30 greatest offensive players of the modern era, part two
In the second part of the series, we list players 11-20. There’s a lot more hair-splitting needed with this group. The first three of this group are so close an argument can be made for anyway you want to rank them.
11. Mickey Mantle — While the next two had better offensive WAR numbers and compiled more statistics, Mickey’s .977 OPS is significantly better than the other two at .941 and .928.
12. Hank Aaron — While Willie Mays was a little better year in year out, it doesn’t outweigh Aaron’s totals of 755 HR and 2,297 RBI.
13. Willie Mays — Excellent career totals for Willie: .302 AVG, 660 HR and 1903 RBI. A split hair between him and Aaron.
14. Shoeless Joe Jackson — Joe had a short career but has a phenomenal lifetime AVG of .356. Slugging .517 for his career with only 54 HR shows just how good a hitter he was.
15. Tris Speaker — Another player from a time when there was very little power, Speaker managed to slug at .500. Aside from hitting .296 one season he had 18 consecutive years of hitting over .300, including seasons of .378, .380, .383, .386, .388 and .389. He is also the all-time career leader in doubles with 792.
16. Frank Thomas — Thomas is one of the under-appreciated hitters in baseball from a historical perspective. He had an OPS of .974, hit 521 HR and had 1,704 RBI.
17. Mel Ott — Ott had very similar numbers to Thomas. He had a lifetime OPS of .947, hit 511 HR and had 1,860 RBI.
18. Honus Wagner — He started before the year 1900 but spent most of his playing career in the modern era. Wagner’s AVGs from 1899-1912: .341, .381, .353, .330, .355, .349, .363, .339, .350, .354, .339, .320, .334, .324.
19. Ken Griffey Jr. — Junior was well on his way to the top 10 until he moved to the Reds, got hurt a lot and his numbers started to fade. Junior dominated the league from 1993-1999.
20. Frank Robinson — Robinson had excellent consistency and longevity, finishing his career with an OPS of .926, 586 HR and 1,812 RBI.