courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com
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