The next ten:
|71||Mike Piazza||C 7||Bob Feller||923||P20|
|72||Johnny Mize||1B7||Bill Dickey||920||C 6|
|73||Rod Carew||2B 7||Paul Waner||915||RF 8|
|74||Luke Appling||SS 7||Dennis Eckersley||914||RP 2|
|75||Ferguson Jenkins||P 20||Mike Piazza||913||C 7|
|76||Charlie Gehringer||2B 8||Tony Gwynn||912||RF 9|
|77||Clayton Kershaw||P 21||Tim Raines||911||LF 7|
|78||Sandy Koufax||P 22||Arky Vaughn||909||SS 7|
|79||Duke Snider||CF 8||Johnny Mize||908||1B 7|
|80||Frank Thomas||1B 8||Roberto Alomar||905||2B 9|
Let us start with Kershaw and Koufax. They both moved up 11 spaces each as pitchers. They both had short careers and since my new WAR focuses more on prime it helps Kershaw and Koufax. I also gave both a bonus for being the best pitcher in their decade. Kershaw has an advantage of an additional two years. Koufax made up for that advantage by his clutch stats. In his article I wrote how Koufax pitched a lot of clutch victories in the three pennant races in the 1960s. Two other pitchers helped in the ratings for clutch stats our Carl Hubbell and Whitey Ford. Both moved up in the rankings to a place where I feel more comfortable ranking them. In my previous ranking I had Kershaw in 150th place and Koufax in 151stth. I am happier with these rankings. Of course, Kershaw has a real good chance to go up into the inner circle. I would say him and Trout will most likely make it.
Bill James had Sandy Koufax as the 10th greatest pitcher, and I had him as the 33 greatest starting pitchers. However, with moving him up 11 spots for pitchers, I say I might now be closer in rankings. However, I’m sure Bill would move some of the recent pitchers ahead of Koufax. I also say there is a strong chance Bill would move Clemons, Maddux, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez ahead of Koufax. So, we aren’t too far apart.
The other thing I’m going to mention is second basemen. The new formula wasn’t too kind for them. Both times I did my ratings I strongly considered giving a bonus for second basemen. I did for pitchers, catchers, and shortstops. Second basemen would be right. However, I looked at the top three second basemen Hornsby, Collins and Morgan and I see nothing wrong with their ratings. In fact, I wouldn’t feel bad if some players behind them would move ahead of them. One of my theories is I rank the people at the top and the players who play their positions are a percentage as good as the group of people at the top. So, I can’t move up Rod Carew for playing second unless I move up Hornsby, Collins and Joe Morgan. Also, I am also rereading the latest Bill James Historical Abstract and a lot of 2nd basemen at the bottom of his top 100 didn’t seem very strong. One thing Bill mentioned was that the second basement after the first 30 or 40 all rated close together. Thus, I made the decision not to give second basemen any bonus for playing second. I still have 10 second basemen in the top 100. Last time I had 11 with Frankie Frisch as number 100 being the only one to drop out. He didn’t drop too far as he is 105th on my list now.
Duke Snider didn’t move up for center field but moved up 11 spaces in the top 100 from 90th to 79th. The main reason was clutch hitting. There are three other players who benefited by my putting clutch hitting (WPA – Win Probability Added) in the formula as they had more WPA then normal for where they were ranked. That is Willie McCovey, Johnny Mize and Harmon Killebrew.